Dangerous fringe ideas from the 20th Century are being resurrected by today's tech billionaires, reports Nafeez Ahmed
And yet there is little evidence that any of this is actually achievable.
We have so little understanding of "behavioural genetics" or "the computational principles of the human brain" that this whole project is risible. A superficial appreciation of the complexities around epigenetics and the "hard problem" of consciousness is enough to see that.
The proposal that any sort of functioning human civilisation (particularly one requiring reliable electricity generation!) could survive on a planet with no other life-forms, or even no other animals, is ludicrous. The bacteria, viruses & cockroaches would have a field day. Maintaining a balanced ecosystem requires huge diversity and even the most advanced human intelligence is a long way short of being able to match the inherent management skills in that diversity.
The assumption that throwing money at engineering research will produce results on viable space-travel and long-term life-support systems in time to allow the extremely rich to evade the consequences of their irresponsible over-use of the planet's resources is equally foolish - clearly they have watched far too much Star Trek while indulging in psychoactive substances.
At the same time, these "educated idiots" are doing huge damage to society and to the planet. Quite how we put a stop to that, in time to prevent catastrophe, is beyond me... Let's hope the cockroaches, viruses & bacteria have a better grasp of the situation than me!
Pretty devastating. Just signed up for membership. Good journalism.