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The 150 Things the World's Smartest People Are Afraid Of

1. The proliferation of Chinese eugenics. Geoffrey Miller, evolutionary psychologist. 2. Black swan events, and the fact that we continue to rely on fraudulent. "asse "icholas Tale! odels that have !een proven !eyond the error catastrophe #. That we will !e una!le to defeat viruses !y learning to push the threshold. $illia Mc%wan, olecular !iology researcher (. That the age of accelerating technology will overwhel )an *per!er, social and cognitive scientist

&. That pseudoscience will gain ground. 'elena Cronin, author, philospher us with opportunities to !e worried.

+. Genuine apocalyptic events. The growing nu !er of low,pro!a!ility events that could lead to the total devastation of hu an society. Martin -ees, for er president of the -oyal *ociety .. The decline in science coverage in newspapers. Bar!ara *trauch, "ew /ork Ti es science editor 0. %1ploding stars, the eventual collapse of the *un, and the pro!le s with the hu an id that prevent us fro dealing with the . ,, 2ohn Too!y, founder of the field of evolutionary psychology 3. That the internet is ruining writing. )avid Gelernter, /ale co puter scientist 14. That s art people,,like those who contri!ute to %dge,,won5t do politics. Brian %no, usician 11. That there will !e another supernova,like financial disaster. *eth 6loyd, professor of 7uantu Mechanical %ngineering at M8T 12. That search engines will !eco e ar!iters of truth. ,,$. )aniel 'illis, physicist 1#. The dearth of desira!le ates is so ething we should worry a!out, for 9it lies !ehind hu an treachery and !rutality.: )avid M. Buss, professor of psychology at ; of T uch

1&. <85 worried that our technology is helping to !ring the long, postwar consensus against fascis to an end.: )avid Bodanis, writer, futurist 1(. That we will continue to uphold ta!oos on !ad words. Benha in Bergen, =ssociate >rofessor of Cognitive *cience, ;C* 1+. )ata disenfranchise ent. )avid -owan, editor, Wired UK 1.. That digital technologies are sapping our patience and changing our perception of ti e. "icholas G. Carr, author 10. =n <underpopulation !o !.: ?evin ?elly, editor,at,large, Wired. 13. That funding for !ig e1peri ents will dry up, and they won5t happen. 6isa -andall, 'arvard physicist 24. <8 worry that as the pro!le ,solving power of our technologies increases, our a!ility to distinguish !etween i portant and trivial or even non,e1istent pro!le s di inishes.: %vgeny Moro@ov, contri!uting editor, Aoreign >olicy 21. "ot uch. 8 ride otorcycles without a hel et. 2. Craig Benter, geno ic scientist 22. Catharsis is a transcendent Coy thatDcan you repeat EuestionF =ndrian ?reye, editor, Ger an )aily "ewspaper

2#. <8Gve given up asking Euestions. l erely float on a tsuna i of acceptance of anything life throws at e... and arvel stupidly.: Hco plete answerI,,Terry Gillia 2&. <$e should !e worried a!out the new era of =nthropoceneDnot only as a geological pheno enon, !ut also as a cultural fra e.: 2ennifer 2acEuet, clinical assistant professor of environ ental studies, "/; 2(. Cultural e1tinction, and the fact that the works of an o!scure writer fro get enough attention. 'ans ;lrich J!rist. curator, *erptine Gallery the Cari!!ean ay not

