BPRO 25800 (Spring 2021) Are we doomed? Confronting the End of the World

Digital Exhibition of Final Projects for

“Are We Doomed? Confronting the End of the World”

Digital Exhibition of Final Projects for

“Are We Doomed? Confronting the End of the World”

Digital Exhibition of Final Projects for

“Are We Doomed? Confronting the End of the World”

Digital Exhibition of Final Projects for

“Are We Doomed? Confronting the End of the World

Final Project Exhibits

Class syllabus

Class syllabus

The syllabus for the class: Are We Doomed_syllabus  

Self-portraits for the End of the World

Self-portraits for the End of the World

By Janet and Jane Tunde Kelleher Introduction & Motivation: Poll after poll, potential crisis after potential crisis, the class concurred that, on our current trajectory, humanity is doomed, and that societal transformation has the most promise to avert such...

Doomsday International Realty

Doomsday International Realty

Final Project: Property Portfolio For our final project we created an architectural portfolio. Each of the residences included in the portfolio was designed in response to one of the existential crises covered in class. The project engages with the following...

“Goodnight Moon,” but Adapted for Doom

“Goodnight Moon,” but Adapted for Doom

READ THE BOOK HERE: Goodnight Moon- Adapted for Doom Often referred to as “the very first book to share with a child,” Margaret Wise Brown’s “Goodnight Moon” (1947) tells the story of a little bunny, who notices the many items in his room and then bids them each...

Behind the “Apple Tree”: Blog-post of the Final Project

Behind the “Apple Tree”: Blog-post of the Final Project

Blog of Yehong: Our story started with a simple idea: if an artificial intelligence went rogue and created cyber-enabled information chaos, how would humanity end? Hence, the prototype of the story was that two ambitious capitalists decided to develop an artificial...

Understanding the Policy Context Behind Climate Change

Link to the Paper! In this paper, I aimed to address the reasoning behind why policy implementation is such a complicated and lengthy process when dealing with climate change. Imagining a timescale for impending doom is difficult, and imagining a solution that holds...

Nuclear Energy: Science, Confusion, and Possibility (Blog)

Zeyang Pan, Alexander Lopez de Bertodano, and Sam Corey Read our paper here: https://voices.uchicago.edu/202102bpro25800/project/nuclear-energy-science-confusion-and-possibility/ We wrote a research paper about nuclear energy involving three parts: 1) How nuclear...

Threat Level Midnight

Threat Level Midnight: A Board Game On the End of the World Rule Book: Threat Level Midnight Rules Motivation Coming into this class I found it difficult to comprehend what the end of the world would look like. I was aware of...

The Extinction Museum

The Extinction Museum

DOWNLOAD Thanks for playing Extinction Museum! This is an interactive game where you explore a museum exhibit about the crises caused by humanity. We recommend that you play the game before  The museum is located in the future, where a devastating nuclear missile...

AI and Personality

With our final project we wanted to tackle the question what is personality? And how our understanding of personality can be applied to AI. Using a video format we show how AI, specifically neural networks, behave in a similar way to the...

Doom on Film: Rated G

For my final assignment, I chose to do a podcast in which I discuss three children’s movies that grapple with some of the existential issues we’ve discussed in class: The Lorax, WALL-E, and The Hunger Games. I got this idea from looking at the list of recommended...

Defcon 1 Game

Defcon 1 Game

General Concept: For the final project in this course, we designed a board game that we believe is both fun and demonstrates the risk that nuclear war and misinformation pose to society.  This game involves three to six players, who can play as any of six countries...

The Logs of Arkhipov the Spy

The Logs of Arkhipov the Spy

A Daily Log To access this project: click here. This project is a daily log from the perspective of a Russian industrial spy. I have named him Arkhipov, after the man who averted a Russian nuclear strike in 1962. As the log begins, Arkhipov is facing a difficult...

Media and the Salience of Existential Threats

Link to my Op-Ed. In week 4, I wrote my memo starting from the idea that I have a difficult time conceptualizing of the existential threat which AI poses, particularly compared to the threat of nuclear armageddon and of climate change, which I find incredibly salient....

ClimateFAX

By Braedon Junker and Chris Krantz Link to website:  https://chriskrantz.wixsite.com/climatefax It is often (and unfortunately) believed that individual decisions cannot help in changing the direction our climate is headed. This misperception has led to personal...

