Category Archives: global

Can humanity leave nature behind?

In the face of environmental collapse, humanity may need to turn to artificial replacements for nature – how might we avoid the most dystopian of these futures? Researcher Lauren Holt makes the case for a broader form of “offsetting” to help balance technology with natural systems.

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20220608-should-we-detach-ourselves-from-nature

Redefining ‘Sustainable Fashion’

“Sustainable,” implies “able to continue over a period of time,” according to the Cambridge Dictionary. “Fashion,” on the other hand, implies change over time. To reconcile the two is impossible. No wonder striving for net-zero emissions makes us all feel like Don Quixote, tilting at windmills.

Because there is no simple answer to solving fashion’s role in climate change. Even the obvious one — don’t make, or buy, any new stuff, and don’t throw away any old stuff — has negative implications for employment, know-how and self-definition. (After all, people have been adorning themselves to express themselves for pretty much as long as they have understood themselves as “selves.”) The crucial issue for each of us, no matter which side of the equation we are on, is thinking about and understanding the effects of the choices we make, so we can make better ones in the future.

CHINA’S BODY-POSITIVE INFLUENCERS

An growing number of Chinese influencers have had it with the distorted, filtered images coming at them from every pixel on their super-app screen. From WeChat to Douyin and Weibo, they refuse to conform to social media’s perception of the perfect body.

https://chinatemper.com/chinese-society/body-positive-influencers

Will China embrace plus-size fashion?

https://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/fashion-beauty/article/2181068/will-china-embrace-plus-size-fashion-only-if-women-stop

Influencer Scarlett Hao On The Chinese Body Image And Body Positivity

How Might Artificial Intelligence Affect the Risk of Nuclear War?

Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) are enabling previously infeasible capabilities, potentially destabilizing the delicate balances that have forestalled nuclear war since 1945. Will these developments upset the nuclear strategic balance, and, if so, for better or for worse? To start to address this question, RAND researchers held a series of workshops that were attended by prominent experts on AI and nuclear security. The workshops examined the impact of advanced computing on nuclear security through 2040. The culmination of those workshops, this Perspective — one of a series that examines critical security challenges in 2040 — places the intersection of AI and nuclear war in historical context and characterizes the range of expert opinions. It then describes the types of anticipated concerns and benefits through two illustrative examples: AI for detection and for tracking and targeting and AI as a trusted adviser in escalation decisions. In view of the capabilities that AI may be expected to enable and how adversaries may perceive them, AI has the potential to exacerbate emerging challenges to nuclear strategic stability by the year 2040 even with only modest rates of technical progress. Thus, it is important to understand how this might happen and to assure that it does not.

https://www.rand.org/pubs/perspectives/PE296.html

https://www.rand.org/pubs/perspectives/PE296.html

More than half the world’s millennials fear a nuclear attack this decade

The International Committee of the Red Cross, a worldwide humanitarian organization, surveyed 16,000 millennials — adults between the ages of 20 and 35 — in 16 countries and territories last year: Afghanistan, Colombia, France, Indonesia, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Palestinian Territories, Russia, South Africa, Syria, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Ukraine, and the United States.

https://www.vox.com/2020/1/20/21070621/millennials-survey-nuclear-world-war-3-red-cross

Risk, Uncertainty and Innovation

The past several decades have seen the introduction of a number of disruptive technologies into warfare, including some whose effects are so extensive that they can be considered their own domains, such as cyber– and cognitive warfare. Meanwhile, new technologies continue to emerge, ones which, as a recent article in NATO Review notes, “are already beginning to turn speculative fiction into reality.”

https://www.nato.int/docu/review/articles/2022/04/14/risk-uncertainty-and-innovation/index.html?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=NATO%20Review%20Risk%20and%20Uncertainty&utm_content=NATO%20Review%20Risk%20and%20Uncertainty+CID_f1dc0a7bf310799e44a2254eeb3f8e34&

Stories from 2050 (European Union)

In the project “Stories from 2050” we sought narratives outside the ordinary, reference scenarios, by means of engaging citizens. We invited people from all over the world to contribute to horizon scanning for cultural material – imagery, text, video etc. around the themes of the European Green Deal, and to take part in story developing workshops. They included mental space traveling to other worlds of extreme environmental conditions to encourage unusual, “out of the box” thinking and finally to tell and write stories of life in 2050.