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Humanity's extinction event

dylancatlow
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2/26/2013 10:37:59 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
My best guess is that humanity will either perish is global nuclear war, or a new technology will be developed in the future that is much more potent than the most powerful nuclear bomb, and will be used to destroy the Earth in its destruction (man-made black hole, for instance) . A rather pessimistic outlook, I admit. What is your view on the topic?
dylancatlow
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2/26/2013 10:38:41 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/26/2013 10:37:59 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
My best guess is that humanity will either perish is global nuclear war, or a new technology will be developed in the future that is much more potent than the most powerful nuclear bomb, and will be used to destroy the Earth in its destruction (man-made black hole, for instance) . A rather pessimistic outlook, I admit. What is your view on the topic?

*in* global...
darkkermit
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2/26/2013 10:44:21 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
i agree. although, a mass extinction would be hard under nuclear warfare, since there are so many humans and they're so spread out. It is incorrect view that nuclear war would lead to mutually assured destruction, although the threat of nuclear winter would lead to massive starvation, which in all likely would kill more people then the direct effect of the nuclear bomb would. Although, I' not quite sure how bad the effects of nuclear winter are.
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thett3
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2/26/2013 10:52:20 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Alien invasion. Its already happening, trust me
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tvellalott
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2/26/2013 10:57:21 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Pandemic or Global Starvation.

Nuclear War is possible, I suppose.
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muzebreak
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2/27/2013 4:38:07 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Some super bacteria or other biological disaster. Seems reasonably likely.
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Skepsikyma
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2/27/2013 6:32:27 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I doubt that we will go extinct unless it is part of a true global mass-extinction event. Most of the causes of such an event would be cosmological in nature and beyond our control.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
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dylancatlow
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2/27/2013 6:41:00 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/27/2013 6:32:27 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I doubt that we will go extinct unless it is part of a true global mass-extinction event. Most of the causes of such an event would be cosmological in nature and beyond our control.

I wish I could believe that. We've gone from saddle-back to atomic bombs, in what, a few hundred years? I think think eventually a technology will be discovered that has the possibility to destroy on a cosmic scale, and it will be used.
dylancatlow
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2/27/2013 6:43:11 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/27/2013 6:41:00 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 2/27/2013 6:32:27 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I doubt that we will go extinct unless it is part of a true global mass-extinction event. Most of the causes of such an event would be cosmological in nature and beyond our control.

I wish I could believe that. We've gone from saddle-back to atomic bombs, in what, a few hundred years? I think think eventually a technology will be discovered that has the possibility to destroy on a cosmic scale, and it will be used.

horse-back*
dylancatlow
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2/27/2013 6:43:43 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/27/2013 6:43:11 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 2/27/2013 6:41:00 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 2/27/2013 6:32:27 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I doubt that we will go extinct unless it is part of a true global mass-extinction event. Most of the causes of such an event would be cosmological in nature and beyond our control.

I wish I could believe that. We've gone from saddle-back to atomic bombs, in what, a few hundred years? I think think eventually a technology will be discovered that has the possibility to destroy on a cosmic scale, and it will be used.

horse-back*

*horseback

faillll
Skepsikyma
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2/27/2013 7:16:15 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/27/2013 6:41:00 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 2/27/2013 6:32:27 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I doubt that we will go extinct unless it is part of a true global mass-extinction event. Most of the causes of such an event would be cosmological in nature and beyond our control.

I wish I could believe that. We've gone from saddle-back to atomic bombs, in what, a few hundred years? I think think eventually a technology will be discovered that has the possibility to destroy on a cosmic scale, and it will be used.

I personally have always thought that humans would mechanize and computerize themselves before they got to that point. The things about abstract reasoning is that it allows us to modify the world around us, including our bodies and, eventually, our minds. Sort of like the technology victory in Endless Space (your race can essentially computerize itself and achieve immortality.)

My point is that if we ever developed such technology, it probably wouldn't be as the fleshy, emotionally volatile creatures that we are today. It's much more likely that society will collapse before that point and we'll end up living like much of Europe during the Migration Period.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
dylancatlow
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2/27/2013 7:24:40 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/27/2013 7:16:15 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 2/27/2013 6:41:00 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 2/27/2013 6:32:27 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I doubt that we will go extinct unless it is part of a true global mass-extinction event. Most of the causes of such an event would be cosmological in nature and beyond our control.

I wish I could believe that. We've gone from saddle-back to atomic bombs, in what, a few hundred years? I think think eventually a technology will be discovered that has the possibility to destroy on a cosmic scale, and it will be used.

