Threats to Interplanetary & Interstellar Civilizations

Threats to Interplanetary & Interstellar Civilizations


This episode is sponsored by Brilliant When determining what the biggest threats to ourselves are, quite often you only need
to find a mirror. Doomsday scenarios for humanity are a common
topic of discussion, and one we’ve looked at here on SFIA before too, but so often those
doomsdays scenarios really only apply to a humanity exclusively on Earth and at our technological
level or lower. As we’ve noted before, while an asteroid
impact like what probably killed the dinosaurs is a terrifying scenario, it’s only terrifying
to a civilization lacking space travel. To those with it, an asteroid approaching
Earth is a cause for celebration, not worry, as it represents a handy piece of matter we
can mine or otherwise make use of without paying the fuel bill to bring it here or pull
it out of Earth’s gravity well. When you can detect and predict an asteroid
coming near Earth years in advance, and when you’ve got a thriving orbital economy, you’re
still going to race out to deal with the matter, it’s just that the race is to get to it
early so you can nudge it into a good, stable orbit with the least fuel and everyone can
start suing each other over who has dibs on this new mountain of money. Natural Disasters just aren’t plausible
threats to spacefaring colonial civilizations, not in a grand apocalyptic sense. You don’t have your whole population on
just one world or even necessarily one star system. At the same time, not all disasters are natural,
and a civilization doesn’t have to be exterminated to be knocked over and halted from further
expansion. Hurricanes, floods, droughts, and earthquakes
have toppled, often literally, many a civilization, even if most of its inhabitants survived to
rebuild, or their neighbors moved in to fill the void once the dust settled. So today we’ll go through the list of disasters,
including some new ones we’ll have to worry about, and place a loose timeline or technological
breakthrough that either mitigates or eliminates the threat. Or that creates it. After all many threats, like relativistic
kill missiles or artificial intelligence, are only a threat to you after you create
them, or after someone does anyway. Though we’ll mostly bypass alien threats
today, as that’s a very lopsided threat in general, but if you’d like to learn more
about that, check out our episode Invasive Aliens from last week. Lets begin with some of those threats to Earth
we have right now. We already mentioned asteroids, and while
I dislike ever predicting specific times, we can consider that threat eliminated within
one or two generations of whenever humanity’s Global Domestic Product, GDP, has to be broadened
to SDP, or System Domestic Product. There are a ton of technologies that by themselves
or in combination with one or two others suddenly allow us to start producing stuff off Earth
at a profit, everything from cheaper rockets or smarter automation to better power sources
like Fusion, our topic for next week. But as soon as that industry and infrastructure
reaches the point that economists start feeling like Earth’s Economy is not basically identical
to Humanity’s economy, it implies you’ve developed to the point that stuff like asteroids
are no longer a concern, both because you can handle that threat to Earth and because
threats to Earth are no longer synonymous with threats to all humanity, as many people
don’t live on or in orbit of Earth. But at that point, you’ve moved on to creating
new threats. For instance if you have that much mining
and building capacity off Earth, it’s a pretty trivial exercise to set up solar shades,
mirrors, and power satellites to deal with issues like greenhouse gases and energy shortages. Though you’d then have to worry about other
problems from that build up, like Kessler Syndrome, a cloud of orbital debris around
Earth, or potentially too much waste heat from sheer numbers if you began having trillions
of folks living on Earth as an Ecumenopolis. That is also known as a Kardashev-1 Civilization,
one which uses all the energy of a planet, and both Kessler Syndrome and Heat buildup
have their Kardashev-2 versions, a total englobement of a solar system, known as a Dyson Swarm,
followed by a Kardashev-3 version, total englobement of every star in the galaxy. Dyson Swarms are probably prone to packing
in as tight as they can get rid of heat, to minimize travel and signal lag, and indeed
a Kardashev-3 Civilization might try to do the same, as we mentioned in Fleet of Stars,
but heat is more of an impediment to building an interstellar civilization than a disaster
that topples one, as it controls how tight and dense you can make things. That attempt at packing in tight, same as
a city, does leave you very vulnerable to disasters though, and debris floating around
hitting things and generating more debris could not only close off a planet for a time,
or wreak havoc in a solar system, but could close down interstellar space lanes. Same too, a supernova or gamma ray burst is
unlikely to kill off an entire system even if it was a close neighbor, and there are
ways to protect against that we’ve looked at before, but they could cripple a system
