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The world is full of worriers. I’m not one of them. I prefer doing. I’m an advocate of Making Things Happen. I could contemplate what I find most troubling in the world, but don’t think it would be a very good use of my time.
The problem with so much of the world’s worry is that it focuses on micro issues and diverts attention which would be better spent on big things that affects all of us like the human condition, freedom of speech and the future of our ecosystem. John Brockman, publisher of Edge.org, and curator of many of the world’s brightest minds, has put together a series of essays on what they think should really keep us up at night. There are 150 essays in What Should We Be Worried About? Real Scenarios That Keep Scientists Up at Night, so here’s just a taste.
- British neuroscientist Kate Jeffery worries about our rarely challenged scientific efforts to overcome natural death.
- Boing Boing editor Xeni Jardin is concerned that the war on cancer has failed miserably.
- Anthro-archeologist Timothy Taylor is worried about Armageddon "not as a prelude to an imaginary divine Day of Judgment, but as a particular, maladaptive mindset that seems to be flourishing despite unparalleled access to scientific knowledge."
- MIT’s Sherry Turkle fears mobile technology has destroyed solitude.
- A number of writers worry that the information age is only cementing confirmation bias, and ideology will soon trump science.
- Refreshingly, Virginnia Heffernan writes that there is nothing to worry about.
- And to DH Lawrence the last word. “If you can change it, change it. If you can’t change it, don’t worry about it.”