Are you an optimist or a pessimist? Jul 12 2012
Errol Morris has a new essay on the New York Times site this week and it's surprisingly short. And it's actually not an essay but a two-question quiz based on this short passage by David Deutsch:
If a one kilometer asteroid had approached the Earth on a collision course at any time in human history before the early twenty-first century, it would have killed at least a substantial proportion of all humans. In that respect, as in many others, we live in an era of unprecedented safety: the twenty-first century is the first ever moment when we have known how to defend ourselves from such impacts, which occur once every 250,000 years or so.
It doesn't seem like much and Morris is being coy about it, but I've been assured that something interesting will come of it if enough people take it. So take it!