December 21, 2012 … most mysterious date of recent years … What will happen? The end? A quantum leap? Below we will examine all of our options for the end. It is a kind — the final review before the date of the sign …
What is the apocalypse
Revelation — the last book of the New Testament of the Bible — often also referred to as the Apocalypse (from the Greek. — "Disclosure", "revelation"). In the Book of Revelation, as is known, describes the events that will take place before the second coming of Jesus Christ to the earth will be accompanied by many miracles and disasters (fire from heaven, the resurrection of the dead, of angels, etc.). Therefore, the word "apocalypse" began to be used as a synonym for the end of the world or a catastrophe of global proportions.
But times have changed. Now human history preserves the memory of the Nazi gas chambers and death camps. Not a fantasy, but in reality, tested nuclear weapons (and experienced people to other people!). We know that is Chernobyl. As a result, the 11 -15 March 2011 AS "Fukushima-1" even officials claim that we are somewhere halfway between a disaster and a huge disaster. According to official statistics, there are about 35 million HIV-infected people (assuming that the real number is obtained by multiplying the number of 10), and 26 million people died of AIDS in 1981. Inside the living brain can be grown electronic chips (or vice versa?) … With all of this does not seem to be a ridiculous and naive threats and predictions of John?
Types of apocalypse
Apologists of the apocalypse is unlikely even to symbolize the power of the global risks of future humanity XXI century. Not to mention the fact that someone scare.
The most interesting division of the apocalyptic end of mankind, for the reasons and consequences.
For reasons we can distinguish the apocalypse:
— geological and climatic;
— anthropic (internal).
On the consequences for humanity are:
— total and permanent disappearance of human civilization, when essentially impossible any reproduction of the human species (for example, by the death of the universe as a whole, or the absorption of the solar system by the black hole);
— total destruction of mankind in principle the possibility of reproduction in the future;
— the death of the majority of people followed the post-apocalyptic phase, which changed the basic definitions and standards of the species for the small number of survivors;
— death of a significant number of people with post-apocalyptic phase, in which the conditions of survival in a more or less difficult;
— the transformation of humanity into a qualitatively different kind of community in the process of a global catastrophe (artificial intelligence, nanobots, genetic transformation, and so on).
Full radioactive contamination
There are two types of infection — a short-term, occurring in the first hours and days after the explosion and caused short-lived elements, and long associated with long-lived elements and lasting for years. Short-term contamination of conventional nuclear war would lead to significant loss of life, but it will be enough local phenomenon, dependent on wind patterns in the affected country. It can also easily sit out in shelters, caves, mines, so we do not see it as a possible threat of complete human extinction.
The greatest threat is global radioactive contamination, but in the case of conventional nuclear war it can not lead to the complete extinction of the people.
You may, however unconventional use of nuclear weapons, which can still lead to global radioactive contamination. Feature of global contamination that it is capable of evenly spread across the Earth's surface and penetrate everywhere by natural convection of the atmosphere and the fact that it is so long that it can not wait in currently existing autonomous shelters.
The best known of such a scenario — the use of cobalt bombs, bombs have increased the release of radioactive substances. Cobalt bomb is a hydrogen bomb surrounded by a shell of cobalt-59, which is converted to the radioactive isotope cobalt-601. Bomb project, the ability to infect entire continents, invited Leo Szilard in 1950.
No less dangerous infamous isotope polonium-210, which is a much more powerful source of radiation than cobalt, because it has a smaller half-life (about 15 times). He has the ability to accumulate in the body, affecting the inside, which increases its efficiency is about 10 times. Its deadly dose — about 0.2 micrograms. This means that the total fatal poisoning the earth's surface would require only 100 tons of this hazardous substance (or a few hundred pounds in the worst case — given its ability to accumulate in living organisms, as well as re-poisoning due to the high concentration in the medium).
Do not forget about the possibility of initiating a self-sustaining fusion reaction of nitrogen in the atmosphere due to the loss of energy by radiation of a nuclear explosion, as well as the possibility of so-called nuclear ignition oceans. Relevant studies, which are likely to have been met, remain classified, which, in particular, may mean that they will display the minimum conditions needed to ignite deuterium in the Earth's oceans.