I personally have always thought that humans would mechanize and computerize themselves before they got to that point. The things about abstract reasoning is that it allows us to modify the world around us, including our bodies and, eventually, our minds. Sort of like the technology victory in Endless Space (your race can essentially computerize itself and achieve immortality.)

My point is that if we ever developed such technology, it probably wouldn't be as the fleshy, emotionally volatile creatures that we are today. It's much more likely that society will collapse before that point and we'll end up living like much of Europe during the Migration Period.

You assume that the technology required to destroy the Earth is so complex as to necessitate a species that is smart -- or emotionally stable -- enough not to use it. You may be right, I don't know. But I think the technology require is probably not much more advanced than that use to create the atomic bomb.
Skepsikyma
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2/27/2013 7:48:15 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/27/2013 7:24:40 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 2/27/2013 7:16:15 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 2/27/2013 6:41:00 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 2/27/2013 6:32:27 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I doubt that we will go extinct unless it is part of a true global mass-extinction event. Most of the causes of such an event would be cosmological in nature and beyond our control.

I wish I could believe that. We've gone from saddle-back to atomic bombs, in what, a few hundred years? I think think eventually a technology will be discovered that has the possibility to destroy on a cosmic scale, and it will be used.

I personally have always thought that humans would mechanize and computerize themselves before they got to that point. The things about abstract reasoning is that it allows us to modify the world around us, including our bodies and, eventually, our minds. Sort of like the technology victory in Endless Space (your race can essentially computerize itself and achieve immortality.)

My point is that if we ever developed such technology, it probably wouldn't be as the fleshy, emotionally volatile creatures that we are today. It's much more likely that society will collapse before that point and we'll end up living like much of Europe during the Migration Period.

You assume that the technology required to destroy the Earth is so complex as to necessitate a species that is smart -- or emotionally stable -- enough not to use it. You may be right, I don't know. But I think the technology require is probably not much more advanced than that use to create the atomic bomb.

The atomic bomb is scary to us, but even the Tsar Bomba was like the tap of a mosquito leg to the earth compared to, say, the Chicxulub impact. Chicxulub was 2 million times more powerful than the Tsar Bomba, which was the most powerful nuclear bomb ever detonated. Just for comparison, here's some footage of the detonation (1,400 times more powerful than both of the bombs dropped during WWII combined).

The famous eruption of Krakatoa was also 4 times as powerful as this bomb.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
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OberHerr
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2/27/2013 7:52:52 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/27/2013 7:48:15 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 2/27/2013 7:24:40 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 2/27/2013 7:16:15 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 2/27/2013 6:41:00 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 2/27/2013 6:32:27 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I doubt that we will go extinct unless it is part of a true global mass-extinction event. Most of the causes of such an event would be cosmological in nature and beyond our control.

I wish I could believe that. We've gone from saddle-back to atomic bombs, in what, a few hundred years? I think think eventually a technology will be discovered that has the possibility to destroy on a cosmic scale, and it will be used.

I personally have always thought that humans would mechanize and computerize themselves before they got to that point. The things about abstract reasoning is that it allows us to modify the world around us, including our bodies and, eventually, our minds. Sort of like the technology victory in Endless Space (your race can essentially computerize itself and achieve immortality.)

My point is that if we ever developed such technology, it probably wouldn't be as the fleshy, emotionally volatile creatures that we are today. It's much more likely that society will collapse before that point and we'll end up living like much of Europe during the Migration Period.

You assume that the technology required to destroy the Earth is so complex as to necessitate a species that is smart -- or emotionally stable -- enough not to use it. You may be right, I don't know. But I think the technology require is probably not much more advanced than that use to create the atomic bomb.

The atomic bomb is scary to us, but even the Tsar Bomba was like the tap of a mosquito leg to the earth compared to, say, the Chicxulub impact. Chicxulub was 2 million times more powerful than the Tsar Bomba, which was the most powerful nuclear bomb ever detonated. Just for comparison, here's some footage of the detonation (1,400 times more powerful than both of the bombs dropped during WWII combined).

The famous eruption of Krakatoa was also 4 times as powerful as this bomb.



Mount St. Helens eruption was suppose to have the power of a couple thousand nukes I read somewhere.
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Skepsikyma
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2/27/2013 8:13:09 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/27/2013 7:52:52 PM, OberHerr wrote:
Mount St. Helens eruption was suppose to have the power of a couple thousand nukes I read somewhere.

