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R&D is accelerating in the vital field of brain-machine interfaces (BMI). Elon Musk recently disclosed in a Clubhouse interview that at Neuralink, his BMI venture, a monkey is playing video games via neural implants. He also made some signature provocative projections like his ultimate goal of connecting brains with a powerful AI. “The future of the world will be controlled by the combined will of the people of the earth.” He said, “That might be the most important thing that a device like this achieves.”
World energy consumption is projected to grow by 50% in just 30 years. At the same time, civilization must reach net-zero carbon emissions lest tens of millions of people face displacement and impoverishment from heatwaves, drought, flooding, and pestilence. UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres told the Finance in Common Summit last November, “Science is clear: if we fail to meet these goals, the disruption to economies, societies and people caused by COVID-19 will pale in comparison to what the climate crisis holds in store.” Nuclear power, with no carbon emissions, may be a solution for our rapidly industrializing world.
In 2020, wildfires scorched 45 million acres (18 million hectares) in Australia, and fifty-eight thousand wildfires burned 10.27 million acres (4.16 million hectares) in the United States. California suffered an estimated $100B total economic cost from wildfires in a single year. Beyond numbers, people who faced incinerated homes and apocalyptic orange skies endure a lasting emotional impact.
When engaging in career planning, many of us end up unintentionally focusing exclusively on optimistic scenarios: “I want to do X, so I’ll do A, B, and C to make it happen.” Of course, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of healthy optimism. But to ensure your plans are robust, you also need to identify and mitigate the potential risks that could threaten your vision for the future — and nothing has shown the importance of planning for risk more clearly than the current pandemic.