Here it is important to note that, in the absence of accurate data on the inability of the process, we must assume that, under certain conditions (the correct choice of a very powerful bomb) initiation of self-sustaining fusion reaction in the terrestrial environment is possible. Such an opportunity would open up a relatively simple way to create a real doomsday weapon, which would be guaranteed to destroy all life on Earth.
There were also suggestions that the explosion of powerful nuclear bombs in tectonic faults could lead to catastrophic seismic events, but I believe this is doubtful, because the tectonic faults and without that are the sources of earthquakes gigaton power.
Global catastrophe from nuclear weapons
Regarding risk of extinction as a result of the use of nuclear weapons is necessary to add the probability of the two options:
— classic nuclear war, leading to the extinction;
— non-classical use of nuclear weapons as a doomsday machine.
The first option is determined by the product of the probability of two consecutive events: the probability of full-scale nuclear war and the possibility that this war will lead to the extinction of mankind.
Likely a deliberate attack one power to another is unlikely, as it does not give either political or economic, or military benefits, but pose a risk of retaliation, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the risk of war with other countries that possess nuclear weapons. However, a nuclear war between nuclear states could begin by chance, but rather, as a result of a complex chain of events.
Normal unintended nuclear war would inevitably lead to the extinction of mankind. If its scope will be limited to a few countries, it will be another event the scale of World War II. And then it will not interrupt the course of progress and does not significantly alter the course of world history. However, nuclear war might start a chain of events that will dramatically reduce the level of development of mankind will convert it to the post-apocalyptic stage in which it will be exposed to many other factors of extinction. For example, the war may become permanent because of revenge will be all the new portions of the weapons, especially biological, or will build and explode "doomsday machine" that is, a device capable of destroying the human race. But people will suffer from a nuclear winter and fallout unknown force. The sum of all these factors could put mankind on the brink of extinction, and the transition will be a matter of this face case.
The course of events in a post-apocalyptic world will depend not only on the consequences of nuclear war, but also on what technologies will survive will be able to develop and will be applied. It is beyond the scope of this chapter, so we can say that in the worst case, the result will be a post-apocalyptic nuclear war world at risk of further degradation.
It should also take into account the probability of non-traditional use of nuclear weapons. At the moment, nothing is known about the development doomsday machine (ie, devices specifically designed for the destruction of mankind, in order to, for example, blackmail using nuclear weapons (although some nuclear weapons themselves can also be considered as such.) In this case, the chances extinction of all humanity far greater than that of a nuclear war, because not every possible nuclear war leads to extinction. fact, if doomsday weapon used, the whole question is whether it will work as intended. If Hitler in the bunker is weapons were, he would probably have used it — as "harakiri" for the whole country, in any case, it should be the will of Hitler, which he blames the German people for the defeat.
There may be some integration of combat nuclear weapons and doomsday machine. Modern nuclear missiles could be doomsday weapon when to send them to thousands of cities around the world. They can also send to the warehouses of used nuclear fuel, nuclear plants, dormant volcanoes and coal deposits. That is, the same weapon may or may not be a doomsday machine, depending on the use.
A possible scenario for the gradual accumulation in the environment of substances, the risk of which was not obvious at first. So it was with Freon, destroy the ozone layer, and dioxins. Perhaps the accumulation of many chemicals that individually do not give a great fatality, but together create a very difficult background. This is commonly referred to as "adverse environmental conditions."
Another option is a complete change in the chemical composition of the atmosphere, or the loss of its properties needed for breathing. This requires a powerful source of chemicals. This could be the earth's volcanic activity, as discussed below. Other candidates: gas hydrates on the ocean floor — poisoning methane, water vapor, or if somehow the whole ox evaporate (which is possible in an irreversible global warming).
The functional structure of the chemical disaster is poisoning the air with poison or loss of the ability to maintain the atmosphere of life, ie, to nourish it with oxygen, protect against radiation, to maintain the desired temperature. Chemical disaster threatens the Earth's biosphere. A person can certainly wear a gas mask. But it is naive to think of this as a security guarantee its existence. Without the biosphere and people living outside can not yet.