24 megatons, so it was about half as powerful as the Tsar Bomba, which would make it ~1,400 times as powerful as a Hiroshima atomic bomb.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
dylancatlow
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2/27/2013 9:48:31 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/27/2013 7:48:15 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 2/27/2013 7:24:40 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 2/27/2013 7:16:15 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 2/27/2013 6:41:00 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 2/27/2013 6:32:27 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I doubt that we will go extinct unless it is part of a true global mass-extinction event. Most of the causes of such an event would be cosmological in nature and beyond our control.

I wish I could believe that. We've gone from saddle-back to atomic bombs, in what, a few hundred years? I think think eventually a technology will be discovered that has the possibility to destroy on a cosmic scale, and it will be used.

I personally have always thought that humans would mechanize and computerize themselves before they got to that point. The things about abstract reasoning is that it allows us to modify the world around us, including our bodies and, eventually, our minds. Sort of like the technology victory in Endless Space (your race can essentially computerize itself and achieve immortality.)

My point is that if we ever developed such technology, it probably wouldn't be as the fleshy, emotionally volatile creatures that we are today. It's much more likely that society will collapse before that point and we'll end up living like much of Europe during the Migration Period.

You assume that the technology required to destroy the Earth is so complex as to necessitate a species that is smart -- or emotionally stable -- enough not to use it. You may be right, I don't know. But I think the technology require is probably not much more advanced than that use to create the atomic bomb.

The atomic bomb is scary to us, but even the Tsar Bomba was like the tap of a mosquito leg to the earth compared to, say, the Chicxulub impact. Chicxulub was 2 million times more powerful than the Tsar Bomba, which was the most powerful nuclear bomb ever detonated. Just for comparison, here's some footage of the detonation (1,400 times more powerful than both of the bombs dropped during WWII combined).

The famous eruption of Krakatoa was also 4 times as powerful as this bomb.



Size of destruction doesn't necessarily equate to the "size" of technology required. For instance, I don't think it would be a million times more complex to make an atomic bomb with a million times more bang.
malcolmxy
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2/27/2013 11:48:05 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/27/2013 6:32:27 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I doubt that we will go extinct unless it is part of a true global mass-extinction event. Most of the causes of such an event would be cosmological in nature and beyond our control.

Yes. This is correct.

Global Pandemic is possible as well, though.
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malcolmxy
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2/27/2013 11:50:36 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/27/2013 9:48:31 PM, dylancatlow wrote:

Size of destruction doesn't necessarily equate to the "size" of technology required. For instance, I don't think it would be a million times more complex to make an atomic bomb with a million times more bang.

They're actually focusing on miniaturization and lower yield bombs now. No one wants to make a bomb which is a million times more powerful than the most powerful bomb we have now. They want to make a million times as many bombs and make them a million times smaller.
War is over, if you want it.

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Skepsikyma
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2/28/2013 12:11:02 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/27/2013 9:48:31 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 2/27/2013 7:48:15 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 2/27/2013 7:24:40 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 2/27/2013 7:16:15 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 2/27/2013 6:41:00 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 2/27/2013 6:32:27 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I doubt that we will go extinct unless it is part of a true global mass-extinction event. Most of the causes of such an event would be cosmological in nature and beyond our control.

I wish I could believe that. We've gone from saddle-back to atomic bombs, in what, a few hundred years? I think think eventually a technology will be discovered that has the possibility to destroy on a cosmic scale, and it will be used.

I personally have always thought that humans would mechanize and computerize themselves before they got to that point. The things about abstract reasoning is that it allows us to modify the world around us, including our bodies and, eventually, our minds. Sort of like the technology victory in Endless Space (your race can essentially computerize itself and achieve immortality.)

My point is that if we ever developed such technology, it probably wouldn't be as the fleshy, emotionally volatile creatures that we are today. It's much more likely that society will collapse before that point and we'll end up living like much of Europe during the Migration Period.

You assume that the technology required to destroy the Earth is so complex as to necessitate a species that is smart -- or emotionally stable -- enough not to use it. You may be right, I don't know. But I think the technology require is probably not much more advanced than that use to create the atomic bomb.

The atomic bomb is scary to us, but even the Tsar Bomba was like the tap of a mosquito leg to the earth compared to, say, the Chicxulub impact. Chicxulub was 2 million times more powerful than the Tsar Bomba, which was the most powerful nuclear bomb ever detonated. Just for comparison, here's some footage of the detonation (1,400 times more powerful than both of the bombs dropped during WWII combined).

