Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ponder This...

It is very interesting that researchers have found out that our predictions are, for the most part, either grossly underestimated or overestimated. Think about. Computers and the Internet? One started out as a way to speed up code-breaking operations and the other as a way for researchers and universities to share information. Both of those inventions have transformed the world we live in. On the other end of the spectrum is gross overestimations. The 'Space Age' is a good example. Right after the first human was blasted into space, the pundits started theorizing about a Moon colony by the year 2000. The only thing that we had on the moon by the year 2000 was a few pieces of space junk, flags and footprints. Unless they faked the whole thing of course.

This makes you think about current issues, take Climate Change for example. Some researchers hold the view that if no serious steps were taken in a hundred years the sea levels might rise by up to a few meters. This will have dire consequences on cities, world economy and natural resources. Clearly that's a very bleak scenario, the silver lining however is that this might be a case of overestimation (Space Age-style). But what creeps me out is what if this was an underestimation? What if just a 30 centimeter increase in sea levels will kick-off an unforeseen chain reaction that will tip the Earth into a modern-day ice age? Sure it's far-fetched, but I am pretty sure the dude who built the first 'computer' in a bunker in England to break ze German encryption didn't consider how in the future you'd use that very same device for porn.

On a totally different note, I hit elCairo this week. A game of uber risk is in order! AWOOO!