George Sykes's blog

Two minutes to midnight

The Doomsday Clock has been advanced to two minutes to midnight by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists (BAS) [01]. They are a group of leading scientists and engineers founded by members of the original Manhattan Project. The setting of the Doomsday Clock is symbolic, where midnight is the time of the apocalypse: it is supposed to alert politicians and citizens around the world to the dangers our technologies (especially nuclear weapons) pose.


The clock has been set forward by half a minute by the BAS for a number of reasons including North Korea's development of nuclear missiles; the rise of distrust in the political system, news media and science, and world leaders' inaction on climate change. 


Pirate book review: Utopia for realists

"We need to be unrealistic, unreasonable, and impossible."

How politics has become a management problem

Politics is for people with vision. People who aspire to push the boundaries of our society and make us greater than ever before. People who truly believe in something and will strive to get it leading us all into a better and happier world.

Sadly a politician is someone quite different. A politician is someone who sees the only GDP, crime statistics and average life expectancy. Currently, a key point on a manifesto will be a slight rise in income tax for the rich or a 0.7% GDP aid budget, nothing - special. Yes, these things have impacts but realistically we have managed to turn politics from something for great visionaries into a problem of management.


Reccently there has been talk online and in the media about implantable RFID chips. The reason for this is that a US company asked if its employee's would like to have a chip fitted, 50 of them agreed and are now able to open doors, operate printers, and buysnacks all with the wave of a hand. However this caused a massive backlash with people saying it was a slippery slope and soon people will be tracked with these chips, some said that the employees where being spied on, some even claimed that people who consent to these chips are no longer human. However very little has been said on the benifits of this technology, so in this blog i will set out the potential uses of this powerfull technology and also explain that how (very mcuh like the internet) it will both be one of the greatest changes of our time and one of the most dangerous.

A new social contract?

Ever since the beginning of humanity and the resultant societies we have formed social contracts that not only have been shaped by human nature but were also shaped by human nature. In this way, society evolved as we did from primitive anarchistic societies to full fledged capitalist democracies. Considering that from current psychological knowledge all consciousness is and therefore society in whole is just a large, complex and sometimes inefficient algorithm. So like all things that evolve we are nearing a moment of momentous change, we will slip into a dystopian world run by all powerful supercomputers for the benefit of a few, or will we seize this opportunity and create new systems and new rule books for our brave new world? Before we consider this weighty question we must first examine previous societies so we do not repeat the mistakes of the past.