economy, or whole region of space, for decades or longer. Fundamentally you are a lot less vulnerable
to natural disasters with more technology and when spread out to more places, but it’s
worth remembering we can also be made more vulnerable to natural disasters in some ways
too. A Coronal Mass Ejection from the Sun is no
threat to a pre-electronic civilization for instance, but is to one with electronics,
and while you can definitely shield your worlds and space habitats from those, each layer
of shielding comes at a cost. It costs more to make, more to maintain, and
denies you those building materials for other projects. So being out in space with a decent portion
of population and industry hardly eliminates natural threats, though it does mostly eliminate
human-ending ones. Beyond all the technology and resources for
managing and preventing such problems, like say a global pandemic, your vulnerability
is basically gone. It’s hard to transmit diseases in space
as everything had to pass through airlocks and filtered environments and places which
get visitors fairly infrequently, so even a disease so virulent it infected and killed
every human on Earth – which is basically impossible for a natural virus – not only
wouldn’t get all those little colonies off-world, it quite likely wouldn’t get any at all
or just a couple. To do that you’d have to tailor a virus
to be ultra-infectious but not make anyone sick until everyone was infected. That’s quite a bio-engineering feat, certainly
nothing natural, and such tactics leave you very vulnerable to detection during implementation. Someone is likely to notice a weird new virus
in a few people, even dormant, and raise an alarm, even if you didn’t get caught by
other means including a change of heart by any of your many operatives who need to operate
over many years to accomplish that infectious mission to every space colony, not just Earth. Of course they probably wouldn’t get Earth
either, humans are hygiene obsessed and likely to only get more so, and I really wouldn’t
be surprised – especially if anyone got caught trying to make a super-virus – if
we started building controlled artificial environments down here on Earth a lot like
we do in space. And not entirely out of paranoia about pathogens. For instance, there’s a lot of carbon dioxide
in your home, and it’s not from fossil fuels, it’s from you breathing, and it does make
you dumber and more sluggish at levels that aren’t too uncommon to find, especially
in the winter time when people have their windows shut and burn stuff for heat. I’d wager that inside the next couple decades
we’ll start seeing a lot more air filtration in homes targeting not just allergens or radon
or carbon monoxide but carbon dioxide too, same as a space station would have. I’d also bet on a lot more ultraviolet light
sources being introduced into homes for it’s sterilizing properties, and homes in general
getting bigger with more entryway and lobby features, more like an airlock. That would be more the case for disease monitoring
and sterilization if people were seriously tinkering with viruses and bacteria too, and
there’s other motives for that, like some place for the delivery drones to drop off
your new stuff safely and securely. I’d also bet on more and more folks carrying
hand sanitizer around with them and an increase in health monitoring apps and hardware that
not only gave you alerts the moment you showed any symptoms of infection but plotted those
all around so doctors and communities were seeing outbreaks as soon as a few cases of
sniffles popped up, not when several people came in to see the doctor let alone arrived
at the morgue. Note that we’re not even assuming any advanced
technology yet. Just very natural extensions of where things
are headed. A decade from now most people are going to
be very used to being able to pull up a big log of what the heart rate, blood pressure,
respiration, temperature and so on have been for any given minute out of the year, or their
whole life. It’s going to start having features like
noticing when you coughed or sneezed or were stuffy or clearing your throat, that’s not
exactly advanced sensor capability. It’s going to have all that data for billions
of people and that’s the kind of sample set that lets you make some very accurate
predictions and often about rather surprisingly unrelated things. It’s also very creepy so we often avoid
thinking about it, but this approach to prevention is fairly critical for seeing the arsenal
available to advanced civilizations for predicting and preventing threats, not just viruses. Humans are paranoid survival machines, we
will generally perpetually move to lower risk where there’s not a compelling motive not
to, and knowledge is critical to that. Not just scientific knowledge but patterns
of behavior and logs of individual data. All that data and analysis capability is a
temptation, not just to bad actors and would be dictators, but to us, exactly because societies
and individuals can benefit so much from such powerful predictive capability. Key thing, when a civilization is spread out
over big distances and cautious by nature, asteroids, supernova, and viruses – even
tailored ones – are NOT the big risk. Rather its stuff we voluntary create and implement,