You can discuss the following options:
— poisoning by carbon dioxide in excess of the limit at which a person can breathe without a suit (unlikely, since there are so many minerals — only in the case of some natural disaster). However, a large amount of carbon dioxide can escape from volcanoes. For example, Venus is surrounded by an atmosphere of carbon dioxide is a hundred times more dense than Earth's atmosphere. Probably the best part of this material separated from the interior, and, some have suggested, is relatively recent;
— formation as a result of reduction of iron oxide in the Earth nebiogennogo significant amount of oxygen that can be in 600 million years completely poison the atmosphere. This scenario could worsen the situation, if somewhere beneath the surface has accumulated a large amount of this or any other gas, and then they escape to the surface as a volcanic eruption;
— the selection of a huge number of subsurface hydrogen (there are suggestions that the center of the Earth to a lot). This hydrogen deplete the ozone layer. Also possible to isolate large amounts of oil, if the correct theory of the abiogenic origin of oil and huge amounts of hydrocarbons accumulated deep in the Earth. A drilling of deeper wells continues;
— depletion of oxygen in the atmosphere as a result of a process, for example, the oxidation of hydrogen released from the bowels. Such a process may be sudden escape and burn a lot of fuel. They look at oxygen depletion as a result of genetically modified organisms, out of control, for example, nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Finally, as a result of the termination of photosynthesis with continued burning of fossil fuels;
— comet with a lot of toxic gases;
— "Black tide" — poisoning the oceans due to large oil spill. It can not directly kill people, but can critically undermine the food chain in the biosphere, disrupt the production of oxygen uptake and carbon dioxide (which leads to warming), and, ultimately, put humanity in the post-apocalyptic stage. Other variants of poisoning the world's oceans;
— "Breakdown" of the atmosphere of the Earth. It can cause: a huge explosion, which gives most of the atmospheric escape velocity, solar flare or sudden heating;
— calcination atmosphere. What is meant is not global warming as a complex gradual phenomenon, but short-term heating of the atmosphere to high temperatures as a result of certain processes. An example of this can be pyroclastic cloud during the eruption of modern volcanoes, which move along the surface of the land or the sea at high speed over long distances and have the inside temperature of about 1000 degrees. Because these clouds are opaque, they are slowly cooled by radiation.
Other possible causes of ignition — exposure (eg, fragments of asteroids ejected high into the stratosphere, and the fireball from the explosion) or very heavy hot gas (heavy enough to not float in the air — the heavier hydrocarbons, etc.);
— autocatalytic reaction, which covers the entire surface. While there is no reason to think that such a reaction is possible. Although there was a case where the cure for AIDS spontaneously formed a new isomer with the property prion, that is the property of catalyzing the formation of the same isomer, which displaced the correct form of the crystal with all the factories in the world and has stopped production. Or the creation of artificial catalyst is extremely effective in implementing some kind of reaction, the products of which are harmful to all living things. Dissemination sverhkompyuterov can make possible the development of new artificial prions — for example, if the problem is resolved protein folding;
— contamination of the oceans surface-active substances, ie, substances that affect the surface properties (as foaming agents) and / or distributed only on the surface (like a thin oil film). Since the surface is a two-dimensional object, for its full coverage would require much less material than the total for the poisoning of the ocean.
This will lead to a loss of marine life, and (perhaps) to the weakening of evaporation from the oceans, which will increase their temperature and will have unpredictable consequences for the climate. "Black tide", mentioned above, may lead to the contamination, if there is a global scale, such as in case of a breakthrough underground tank abiogenic petroleum.
Already biological technology injury are among the cheapest. The cost of causing death by them for one person — a few cents. They can be even cheaper if you take into account the ability of self-replicating agent. Now used DNA sequencing can be bought for a sum of $ 200, and each year the price of these devices falls at times, but the quality is increasing. Already creating biological superbomb thousands of times cheaper than building nuclear weapons comparable to lethal force. When spread cheap technology arbitrary organisms with predetermined functions, cost of manufacture of such weapons could fall to a few hundred dollars. With this in mind, we can consider the real possibility that a biogenetic technology products may be "doomsday machine."
