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Abraham Loeb: How to Search for Dead Cosmic Civilizations

When exploring habitable worlds around other stars, we might therefore find planets with burnt-up surfaces, abandoned mega-structures or planetary atmospheres rich with poisonous gases and no sign of life. Even more intriguing is the possibility that we will find technological relics flying through our solar system with no detectable functionality, such as pieces of equipment that lost power over the millions of years of their travel and have turned into space junk.

How much debris exist in interstellar space would depend on the abundance of technological civilizations and the scope of their aspirations for space exploration. Based on Kepler satellite data, we know that about a quarter of all stars host a habitable Earth-scale planet. Even if a small fraction of all habitable Earths led to technological civilizations like our own during the lifetime of their stars, there might be plenty of relics out there in the Milky Way for us to explore.

This opportunity establishes a potential foundation for a new frontier of space archaeology, namely the study of relics from past civilizations in space. Instead of using shovels to dig into the ground, this new frontier will be explored by using telescopes to survey the sky and dig into space.


John Stepek: We’ve Spent Our Entire Lives in a Massive Economic Anomaly

…in the very long run (30 to 100 years…) – we might revert to the long-term mean of slow population growth (or even decline) plus a harder monetary regime (perhaps “the offspring of cryptocurrencies”) that keeps inflation in check.

But it’ll probably only come about as a result of a political backlash to a “great inflationary reset”…


Michaël Aklin: How Robust is the Renewable Energy Industry to Political Shocks?

…markets are more concerned by increasing obstacles to international business than a decrease of federal support for renewables.


Peter Limberg and Conor BarnesMemetic Tribes and Culture War 2.0

The worst angels of our nature are leering from our shoulders. It’s on all of us to refuse the easy solution of blind tribalism in favour of considered thought and embracing the unknown. If we do not, then Yeats’s words will be our epitaph:

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.


Ryan Khurana: Whigged Out

…the locus of the political resides in the digital. It resides less on the concerns of the physical world, but on concerns that can exist in cyberspace, concerns of voice and thought. Political influence then is gained through an influence in this domain, and those conservatives who naively believe that they can be both pro-innovation without respect to the political ramifications of those innovations will disappear into history. The politics of cyberspace will increasingly prevail over the deliberative theater of the nation-state.

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