Sunday, September 6, 2009

World Peace: A Physical Impossibility?

Today I happened to visit to see if there was anything interesting there and their when-ever-they-care-to-update-it poll caught my eye. After voting I looked at the results and I was struck by some of the results. The question was "Which breakthrough is most likely?" With 7 options: 1. Time Travel, 2. Faster Than Light Travel, 3. Human-Level AI, 4. Discovery of Aliens, 5. Immortality, 6. World Peace, 7. Sharks With Frickin' Lasers.

According to poll it would seem that world peace ranks down there in believability with things that are, for all we know, physical impossibilities. I just found it interesting that world peace would be in the same category as things that the slashdot crowd consider to be physically impossible. This would seem to indicate that people consider world peace to be a physical impossibility. I don't consider it a physical impossibility, hence my vote.


  1. Well, I hope world peace is possible.

    On the other hand, if I could trade it all to see sharks with lasers I...

  2. The Soviets kept the peace in the Eastern block. Perhaps we need a sufficiently powerful oppressive world wide government. That or a theocracy that will last 1000 years. =:)

  3. With studying the Quakers in North America, we can learn that to be pacifist is not so easy to sustain ; because with all the efforts Quakers have done they did have to change their mind a minimum to survive.

  4. There's another way to read the graph, of course. One could also interpret it as there being a bunch of optimistic Trekkies that would vote for things like FTL and time travel, simply because they sufficiently want it to happen. To many who look at the history of human innovation, it is easy to think that just because the scientific consensus says that something is impossible, doesn't necessarily mean it really is or always will be impossible. Anyways, that's the psychology that I read this poll as. It seems that the realists, even if they didn't view world peace as a physical impossibility, simply thought that sharks with lasers was a lot more probable, which it just might be, for now.


To add a link to text:
<a href="URL">Text</a>