Since World War II there has been a real fear of some version of global annihilation. First there was Mutually Assured Destruction. Now, there continues to be enough nuclear weapons to destroy civilization, and we also have environmental, societal, and financial versions of the apocalypse. There’s also the possibility of a digital singularity. While people who prepare for such scenarios are considered fringe and labeled preppers, it turns out the majority (54%) expect our way of life to end, and a large minority (24%) expect our species to end. The paradox is that it can feel as if not enough people are aware and care. It turns out that many are aware, and many may even care; but our reactions aren’t as cohesive. Some will fight to counter the threats, and there’s great diversity in how to do so. Some will think there’s nothing to be done because the problem is too big for our institutions. Some will think it is a good thing, and that it’s time for a new type of world, with humans or without. The first step in solving a problem is recognizing that there is one. Evidently, we’ve taken the first step.
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