How catalytic events change the course of history: From the 9/11 attacks to the coronavirus pandemic

If you are a chemist, you know very well how catalysts can work small miracles: you had been trying for some time to have a reaction occur, without success, then you add a little pinch of something and – suddenly – things go “bang.” In no time, the reaction is complete. Of course, as a chemist you know that catalysts don’t really work miracles: all they can do is to accelerate reaction that would occur anyway.

The Golden Rule of Technological Progress: Innovation Doesn’t Solve Problems, It Creates Them

See that thing up there? It is an autonomous security robot, something that’s becoming fashionable nowadays. Obviously, for every problem, there has to be a technological solution. So, what could go wrong with the idea that the problem of homeless people can be solved by means of security robots? After all, they are not weaponized…. I mean, not yet.

The Seneca Paradox: If Mineral Depletion is a Problem, How is it That we Don’t See its Effects?

So, is mineral depletion an existential threat to human civilization? Or is it just a marginal problem that can be fixed by some technological improvements? This is truly a fundamental question for the future of humankind. An answer is provided by the latest report to the Club of Rome that was published in 2017, “The Seneca Effect.”