like accidentally turning yourself into a civilization that would make a dystopian police
state shudder at the lack of personal privacy. Or the engines used to protect privacy while
taking advantage of the good aspects monitoring, like some all-seeing artificial intelligence
that is even more dangerous than the typical super-intelligent AI as it was specifically
engineered to be good at monitoring and predicting human behavior. Your protection can become your new threat. Trying to deploy a terrorist device big enough
to get all of humanity, or numerous, coordinated, and covert enough to simultaneously hit every
colony, is not very realistic. Particularly as most techs that make that
easier also make defense easier, it doesn’t matter if you can gene-tailor a super lethal
virus if every local hospital has the identical tech to whip up countermeasures. What does matter, for spread out civilizations
like this is what they not only willing permit but actively demand. It’s a lot easier to spread a virus, literal
or metaphorical, if people not only let you inject them, but offer to pay you for it and
get angry their community is last on the list. This is not limited to stuff like privacy
incidentally, anymore than viruses, that’s just the easy example. Folks ask me a lot what sort of society I
think we’ll have in the future and I tend to say just about all of them. It’s not just that I try avoid endorsing
X or Y sociopolitical system on the channel or think that as we get more numerous, prosperous,
and spread out we’d be able to experiment with many different systems at once, it’s
because that sort of diversification is your best protection against global threats, or
galactic threats. Something like Global Warming is like asteroids,
not a threat to humanity after any point where a modest chunk of humanity isn’t on a single
planet, but you could still get scenarios where either could threaten an entire system. For instance, there is a lot of junk in our
outer system, and an occasional single rock might come in and threaten a world, but something
big passing through that region could hurl million of asteroids and comets into the inner
system, shotgunning the whole place and exceeding the capacity of your defenses tailored to
the occasional lone asteroid. That’s not terribly improbable either, the
galaxy’s is full of rogue planets and dead stars meandering around that could pass through
the halo of debris most solar systems have and cause that cataclysm, indeed it probably
happens a lot. Same, while humanity would survive a climatic
ruin on Earth if we had other colonies, and could also easily manage that problem by producing
solar shades and mirrors anyway, just to have the infrastructure to build such colonies
in the first place, if our primary approach to settling space is terraforming planets,
then each one of those is vulnerable to potential disaster or sabotage if it was a standardized
process. The Death Star’s silly weakness of an exhaust
port is legendary, but as a lot of folks have noted, you can’t just cover an exhaust port
over or cram stuff in it to act as protection, such is the nature of an exhaust port, things
clogging or kinking the shaft either make it back up and explode or get expelled like
a bullet. And while that was a bit silly, those are
exactly the kinds of ‘oops’ weaknesses complex things have, as proven by the vast
number of tech bugs and crashes we get all the time. If you’ve got some standardized process
for terraforming planets, you’ve got yourself some hole in there that could be exploited
to disproportionately screw them up. Of course a non-standard process probably
has even more, but they are going to be different and hard to exploit en masse. Terraformed planets are not natural, they
will need constant maintenance, and cylinder habitats the same, and standard process of
manufacture or maintenance – and we’ll talk about this more in a couple weeks – risks
creating a jugular vein, a weakness everyone knows about and everyone has. This gives you two major survival strategies. First you can constantly seek to improve and
fortify those weaknesses, which is certainly a good idea but can eliminate a lot of the
advantages of standardization if you’re devoting huge resources to covering over that
weakness. Second, of course, is diversification, and
the two are not necessarily exclusive, particularly in a very big civilization, where you can
have a hundred different models, like a car, each enjoying a lot of the advantages of standardization. I tend to think diversification will be a
preferred strategy though because I think we’ll naturally tend to drift that way,
everybody trying to do their own thing. This does give you the extraterrestrial threat
though. I mentioned the notion of causing system-wide
or even galaxy-wide Kessler Syndrome, and also that a rogue planet could cause a deluge
of asteroids at a solar system, but obviously so could a colony living beyond that region
who just hated everybody else. Not that they’d try that trick, they’d
be caught before it was implemented as nudging asteroids around isn’t even vaguely subtle
or covert, let alone nudging a rogue planet, but they could use RKMs, Relativistic Kill
