Scanning Retrospective, No. 24

Foresight Snippets – No. 24

[Originally published in] prospect no 9, September 2002

  • Empirical Evidence of Global Consciousness?
  • Save the Earth! Mine the Moon
  • Getting Ready to Tackle Armageddon


Empirical Evidence of Global Consciousness?

In 1925, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin proposed the idea of a ‘noosphere’ created by human consciousness as a separate layer of evolutionary complexity supported by the ‘biosphere’ of organic life, which is itself supported by the ‘geosphere’ of planet Earth. This has led to the idea of a ‘global consciousness’. But, how can we test such an idea? It seems that a group working at Princeton University have uncovered anomalous correlations between independent ‘random event’ generators located around the world — correlations which coincide with (among other major events) the terrorist attacks in the USA in September last year. “The [generator] network reacted in a powerful and evocative way. While there certainly are sensible alternative explanations, this is not a mistake or a misreading. It can be interpreted as a clear, if indirect, confirmation of the hypothesis that [their] behaviour is affected by global events and our reactions to them.”

Sources:
Noosphere: The Emerging Web of Consciousness
http://www.technoetic.com/noosphere/
The Global Consciousness Project
http://noosphere.princeton.edu/

Save the Earth! Mine the Moon.

Of the 12 people to walk on the Moon, only one was a scientist: geologist Dr Harrison ‘Jack’ Schmitt, who flew on the final Apollo mission (17). Schmitt suggests that mining the Moon for the nuclide helium-3 could provide enough power to replace fossil and nuclear fission fuels. Helium-3 is rare on Earth, but is relatively abundant on the Moon, and could be used in (future) fusion reactors — should they become feasible — as a way to reduce the number of (current) fission reactors relying on uranium and plutonium. “A business scenario can be put together that could have us back on the moon within 10 to 15 years”, he says, as well as hinting at the tourist potential of certain lunar locales.

Sources:
The Sydney Morning Herald
http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2002/07/10/1026185065069.html
Space.com
http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/helium3_000630.html

Getting Ready to Tackle Armageddon

A few weeks ago, The End of the World was scheduled for February 1, 2019. Further analysis of orbital data revealed that asteroid ‘2002 NT7’ would actually miss the Earth after all. Phew! But there have been quite a few recent ‘near-misses’, all discovered, worryingly, after they passed us by. A mission to test the feasibility of deflecting a threat is currently in the planning stage. A pair of probes would be launched at a distant asteroid. One would hit at high speed; the other would measure the effect. A real mission of this type would need plenty of warning. Let’s hope the probabilities continue to be with us in the meantime….

Source:
BBC News
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/sci/tech/2166598.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/2158898.stm


prospect is a quarterly publication of Foresight, Planning & Review, Swinburne University of Technology.

Futura tenaciter in prospectu tenemus

This publication is intended to serve the broader Swinburne community, by highlighting areas of interest and concern to Swinburne stakeholders, by helping us take a long-term foresight view, and to expand our perceptions of our strategic options as we move forward together into our common future.

This collection is © 2002 FPR and Swinburne University of Technology. Copyright for the individual articles resides with the original authors and/or the original sources as listed. All articles have been used either with express permission or, where express permission is not required, following stipulated re-use guidelines.


NOTE: In all the posts in this series, the original source URLs are left exactly as they were when published 20-odd years ago. This means they will almost certainly be dead links (or good ol’ 404 errors). I do not have the patience or inclination to follow-up or find any archived or re-located versions of those web pages (because, well, life is too short). But, if it really bugs you, I invite you to see if you can find archived or relocated versions of those dead-link pages. And if you do, let me know, and I’ll update these posts with due credit to your detective work.

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