We list here some of the apocalyptic threat of biotechnology of the future.
1. The immortal line of cells such as cancer cells HeLa. Their name consists of the first letters of the name (Henrietta) and surname (Lacks) patient who had been taken to analyze samples of cancerous tissue. It turned out that HeLa cells are virtually immortal because they can divide indefinitely. Experiments on normal cells were complicated by the fact that the cells inevitably die. Often this occurred before the result. HeLa was so tenacious that George Gay (Henrietta doctor) just sent them to other laboratories in the mail. Soon, the same way the samples distributed around the world.
Unbelievable, but over the years of research HeLa cells were divided into several branches. In other words, there was a definite evolution and adaptation of this cell line to life in vitro and possibly to breed in different tissues.
In nature, only two types of transmissible cancer — in dogs and Tasmanian devils, and at first it is not lethal, while the second leads to a complete loss of population.
2. "Worms" Biotechnology DNA synthesizer can potentiate themselves — that is, the possible emergence of intermediate biological forms that simplify the writing and production of new viruses. For example, it may be a bacterial culture, which directly translates the sequence of electrical signals in the DNA chain, or, conversely, reads the DNA and converts this information into a chain of flashes of light, which a computer can read. The very proliferation of such devices, which can be called "Bion", along with a library of genetic codes (in digital form) and the major virus proteins actually turned to apocalyptic catastrophe.
3. Multiple biological attack. Although the spread of one epidemic is likely to be stopped, but the epidemic is caused by several dozens of species of diverse viruses and bacteria out of control at the same time in many places of the world, even technically impossible to stop, because no one can simultaneously enter several dozen different vaccines and antibiotics — he dies. If the virus is a 50% mortality rate would have been just a very big disaster, the 30 diverse viruses and bacteria with 50% mortality would mean the guaranteed destruction of all who are hiding in bunkers. (The same result can be from 100 different organisms with 10% mortality rate.)
Multiple strike could be the most powerful weapon of biological warfare, and "doomsday machine." But it can also occur on its own, if at the same time there will be many acts of proliferation of biological agents — even accidental, such as during an active "competition" biohakerov. Even some non-lethal agents individually may so weaken the immune system, which will further their survival unlikely.
The possibility of multiple use of biological weapons makes it one of the most important factors of global risk. 4. Creating biological "green slime» (Grey goo, alternatively spelled gray goo) — some universal omnivorous ("apocalyptic") microorganisms capable of high speed to digest a whole biosphere. For this we need to gather in one microbe properties, available separately in different microorganisms: the ability to capture sunlight, dissolve and absorb minerals, proliferate at a rate of E. coli to infect their copies as virus, other cells, and several others — and not actually collect and potentially, in the form of DNA and mechanisms to switch between them. Normally, such a scenario is not considered, since it is believed that bacteria have reached the absolute degree of perfection, and then, if the "green goo" was possible, it would have already occurred. However, people can deliberately construct it, perhaps by accident — as a means to combat waste. Not necessarily combine all these features in one being — simultaneous attack several kinds of "green goo" would be infinitely more dangerous.
For example, in the expert community is believed that efforts to create useful agricultural crops resistant to pests, and can cause "superweeds" that could displace most of plants from their natural ecological niches. This event is a major "green" when creating the risk of genetically modified food, and not something that they would be inedible or harmful. The latter is much easier to detect and prevent.
Another example of this type. Described species of plankton (dinoflagellates, responsible for the so-called "red tides"), capable of producing neurotoxins, very low doses that have an impact on the person, do not come into direct contact with them. Global distribution of the plankton (genetically modified or accidentally emerged in nature), the spores of which would be able to withstand desiccation, would lead to a global catastrophe.
Possible (another example) imagine genetically modified bacteria, generating prions that cause, such as disease or other forms of kuru sponge encephalitis. These prions are very large incubation period of up to 30 years, and the bacteria could spread worldwide and prions infect most people before the dangerous effects produced by it would prion noticeable.