The famous eruption of Krakatoa was also 4 times as powerful as this bomb.



Size of destruction doesn't necessarily equate to the "size" of technology required. For instance, I don't think it would be a million times more complex to make an atomic bomb with a million times more bang.

No, it would be more difficult, due to the inverse square law. Say you want the explosion to affect and given area a. Lets set the variable for the yield as y. The basic form of the relationship between the two variables is a=x^2.
So to double the affected area of a 1 megaton you need a 4 megaton bomb. To double it again you need a 16 megaton bomb. In the end, just to blow up the state of Rhode island, you would need:

16KT for ~5 sq mile radius (Hiroshima bombing)
2. 10
3. 20
4. 40
5. 80
6. 160
7. 320
8. 640
9. 1280

1,214 sq miles in rhode island.

Note that this is a very rough and inexact calculation. The 16 kiloton explosion took out a five square mile area. Sixty square miles would be a liberal estimate for the are affected by the Tsar Bomba. Now, the yield on the Tsar Bomba was 3,563 times greater than that of the Hiroshima bomb, but the blast radius was only ten times greater. If we look at the numbers, this means that the model I used would predict the Tsar Bomba at 262 megatons. So I'll adjust my final answer by ~0.2.

16^9 = 68,719,476,736 kilotons, or 68,719,477 megatons. Apply my adjustment and you end up with ~14 million megatons. The Tsar Bomba had a yield of 57 megatons. You can see the immense logistics involved here; you would need an atomic bomb close to 240,000 times stronger than the most powerful bomb ever created just to blow up Rhode Island, which if you compare the earth to a bowling ball would equate, roughly, to taking out hair-thin chip the size of the eye of a needle. To compare that with our current rate of advancement, the Tsar Bomba was 3,562.5 times stronger than the Hiroshima bomb, and due to the diminishing return as blast radius expands it will get more difficult, not less, to make more powerful weapons as time goes on. But even assuming that rates of improvement would remain constant (3,563 over 16 years, or 222 per year) it would take quite a while for us to reach the level of ability which it would take to blow up poor little Rhode Island with a single bomb, around 1,081 years to be exact, assuming that the rate of improvement never slows down, which is in itself an enormous assumption, and that we could fuel such high-yield weapons to begin with.

I think that George Carlin's description of the threat posed by humans is quite fitting in this face of this evidence: a surface nuisance.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
malcolmxy
Posts: 2,855
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2/28/2013 12:57:22 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/28/2013 12:11:02 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:

No, it would be more difficult, due to the inverse square law. Say you want the explosion to affect and given area a. Lets set the variable for the yield as y. The basic form of the relationship between the two variables is a=x^2.
So to double the affected area of a 1 megaton you need a 4 megaton bomb. To double it again you need a 16 megaton bomb. In the end, just to blow up the state of Rhode island, you would need:

16KT for ~5 sq mile radius (Hiroshima bombing)
2. 10
3. 20
4. 40
5. 80
6. 160
7. 320
8. 640
9. 1280

1,214 sq miles in rhode island.

Note that this is a very rough and inexact calculation. The 16 kiloton explosion took out a five square mile area. Sixty square miles would be a liberal estimate for the are affected by the Tsar Bomba. Now, the yield on the Tsar Bomba was 3,563 times greater than that of the Hiroshima bomb, but the blast radius was only ten times greater. If we look at the numbers, this means that the model I used would predict the Tsar Bomba at 262 megatons. So I'll adjust my final answer by ~0.2.

16^9 = 68,719,476,736 kilotons, or 68,719,477 megatons. Apply my adjustment and you end up with ~14 million megatons. The Tsar Bomba had a yield of 57 megatons. You can see the immense logistics involved here; you would need an atomic bomb close to 240,000 times stronger than the most powerful bomb ever created just to blow up Rhode Island, which if you compare the earth to a bowling ball would equate, roughly, to taking out hair-thin chip the size of the eye of a needle. To compare that with our current rate of advancement, the Tsar Bomba was 3,562.5 times stronger than the Hiroshima bomb, and due to the diminishing return as blast radius expands it will get more difficult, not less, to make more powerful weapons as time goes on. But even assuming that rates of improvement would remain constant (3,563 over 16 years, or 222 per year) it would take quite a while for us to reach the level of ability which it would take to blow up poor little Rhode Island with a single bomb, around 1,081 years to be exact, assuming that the rate of improvement never slows down, which is in itself an enormous assumption, and that we could fuel such high-yield weapons to begin with.

