What We Discuss with Rob Reid:
- The potential for synthetic biology to be leveraged by nihilistic mass murderers to wipe out millions.
- The potential for synthetic biology to be leveraged by altruistic medical pioneers to save millions.
- What CRISPR is and how its eventual availability to hobbyists may ensure there’s a mad scientist on every block.
- Why the future of synthetic biology may be exponentially more dangerous to humanity than the nuclear proliferation of the Cold War.
- What we can start doing now to prepare for this future and minimize its risks while reaping its rewards.
- And much more…
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Lately we can’t even turn on the news without bracing for the next disaster. Whether it’s a mass-shooting, terrorism, or some other catastrophe of our own making, it’s pretty clear that there’s a small percentage of the population that just wants to kill as many people as possible before they leave this world. Fortunately, most nihilistic killers like these don’t have access to nuclear weapons. But what if they had access to something equally dangerous? What if nearly everybody did?
On this episode we talk with science fiction author, tech entrepreneur, and fellow podcaster Rob Reid, who recently spoke at TED about synthetic biology — a relatively new field of gene-splicing and genetic engineering that is expensive today, but on the cusp of being affordable to hobbyists soon. It’s an exciting notion, but what happens if one of these hobbyists turns out to be a nihilistic mass murderer in waiting whose ambition is to create a devastating superbug and wipe out millions of people? Rob addresses this and so much more in this simultaneously terrifying and fascinating episode. Listen, learn, and enjoy!
Please Scroll down for Full Show Notes and Featured Resources!
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THANKS, ROB REID!
If you enjoyed this session with Rob Reid, let him know by clicking on the link below and sending him a quick shout out at Twitter:
And if you want us to answer your questions on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resources from This Episode:
- How Synthetic Biology Could Wipe out Humanity — And How We Can Stop It by Rob Reid, TED 2019
- After On: A Novel of Silicon Valley by Rob Reid
- After On Podcast
- Rob Reid’s Website
- Rob Reid at Facebook
- Rob Reid at Twitter
- Chenpeng Village Primary School Stabbing, Wikipedia
- Sandy Hook Shooting: What Happened? CNN
- The Disturbing History of Pilots Who Deliberately Crash Their Own Planes, Vox
- MH370 News: Thai and Malaysian Military ‘Ignored’ Jet for Surprise Reason, Express
- ‘None of Us Can Get Out’ Kursk Sailor Wrote, The New York Times
- Pig to Human Heart Transplants ‘Possible Within Three Years’, The Guardian
- Questions and Answers about CRISPR, Broad Institute
- CRISPR Enters Its First Human Clinical Trials, Science News
- Scientists Brace for Media Storm Around Controversial Flu Studies, Science
- The Human Genome Project, NHGRI
- 5 Services That Will Sequence Your DNA, Mashable
- Over 50 Years of Moore’s Law, Intel
- Carlson Curve, Revolvy
- The Fermi Paradox, Wait But Why
- Some Studies in Machine Learning Using the Game of Checkers by Arthur L. Samuel, IBM Journal of Research and Development
- Aum Shinrikyo: Images from the 1995 Tokyo Sarin Attack, BBC
- Man Who Sold F-35 Secrets to China Pleads Guilty, Vice
- Biodefence Researcher Linked to Anthrax Attacks, Nature
- Breaking Bad
- Naval Ravikant | End Games, After On Podcast 44
- Harnessing Synthetic Biology for Kelp Forest Conservation, Journal of Phycology
- Dark Sky
- Synthetic Biology and the Rise of the ‘Spider-Goats’, The Guardian
- Termite Gut Microbes Extract Clean Energy from Coal, Tech Xplore
- How to Apply the Concept of Umwelt in the Evolutionary Study of Cognition, Frontiers in Psychology
- Real Martians: How to Protect Astronauts from Space Radiation on Mars, NASA