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Old 16th January 2010, 12:32 AM   #1
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Default Scientists Move Doomsday Clock Back 1 Minute.

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Scientists have pushed back the hands on the symbolic Doomsday Clock by one minute, citing hopeful developments in nuclear weapons and climate change.

The symbolic clock, which shows how close humankind is to self-annihilation, was moved back to six minutes before midnight from five minutes.

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists (BAS), which maintains the clock at the University of Chicago, attributed the move to efforts by world leaders to reduce their countries' nuclear arsenals and collaborate on climate stabilisation.
Full article here
The clock has been pretty grim the past few years.
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Old 16th January 2010, 9:43 PM   #2
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Talking 2, minutes, to miiiidnight!

Everytime I hear about this, I think of Iron Maiden.






I know I'm not alone
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Old 16th January 2010, 9:47 PM   #3
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Arguement invalid...
Im in Miami biiiiiii... wait.

Im in Australia b*tch! Stoopid missle takeh longah to get here. Thank God, few extra minutes of life
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Old 16th January 2010, 10:03 PM   #4
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Currently we are at 6 minutes to midnight. This is "worse" than the entire period between 1960 and 1981. If they honestly think issues like "climate change" are making the situation now any more or less safe than during the height of the Cold War, they clearly have lost their way on judging tangible geopolitical risk.
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Old 16th January 2010, 10:20 PM   #5
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Currently we are at 6 minutes to midnight. This is "worse" than the entire period between 1960 and 1981. If they honestly think issues like "climate change" are making the situation now any more or less safe than during the height of the Cold War, they clearly have lost their way on judging tangible geopolitical risk.
The problem is that when there's a big event, it's easy to justify moving the clock. For example, when NK tests a nuclear weapon you can say that's a big problem and move the hands a few minutes closer to midnight.

However, the stress from this sort of thing tends to relax slowly, without any big events - it gradually becomes clear that NK's nuclear programme isn't particularly dangerous at the moment. When do you move the hands back to account for this?

Similarly, if two countries look like they're about to start a war, that moves the hands closer - but over time the war becomes less and less likely (as they slowly resolve the problems). Eventually they're back where they were before, but the hands are still closer to midnight. The result is that the hands do tend to move towards midnight. No doubt they'll soon start doing it in seconds instead of minutes to allow more steps.

Personally, I think it's silly and inefficient. If they were going to use a clock (which can represent a full 12 hours) then it should have started at 6:00 (meaning that it can move equally far forward or back before reaching its limits). Starting at 11:53 means that you've wasted almost the entire clock.
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Old 16th January 2010, 10:38 PM   #6
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The problem is that when there's a big event, it's easy to justify moving the clock. For example, when NK tests a nuclear weapon you can say that's a big problem and move the hands a few minutes closer to midnight.

However, the stress from this sort of thing tends to relax slowly, without any big events - it gradually becomes clear that NK's nuclear programme isn't particularly dangerous at the moment. When do you move the hands back to account for this?

Similarly, if two countries look like they're about to start a war, that moves the hands closer - but over time the war becomes less and less likely (as they slowly resolve the problems). Eventually they're back where they were before, but the hands are still closer to midnight. The result is that the hands do tend to move towards midnight. No doubt they'll soon start doing it in seconds instead of minutes to allow more steps.

Personally, I think it's silly and inefficient. If they were going to use a clock (which can represent a full 12 hours) then it should have started at 6:00 (meaning that it can move equally far forward or back before reaching its limits). Starting at 11:53 means that you've wasted almost the entire clock.
I like the concept but I think it has lost its real purpose since the end of the Cold War. The nature of this period of history meant that nuclear war was tangible and the way this clock was set up tried to remind the populace of this and perhaps instil a sense of passivity. I do not see global nuclear war as something tangible in the current geopolitical climate.

I personally think the Doomsday Clock should have gone with the Berlin Wall, Iron Curtain and Communism.
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Old 18th January 2010, 2:47 PM   #7
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.....now i want to watch "watchmen" again
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Old 18th January 2010, 4:06 PM   #8
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TBH I'm surprised this Doomsday clock is still maintained. In over 60 years, despite the assumption that mankind was 99.5% of the way to global disaster at its inception, we seem to be rolling along nicely...
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Old 18th January 2010, 4:19 PM   #9
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Everytime I hear about this, I think of Iron Maiden.

I know I'm not alone
No you're not.

It'd be funny if the world ended and they had it set to 6 minutes to midnight. How dumb would they look.
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Old 18th January 2010, 4:43 PM   #10
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I'm not sure how a bunch of atomic scientists are qualified to comment on how close we are to the end of the world. They may be experts on building nuclear weapons but this does not give them any knowledge of when one will be used. I would have thought someone who is an expert in something like international relations or politics would be more entitled to comment.

But you know, who am I to poke fun at something with a name like Doomsday Clock?
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Old 18th January 2010, 4:46 PM   #11
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Well if a one race can survive 500 years with the current technology/weaponry without self-annihilation then the race has the potential to survive long time.
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Old 18th January 2010, 4:49 PM   #12
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It'd be funny if the world ended and they had it set to 6 minutes to midnight. How dumb would they look.
Yeah we'd sure show them!
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Old 18th January 2010, 7:34 PM   #13
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Yeah we'd sure show them!
I'd be LOLing.
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Old 18th January 2010, 11:23 PM   #14
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I hate this fear mongering shit. Why don't we just tell our children we are all going to die a firey death and live their entire life in fear so we can skip the silly clock.
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Old 23rd January 2010, 4:07 PM   #15
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excuse me for being a noob, but how is doomsday 6 minutes to midnight?
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