I think that George Carlin's description of the threat posed by humans is quite fitting in this face of this evidence: a surface nuisance.

Your logic here is kinda flawed. The b53, which was just decommissioned (putting the most powerful American Nuclear Warhead somewhere in the 1 megaton range), had an 18 mile radius.

It was destructive capacity maxed out at 9 megatons...1 tenth (or 1 fifth, depending on who you believe) of the Russian bomb you note above.
War is over, if you want it.

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Skepsikyma
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2/28/2013 1:35:09 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/28/2013 12:57:22 AM, malcolmxy wrote:
At 2/28/2013 12:11:02 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:

No, it would be more difficult, due to the inverse square law. Say you want the explosion to affect and given area a. Lets set the variable for the yield as y. The basic form of the relationship between the two variables is a=x^2.
So to double the affected area of a 1 megaton you need a 4 megaton bomb. To double it again you need a 16 megaton bomb. In the end, just to blow up the state of Rhode island, you would need:

16KT for ~5 sq mile radius (Hiroshima bombing)
2. 10
3. 20
4. 40
5. 80
6. 160
7. 320
8. 640
9. 1280

1,214 sq miles in rhode island.

Note that this is a very rough and inexact calculation. The 16 kiloton explosion took out a five square mile area. Sixty square miles would be a liberal estimate for the are affected by the Tsar Bomba. Now, the yield on the Tsar Bomba was 3,563 times greater than that of the Hiroshima bomb, but the blast radius was only ten times greater. If we look at the numbers, this means that the model I used would predict the Tsar Bomba at 262 megatons. So I'll adjust my final answer by ~0.2.

16^9 = 68,719,476,736 kilotons, or 68,719,477 megatons. Apply my adjustment and you end up with ~14 million megatons. The Tsar Bomba had a yield of 57 megatons. You can see the immense logistics involved here; you would need an atomic bomb close to 240,000 times stronger than the most powerful bomb ever created just to blow up Rhode Island, which if you compare the earth to a bowling ball would equate, roughly, to taking out hair-thin chip the size of the eye of a needle. To compare that with our current rate of advancement, the Tsar Bomba was 3,562.5 times stronger than the Hiroshima bomb, and due to the diminishing return as blast radius expands it will get more difficult, not less, to make more powerful weapons as time goes on. But even assuming that rates of improvement would remain constant (3,563 over 16 years, or 222 per year) it would take quite a while for us to reach the level of ability which it would take to blow up poor little Rhode Island with a single bomb, around 1,081 years to be exact, assuming that the rate of improvement never slows down, which is in itself an enormous assumption, and that we could fuel such high-yield weapons to begin with.

I think that George Carlin's description of the threat posed by humans is quite fitting in this face of this evidence: a surface nuisance.

Your logic here is kinda flawed. The b53, which was just decommissioned (putting the most powerful American Nuclear Warhead somewhere in the 1 megaton range), had an 18 mile radius.

It was destructive capacity maxed out at 9 megatons...1 tenth (or 1 fifth, depending on who you believe) of the Russian bomb you note above.

The trouble with nuclear bombs is that there is no clear cut radius. I was using the radius in which structures were destroyed for my figures; the figure which you cited was the one dealing with burn damage. The structural damage radius for the B53 is about 9 miles. The Tsar Bombas was about 22, so even though it was over six times as powerful the blast radius was only about twice as large. Looking back on it I may have to rework some calculations (meh, sleep deprivation) but the basic principle holds: the bigger the explosion is the more the energy disperses as it expands and the less efficient the destruction is, making a nuclear weapon large enough to destroy the planet a logistical impossibility.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
malcolmxy
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2/28/2013 2:40:37 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/28/2013 1:35:09 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 2/28/2013 12:57:22 AM, malcolmxy wrote:
At 2/28/2013 12:11:02 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:

No, it would be more difficult, due to the inverse square law. Say you want the explosion to affect and given area a. Lets set the variable for the yield as y. The basic form of the relationship between the two variables is a=x^2.
So to double the affected area of a 1 megaton you need a 4 megaton bomb. To double it again you need a 16 megaton bomb. In the end, just to blow up the state of Rhode island, you would need:

16KT for ~5 sq mile radius (Hiroshima bombing)
2. 10
3. 20
4. 40
5. 80
6. 160
7. 320
8. 640
9. 1280

1,214 sq miles in rhode island.

