Hawking still hawking the Great Diaspora

Paul Raven @ 10-08-2010

Stephen Hawking made a fair media splash back in 2006 when he announced that humanity needs to clamber out of the gravity well if it wants to ensure its survival. But the internet’s memory is short, despite its theoretical depth, and hence Hawking’s reiteration of the call for a Great Diaspora in a video interview at BigThink is rippling around the world again.

The logic of the argument is pretty inescapable – when all your eggs are in one basket, the odds of losing the game to the statistical inevitability of a global extinction event tend towards unity – but it will be interesting to see how the response differs this time round, given how much the world has changed since 2006. We seem a lot more focussed on the immediate future than we were… and that’s not necessarily a bad thing, though I think we’d be wise to keep one eye on the horizon. Is it just me, or did everything seem a whole lot more optimistic back then, before the economic implosion was anything more than a grim warning on the lips of a few outsider economists?

Or was it just me that was more optimistic, perhaps? Strange how five years of blogging about the future has made me a lot less confident that everything will work out just fine.

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3 Responses to “Hawking still hawking the Great Diaspora”

  1. Totoze says:

    Clamber the gravity well, that’s all right, but for going where ?

  2. Rick York says:

    Read Charlie Stross’s observations on the possibility and probability of manned space travel. I only hope he’s wrong.

  3. Will says:

    With all due respect to Dr. Hawking, this was 1 of those announcements that attracts virtually zero attention from those with the money and/or power to “make things happen”. If your interest is in what people actually do rather than what people talk about, look elsewhere.