In the first half, complexity scientist Samuel Arbesman addressed how our technological systems are becoming too advanced for human comprehension. The same technological advances that have simplified our lives have made the systems governing our lives overly complicated, and even dangerous at times, he argues. While we reap the benefits of more complex and sophisticated technology and software, when there's a problem, a variety of interconnecting systems can be affected in ways that aren't always predictable, he cautioned. Our new amalgams of technology might have millions and millions of variables, and we end up with a mismatch between the kinds of things that humans are really good at understanding, such as small linear operations, and the complex variations in these systems, he explained.
Arbesman enthused over the rise of computational creativity and human-machine partnerships, citing the example of how a computer playing chess with the aid of a human, can actually play better than just a computer alone. He also spoke about the renaissance happening with AI, such as with self-driving cars, computer-generated writing, the ability to recognize and categorize images, and translating languages. These advances are really changing our perception about what technology can do, he remarked.
In the latter half, M.J. Evans, Ph.D., a professor emeritus at SUNY Empire State College, spoke about the work of the late Zecharia Sitchin. She was acquainted with Sitchin for nearly 20 years, and accompanied him on several tours to ancient sites in the Mediterranean region. His groundbreaking research based on translations of Sumerian cuneiform, proposed that an ET race called the Anunnaki came to Earth from Nibiru, a planet in our solar system on a long elliptical orbit. Once here, they genetically altered proto-humans so they could work as gold mining slaves.
Sitchin said they were two types of Anunnaki, one was the leadership, who were known as the Nephilim, the other were the rank and file workers, Evans pointed out. Eventually, there was a battle between Nephilim factions, and atomic weapons were used on seven locations, including a spaceport in the Sinai Peninsula, she continued. According to Evans, Sitchin had a circular notion about time, and that if these nuclear attacks occurred in 2024 BC, they will occur again in 2024 AD-- information that might save the human race. She characterized Sitchin as a genius, and views him as a "reporter" rather than a theorist.