Black box that could record collapse of civilisation set to be installed on Earth

The black box, which is set to built on the west coast of Tasmania, will be connected to the internet and will record information to help a future civilisation if humanity suffers a major apocalyptic event

Black box that could record collapse of civilisation
The box will be made from 7.5-centimetre-thick steel (Image: Earth’s Black Box)

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Now You Can Rent a Robot Worker—for Less Than Paying a Human

Automation is reaching more companies, imperiling some jobs and changing the nature of others.

POLAR MANUFACTURING has been making ​metal ​hinges, locks, and brackets ​in south Chicago for more than 100 years. Some of the company’s metal presses—hulking great machines that loom over a worker—date from the 1950s. Last year, to meet rising demand amid a shortage of workers, Polar hired its first robot employee.

The robot arm performs a simple, repetitive job: lifting a piece of metal into a press, which then bends the metal into a new shape. And like a person, the robot worker gets paid for the hours it works.

​Jose Figueroa​, who manages Polar’s production line, says the robot, which is leased from a company called Formic, costs the equivalent of $8 per hour, compared with a minimum wage of $15 per hour for a human employee. Deploying the robot allowed a human worker to do different work, increasing output, Figueroa says.

“Smaller companies sometimes suffer because they can’t spend the capital to invest in new technology,” Figueroa says. “We’re just struggling to get by with the minimum wage increase.”

The fact that Polar didn’t need to pay $100,000 upfront to buy the robot, and then spend more money to get it programmed, was crucial. Figueroa says that he’d like to see 25 robots on the line within five years. He doesn’t envisage replacing any of the company’s 70 employees, but says Polar may not need to hire new workers.

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Humans Are Doomed to Go Extinct

Habitat degradation, low genetic variation and declining fertility are setting Homo sapiens up for collapse

AUTHOR

Henry Gee is a paleontologist, evolutionary biologist and editor at Nature. His latest book is A (Very) Short History of Life on Earth (St. Martin’s Press, 2021).

Cast your mind back, if you will, to 1965, when Tom Lehrer recorded his live album That Was the Year That Was. Lehrer prefaced a song called “So Long Mom (A Song for World War III)” by saying that “if there’s going to be any songs coming out of World War III, we’d better start writing them now.” Another preoccupation of the 1960s, apart from nuclear annihilation, was overpopulation. Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich’s book The Population Bomb was published in 1968, a year when the rate of world population growth was more than 2 percent—the highest in recorded history.

Half a century on, the threat of nuclear annihilation has lost its imminence. As for overpopulation, more than twice as many people live on the earth now as in 1968, and they do so (in very broad-brush terms) in greater comfort and affluence than anyone suspected. Although the population is still increasing, the rate of increase has halved since 1968. Current population predictions vary. But the general consensus is that it’ll top out sometime midcentury and start to fall sharply. As soon as 2100, the global population size could be less than it is now. In most countries—including poorer ones—the birth rate is now well below the death rate. In some countries, the population will soon be half the current value. People are now becoming worried about underpopulation.

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Ted Kaczynski Book Projects

I’m going to try and get two books by Kaczynski published, one solely written by him and another co-written by him. So, I’m looking for volunteers to help, if you like the idea and have time to help, please let me know.

Ted Kaczynski Book Projects

Critical Platforming 

My contributions are made mainly for myself and researchers similarly fascinated by his life with the goal of wanting to make the writing easier to sort and skim through.

I’d like to include a thorough critique of Kaczynski’s philosophy in any publicity we do for the books and in the forward for the biography I’m writing. I’m pro-technological advancement, and against ever physically hurting people unless in a bunch of rare circumstances like if it was; medically in their own interest, in self-defence, in the case of a justified revolutionary war or a survivor-led vigilante action.