Warnings from the Future: Climate Change’s Inequitable Wrath

Chris Campo Link to Project In this course, every week’s lecture ends with a survey for the class. The survey, consistent with the course’s title, always consists of four questions: Are we doomed? Are we doomed from [insert weekly topic]? How long do we have left?...

Confronting CMEs in an Interview-Style Format

Confronting CMEs in an Interview-Style Format

For our final project, we decided to assess the risk of coronal mass ejections (CMEs) through a series of interviews with an expert on solar phenomena. The first interview took place over zoom, and the second interview occurs in-person following a massive CME...

Epidemics & Empires: An Optimistic Game about the Human Species

An epidemic can be defined as a “Sudden, widespread occurrence of a particular undesirable phenomenon”. An empire as “an extensive group of states or countries under a single supreme authority”. Both of which go hand in hand with the human species, interlocking...

Cyber Developments and the Environment

Cyber Developments and the Environment

Read our Op-Ed here! For our final project, our group was really interested in the intersection between the realm of digitization and its effects on the environment. Recently, our world has increasingly developed new technology that will radically change the way we...

Final Debate: Battle of the Threats

Final Debate: Battle of the Threats

AWD Final Debate: Battle of the Threats Have you ever watched a presidential debate?  In the months leading up to this past election (or in any cycles previous), did you feel overwhelmed, irritated, or downright angry after listening to 60 minutes of incoherent...

The 20% Podcast: Why We Might not Actually be Doomed

The 20% Podcast: Why We Might not Actually be Doomed

      For this project, we wanted to take a new spin on the material we learned about in class. We have learned so much about the existential threats we face now, and we thought a new way to engage with the material was to spin the class material in a positive way. We...

The Doomsday Clock: A New START

The Doomsday Clock: A New START

A quote from Oppenheimer, an architect of the first atomic bomb. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lb13ynu3Iac "At precisely 5:29 A.M. on July 16, 1945, a bright flash sharply pierced the early New Mexico morning. As a mushroom cloud rose from the resulting crater,...

Judging Robots

This is a research project about whether and to what extent human judges can be replaced by artificial intelligence. I argue that there are applications of the technology that can better serve the purposes of the judiciary than the system we currently have, and that...

AI Artists: Training My Replacement

AI Artists: Training My Replacement  Adriana Zavala Introduction and Motivation:  For my project I wanted to tackle the threat of AI takeover from the point of view of a digital artist. In my original proposal, I was going to create a digital work of art that...

doomed stardust?

doomed stardust?

We all started as stardust. Our beginnings were mystical and full of hope. Now, what happens as we approach doom? These existential threats are all of a result of human actions. Are we smart enough to fix our own mistakes before it is too late? Or are we doomed...

“DAVIS” by Panun Bali and Blake Moss

Our screenplay is here! When deciding on a final project, we were immediately drawn to the idea of writing a screenplay (titled: DAVIS). Part of the project was to synthesize concepts from different weeks of the course, so our screenplay for a short film covers...

Earthworks: A Short Interactive Experience

Earthworks: A Short Interactive Experience

Earthworks: A Short Interactive Experience We are but ants in the eyes of a greater intelligence.  Throughout the length of this course, one particular issue became exceptionally obvious: it’s very, very hard to convince people, even extremely smart and well educated...

The Hack to Understanding the Colonial Pipeline Incident

For our project, we decided to focus on something highly relevant - the hacking of the Colonial Pipeline that took place just last month. We wrote an in-depth opinion piece that both investigates the causes and consequences of the hack, and presents a vision for how...

The Doomsday Podcast: How Will Civilization End?

How will civilization end? audio For our project we chose to record a podcast in which we debated which of the existential threats that we have discussed in class is most likely to lead to the end of the world. Jason Sheppard thinks it might be Nuclear Annihilation,...

The Pandemic Game

The Pandemic Game

Motivation My motivation to create an interactive game on a blog was to offer a fun and educational way of describing the many disasters we are currently facing, and the potential for these threats to become existential to humanity. I believe it is important to...

Will We Flourish?: A Choose-Our-Shared-Future

Will We Flourish?: A Choose-Our-Shared-Future

I created a piece of hypertext fiction, tentatively titled Will We Flourish? A Choose-Our-Shared-Future. (click to read!) Hypertext fiction allows the reader to affect the narrative they are reading, similar to choose-your-own-adventure gamebooks but with little to no...

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