Funny that You mention:
“It is like knowing a volcano is going to blow, any day now, but having no idea when or how to prepare.”
I live on the largest Volcano on Earth and feel that way on a daily basis. Especially since there is a very discomforting development going on right now. Hawai’i Island is not a homogeneous piece of rock. It is to the contrary like a layered chocolate cake. Thin layers of Lava upon thin layers of Lava. Sometimes those layers can be quite thick, but depending on the flow rate, they are usually no more than 30ft thick. Over time, they build ‘benches’ on the flanks of the existing Volcanoes. Bathymetry maps (very large!) give insight into how the flanks look like sub ocean surface. The maps also show, where benches and entire flanks have collapsed and slid into the ocean in surrounding areas sliding as far as 100+ miles from the collapse. Now, there is an area with heavily increased earthquake activity along the ‘perforation line’ of one very big bench. We are speaking about roughly 40 km³ in size. The accumulation of earthquakes along the perforation line can be seen here. We live in what is called the ‘East Rift Zone’ — the Easternmost extend of the bench. Most of the South Puna district is located on this bench.
That just on the side, since You mentioned the Volcano threat. It is more present than ever before and if it happens, we don’t need to worry about preparations any more. Lose calculations return a wall of water from the back splash of the ocean that will reach 2000ft in height. Should we survive that splash, we would be able to look down a 1000ft tall cliff where the bench broke off. It’s in front of our doorsteps.
“Hal, Alexa, and Siri are going to outsmart us all!”
Yes and no. The knowledge these machines have is artificial and not derived from experience. It’s algorithms that create the answers. All those machines need to be fed information, or enabled access to this information. ‘HAL’ was turned off by Dave, because he lost it. “Alexa” is connected to a vast database (that also contains all information about its user) that is foremost designed to sell You stuff. The closest thing to a true artificial intelligence is still science fiction, albeit an entertaining one: The Androids “Data” in Star Trek TNG and the depressed Android Marvin in “Hitchhiker’s Guide through the Galaxy” (and also from the same book “Deep Thought”)
The solution to our hardships lies in the healing of our collective mind. And as of now, it appears to be a rather distant possibility. The agents of manipulation are everywhere.
Thank You for being on the solution side of Life. :-)