The Greatest Threats

"Everyone who isn’t ignorant or a Republican realizes that climate change is by far the biggest threat humanity faces."
- Paul Krugman, Things to Celebrate, Like Dreams of Flying Cars, NYT, Dec. 25, 2015

In 1983... a Soviet early-warning system detected an incoming American nuclear attack. It happened to be a moment of high tension in which the Kremlin had feared a pre-emptive strike.

Because of missile advances that had come as part of the arms race, the Soviets had only 23 minutes to respond before the missiles would land — not enough time to double-check equipment, much less negotiate with Washington. The arms race also dictated that the Soviet Union respond with overwhelming retaliation against the United States, to quickly neutralize any further threat.

The Soviet officer in charge of the early-warning station could see no evidence of a false alarm, but told his superiors that it was. His guess, proved correct, may have saved the world.

Though the episode would not become public for years, Mr. Reagan wrote in his memoirs that another war scare, which occurred that same month when Soviet forces shot down a South Korean airliner that had wandered into Soviet airspace, “demonstrated how close the world had come to the precipice and how much we needed nuclear arms control.”
- Max Fisher, Trump, Promising Arms Race, Could Set World on Uncertain Path, NYT, Dec. 23, 2016]

It hit me pretty quickly that what’s happening in the world of AI is not just an important topic, but by far THE most important topic for our future.
- Tim Urban, The AI Revolution: The Road to Superintelligence, Wait But Why, January 22, 2015

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