Category: Answers With Joe

The Population Explosion – Was Thanos Right?

Get two months of Skillshare for free: In Avengers: Infinity War, the Mad Titan Thanos wants to wipe out half of all life in the universe as a way to save it from overpopulation. This is clearly evil. But is he right?

The first person to sound the alarm about overpopulation was Thomas Malthus in 1798. His belief that overpopulation will lead to unimaginable suffering became known as a Malthusian Catastrophe.

Many years later, Paul Ehrlich wrote about overpopulation in his book The Population Bomb, and predicted that the 70s and 80s would be times of famine and suffering around the world.

This didn’t quite pan out. Julian Simon, an economist, challenged Erlich to a bet to see if commodities went down over time. They did.

And Erlich lost the bet. Today we know that as society develops, the birth rate goes down, meaning that the population will level out eventually.

But we still need to evolve our lifestyles to be more sustainable if the Earth is going to be able to manage over 10 billion people.

Ion Drives And Electric Propulsion

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Ion drives are a type of propulsion that provides a very small amount of force over a very long period of time, giving it the ability to build up to incredibly fast speeds.


5 Ways The World Could End – And How We Can Survive It (Feat. Isaac Arthur)

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Today, we’re discussing 5 plausible ways that the world could end, and I’m thrilled to be doing this as a 2-part collaboration with the one and only Isaac Arthur. Check out his video here:

Obviously there are many end-of-the-world scenarios out there, but for the purposes of these videos, we chose to focus on these five:

Grey Goo/Artificial Intelligence
Runaway Greenhouse Effect (Global Warming)
Comet or Asteroid Impact
Gamma Ray Burst
Death Of The Sun

From the self-replicating nanobots of John Von Neumann and K Eric Drexler to the gamma ray burst that caused the Ordovician Extinction, and how the death of Venus may signal our own future on Earth, our planet faces a multitude of threats that could end life as we know it.

Is This Geometric Structure The Theory Of Everything?

For 100 years, scientists have been searching for the “Theory of Everything”, the elusive link between the physics of Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity. A team of researchers believe they may have the key, and it all lies in a geometrical design.

Garrett Lisi’s work in particle physics led him to find patterns in the geometry that led him to discover an 8-dimensional crystalline structure called the E8 Lie Group. He used this to predict the existence of particles that he believes account for the force of gravity.

Klee Irwin and the Quantum Gravity Research team have taken this and constructed a theory about the nature of reality itself all the way down to the plank length, where reality breaks down into pixellated tetrahedrons that through emergence theory has created a universal consciousness.

Meet Your Future Robot Overlords

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Robots no longer live in science fiction. They’re all around us. Right now. Let’s look at the current most advanced robots and see where things might go in the future.

From their first mention in a Czech play to Elon Musk’s “alien dreadnought” automated factory, robots have been slowly becoming a huge part of our lives.

The types of robots include:
Industrial/Warehouse Robots
Service/Companion Robots
Military Robots
Exploratory Robots

Industrial robots include AMRs, which automate products around a warehouse floor.

Service and Companion robots include Asimo from Honda, Romeo and Pepper from SoftRobotics, and Milo, a robot for autistic kids.

Military Robots are usually funded by DARPA and include the Atlas and Spotmini from Boston Dynamics

Exploratory robots include NASA space probes including the Curiosity Rover.

Bill Gates’ Terrapower Project And The Traveling Wave Reactor

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Bill Gates has become one of the most powerful philanthropists in the world through the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, and one of the projects he’s supported is a company called Terrapower, which is researching and building a new type of nuclear reactor, known as the Traveling Wave Reactor, that could provide 80% of our energy needs for the next 1000 years.

Here’s Bill Gates’ Ted Talk: Innovating to Zero:

How NASA Is Using Ancient Art To Find Alien Life

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The Starshade Space Probe is part of the New Worlds mission in which NASA is going to launch a huge shade to block out the light from stars so that we could possibly see Earth-like rocky planets.

In order to get the star shade into space, they’re employing the ancient art of origami to incredible effect.

Check out Robert Salazar’s blog detailing the process of designing the shade:

Starshade: An Origami Odyssey

A Brief History Of The Future

The history of the universe is mind-blowing. But the future of the universe – and how it ends – is even more so.

From the end of the human race to the fate of planet Earth, the solar system, the Milky Way, and beyond, in today’s video, we talk about the far, far future and what it holds for everything.