Friday, January 25, 2019



Great Britain’s Charles Lockhart has established a reputation as one of the world’s greatest thinkers, having made groundbreaking discoveries in mathematics, physics, biology, and human ecology. Because of his reputation, he has been consulted by more than a half-dozen nations to assist with their extinction crisis strategies. I discussed that experience with him and asked for a candid opinion of the entire effort.

“There is a general atmosphere of deep frustration bordering on hopelessness in the planning groups,” he told me. “No one has a real clue how to do something like this, so they are relying a little too heavily, in my opinion, on the judgment of STRIDE and its untested testing.” He explained, “There are hundreds of people all over the world making observations and suggestions. How do we know the quality of their work? Are there controlled experiments that have objectively verified it? You might want to ask your anonymous source about that the next time you speak.

“And then there’s this artificial intelligence, Sanda, which I strongly suspect is your source masquerading as a person. Talk about being untested! It’s a one-of-a-kind, highly complex machine that is operating in a complex, one-of-a-kind environment, on a problem unlike anything anyone has ever solved. It doesn’t inspire confidence, to say the least.

“As for the effort, I see it as quite a bit different from dealing with a threat. Ignoring the motivation for the moment, we will be essentially replacing our entire civilization with a fundamentally different one in just two decades. Given that view, the organizations charged with maintaining this civilization are facing the conundrum of responsible service while planning its destruction and rebirth with fewer people in a world radically outside of their experience if it is lucky enough to exist. In my estimation, our odds of survival are depressingly low regardless of what we do.”

Reality Check

I am nowhere as smart or as accomplished as Lockhart is expected to be. His concerns are based on my experience as a test engineer and a lot of thought.  

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