Missiles, which also aren’t super-stealthy but a lot more so than asteroids. As a reminder by the way, since stealth in
space – or rather the lack thereof – comes up a lot, it is NOT the weapon moving through
space that isn’t stealthy, though they can’t be completely hidden. It’s the launch of said weapon, or any attempt
to alter its course. An RKM is virtually invisible while cruising,
so is a micro-black hole, and some RKM the size of a grain silo is quite capable of delivering
orders of magnitude more punch than our entire modern atomic arsenal. It is not invisible but it is darn hard to
see, except for when it launches, and you have to expend at least as much energy as
it will deliver on impact to accelerate it. And that is obviously very visible, and likely
would be light years away. As to micro-black holes, as we noted in weaponizing
black holes a couple months back, small black holes are no threat to any planet or station
as they will fly through most anything like a ghost… except another black hole. Two colliding together is a devastating thing. Which makes them a minimal threat to any civilization
not using black holes for power generation, which unfortunately would not include anyone
you’d be using those against anyway, since any civilization running on solar or fusion
is going to lose a war against one using black holes simply because they have so much more
power than you, they could as easily use that to power RKMs instead, or just power their
industries. If all your civilization lives around black
holes, natural or artificial, for power generation or for artificial gravity, you are incredibly
powerful, but also vulnerable to those black holes being attacked. They are, again, a weapon which is only a
threat to advanced civilizations, but many of our examples today are the same. Only a high-tech civilization can make custom-designed
super-viruses, and the technology for that also provides the pathway to defense against
it. High-tech civilization might use a lot of
information warfare, propaganda, and brainwashing too, but are likely to also gain defenses
from the same technology and techniques being developed, though again, diversification can
help with that. And also, again, it can breed new enemies. All those distant eggs in other baskets aren’t
hatching out new chickens, new, different stuff will be popping out, because it wasn’t
the chicken or the egg that came first, it was some common bird ancestor emerging, or
some even more distant ancestor that laid the first external egg. This of course brings us to the most obvious
threat, things which are not human but which we made and which are intelligent. This is not limited to classic computer artificial
intelligence, indeed as we’ve discussed before, this is really a rather vague and
useless term in most futuristic discussions. Intelligent products of humanity might include
cyborgs, transhumans, genetically engineered supermen, uploaded human intelligences, computers
that were modeled on the human mind and consider themselves human, ones that learned on their
own skynet style, hive minds, cloned minds, distributed intelligences, networked intelligences,
uplifted animals – super smart chimpanzees or dogs – paperclip maximizers, grey goo
or terraforming machines gone sentient and rogue, and every possible combination thereof. The default concern is a Singleton, an individual
and specific mind that is just unopposable by everyone else, though realistically that’s
probably more of variation of the Frankenstein Complex associated to Moore’s Law and Technological
Singularity concerns, see that episode for why that’s probably not as big a concern
as portrayed. This isn’t limited to hyper-intelligent
computers though, the Mule from Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series, who could control people’s
minds, would be a type of limited Singleton as would a mega-corporation with a monopoly
on some critical resource that acted with one voice and could cut off access. The Spacing Guild from Frank Herbert’s Dune
would be an example, with a monopoly on space travel, or later in that same series, the
Fremen who controlled access to the Spice Melange that permitted space travel and life
extension, or either Paul Atreides or his son Leto II who had that control plus could
predict the future. Short form though, you’re unlikely to have
a single thing like that emerge in a vacuum, natural or technological, except as a Black
Swan where nobody could see it coming even it was obvious in hindsight, but super-intelligent
artificial intelligence is not a Black Swan, you can prepare for it and it isn’t likely
to be truly singular either. If one gets loose and is far smarter than
any normal human, it’s a threat, but you’ve got all the other improvements lying around
too, which might not be individually its equal but probably collectively could take it on. Google goes all Skynet on us but get dogpiled
by all the other cyborgs, hive minds, defense computers and superintelligent dogs. Particularly as we’re not stupid and would
keep a lot of watchdogs on a leash somewhere against the eventuality. This is essentially the same logic for why
one-on-one alien invasion scenarios don’t work, as we looked at last week, there’s
