What could take the internet down?

In April 02010, Dr. David Eagleman addressed the Seminars About Long-term Thinking with a lecture called “Six Steps to Avert the Collapse of Civilization.”

Central to Dr. Eagleman’s proposal for a resilient global society was the internet. As a high-volume, distributed communication system, the net offers new ways to contain disease, back-up information, share knowledge, work around oppressive regimes, collaborate, and save energy. Together, he argued, these features make the internet one of humanity’s best inventions and one of our best bets against the things that toppled previous civilizations.

It’s not, however, a perfect system. Dr. Eagleman recently outlined some of the vulnerabilities we’ll want to patch if the internet is really going to be our civilization’s failsafe. Solar flares make an appearance; here’s a great feature on them from a recent issue of National Geographic. Read the rest at CNN.

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The Long Now Foundation is a nonprofit established in 01996 to foster long-term thinking. Our work encourages imagination at the timescale of civilization — the next and last 10,000 years — a timespan we call the long now.

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