Misfortune Telling: How to Predict Disasters So We Can Prevent Them

ISIS, Hurricane Katrina, Fukushima—for each of these disastrous developments, there was someone with a bunch of data that no one would listen to.

Politics & Current Affairs

Noticing a pattern emerge in the aftermath of some of the worst catastrophes in recent years—like Hurricane Katrina, Fukushima, and the formation of ISIS—global security experts Richard A. Clarke and R.P. Eddy wrote a book called Warnings: Finding Cassandras to Stop Catastrophes. It is an historical investigation and instructive framework that can be used to predict disasters before they occur. How can they do that? Well, the predictions already exist, it's just that no-one is listening. These people making the predictions—who are always experts with strong data to support their claim, but who are dismissed by other experts—are known as 'Cassandras' (a name taken from Greek mythology). By sifting through history to find past Cassandras, they have developed a system to know which predictions are false alarms, and which are absolutely critical to humanity's future. Richard A. Clarke and R.P. Eddy's new book is Warnings: Finding Cassandras to Stop Catastrophes.

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3 Dire Warnings That Could Stop Global Catastrophe

Career global security expert Richard Clarke identifies three potential game changing events that could adversely affect the wellbeing of humanity itself.

Technology & Innovation

Low probability events, such as an extinction-level asteroid striking the Earth's surface, deserve more attention than their unlikelihood would suggest. The reason? The magnitude of their impact is so severe that it risks the survival of the human species. Career global security expert Richard Clarke identifies three potential game changing events that could affect the wellbeing of humanity itself: the gene editing technology CRISPR-Cas9, which could create superhumans and thereby establish a worldwide caste system; artificial intelligence capable of writing its own software superior to the programming abilities of humans; and robotic technology that could throw humans out of work and destabilize the world economy as we know it.

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