Everyone should be familiar with the concept (albeit some of you through Watchmen), a group of scientists involved with the manhatten project established he concept of a doomsday clock where humanity was a certain number of minutes away from midnight (midnight representing nuclear conflict). In 1947 it started at seven minutes to midnight (before Russia had the bomb no-less) and now has just been readjusted 1 minute closer to midnight from its 2002 position of 7 minutes to midnight.
I love the concept of a doomsday clock, but isn't there something about those numbers that seem a little bit exessive? Does the clock represent humanity's history as a whole with midnight representing some sort of end, or is it more of a precentage chance of a nuclear war in the next X time period. And, shouldn't we be able to retroactively correct the clock to accurate levels, ie when we were literally seconds away from nuclear war during the cuban missile crisis when a soviet submarine under simulated depth charge attack decided by a vote whether they should launch nukes click
Basically, I find the concept fascinating, but find it hard to believe that the world's foremost minds had come up with such an arbitrary and useless measure of global capacity for nuclear war. Sure, the world today is a lot more unpredictable than during the cold war and proliferation is a serious issue, but at what level would you realistically put the clock at. And more importantly, how exacly would you define what the clock represents, to turn it into less of an arbitrary warning level and more into a proper forecasting tool representing actual risk?
Just a thought.