The author, George Dvorsky, is against all of this stuff and he has his reasons, but as I ran my eyes down the list, it struck me that almost all of these horrors are probably being worked on by scientists somewhere even as I write this, which means they are working overtime to engineer the Apocalypse, because it is Saturday. Time travel, for example, is currently being researched and was cited by Dyvorsky as a means of transport we should avoid, because messing with the past means changing the present. We've all seen movies about this, but, really, certain types of time travel should be allowed. What's the harm in going back to the Cretaceous Period and killing dinosaurs? They all got wiped out by an asteroid anyway. Jurassic Park would be a lot more fun and enjoyable if everybody got to carry around a bazooka capable of taking down a brontosaurus, and most of the avid hunters I know would be happy to throw out those moldy old trophy moose and bear heads in favor of mounting a T-Rex noggin in the den, then persuading some of their friends to enter the room in the dark and switching on the lights when they are all standing right in front of it.
Also, it turns out that if we invent time travel, it may not take us to the actual past, but to an alternate past in a parallel universe, so we can totally trash that place and still make it home in time to let the microwave ding us up a dinner in our own, perfectly undisturbed plane of existence. Where's the problem there?
This doomsayer Dyvorsky is against developing machines that can think like humans, because they would suffer as our slaves, and he is against developing machines that can think better than humans, because we would become their slaves. He does not consider the possibility that artificial intelligences, once when they get invented, might just choose to smoke some medical marijuana first thing after breakfast and then spend the rest of the day watching back episodes of Hell's Kitchen, like many of us do. Slavery would not enter into it.
The writer is against autonomous people-killing robots and uploading people's consciousnesses into eternal cyber-prisons, but who isn't? The number one bad idea, however, would be something called "Weaponized Nanotechnology" which Dyvorsky describes as:
Microscopic machines that consume our planet's critical resources at a rapid-fire rate while replicating themselves in the process and leaving useless bi-products (sic) in their wake — a residue futurists like to call "grey goo."
You could cram enough of these diabolical bugs into a container the size of a golf ball, flush it down the toilet, and a few hundred days later all life on the planet, including your own, would be wiped out. If you think the world does not abound with people who are eager to kill themselves and everybody else around them, you must, as I do, skip all the news about suicide bombers and mass shootings. Most nations will do the sensible thing, and restrict ownership of Doom Balls to their governments and only responsible world leaders will threaten each other with the end of all life on Earth, but here in America the clamor for individual citizens to pack their own Armageddon Nuggets will be too much for the government to resist. Laws restricting them will vary from location to location. In Chicago, they will be illegal but everyone will have one anyway. In Arizona and Texas they will be sold in liquor stores. It won't be long before someone flings one into the air to celebrate the New Year, or accidentally sets off the Annihilation Gumball he had concealed in the sofa cushions, and the end of days will commence.
At that point, before the gray tide slurps up us all, I hope that at least one dinosaur hunter has the courage to go back in time and toss his whole bag of Apocalypse Wow into some tranquil Triassic pond, so that gray ooze will destroy the prehistoric planet rather than the current one, and instead of humanity being remembered for having been stupid enough to kill itself off, we will have the comfort of knowing that we had never existed at all.
Don't you love science?