too many other actors in play to be contended with who won’t just sit on the sidelines. So the Singleton threat, one giant against
everyone else, only works in very specialized scenarios where it can emerge and grow to
be a Singleton too quickly or inevitably to stop or be rivaled by anything else growing
at the same time. Of course as a group, even if indifferent
or benevolent to normal people, that is still a threat to classic humanity as when there
are Giants in the Playground, even if they don’t accidentally or intentionally crush
you, they can crush your will to live and sense of purpose. It’s interesting that we mentioned earlier
that few disasters could wipe out our species even now but could easily topple civilizations,
whereas in the future you could get things that wiped out our species but not our civilization. We’re not Greek Gods, we don’t eat our
kids, and the future isn’t likely to see humans wiped out by cyborgs or genetically
engineered supermen, or the two fighting each other for dominance among our ashes… for
one thing the cyborgs would probably win quite easily. Rather you’d expect whole ranges of degrees
and types of both to start popping up, folks with a little cyborging or gene tweaking or
a lot or a lot of both even, or many of the other alternatives we mentioned. Fundamentally though, it’s not the big obvious
cataclysms that threaten us going forward, but more of the existential ones, like how
we adapt to the emergence of a lot of other not-quite human or not even vaguely human
intelligences, or how we manage privacy concerns while taking advantage of the data, or what
a super-prosperous society with lots of robots doing the labor does to feel like it has a
sense of purpose, or if it decides free will is an illusion. Or the reverse, breeds new problems in attempts
to avoid or control going down such paths. A civilization afraid of reward-hacking, like
alterations to the brain that let you produce feelings like happiness with the flip of a
switch, cracking down on that like it was a drug and maybe cultivating a society that
frowned on any easy life, no safety gear when mountain climbing because it lets you experience
the accomplishment without the risk. No cyborgs or genetically engineered people,
so no prosthetics for amputees and even minor mutations are sterilized. Plenty of examples of going overboard in either
direction in science fiction of course, hopefully we show better judgment, though it does highlight
what we all know already, the biggest danger to humanity, now and in the future probably
too, is humanity itself. In order to solve problems facing us now and
in the future, you need to understand them, and the science behind them, and be practiced
at problem-solving. This is true whether you’re trying to fix
a leaky pipe[a] or prevent an asteroid from hitting your planet[b]. The more you know and the more practiced you
are at applying it to new problems, the more versatile you are at all problem solving. It’s also a lot of fun, because that’s
how we learn best, and that’s where our friends at Brilliant excel. [c]Their online courses and daily challenges
let you enhance your knowledge of math and science with easy to learn interactive methods
from the comfort of your own home, at your own pace, and have fun while you’re doing
it. To make it that even easier, Brilliant now
lets you download any of their dozens of interactive courses through the mobile app, and you’ll
be able to solve fascinating problems in math, science, and computer science no matter where
you are, or how spotty your internet connection. If you’d like to learn more science, math,
and computer science, go to brilliant.org/IsaacArthur and sign up for free. And also, the first 200 people that go to
that link will get 20% off the annual Premium subscription, so you can solve all the daily
challenges in the archives and access dozens of problem solving courses. So as mentioned, next week we’ll be looking
at Fusion Power, a technology that if we get it working will open a lot of promising new
doors and slam the door shut on many threats to mankind. We’ll discuss the problems and proposed
solutions in getting fusion working, and look at some of the doors it opens, like cheap
space travel and megastructures we could only dream of building otherwise. The week after that we’ll discuss the hidden
underside of all those wonderful megastructures we look at on the channel, which is how you
go about cleaning, repairing, and maintaining your habitats and space travel lanes, in Space
Janitors and Megastructure Maintenance. For alerts when those and other episodes come
out, make sure to subscribe to the channel and hit the notifications bell. You can also support future episodes by donating
to the channel on Patreon, our our website, IsaacArthur.net. Until next time, thanks for watching, and
have a great week! [a]This quiz on the physics of toilets in
our course Physics of the Everyday might be good https://brilliant.org/practice/how-does-a-toilet-work/?problem=classical-mechanics-problem-109971&chapter=in-the-house
[b]Some of the quizzes in the Astronomy course will be a good fit for the video here https://brilliant.org/courses/astronomy/
[c]We have a new Daily Challenges page that would be great to highlight here!