2+. The )anger Jf 8nadvertently >raising Kygo atic =rches. ,,-o!ert *opolsky, neuroscientist 2.. That we will stop dying. ?ate 2effery, professor of !ehavioural neuroscience 20. That there are an infinity of universes out there, !ut that we are only a!le to study the one we live in. 6awrence M. ?rauss, physicistLcos ologist 23. The rise of anti,intellectualis and the end of progress. <$e5ve now, for the first ti e, got a single glo!al civili@ation. 8f it fails, we all fail together.: Ti J5-eilly, C%J and founder of JG-eilly Media #4. $e should worry a!out several 9 odern9 *tates that, in practical ter s, are shaped !y cri eM *tates in which !ills and laws are pro ulgated !y cri inals and, even worse, legiti i@ed through for al and 9legal9 de ocracy. %duardo *alcedo,al!aran, Colo !ian philosopher #1. <$e should worry that so uch of our science and technology still uses Cust five ain odels of pro!a!ilityDeven though there are ore pro!a!ility odels than there are real nu !ers.: Bart ?osko, infor ation scientist #2. <8t is possi!le that we are rare, fleeting specks of awareness in an unfeeling cos ic desert, the only witnesses to its wonder. 8t is also possi!le that we are living in a universal sea of sentience, surrounded !y ecstasy and strife that is open to our influence. *ensi!le !eings that we are, !oth possi!ilities should worry us.: Ti o 'annay, pu!lisher ##. Men. 'elen Aisher, !iological anthropologist #&. The social edia,fication of science writing. Michael 8. "orton, 'arvard Business *chool prof ay endanger de ocracy. 'ai 'arari, physicist #(. 'u anity5s un itigated arrogance. 2essica 6. Tracy, professor of psychology #+. That technology #.. )on5t worryDthere won5t !e a singularity. Bruce *terling, sci,fi author #0. Mutually,assured destruction. Bernor Binge, athe atician, co puter scientist, author #3. <The diversion of intellectual effort fro innovation to e1ploitation, the distraction of incessant warfare, rising funda entalis : ay trigger a )ark =ge. Arank $ilc@ek, M8T physicist &4. $e need institutions and cultural nor s that ake us !etter than we tend to !e. 8t see s to that the greatest challenge we now face is to !uild the . *a 'arris, neuroscientist &1. 98 worry that we donGt really understand Euantu pheno ena: 6ee * olin, physicist ind around the world. &2. That = ericans are ho ogeni@ing and e1porting their view of a nor al >. Murali )oraiswa y, professor of psychiatry &#. The future of science pu!lishing. ,,Marco 8aco!oni, neuroscientist &&. That the new digital pu!lic sphere isn5t really so pu!lic. =ndrew 6ih, Cournalis professor &(. <8 further postuate we should in fact !e 9$orried9 not Cust a!out a single selected pro!le , !ut a!out all possible pro!le s.: -ichard Aore an, playwright and director &+. *tress. =rianna 'uffington, aggregationist e1traordinaire e

&.. <$e should !e worried that science has not yet !rought us closer to understanding cancer.: Neni 2ardin, Boing Boing &0. That we will literally lose touch with the physical world. Christine Ainn, archaeologist. &3. <$e should all !e worried a!out the gaping psychological chas nature: *cott *a pson, dinosaur paleontologist. (1. That we will worry too uch. 2oseph 6e)ou1, neuroscientist separating hu anity fro

(4. That we are !eco ing too connected. Gino *egre, professor of physics O astrono y (2. <$hat worries e is that we are increasingly en eshed in inco petent syste s, that is, syste s that e1hi!it pathological !ehaviour !ut canGt fi1 the selves.: 2ohn "aughton, Edge editor (#. Too uch coupling. *teven *trogat@, professor of applied athe atics, Cornell (&. That the internet will end up !enefiting e1isting power structures and not society in general. Bruce *chneier, security technologist ((. That this year5s %dge topic has !een poorly chosen. ?ai ?rause, software pioneer (+. That we will see the end of funda ental science Mario 6ivio, astrophysicist (.. The parado1 of aterial progress. -olf )o!elli, Cournalist and author ar!le trap. Gregory Benford, prof of physics (0. That we will !eco e like rats stuck in a !lue and astrono y

(3. That hu ankind will stop pursuing close o!servation. ;rsula Martin, co puter scientist +4. <$hat worries e is the ongoing 9greying9 of the world population, which is uneven glo!ally !ut widespread.: ,,)avid Berre!y, Cournalist and author +1. <$e should !e worrying a!out a growing do inance of the Aourth PpopQ Culture and how it ay directly or indirectly affect us all.9 Bruce >arker, professor +2. The co ing fight !etween engineers and druids. >aul *affo, technology forecaster +#. <=s so eone fairly co itted to the death of our solar syste and ulti ately the entropy of the universe, 8 think the Euestion of what we should worry a!out is irrelevant in the end.: Bruce 'ood, ondo,!u er +&. = scarcity of water resources. Giulio Boccaletti, physicist +(. That we 9are inarticulately lost in Modernity. Many of us see to sense the end of so ething, perhaps a futile eaninglessness in our Modernity.: ,, *tuart =. ?auff an, professor of !iological sciences, physics, and astrono y ++. < 8 worry a!out the lost opportunity of denying the worldGs teenagers access to education.: *arah,2ayne Blake ore +.. =ug ented reality. $illia >oundstone, Cournalist. ean the end of facts. ,,Bictoria *todden, co putational legal edia. ,,Marcel ?ins!ourne, neurologist +0. That !ig data and new edia will scholar, statistics professor +3. That we will spend too

uch ti e on social

.4. That 8diocracy is loo ing. )ouglas T. ?enrick, psychology professor .1. That the gap !etween news and understanding is widening. ,,Gavin *ch idt, "=*= cli atologist .2. <8 worry we have yet to have a conversation a!out what see s to !e a developing 9new nor al9 a!out the presence of screens in the playroo and kindergarten: ,,*herry Turkle, pshcyhologist,

