Stephen Hawking Warns About The Greatest Threat to Humanity

October 13, 2015   |   Jake Anderson

Jake Anderson
October 13, 2015

(ANTIMEDIA) Stephen Hawking has been outspoken in recent years about the catastrophic dangers humanity faces in the 21st century. He said we should be cautious in attempting to contact aliens, warning that advanced extraterrestrial life may not be friendly toward us and could destroy the human race. He also stated we should be cautious in creating strong artificial intelligence. The renowned physicist joined Tesla’s Elon Musk, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, and Google executive Demis Hassabis in signing a letter that warned against a military artificial intelligence arms race.

Hawking even issued a warning to the scientists at the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN) about the dangers of the Higgs Boson “God Particle,” claiming it could initiate “catastrophic vacuum decay” — a quantum bubble that expands at the speed of light and wipes out the universe.

Recently, Hawking addressed the threat he says may be more far more dangerous to the future of human civilization than robots, aliens, or quantum particles: capitalist greed. During a Reddit AMA, he argued that the future is wrought with the peril of rampant inequality expedited by an automated machine-based global economic system.

“If machines produce everything we need, the outcome will depend on how things are distributed.” Hawking continued, “Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution. So far, the trend seems to be toward the second option, with technology driving ever-increasing inequality.”

Predictably, a dramatic response thread followed. Many commenters agreed with Hawking and denounced the globalist oligarchy that is currently consolidating wealth at an unprecedented rate. Responses ranged from calls for a “bloody revolution” to references to the recent films Elysium, Wall-E, and Zeitgeist 2: Addendum. One commenter invoked the anarcho-syndicalist political views of linguist Noam Chomsky.

The main theme of the discussion centered around the automation of labor and how that would affect the human workforce and the global economy. Hawking seems to believe that our current trajectory will make such automation a death knell for the working classes, with the bourgeoisie machine owners exerting total economic control over human civilization.

One commenter strongly disagreed with Hawking, referencing recent Journal of Economic Perspective articles and claiming “technology has never, will never, and simply cannot result in structural unemployment.

The comment thread is a treasure trove of wide-ranging ideas that include:

~The efficacy, or lack thereof, of voting

~A “universal basic income

~Microeconomics

~Techno-socialism, with “an open source decentralized consensus algorithm for the masses

~A post-scarcity society run by strong artificial intelligence


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Author: Jake Anderson

Jake Anderson joined Anti-Media as an independent journalist in April of 2015. His topics of interest include social justice, science, corporatocracy, and dystopian science fiction. He currently resides in Escondido, California.

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  4. The atheist outlook is very fertile ground in producing the actions that result in these dangers. When you perceive yourself as an accidental fluke of the universe, with no continuation whatsoever, a logical conclusion is hedonism. Think about it.

    Everyone tries to do what makes them happy and that can vary from austerity and sacrifice to gross hedonism and consumerism. All trying for happiness. When the consequences are not perceived for the actions that damage others because you will not return to face your crimes, or because you will not be held accountable – then there is no braking mechanism to your evil.

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  5. Isn't it interesting how Any and EVERY finacial transaction that does not include corporate profit is not just objected too but is demonised.

    Why?

    Mr. Gobal doesn't get his "rightful" cut… and authors like Mr Anderson are clearly cheerleading as wealth continues to stream unabaited to the top of the pyramid.

    Yup, be very afaid… of any attempt to return to some semblence of wealth equality.

    The most sucessful and content societies in the world have significant elements of socialism in their model… it is not evil no matter how much Mr Global spends to convince us otherwise.

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  6. In what way am I cheerleading wealth generation by the elites? I'm an anarcho-socialist/syndicalist. Very much against corporatocracy.

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  7. Half the people would probably die, the lazy half! The rest, if wealth is distributed to the point of no poverty, will conquer the solar system. That is until those aliens get tired of our over reaching BS and enslave or annihilate us. Seems we're doomed.

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  8. The world apparently needs more Buddhists and other such believers in reincarnation apparently if it's to continue

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  9. Its good Prof. Hawkins is showing concern over the immediate threat of obscene injustice and inequality, not just the more distant "alien threat.". He follows other great scientists, such as Frederick Soddy, who also correctly analyzed the source of the problem as faulty concepts of the nature of money, and control and mis direction of that by the banking "establishment." Much work has already been done on this. and the solution even introduced into the 112th Congress by Dennis Kucinich, as the NEED Act. See the details at http://www.monetary.org

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