100 thoughts on “Threats to Interplanetary & Interstellar Civilizations

  1. The word "civilization" is poorly defined.
    The Roman Empire collapsed and led to a drop in tech levels, esp. in its far-flung colonies.
    The British Empire collapsed, and led to a similar outcome in Africa and Asia.
    Even with these civilization ending, technology continued to exponentiate, these incidents were more like hiccups in the curve.
    Do we even have a "civilization" today? If so, what's it called?

  2. If the Kessler syndrome happens we won't have to worry about an asteroid impact, because all the space trash would destroy it first! XD.

  3. Don't you think that we should establish that there are interstellar civilization first before we start postulating on how they would be endangered. A lot like putting the cart in front of the horse don't you think?

  4. Likes. Gets a drinks and a snack and casts the video to my TV then reads comments on my phone. Hope this simple pleasure is never threatened <3

  5. Can you do a video on gravity, including, black holes, dark matter, time, energy etc. I’m very interested to learn about it. And how quantum entanglement and quantum teleportation works? I believe time is three dimensional and that’s how quantum teleportation can work, how double slit experiment can work, Schrödinger’s cat etc. And time and gravity is closely connected. Maybe you made videos about this before but I’m new here 😇 Also.. if there is intelligent life that created us as a simulation, or just aliens more intelligent than us, could their space ships be fueled by gravity to actually travel in time, to reach the distances they want?

  6. "Humans are hygene obsessed." I happen to have encountered more than a few humans who this statement fails to accurately describe.

  7. This was it, the last one. I'm all caught up. I watched every video starting from the beginning. Now I have to wait for more awesome :'(

  8. is it really literally impossible to correct your speech impediment with intensive coaching or have you just accepted it as a characteristic?

    as much as i love the subject matter i must say that does make it very difficult to sit through.

  9. I think Isaac is trivializing and over-truncating the symmetries between offensive and defensive weapons. For instance, the technologies used to write computer viruses and anti-virus software are the same, but the ability to implement either are not the same. Costs differences in implementing defensive and offensive computer code leave vast swaths of users vulnerable. And if bio-engineered viruses become widespread, these offensive/defensive asymmetries could end up killing billions.

  10. @IsaacArthor
    What do you think are the odds of humanity reaching a place where we are less threatened by asteroid & comet impacts?
    Are you hopeful for the survivability of the human race.

    I ask because I increasingly feel blackpilled

  11. Why spend money building on the exterior of the space station to protected from coronal mass ejections when you can build a magnetically interference field that only has to be used when needed

  12. This must be the only channel where the narrator says something like "obviously a civilisation using black holes for power is going to beat one using fusion" and the audience just nods along at home thinking "well obviously, yes".

  13. "but we are not stupid" – I tend to disagree. Not only most of us are not particularly bright, we all are not selected by evolution to solve anything far outside basic hunter-gatherer stuff in hunter-gatherer society scale.

    We already suffer from this problem as humanity became global, multiply it by several degrees of magnitude and you get something very uncontrollable. I fear that some form of AI or heavy brain-modding could be our only hope not to let our stupidity kill us because of some unpatched rudiment of our monkey/reptile brain.

  14. one advice … can you use clips with only one frame rate. This mishmash between 25 and 30 fps makes snappy effect. If you upload to 29,97fps, … let all the materials be in 29,97fps. Tell the peoples who make videos for you to render in 29,97fps, … or you can change fps manually, with one small program, so they will run faster, … but for 3D renders dozen matter!
    Don't use Premiere internal conversion, … it duplicate every 5-th frame and looks like video stops for a moment 5 times a second. This disturbs and TVs "clear motion" and looks bad.

  15. Or watch this " https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otOrwnxWTNw " to learn how to change fps in Premiere … but you use the clips many times and is better to change fps in clips inside!!!

  16. I don't see why you think that a virus that infects everyone before it is known would be unlikely to appear naturally. Who knows how many life forms in Earth's history went extinct because such a virus appeared. All it would take would be something with most of the properties of rabies, but be as contagious as the flu. And when you DO account for genetic engineering, it seems like an inevitability to me. All it would take would be one man with a little knowhow, who hates the world. That could well be a common great filter.

  17. INEZ Qtaish had enough of evildoers on earth, which do evildoers prefer, water or wind, choose wisely, God can destroy every living soul on earth and start over, I had enough with hell on earth.

  18. 0:45 I know that's "a tiny bit" off-topic, but it bugs me when everyone says "the Asteroid". Dinosaurs were not killed off by that asteroid, they were on a long downward spiral which coincided with the advent of flowering plants and proportionally tiny mammals who ate grass, seeds and *dinosaur eggs*. Those dinosaurs who were small and lived on trees (aka birds) did not feel the impact, while massive fires and "nuclear winter" should have damaged them most, because they have comparatively fast metabolism (need steady supply of food) and have small lungs (suffocate much easier than bigger animals).