Here are some of my past critiques of anti-technology, anti-industrialist, primitivist, anti-civilisation and misanthropic ideologies:

‘Unabomber’ Ted Kaczynski moved to prison medical facility

FILE – Theodore Kaczynski looks around as U.S. Marshals prepare to take him down the steps at the federal courthouse to a waiting vehicle on June 21, 1996, in Helena, Mont. The man known as the “Unabomber” has been transferred to a federal prison medical facility in North Carolina after spending the past two decades in a federal Supermax prison in Colorado for a series of bombings targeting scientists. A U.S. Bureau of Prisons inmate database shows seventy-nine-year-old Kaczynski has been moved to the bureau’s Butner medical center in eastern North Carolina. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

DENVER (AP) — The man known as the “Unabomber” has been transferred to a federal prison medical facility in North Carolina after spending the past two decades in a federal Supermax prison in Colorado for a series of bombings targeting scientists.

Theodore “Ted” Kaczynski, 79, was moved to the U.S. Bureau of Prison’s FMC Butner medical center in eastern North Carolina on Dec. 14, according to bureau spokesperson Donald Murphy. Murphy declined to disclose any details of Kaczynski’s medical condition or the reason for his transfer.

 

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The forgotten oil ads that told us climate change was nothing

Since the 1980s, fossil fuel firms have run ads touting climate denial messages – many of which they’d now like us to forget. Here’s our visual guide

Life Magazine, 1962

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Humans Have Broken One of The Natural Power Laws Governing Earth’s Oceans

TESSA KOUMOUNDOUROS12 NOVEMBER 2021
Just as with planetary or molecular systems, mathematical laws can be found that accurately describe and allow for predictions in chaotically dynamic ecosystems too – at least, if we zoom out enough.

But as humans are now having such a destructive impact on the life we share our planet with, we’re throwing even these once natural universalities into disarray.

“Humans have impacted the ocean in a more dramatic fashion than merely capturing fish,” explained marine ecologist Ryan Heneghan from the Queensland University of Technology.

“It seems that we have broken the size spectrum – one of the largest power law distributions known in nature.”

The power law can be used to describe many things in biology, from patterns of cascading neural activity to the foraging journeys of various species. It’s when two quantities, whatever their initial starting point be, change in proportion relative to each other.

In the case of a particular type of power law, first described in a paper led by Raymond W. Sheldon in 1972 and now known as the ‘Sheldon spectrum’, the two quantities are the body size of an organism, scaled in proportion to its abundance. So, the larger they get, there tend to be consistently fewer individuals within a set species size group.

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From A to Zerzan

[Note: JZ is too timid for our taste but I guess he can serve as a gateway for people completely out of the loop on AnPrim thinking]

Eugene is home to notable anarcho-primitivist John Zerzan, who’s recently released a collection of essays about civilization

Zerzan is famous as one of the major developers of the anarcho-primitivism worldview and in 2014 spoke out against a group that tried to inject transphobia into the theory. Put simply, anarcho-primitivism is anti-technology and calls for the abolition of the large-scale industrialization that has distanced humans from our nature. It’s an ideology that was thrown into the mainstream by Ted Kaczynski (also known as the Unabomber), with whom Zerzan had shared anticivilization ideas during his high-profile trial and while in prison.

“I think there’s only one civilization left, and this is it, and it’s failing,” Zerzan says. “Maybe we look at certain things anew in that light.”

With the urgency of climate change, Zerzan says civilization needs to reconsider itself and the technologies it relies on because time is running out. “If we plod along as business as usual, it’s a course of suicide,” he says.

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Beware: Gaia may destroy humans before we destroy the Earth

James Lovelock

Covid-19 may well have been one attempt by the Earth to protect itself. Gaia will try harder next time with something even nastier

Beware: Gaia may destroy humans before we destroy the Earth
‘I am not hopeful of a positive outcome at Cop26, knowing who is participating. I was not invited to Glasgow, though that is hardly a surprise.’ Photograph: Magdalena Bujak/Alamy

I don’t know if it is too late for humanity to avert a climate catastrophe, but I am sure there is no chance if we continue to treat global heating and the destruction of nature as separate problems.

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