COLUMN: Hawking’s plot for world domination

Tim Paluch

In this time of unheralded crisis and trauma, of gripping fear and turmoil, something not related to terrorism has come to my attention that scares me more than anthrax and bin Laden and any jihad combined – robots taking over the world.

Sounds preposterous, doesn’t it?

Think again.

According to Stephen Hawking, the world’s best-known cosmologist, this scenario is just around the corner. Hawking told the German news magazine Focus that if humans don’t modify their biology, computers will eventually win out and take over the Earth. He suggested humans should be genetically engineered if they are to compete with the growth of artificial intelligence, which Hawking says “double their performance every 18 months.”

This stunning realization comes off the heels of statements Hawking made last year, when he predicted that genetic engineers would be able to create super-humans with bigger brains and higher I.Q.’s. Now he’s taken that a step further, calling on scientists to develop technology that allows human brains to be connected to computers “so that artificial brains contribute to human intelligence rather than oppose it.”

Hawking went on to tell The Telegraph, a British news service, that humans won’t survive the next thousand years unless we all colonize space.

Now I know you may have your doubts.

One obvious question everyone must be asking themselves is “isn’t space travel tedious as long as we are using spaceships that travel slower than the speed of light?”

Well, according to Hawking, we can always just create a warp drive. Like on Star Trek.

Problem solved; apparently Hawking’s thought of everything.

To sum up what one of the supposed greatest minds of our times believes, our only solution to preventing an oppressive robot world is to link computers to our brains, genetically alter humans to become a super race of cyborgs and have Scotty beam us back and forth to our safe-from-computers utopian spaceworld.

Either Hawking has the heads-up on the rest of the world and humans need to start listening to him, or he has begun his inevitable mental deterioration.

I’m betting on option two.

If anyone else came out and said humans have to become cyborgs and colonize space or an army of Terminators will enslave them, they’d be rewarded with heavy medication and an extended stay in a psych ward. Hawking gets substantial media coverage, and positive media coverage at that.

Because it’s Stephen Hawking, God’s gift to the academic community; Stephen Hawking, author of the best-selling “A Brief History of Time,” the scientific world will continue to take him seriously.

Get 12 honorary degrees and write a couple of books on the history of the universe, and all of a sudden you get away with absurd Stanley Kubrick-like statements.

Hawking wants us all to become cyborgs – humans with computers linked to their brains.

Now let’s remember something here. Stephen Hawking is a victim of Lou Gehrig’s disease – a neurological disease that leaves him wheelchair prone and forces him to communicate with the aid of a portable computer and speech synthesizer.

Now if you ask me, it sounds like Hawking is pushing for the creation of a super race of Stephen Hawkings. Perhaps this is all part of a plot far worse than any terrorist attack – Hawking will become the one supreme ruler of Earth’s cyborg warriors. Now that’s genius. That’s terror.

Eat your heart out Osama.

Tim Paluch is a junior in journalism and mass communication from Orland Park, Ill. He is opinion editor of the Daily.