  19. R.I.P. Nikolai Kardashev (1932-2019), the astrophysicist whose ideas allowed us to quantify our greatest dreams about the future of the civilization. I know that his name will long be remembered at least in our community of people who are not afraid to dream beyond borders, beyond this planet. You know you've done something important in your life when your name is commonly used in the same sentence with "megastructures" and "interstellar alien civilizations".
    Please, Isaac, mention this name in your next video, because people should know…

  20. In the TV series "Andromeda" there are weapons called "nova bombs" that when fired into a star can induce a supernova. Is such a weapon possible under known physical laws?

  21. Oooh,just noticed this video. Time to pack my bowl and let Isaac drop some sweet sweet knowledge while I chill. Thanks again Isaac, we appreciate it 🌎🛰️🚀

  22. Super Diseases don't have to infect humans to kill off a population. Pathogens that kill off or poison the food supply would be more effective. Also could be a common microbe that containates the air or water. About a decade or two ago, a bioengineering company created a yeast for improving ethanol production. Only to discover it turning most plant root systems into mush. If that yeast ever escaped into the biosphere it would have killed off most of the food supply.

    I don't off-world colonies would be safe since the as long as there is trade, there is a risk of contamination. Perhaps off-worlds get infected before anyone notices in time.

  23. I use to love this channel. But now videos are being made on topics that are Sci fi and scenarios that have endless possibilities. They are all the same

  24. Use the moon as a pulverizer to process space rocks. Then use that material to build habitats and ship valuables back to earth. Duuhhh, Mars 2nd, moon 1st. You gotta perfect the technologies there first. And as an economic initiator to jump start the space faring economy. Also, maybe repeated large comet strikes to the far side of the moon might negate tidal drifting? The moon is constantly drifting away from earth, fix that, fix the tides fix the minerals sources and make our species a dual planetary system. The moon is a mini planet essentially. Apples and oranges, grapes and raisins.

  25. Hey Issac, been subbed for total ages..
    this is an -anti-trolling announcement.

    i'm the self proclaimed king of youtube trolls. (among other talents lol)

    you've earned 9 billion anti-troll points, because youre not assumptive, you genuinely consider your topics, you've got a deeply analytical honesty and have a subtle wit which probly sails past most folk who aren't as thorough.. and thereby not so wry as you.
    i'll fess up to often annoying americans about pronunciation.. rest assured, its only ever about names, and vowel placement/tone.. such as Sirius.. its not ''seerius'' its sirius… and i'm from Scotland.. not ScAtland. 😀
    frankly.. i barely notice your ''impediment'' .. to my ear, you're an eastern USAn scholar with a cadence conducive to attention.
    there's nothing annoying or troll worthy about you.. except maybe sometimes i'll call you a dick for making an assumption about ecology or sociology if you do so… lol.

  26. I love your videos Isaac, I'm learning so much from them, thank you. Would you be able to do some videos on topics such as the Higgs Boson, quarks, leptons and gluons?

  27. I love this channel. I think you should do a video on the future of Laws and Regulation.
    Specifically, gun control, drug regulation, etc. As technology increases the ability to regulate things like firearms becomes impossible, same with drugs as the ability for small laboratories to create massive amounts of psychoactive chemicals is exponentially increasing. We can already build M16 receivers on desktop mills, Fentanyl can be created in small cartel labs on the border… Whats the future of this? How is it combatted or is the future one that is mostly unregulatable?

  28. That cleanliness obsession… sounds like a great way to fuck up our immune system in just a couple generations.

  29. Were not even going to make it this far into the future. Ever wonder why we have not detected intelligent extraterrestrial life yet? They all have eventually wiped themselves out. WE ARE THE THREAT

  30. Not trying to be a dick, but I'm curious: Is this speaking pattern an accent or a speak impediment? For example, I notice him saying "revoice" when saying "reverse" and "dangor" when saying "danger".

  31. It's great to think about such things, but in the end Its highly doubtful we will ever survive long enough to achieve such greatness! at least for us regular folks! Given the fact that we haven't seen an advanced civ out there anyway!

