19 September 2015

Atlantic Ocean excited to move into beautiful beachfront mansion soon

This article first appeared in The Onion, and it's too good not to repost.

WEST PALM BEACH, FL—Admitting it has had its eye on the property for quite some time, the Atlantic Ocean confirmed Monday that it was looking forward to moving into a beautiful beachfront mansion in the near future.

“For the longest time it seemed like this place was completely out of reach for me, but I’ve come a long way in the past few years, and now it’s looking more and more like a real possibility,” said the body of water, which confided that, after having admired the building’s impressive exterior and grounds for so long, it was thrilled at the prospect of finally going inside and exploring all eight bedrooms and 7,500 square feet of living area.

“I’m not quite ready yet, but in a couple years or so, I can definitely see myself in there, making the place completely my own. And the little beachside community that the house is located in is just so cute, too—I can’t wait to go through and visit all the shops and restaurants.”

 The ocean noted, however, that it might make a few cosmetic changes to the mansion once it moves in, including gutting the lower floor and taking out a few walls.

08 September 2015

Why we need a politics of the far future

By Richard Eckersley, first published at On Line Opinion on 4 September 2015

If you were to assess various personal life paths and their risks and opportunities, would you choose one that had a 1 in 2 chance of wrecking your life, or even ending it? In most circumstances, no-one would; the risks are just too high.

Yet a new study suggests that many people think that we are taking risks of this magnitude with our future as a civilisation or a species. The study found most Australians (53%) believe there is a 50% or greater chance our way of life will end within the next 100 years, and a quarter (24%) that humans will be wiped out. These are surprisingly high estimates; no person or organization would accept or choose this level of risk, given the stakes.

When asked about different responses to these threats, 75% of the Australians surveyed agreed 'we need to transform our worldview and way of life if we are to create a better future for the world' (an 'activist' response); 44% agreed that 'the world's future looks grim so we have to focus on looking after ourselves and those we love' (nihilism); and 33% agreed that 'we are facing a final conflict between good and evil in the world' (fundamentalism).