Apocalyptic effect on the individual
Biotechnology and brain research in many ways lead to the ability to create supernarkotikov. Here the term "supernarkotik" is understood in its broadest sense, as a means of influencing the pleasure center in the brain, suggesting inability to resist the attack. On the one hand, we can say that no one drug will not involve the entire population of people, because there will always be people who are against it on principle refuse. On the other — we can identify several sverhnarkotikov possible in the future, the general sense of the action which is to turn off the person from social life. And the man, who refused a class of drugs, may aspire to the next. And in today's reality someone does not drink alcohol, but critically not without coffee, someone is watching TV, but is Internet addiction.
Supramaximal drug can be like a contagious disease, while some people will try to infect others, and those — not against will become infected.
Possible types supernarkotika:
1. Direct impact on the pleasure centers of the brain (the impact with the rotating magnetic field, electrical stimulation patterns of brain activity, audiostimulyatsii (binaural beats), photic stimulation, biofeedback through devices that can read the EEG, such as the recently released neurohelmet for computer games, etc.) .
2. Future occurrence of microrobots will allow for direct stimulation and reading of information from the brain.
3. Bioengineering will create genetically modified plants, which will create any specified drugs and look at it as a normal window plants or Kombucha. Moreover, the spread of these plants may not only physically, but also with information about the DNA code on the Internet, so that the end user will be able to grow them in place with a "DNA printer."
4. Knowledge of biology will come up with a much more potent substances with predetermined properties, and with fewer side effects, making them more attractive.
5. Genetically modified organisms can be built into the human body itself, to create new neural pathways in the brain in order to cause even more pleasure — and thus reduce the short-term negative health effects.
6. Virtual reality will inevitably take a step forward. We will be able to record your dreams and increase awareness of themselves in them, combining the ideas of Eastern meditation practices and technological capabilities to implement them. Virtual reality with brain implants can create a much more vibrant, "movies" than modern cinema and video games. Helmets for virtual reality will become a lot better.
Obviously, there may be different combinations of these types of absolute drug that will only reinforce its action.
We can go even further. We will call the absolute drug certain means that for every person attractive ordinary reality and completely withdraws from it. It is possible to distinguish between fast and slow absolute drugs. The first provides an experience for which the person is ready to die, the second — some new reality that can exist for a long time.
Fast drug is a global threat, if its mechanism of action in a certain way prescribed mechanism for its spread. For example, if the pleasure comes only after the drug has passed three more people. In a sense, this mechanism operates in the criminal drug gangs, where the addict has to implanting your friends to, selling the drug dose to provide for themselves.
Slow the spread, or permanent, absolute drug can be represented by the following example: if your favorite or relative permanently left in the virtual world, for you it will be a source of suffering, comparable with his death, and the only way to avoid them will also go into your ideal virtual a world in which you can achieve communion with him, say, an electronic copy.
Each man of the future will be a rich variety of entertainment, far exceeding any reality. This raises a difficult question: to what extent a person completely and irreversibly gone into unfathomable pleasure and Loving It is to be considered alive? And if we unreservedly condemn the primitive alcoholic or a drug addict, how we should treat a man, forever fade into highly artistic world of historical re-enactment?
We must realize that the adverse effects of many drugs are not obvious and can manifest itself immediately. The drug causes direct psychological function of reinforcement (ie, pleasure), but from the point of view of evolutionary mechanisms receive pleasure is not the real purpose of the body. Instead, there should be enough dissatisfied, to constantly strive to conquer new territories.
Absolute drug creates an opportunity next dilemma: humanity as a whole ceases to exist, but each individual subject perceives the event as personal paradise and very happy with that. Beings who have left and enjoy the virtual reality experiences, giving nothing in return, are useless excrescence on the system, which she shakes at the next crisis. This is — one of the ways in which the absolute fascination of drugs can lead to universal extinction. Furthermore, the decrease of interest in external reality reduce attention to possible disasters and crises.
In his book "The Selfish Gene" by Richard Dawkins proposed the concept of "memes" — ideas that can be replicated, being transferred from one person to another (as are, for example, rumors). Any area where there are able to self-replicating cells and that can apply to all people, is potentially a source of global risk. In this case, we can assume the possibility of such a meme that could lead to the death of all.