  32. What's up man I found you probably about a month ago you said in one of your videos you try to read every comment that is left I just wanted to tell you that you make the coolest episodes the most interesting episodes of the coolest s*** that I have ever seen in my life bro you have actually got a gift for this you should be making massive money your production of these videos you got the talent to the f**** huge bro I'm telling you you got better s*** than anything I've ever seen on TV. I love your s*** and if you come up with all this stuff yourself you must be a motherfuking genius bro or you must do a lot of research I do mean a lot of research your episodes make me think so much man I would be privileged I would feel honored to talk to you in an email if you would like to email me here's my email. [email protected]

  33. The Kardashev scale seems to lack resolution. 0 to 1 and 1 to 2 are ok but 2 to 3 is a heck of a jump. From the entire resources of one star to the entire resources of say 100 stars is a big step but these examples would both be K 1. Perhaps we could use fractional Kardashev values. Say K1.001 for the preceding example.

  34. Nobody ever considers that AI might be considered trans human. Might have the desire to belong and need company like humans. They might be just as prone to self esteem issues as we are. True sentience may come as a package deal along with a ton of tempering factors. It may be no different or more able then any other cyborged up or genetically enhanced human except maybe with a few processing limitations on either side. The Japanese readily adopt grown men, sometimes foreign, to continue their family line. In a world where the only difference is organic percentage, why not pass the family name on to a sentient AI,particularly if it considers itself part of the same culture and loyal to it like any human would be. I mean the line between human and synthetic could become so blurred as to not matter or even exist.

  35. 1:20 min. Why you always pretend that we will still have stupid market economy capitalism in the advanced times you are talking about?

  36. Cardi B and pop-psychology, could they be our Great Filter? I hate to use the descriptive adjective of "Great" when describing "Cardi B".

  37. "It's hard to spread diseases in space" I beg to differ! A space colony would be very vulnerable to an epidemic, especially if the gestation period for the virus or bacteria is insidiously slow and difficult to spot in a patient.

    Isolation also plays an incredibly destructive role to seeking aid, getting a cure or preventing spread in a small group of people.

    Once someone does come down with something and you're in a locked, closed and confined space-it will spread like wildfire because the air is recycled as well as the water

  38. Isaac Arthur must create new channel where he can reupload videos that are enchanced with deep fake AI to fix his speech impediment/

  39. I believe the socio-economic system you're describing is called federalism.

    One that has very powerful benefits, as you're describing, but people have seemed for forgotten about in favor of a republic or democracy (by which they mean magically gives them everything they want) or socialism (by which they mean magically gives them everything they want).

    Federalism is choice, almost any other any other system is less choice. The difference between federalism and most nations, is there is more freedom to move and trade between different states. Which requires some treaty to bind them as federalist. (I.e. as the U.S. used to be, or as the Scandinavian states are today.) Since people have differing preferences, they will choose differing governments, so that every system that people want will be represented (aside from systems that dictate everyone comply with the system they want). And every system that doesn't support what the people want will loose citizens to the systems that serve their citizens what they want, depressing their economy and taxes if they have taxes. You could even have a federation of federation, so you have well as having a market of governments, you have a market of treaties binding the governments.

    The only other system I find superior is voluntarism, where the government's aren't locationally bound. So you purchase your government services like you would any other product.

  40. I know it’s fitting for the video, but this Stellaris music makes me antsy to upgrade starports and check my research…

  41. Thank you, Isaac Arthur. Your videos on these topics are undoubtedly the best. We, you watchers, appreciate every bit of effort you put in to your work. Thank you, again!
    Your sponsors are probably thinking this too, but you ease between topic an advertisement so smoothly! Great job, all round.

  42. Elon Musk: let’s make life multiplanetary, so we it brings the ultimate protection, and helping us survive disasters
    Watches this video
    Elon: oof

  43. The Fronteirs saga series had a bio-digital plauge that first spread as a computer virus over the internet, then infected medical nanites which both killed humans directly and indirectly by creating biological diseses. Both the computer virus and the biological virus mutated rapidly which made it essentially impossible to create counter-measures and since it could spread via the interstellar internet, it essentially wiped out most of the human race.

  44. Your virus spreading minions will probably not have a change of heart if they're all worshiping a certain god who's name starts with n (:

  45. What if only the early historical and religious texts survive an apocalypse, and a repopulating world comes to believe they're on Earth?

  46. I have a good feeling that you play stellaris and wanted to do a video of each event or object which you’re doing a good thing because I only know of each topic you have done I have never done deeper research.

  47. everyone gives the Warhammer human such shit but you gotta remember they are trying to survive agaisnt unimaginably terrifying odds and its worked for ten millenia

  48. I love this channel, going through all the videos is a journey in itself. Thanks Isaac, keep up the awesome thinking.

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