Is it safe?
Of the millions of asteroids that routinely fly by Earth, astronomers have so far detected only 10,000. __ Source
The chances are, we will not see it coming until it is right on top of us.
“This network has detected 26 multi-kiloton explosions since 2001, all of which are due to asteroid impacts. It shows that asteroid impacts are NOT rare—but actually 3-10 times more common than we previously thought. The fact that none of these asteroid impacts shown in the video was detected in advance is proof that the only thing preventing a catastrophe from a ‘city-killer’ sized asteroid is blind luck. The goal of the B612 Sentinel mission is to find and track asteroids decades before they hit Earth, allowing us to easily deflect them.” __ Ed Lu of the B612 Foundation
Conventional wisdom says that life goes on in a roughly straight-line extrapolation of current-day trends, with a few insignificant chaotic fluctuations here and there. The possibility of a serious discontinuity is relegated to science fiction and kook religions.
But wouldn’t it be better to assume that anything that can go wrong probably will go wrong, eventually? Rather than raising crops of incompetent psychological neotenates, wouldn’t it be more “resilient” to raise crops of multiply skilled, savvy, and responsibly dangerous progeny — just in case something really big should go wrong?
The likelihood of a catastrophic asteroid fall is very small on a short time scale, but grows to near certainty on a longer time scale.
Given current sociological trends of widespread decay, it is not certain that advanced technology-using humans will still be around to witness the next catastrophic skyfall. Fiction abounds with examples of how humanity might fall from its elevated perch. Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut presents one whimsical scenario.
The motion picture Idiocracy is another playful portrayal of humanity going to the dogs. Ominously, the film’s portrayal of homo stupido is not so wildly out of line with what one sees in public these days.
What is the best way of dealing with semi-predictable and unpredictable discontinuities? Whether a world-spanning killer contagion, an electric power grid-collapsing electromagnetic pulse, an asteroid fall, a global nuclear war, or a collapse from debt and dysgenics, we should know how networks of resilient and dangerous communities — hidden in plain sight — might ride the storm until it is safe to re-ignite the spark.
These resilient and dangerous communities — R & D communities — could be considered nest eggs of humanity’s future. Baskets of nest eggs should be distributed widely in likely locations, to increase the long-term odds of success.
Creating networks of R & D communities does not require an act of the legislature. There is no need to wait for acceptance of the idea by academics, politicians, activists, journalists, or celebrities.
But nothing else demonstrates as firm a commitment to the human future.