Note that this is a very rough and inexact calculation. The 16 kiloton explosion took out a five square mile area. Sixty square miles would be a liberal estimate for the are affected by the Tsar Bomba. Now, the yield on the Tsar Bomba was 3,563 times greater than that of the Hiroshima bomb, but the blast radius was only ten times greater. If we look at the numbers, this means that the model I used would predict the Tsar Bomba at 262 megatons. So I'll adjust my final answer by ~0.2.

16^9 = 68,719,476,736 kilotons, or 68,719,477 megatons. Apply my adjustment and you end up with ~14 million megatons. The Tsar Bomba had a yield of 57 megatons. You can see the immense logistics involved here; you would need an atomic bomb close to 240,000 times stronger than the most powerful bomb ever created just to blow up Rhode Island, which if you compare the earth to a bowling ball would equate, roughly, to taking out hair-thin chip the size of the eye of a needle. To compare that with our current rate of advancement, the Tsar Bomba was 3,562.5 times stronger than the Hiroshima bomb, and due to the diminishing return as blast radius expands it will get more difficult, not less, to make more powerful weapons as time goes on. But even assuming that rates of improvement would remain constant (3,563 over 16 years, or 222 per year) it would take quite a while for us to reach the level of ability which it would take to blow up poor little Rhode Island with a single bomb, around 1,081 years to be exact, assuming that the rate of improvement never slows down, which is in itself an enormous assumption, and that we could fuel such high-yield weapons to begin with.

I think that George Carlin's description of the threat posed by humans is quite fitting in this face of this evidence: a surface nuisance.

Your logic here is kinda flawed. The b53, which was just decommissioned (putting the most powerful American Nuclear Warhead somewhere in the 1 megaton range), had an 18 mile radius.

It was destructive capacity maxed out at 9 megatons...1 tenth (or 1 fifth, depending on who you believe) of the Russian bomb you note above.

The trouble with nuclear bombs is that there is no clear cut radius. I was using the radius in which structures were destroyed for my figures; the figure which you cited was the one dealing with burn damage. The structural damage radius for the B53 is about 9 miles. The Tsar Bombas was about 22, so even though it was over six times as powerful the blast radius was only about twice as large. Looking back on it I may have to rework some calculations (meh, sleep deprivation) but the basic principle holds: the bigger the explosion is the more the energy disperses as it expands and the less efficient the destruction is, making a nuclear weapon large enough to destroy the planet a logistical impossibility.

No, making a single warhead large enough to destroy the planet would be logistically impossible.

Making a weapon which fired many nuclear weapons simultaneously which had sufficient destructive force to eradicate the human race is easy...we've already done it (and, since the thread is about extinction, I think the radius in which human life will be immediately extinguished is the one which is germane to the conversation, don't you?).

Nothing is going to destroy the Earth. The Earth is likely to exist until the end of time in one form or another (our sun isn't large enough, or of the type to create a black hole at the end of its life, so mother Earth will probably be immortal...its only the current inhabitants and their fate at issue here, no?)

I still think we're gonna go out like the dinosaurs...big rock hits, takes out a continent and the fallout takes everyone else out over the course of a year or so.
War is over, if you want it.

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Skepsikyma
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2/28/2013 4:11:13 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/28/2013 2:40:37 AM, malcolmxy wrote:
At 2/28/2013 1:35:09 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 2/28/2013 12:57:22 AM, malcolmxy wrote:
At 2/28/2013 12:11:02 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:

No, it would be more difficult, due to the inverse square law. Say you want the explosion to affect and given area a. Lets set the variable for the yield as y. The basic form of the relationship between the two variables is a=x^2.
So to double the affected area of a 1 megaton you need a 4 megaton bomb. To double it again you need a 16 megaton bomb. In the end, just to blow up the state of Rhode island, you would need:

16KT for ~5 sq mile radius (Hiroshima bombing)
2. 10
3. 20
4. 40
5. 80
6. 160
7. 320
8. 640
9. 1280

1,214 sq miles in rhode island.

Note that this is a very rough and inexact calculation. The 16 kiloton explosion took out a five square mile area. Sixty square miles would be a liberal estimate for the are affected by the Tsar Bomba. Now, the yield on the Tsar Bomba was 3,563 times greater than that of the Hiroshima bomb, but the blast radius was only ten times greater. If we look at the numbers, this means that the model I used would predict the Tsar Bomba at 262 megatons. So I'll adjust my final answer by ~0.2.