M8T .#. <That we will !eco e irrationally i patient with science: ,,*tuart Airestein, professor who is working as hard as he can, da it .&. That we will get our hopes up for interstellar space travel, !ecause it5s not going to happen. ,,%d -egis, science writer .(. That glo!al cooperation is failing and we don5t know why. ,,)aniel 'aun .+. That we worry too uch. 2oel Gold, psychiatrist ... <8 worry ore and ore a!out what will happen to the generations of children who donGt have the uniEuely hu an gift of a long, protected, sta!le childhood.: ,,=lison Gopnik .0. That synthetic !iology will spiral out of control. *eirian *u !iology .3. The death of athe atics. ,, ?eith )evlin, any skills to athe atician achines. *usan Black ore, psychologist ake us stupid and hostile toward each other.: 04. That we will outsource too er, lecturer in !ehavioral

01. <$e should !e worried a!out online silos. They 6arry *anger, co,founder of $ikipedia 02. That we worry too

uch. Gary ?lein, scientist at MacroCognition

0#. That the hu an species will lose the will to survive. )ave $iner, Blogging and -** software pioneer 0&. The surplus of testosterone caused !y a gender gap in China. -o!ert ?ur@!an, psychologist 0(. <= worry that is not yet on the scientific or cultural agenda is neural data privacy rights: ,,Melanie *wan, syste s,level thinker, futurist 0+. =r ageddon. Ti othy Taylor, archaeologist 0.. There5s nothing to worry a!out, even though the 6arge 'adron Collider hasn5t turned up any new discoveries. ,,= anda Gefter, editor 00. <$hat 8 worry ost a!out is that we are ore and ore losing the for al and infor al !ridges !etween different intellectual, ental and hu anistic approaches to seeing the world.: ,, =nton Keilinger, physicist 03. That we worry too uch. )onald ). 'off an, cognitive scientist 34. The Growing Gap Between The *cientific %lite =nd The Bast 9*cientifically Challenged9 MaCority ,, 6eo M. Chalupa, ophthal ologist and neuro!iologist 31. <8 worry a!out the prospect of collective a nesia.: "ogra =rikha, historian of ideas 32. That we worry too uch. Brian ?nutson, associate professor of psychology 3#. That we do not understand the dyna ics of our e erging glo!al culture. ?irsten Bo !lies, assistant professor of organis ic and evolutionary !iology 3&. <$e should worry a!out losing lust as the guiding principle for the reproduction of our species.: Tor "orretranders, science writer 3(. That we worry too uch, !ut a!out fictional violence. 2onathan Gottschall, %nglish professor 3+. <$e should !e worried a!out the conseEuences of our increasing knowledge of what causes disease, and its conseEuences for hu an freedo : %sther )yson, Catalyst, 8nfor ation Tech *tartups 3.. "atural death. ,,=ntony Garrett 6isi, theoretical physicist

30. <$hat worries e is that the de!ate a!out gender differences still see s to polari@e nature vs. nurture, with so e in the social sciences and hu anities wanting to assert that !iology plays no role at all, apparently unaware of the scientific evidence to the contrary: ,, *i on Baron,Cohen, psychologist 33. The de ise of the scholar. ,,)aniel 6. %verett, linguistic researcher 144. The ;navoida!le 8ntrusion Jf *ociopolitical Aorces 8nto *cience. ,,"icholas = Christakis, physician 141. 98 a worried a!out who gets to !e players in the science ga eDand who is left out.: *tephon '. =le1ander, physicist 142. The fact that so any people choose to live in ways that narrow the co unity of fate to a very li ited set of others and to define the rest as threatening to their way of life and values is deeply worrying !ecause this conte porary for of tri!alis , and the ideologies that support it, ena!le the to deny co ple1 and ore crosscutting utual interdependenciesDlocal, national, and internationalDand to elude their own role in creating long,ter threats to their own well!eing and that of others.: ,,Margaret 6evi, political scientist 14#, 14&. That we will !e una!le to facilitate effective synergies. ,,*tephen M. ?osslyn, -o!in *. -osen!erg, psychologists, synergy fans 14(. 85 not worried a!out *uper,=8s ruling the world. ,,=ndy Clark, philosopher and cognitive scientist 14+. The posthu an geography that will result when ro!ots have taken all our Co!s. )avid )alry ple, M8T researcher 14.. That aliens pose a danger to hu an civili@ation. ,,*eth *hostak, *%T8 astrono er 140. That the role of icroorganis s in cancer is !eing ignored !y the current seEuencing strategies e ployed !y the edical co unity. =@ra -a@a, M.). 143. That hu ankind5s social and psychologist oral intuitions will stifle technological process. )avid >i@arro,