We have historical examples of highly dangerous memes: radical political theory, different forms of religious fanaticism, etc. But, as people have been around for a long time, it can be assumed that there are no memes that could easily destroy humanity.
But future memes can obtain the means to exist independently of people — in texts and computer programs. In the modern era of self-copying dangerous meme can be supported by technology.
Here is a list of some already existing memes, which to some extent can be considered dangerous:
1. On exclusive to their religion, nation and community. Academician AP Nazarene believes inevitably inherent property of religions intolerance towards other religions major threat to the survival of mankind in the XXI century. He believes that religion, as a social institution that promotes unification of people through hatred of the other group.
2. Knowledge about the production of drugs.
3. Organizations, in which the main purpose is the recruitment of new members, such as the sect.
4. Self-fulfilling prophecies of disaster. An example of such an event would be an official announcement about the inevitability of a global disaster in the near future. Say, a clash of the Earth in the year a huge asteroid. Even if the message was false, the consequences of its disclosure would be disastrous. Most people would stop to engage in long-term projects and work in general. Someone would have hit a religion, someone would commit acts of unjustified violence, drug abuse, etc., trying to get the most out of the time remaining. The ensuing anarchy would make impossible the efforts to prevent the disaster, even if they had a specific meaning.
5. A certain pattern of behavior, which leads to the spread of a dangerous disease. Example: Neanderthal cannibalism, which may become the cause of their extinction, because they were infected with a prion causes like "mad cow disease", eating the brains of their tribesmen, the sexual revolution, leading to the spread of HIV.
6. Extraordinarily broad and bright ideas, leading to the adoption for their higher standards of risk and / or "entitlement" to kill a lot of other people. For example, the "red terror" to justify the fact that, in the end, communism will benefit many more people. New technology gives man almost divine possibilities, creating an incredible temptation and avoid encouraging a greater risk.
7. Powerful ideological systems such as fascism.
8. Fighters with global risk can themselves become a global risk. At any time in the world there is tens or hundreds of people who think that an event in the near future is a global risk. From their point of view is "rational" to make any sacrifice to stop the risk. For example, to drop an atomic bomb on the collider destroy the U.S. as a threat to world peace, etc.
Indistinguishability of human and nonhuman
Powerful processes of genetic modification of people prosthetic body parts, including the elements of the brain, the connection of the brain to a computer, transfer of consciousness into a computer, and so on, will create a new type of risk for people to understand that until quite difficult. The extent to which we can assume human being who added a few genes, and some removed? Are we ready to accept the status of any reasonable human being, have arisen on Earth, even if it has nothing to do with the man himself as a man does not believe and configured to people hostile? These issues are no longer purely theoretical in the XXI century.
Improvement of man can go different ways, and there is no guarantee that these paths are separate. For example, the improvement of man by gene manipulation allows one way, with the gradual replacement of the mechanisms of the body — the other, through the full transplant consciousness into a computer — the third. May be different and the claimed purpose of improvement.
To further clarify the situation, we will use the way of zombies. "Zombie" — a term internally empty imitation of human existence. Something simulates a living human being, but not a real person (not a mind, emotions, will, motives, etc.). For example, a picture of a man on the television screen is a zombie, and therefore we do not consider off the TV as murder. However, the gradual "upgrade" man raises the question, do not be turned into "improve" people at some stage in the philosophical zombie.
Suppose a person has a stroke damaged part of the brain, and he replaced it on the computer implant, about to take over. How to know, would it be that this man turned into a zombie? There will always be those who will doubt it and look for signs of "inauthenticity" spiritual renewal. Suppose further that a virus or a nanorobot is implanted in man, and destroys its ability to recognize, but the behaviors are stored, for example, modeled this control robot. As a result of all the human beings on the planet are in fact dead, but the external picture does not change, people will go to work, drink coffee break, watch TV, chat, etc.
Death of humanity, so it may be hidden, that is, can not be linked to a specific point in time. You can not even identify the point "beginning of the end." Humanity is simply dissolve into the vague boundaries between human and non-human. No one can hope to meet more of people's identity.
Category: The prophecies and predictions, visions and hypotheses