16^9 = 68,719,476,736 kilotons, or 68,719,477 megatons. Apply my adjustment and you end up with ~14 million megatons. The Tsar Bomba had a yield of 57 megatons. You can see the immense logistics involved here; you would need an atomic bomb close to 240,000 times stronger than the most powerful bomb ever created just to blow up Rhode Island, which if you compare the earth to a bowling ball would equate, roughly, to taking out hair-thin chip the size of the eye of a needle. To compare that with our current rate of advancement, the Tsar Bomba was 3,562.5 times stronger than the Hiroshima bomb, and due to the diminishing return as blast radius expands it will get more difficult, not less, to make more powerful weapons as time goes on. But even assuming that rates of improvement would remain constant (3,563 over 16 years, or 222 per year) it would take quite a while for us to reach the level of ability which it would take to blow up poor little Rhode Island with a single bomb, around 1,081 years to be exact, assuming that the rate of improvement never slows down, which is in itself an enormous assumption, and that we could fuel such high-yield weapons to begin with.

I think that George Carlin's description of the threat posed by humans is quite fitting in this face of this evidence: a surface nuisance.

Your logic here is kinda flawed. The b53, which was just decommissioned (putting the most powerful American Nuclear Warhead somewhere in the 1 megaton range), had an 18 mile radius.

It was destructive capacity maxed out at 9 megatons...1 tenth (or 1 fifth, depending on who you believe) of the Russian bomb you note above.

The trouble with nuclear bombs is that there is no clear cut radius. I was using the radius in which structures were destroyed for my figures; the figure which you cited was the one dealing with burn damage. The structural damage radius for the B53 is about 9 miles. The Tsar Bombas was about 22, so even though it was over six times as powerful the blast radius was only about twice as large. Looking back on it I may have to rework some calculations (meh, sleep deprivation) but the basic principle holds: the bigger the explosion is the more the energy disperses as it expands and the less efficient the destruction is, making a nuclear weapon large enough to destroy the planet a logistical impossibility.

No, making a single warhead large enough to destroy the planet would be logistically impossible.

Making a weapon which fired many nuclear weapons simultaneously which had sufficient destructive force to eradicate the human race is easy...we've already done it (and, since the thread is about extinction, I think the radius in which human life will be immediately extinguished is the one which is germane to the conversation, don't you?).

Nothing is going to destroy the Earth. The Earth is likely to exist until the end of time in one form or another (our sun isn't large enough, or of the type to create a black hole at the end of its life, so mother Earth will probably be immortal...its only the current inhabitants and their fate at issue here, no?)

I still think we're gonna go out like the dinosaurs...big rock hits, takes out a continent and the fallout takes everyone else out over the course of a year or so.

The belief in a nuclear winter scenario, while popularly held, is on incredibly shaky scientific footing and is by no means a foregone conclusion. I would say that some people would struggle on in just about every scenario, unless we had an incredibly severe impact which obliterated mammalian life as we know it. As for the earth itself, it will eventually be engulfed by the sun as it expands into a red giant. I would agree that if we go extinct it will be due to some cosmological event, the most devastating probably being a direct hit from a powerful intragalactic gamma-ray burst.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
malcolmxy
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3/1/2013 1:53:32 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/28/2013 4:11:13 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:

The belief in a nuclear winter scenario, while popularly held, is on incredibly shaky scientific footing and is by no means a foregone conclusion. I would say that some people would struggle on in just about every scenario, unless we had an incredibly severe impact which obliterated mammalian life as we know it. As for the earth itself, it will eventually be engulfed by the sun as it expands into a red giant. I would agree that if we go extinct it will be due to some cosmological event, the most devastating probably being a direct hit from a powerful intragalactic gamma-ray burst.

Or, super-volcano...I forgot about Yellowstone. Probably not enough to get rid of everyone, but a serious culling, at least.

I have this idea that the life in the deep sea, should all other life get destroyed, is there specifically as a back-up to replenish life...an organic fail safe, as it were.

I have nothing to back this idea up except a romantic idea of giant squid and the like, but it comforts me, and I need one or two baseless beliefs...though, I have no idea why (stave off depression?).

I thought the Earth just becomes the 1st rock from the sun when it goes big red? Or not...I suppose we won't know until it happens.

We need to get on the whole terra forming thing, and fast. Getting off this rock is our only chance for survival.
War is over, if you want it.

