About me
About me

In graver danger than I first thought?


Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 13 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have, to put it mildly, mellowed.

I'm not a believer in brushing the past under the carpet. I've written some offensive rubbish on here in the past: deleting it and pretending it never happened doesn't change that. I hope that stumbling across something that's 13 years old won't offend anyone anew, because I hope that people can understand that what I thought and felt and wrote about then is probably very different to what I think and feel and wrote about now. It's a relic of an (albeit recent) bygone era.

So, given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views may well have changed in the last 13 years. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find utterly cringeworthy today.
  • This post might use words or language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate, offensive, embarrassing, or all three.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken, and embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

Some time ago, Professor Stephen Hawking posted a question on Yahoo Answers asking how the human race could survive the next hundred years. A few days or so later, he (as you might hope for such an intelligent guy) answered his own question with an audio message, which Yahoo have inexplicably combined with a patronising slideshow to create this video:

My first reaction to this news was that, with all that brainpower, you might hope that Prof Hawking would be having happier thoughts. You know, sunshine, lollipops and rainbows, that sort of thing. With a brain the size of his, an awful lot of happiness could fill the space currently occupied, quite clearly, with a whole lot of misery. 😉

Then it occured that the most respected thinkers and philosophers of every society ever (or, at least, quite a few) have predicted the downfall of the human race to be in the near fuure, and it’s not happened yet. What makes the good Prof any different?

Next, it occured to me that it was, perhaps, reassuring that this video was popular enough to make it into the most-watched videos on Yahoo’s site. It shows that people must be interested in the problems which may affect their offspring after their death, that they care for the world in which they live, and actively want to aid the survival of the species.

Then I noticed what was above this video in the chart:

My faith quickly evapourated… but my smile grew.

This 917th post was filed under: News and Comment, Technology, Video.

Some recently published posts

What I’ve been reading this month / October 2019, 3 minutes long

What I’ve been reading this month / September 2019, 6 minutes long

What I’ve been reading this month / August 2019, 7 minutes long

A flying visit to Copenhagen / July 2019, 9 minutes long

What I’ve been reading this month / June 2019, 6 minutes long

Some random old posts

Huygens sends first Titan images / January 2005, Less than a minute long

A Post / June 2003, Less than a minute long

Why Charlie’s a ‘quitter’ / January 2006, 1 minute long

Bush on the Phone / January 2005, Less than a minute long

A ‘thing’ about memorials and Acts of Remembrance / November 2005, 2 minutes long

Why does the Government think we’re all stupid? / March 2009, 3 minutes long

Comments and responses

Comment from Ben King

by Ben King

Comment posted at 16:13 on 4th August 2006.

A good point, well made. The sooner the cockroaches take over, the better.

Comment from sjhoward (author of the post)

by sjhoward

Comment posted at 18:33 on 7th August 2006.

Thanks, Ben. A nice blog you’ve got there – and good luck with the new C4 News, job, too!

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