#8: You Are My Sunshine, My Only Sunshine

Welcome to summer! Aren't you just LOVING this sunny weather? Good! Because it might never end. Sorry. "Never" is a strong word. Of course it won't be hot forever. The sun's going to explode in 5 billion years (see below). And if we get hit by an asteroid it'll be really cold for a relatively long stretch. So potato, puhtato.


1. MacArthur Foundation says "Fuck it, we'll do it live", offers $100 million to whomever actually solves one of our horror show scenarios. - NYTimes

"The foundation said in a statement it was “placing a few big bets” that significant progress could be made on social challenges like incarceration, climate change and nuclear risk. It did not place limits on what kind of problems should be addressed to be eligible for the award, which will be given every three years."


2. Rocket man says we live in computer game - Vox

"Elon Musk: 'Given that we're clearly on a trajectory to have games that are indistinguishable from reality, and those games could be played on any set-top box or on a PC or whatever, and there would probably be billions of such computers or set-top boxes, it would seem to follow that the odds that we're in base reality is one in billions.'"

+ MY NOTE: In all honesty -- given all we don't know about the universe, which is to say, probably everything -- this doesn't feel entirely implausible, at all. 


3. You make a deal with the devil, and it's gonna come back around. Fracking will break this country. - Esquire

"State officials ordered the photos removed from a website operated by the University of Texas at Austin. The photos, which weren't generally known to the public until the Times' story, showed potential environmental damage caused by flooding in oil drilling areas, including fracking sites. The photos provided useful information, particularly to people who live in or near the affected watersheds." 


4. Scientists challenge AI to create the next wonder material - Nature

"The hope is that this approach will provide a huge leap in the speed and efficiency of materials discovery, says Gerbrand Ceder, a materials scientist at the University of California, Berkeley, and a pioneer in this field. “We probably know about 1% of the properties of existing materials,” he says, pointing to the example of lithium iron phosphate: a compound that was first synthesized2 in the 1930s, but was not recognized3 as a promising replacement material for current-generation lithium-ion batteries until 1996. “No one had bothered to measure its voltage before,” says Ceder."


5. Will we soon live forever? Do we want to? Or have we peaked? - Nautilus

"Imagine, now, that the trend of the last century continues another hundred years: Our 50-year-old great-grandchildren may have an average of 50 years left to live, the same span as a 30-year-old today can expect. It is not implausible that they will be similarly spry and untouched by disability. Will they really think of themselves as young, in the same way that a 30-year-old today does? Will youth extended still be youth? It is not as absurd as it may seem. When the U.S. National Institutes of Health first founded its Aging Unit—later the National Institute on Aging—in 1940, it announced the goal of research in “the problems of aging,” particularly “the period between 40 and 60 years of age.'"