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Skepsikyma
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3/1/2013 9:04:28 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/1/2013 1:53:32 AM, malcolmxy wrote:
At 2/28/2013 4:11:13 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:

The belief in a nuclear winter scenario, while popularly held, is on incredibly shaky scientific footing and is by no means a foregone conclusion. I would say that some people would struggle on in just about every scenario, unless we had an incredibly severe impact which obliterated mammalian life as we know it. As for the earth itself, it will eventually be engulfed by the sun as it expands into a red giant. I would agree that if we go extinct it will be due to some cosmological event, the most devastating probably being a direct hit from a powerful intragalactic gamma-ray burst.

Or, super-volcano...I forgot about Yellowstone. Probably not enough to get rid of everyone, but a serious culling, at least.

I have this idea that the life in the deep sea, should all other life get destroyed, is there specifically as a back-up to replenish life...an organic fail safe, as it were.

I have nothing to back this idea up except a romantic idea of giant squid and the like, but it comforts me, and I need one or two baseless beliefs...though, I have no idea why (stave off depression?).

I thought the Earth just becomes the 1st rock from the sun when it goes big red? Or not...I suppose we won't know until it happens.

We need to get on the whole terra forming thing, and fast. Getting off this rock is our only chance for survival.

I agree totally. And from a biological standpoint, you are spot on about deep sea life. The chemoautotrophs which survive off of the deep sea vents could withstand just about anything since they aren't dependent on the sun, and entire food chains are based on their existence. Certain cave life could also probably survive, and I think that they found life in Lake Vostok as well, and unless the antarctic icecap melts that should remain untouched.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,251
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3/1/2013 9:06:13 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/1/2013 9:04:28 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/1/2013 1:53:32 AM, malcolmxy wrote:
At 2/28/2013 4:11:13 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:

The belief in a nuclear winter scenario, while popularly held, is on incredibly shaky scientific footing and is by no means a foregone conclusion. I would say that some people would struggle on in just about every scenario, unless we had an incredibly severe impact which obliterated mammalian life as we know it. As for the earth itself, it will eventually be engulfed by the sun as it expands into a red giant. I would agree that if we go extinct it will be due to some cosmological event, the most devastating probably being a direct hit from a powerful intragalactic gamma-ray burst.

Or, super-volcano...I forgot about Yellowstone. Probably not enough to get rid of everyone, but a serious culling, at least.

I have this idea that the life in the deep sea, should all other life get destroyed, is there specifically as a back-up to replenish life...an organic fail safe, as it were.

I have nothing to back this idea up except a romantic idea of giant squid and the like, but it comforts me, and I need one or two baseless beliefs...though, I have no idea why (stave off depression?).

I thought the Earth just becomes the 1st rock from the sun when it goes big red? Or not...I suppose we won't know until it happens.

We need to get on the whole terra forming thing, and fast. Getting off this rock is our only chance for survival.

I agree totally. And from a biological standpoint, you are spot on about deep sea life. The chemoautotrophs which survive off of the deep sea vents could withstand just about anything since they aren't dependent on the sun, and entire food chains are based on their existence. Certain cave life could also probably survive, and I think that they found life in Lake Vostok as well, and unless the antarctic icecap melts that should remain untouched.

Team life ftw!
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,251
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3/1/2013 9:11:02 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/1/2013 1:53:32 AM, malcolmxy wrote:
At 2/28/2013 4:11:13 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:

The belief in a nuclear winter scenario, while popularly held, is on incredibly shaky scientific footing and is by no means a foregone conclusion. I would say that some people would struggle on in just about every scenario, unless we had an incredibly severe impact which obliterated mammalian life as we know it. As for the earth itself, it will eventually be engulfed by the sun as it expands into a red giant. I would agree that if we go extinct it will be due to some cosmological event, the most devastating probably being a direct hit from a powerful intragalactic gamma-ray burst.

Or, super-volcano...I forgot about Yellowstone. Probably not enough to get rid of everyone, but a serious culling, at least.

I have this idea that the life in the deep sea, should all other life get destroyed, is there specifically as a back-up to replenish life...an organic fail safe, as it were.

I have nothing to back this idea up except a romantic idea of giant squid and the like, but it comforts me, and I need one or two baseless beliefs...though, I have no idea why (stave off depression?).

I thought the Earth just becomes the 1st rock from the sun when it goes big red? Or not...I suppose we won't know until it happens.

We need to get on the whole terra forming thing, and fast. Getting off this rock is our only chance for survival.

I don't think natural disasters pose nearly as great of a threat to man's existence as man himself. For now, we should worry about the fact that we have enough nuclear weapons to wipe out the human race. We can worry about silly volcanoes later.