What I learned about outbreaks from surviving a pandemic

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At the end of March 2003, I was sitting on the sofa of a borrowed studio apartment in Hong Kong, wondering if I was going to die.

It was the spring of SARS. The outbreak, which had originated in late 2002 across the border in the neighboring Chinese province of Guangdong, had been growing throughout the month. In Hong Kong, where I had been working as a reporter for TIME magazine for nearly two years, there had been a burst of cases at one of the city’s main hospitals. There were…


More than a quarter think alien societies would resemble human ones — but they’re wrong about UFO visitations

Image: KTSDesign/Science Photo Library/Getty Images

Even scientists who are actively involved in the search for alien life in the cosmos don’t like to speculate about exactly what they might found out there, as Medium editor-at-large Steve LeVine discovered when he wrote an in-depth feature on the subject for OneZero. A little too sci-fi, and not quite scientific enough, even as researchers discover ever more exoplanets — planets located beyond our Solar System, including those that might just be habitable to life.

But Americans as a whole feel differently. According to an exclusive survey of over 1,000 adults carried out by Ipsos for OneZero, a majority…


We need to change how our economy is powered — and that will require politics

On December 11, two things happened that caught the attention of those invested in the fight against climate change, which at this point should include all of us. TIME magazine named 16-year-old Greta Thunberg its 2019 person of the year, lauding her for “creating a global attitudinal shift, transforming millions of vague, middle-of-the-night anxieties into a worldwide movement calling for urgent change.” And, Saudi Aramco — Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company and the largest producer of crude oil in the world — had the biggest initial public offering on record, raising more than $25 billion and ending its first day…


Climate change plays a role, but the power outages are chiefly the result of mismanagement — the kind we can no longer afford

Photo: Josh Edelson/Getty Images

The millions of people currently affected by power outages in Central and Northern California are struggling with inconvenience and worse, but at least they can take comfort in the fact that they’re not alone. In 2017, the last year with concrete data, 36.7 million Americans were affected by power outages that lasted on average for a little less than eight hours.

These blackouts were caused by hurricanes and snowstorms, floods and severe winds. Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands suffered the longest-ever blackout in U.S. history following Hurricane Maria in 2017. By one estimate, blackouts cost Americans $150 billion a…


End Times

As the clock ticks toward the end times, it’s easy to lose faith in humanity’s ability to endure. But we can’t give up.

Illustration: Jon Han

Asteroids, supervolcanoes, nuclear war, climate change, engineered viruses, artificial intelligence, and even aliens — the end may be closer than you think. This is the last in a series of essays drawn from editor Bryan Walsh’s new book End Times: A Brief Guide to the End of the World, which hits shelves on August 27 and is available for order now. We’re not helpless. It’s up to us to postpone the apocalypse.

On January 24, 2019, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists — a journal that has tracked the threat of human-made apocalypse since the dawn of the nuclear age…


END TIMES

In an effort to speed up the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, some researchers are sending messages into the cosmos. We may not like the answer.

Illustration: Jon Han

Asteroids, supervolcanoes, nuclear war, climate change, engineered viruses, artificial intelligence, and even aliens — the end may be closer than you think. For the next two weeks, OneZero will be featuring essays drawn from editor Bryan Walsh’s forthcoming book End Times: A Brief Guide to the End of the World, which hits shelves on August 27 and is available for pre-order now, as well as pieces by other experts in the burgeoning field of existential risk. But we’re not helpless. It’s up to us to postpone the apocalypse.

SETI — the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence — is passive by nature…


End Times

The development of artificial general intelligence offers tremendous benefits and terrible risks

Illustration: Jon Han

Asteroids, supervolcanoes, nuclear war, climate change, engineered viruses, artificial intelligence, and even aliens — the end may be closer than you think. For the next two weeks, OneZero will be featuring essays drawn from editor Bryan Walsh’s forthcoming book End Times: A Brief Guide to the End of the World, which hits shelves on August 27 and is available for pre-order now, as well as pieces by other experts in the burgeoning field of existential risk. But we’re not helpless. It’s up to us to postpone the apocalypse.

There is no easy definition for artificial intelligence, or A.I. Scientists can’t…


End Times

New technologies like gene editing could vastly improve human life. They also just might end it.

Credit: Jacobs Stock Photography Ltd/DigitalVision/Getty

Asteroids, supervolcanoes, nuclear war, climate change, engineered viruses, artificial intelligence, and even aliens — the end may be closer than you think. For the next two weeks, OneZero will be featuring essays drawn from editor Bryan Walsh’s forthcoming book End Times: A Brief Guide to the End of the World, which hits shelves on August 27 and is available for pre-order now, as well as pieces by other experts in the burgeoning field of existential risk. But we’re not helpless. It’s up to us to postpone the apocalypse.

In the darkened ballroom of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, D.C…


End Times

Species are going extinct and the climate is warming rapidly — yet at least materially, humans are doing better than ever. Welcome to the environmentalist’s paradox.

Photo: Josh Edelson / AFP / Getty Images

Asteroids, supervolcanoes, nuclear war, climate change, engineered viruses, artificial intelligence, and even aliens — the end may be closer than you think. For the next two weeks, OneZero will be featuring essays drawn from editor Bryan Walsh’s forthcoming book End Times: A Brief Guide to the End of the World, which hits shelves on August 27 and is available for pre-order now, as well as pieces by other experts in the burgeoning field of existential risk. But we’re not helpless. It’s up to us to postpone the apocalypse.

That the natural world is degraded from what it once was is…


End Times

Seventy-four years after the end of World War II, we’re still living with the existential risk of nuclear holocaust — and it all began on a patch of desert called the Trinity Site

Credit: Historical / Contributor/Getty Images

Asteroids, supervolcanoes, nuclear war, climate change, engineered viruses, artificial intelligence, and even aliens — the end may be closer than you think. For the next two weeks, OneZero will be featuring essays drawn from editor Bryan Walsh’s forthcoming book End Times: A Brief Guide to the End of the World, which hits shelves on August 27 and is available for pre-order now, as well as pieces by other experts in the burgeoning field of existential risk. But we’re not helpless. It’s up to us to postpone the apocalypse.

The chief asset of a missile range is its emptiness. At maximum…

Bryan Walsh

Journalist, author, dad. Former TIME magazine editor and foreign correspondent. Author of END TIMES, a book about existential risk and the end of the world.

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