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A Christmas message from Martin Rees

Welcome to the post-human world

By Martin Rees  

We live in a world that is increasingly dependent on elaborate networks: electricity grids, air traffic control, international finance, just-in-time delivery, globally dispersed manufacturing, and so forth. Unless these networks are highly resilient, their benefits could be outweighed by catastrophic (albeit rare) breakdown—real-world analogues of what happened to the financial system in 2008. Our cities would be paralysed without electricity. Supermarket shelves would be empty within days if supply chains were disrupted. Air travel can spread a pandemic worldwide within days. And social…

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