114. <The illusion of knowledge and understanding that can result fro having infor ation so readily and effortlessly availa!le.: ,, Tania 6o !ro@o, assistant professor of psychology 111. The end of hardship inoculation =da =lter, psychologist 112. The e1ploding nu !er of illegal drugs. Tho as Met@inger, philosopher 11#. *uperstition. Matt -idley, science writer 11&. That historically entrenched institutions will prevent technological progress. ,,>aul ?edrosky, editor 11(. That <in one or two generations children will grow up to !e adults who will not !e a!le to tell reality fro i agination.: ,,Mihaly Csiks@ent ihalyi, psychologist 11+. That we worry too uch. Birginia 'effernan, /ahoo "ews correspondent 11.. <$e should !e worried a!out how we go a!out finding the wisdo to allow us to navigate develop ents as we !egin to i prove our a!ility to cheaply print hu an tissue, grow synthetic !rains, have ro!ots take care of our old parents, let the 8nternet educate our children: 6uca )e Biase, Cournalist 110. That geno ics ay fail us when it co es to co putational neuroscientist ental disorders. ,,Terrence 2. *eCnowski,

113. <$hat really keeps e awake at night is that we face a crisis within the deepest foundations of physics. The only way out see s to involve profound revision of funda ental physical principles.9

*teve Giddings, theoretical physicist 124. <The ost worrying aspect of our society is the low inde1 of suspicion that we have a!out the !ehavior of nor al people.: ?arl *a!!agh, writer, TB producer 121. <Many people worry that there is not enough de ocracy in the worldM 8 worry that we never go !eyond de ocracy.: )ylan %vans, C%J of >roCection >oint ight

122. "ot population growth, !ut prosperity growthDthe prospect of the entire world consu ing resources like = ericans and $esterners do. 6aurence C. * ith, geography professor 12#. That we5ll !egin to treat technology like agic. "eil Gershenfeld, M8T physicist 12&. The rise in geno ic insta!ility. %ric 2. Topol, M.)., professor of geno ics 12(. That authorities and co panies will soon !e a!le to read people5s !rains. *tanislas )ehaene, neuroscientist 12+. That econo ic growth will halt. *atyaCit )as, financial e1pert 12.. <8 worry that free i agination is overvalued, and 8 think this carries risks.: Carlo -ovelli, theoretical physicist 120. That we worry too 123. That we worry too uch. 2a es 2. J5)onnell, classical scholar uch. -o!ert >rovine, neuroscientist to do in co ing decades.

1#4. That we won5t have enough ro!ots to do all the Co!s we5ll need the -odney =. Brooks, ro!oticist

1#1. That we will have no >lan B when the internet inevita!ly !reaks down. George )yson, science historian 1#2. The *ingularity. That we <are curiously co placent a!out life as we know it getting transfor ed. $hat we should !e worried a!out is that weGre not worried.: Ma1 Teg ark, M8T physicist 1##. <There are known knowns and known unknowns, !ut what we should !e worried a!out the unknown unknowns.: Gary Marcus, cognitive scientist 1#&. That the !rain is una!le to conceive of our psychologist ost serious pro!le s. )aniel Gole an, ost is

1#(. <$e should !e worried that scientists have given up the search for deter ining right and wrong and which values lead to hu an flourishing Cust as the research tools for doing so are co ing online: Michael *her er, pu!lisher, *keptic aga@ine 1#+. The loss of our collective cognition and awareness. )ouglass -ushkoff, 1#0. That we are una!le to identify <the good life.: )avid Christian, historian 1#3. %lectric tattooing on Aace!ook and !eyond. 2uan %nriEue@ 1&4. Aederal regulatory captureDie, the fo1 watching the hen house in industries like oil and coal e1traction. Charles *eife, Cournalis professor 1&1. <*ocietyGs >arlous 8na!ility To -eason =!out ;ncertainty: =u!rey )e Grey, Gerontologist 1&2. That knowledge is getting too fast. "icholas 'u phrey, prof. at the 6ondon *chool of %cono ics 1&#. The 9"ight are *cenario9 Aor Aunda ental >hysics. >eter $oit, athe atical physicist 1&&. The ho ogeni@ation of the hu an e1perience. *cott =tran, anthropologist edia analyst Group 1#.. The decline of the science hero. -oger 'ighfield, )irector, *cience Museu

1&(. That we won5t !e a!le to understand everything. Clifford >ickover,

ath author

1&+. That we worry too uch, and <package our worries: in a deleterious fashion. Mary Catherine Bateson, professor e erita 1&.. That !ecause of cli ate change, resource shortages, drones, or other unanticipated reasons, a aCor war will arise. *teven >inker, psychologist 1&0. *tupidity. -oger *chank, psychologist 1&3. 8 have stopped worrying a!out the pro!le of free will, !ecause it will never !e settled. 'oward Gardner, 'o!!s >rofessor of Cognition and %ducation 1(4. That science is in danger of !eco ing the ene y of hu ankind. Colin Tudge, !iologist, editor at New Scientist 1(1. That we will !e una!le to live without the internet. )aniel C. )ennet, philosopher