full transcript
"From the Ted Talk by Martin Rees: Can we prevent the end of the world?"

Unscramble the Blue Letters

And my theme was this: Our eatrh has existed for 45 million centuries, but this one is special — it's the first where one species, ours, has the planet's future in its hands. Over nearly all of Earth's history, threats have come from nature — disease, earthquakes, asteroids and so forth — but from now on, the wsrot dngears come from us. And it's now not just the neclaur threat; in our interconnected world, network breakdowns can cascade globally; air travel can saerpd paimdnecs wdrdoliwe within days; and social media can spread panic and rumor literally at the speed of light. We fret too much about minor hazards — improbable air carhses, carcinogens in food, low radiation dsoes, and so forth — but we and our plciitaol masters are in denial about catastrophic scenarios. The worst have thankfully not yet happened. Indeed, they probably won't. But if an event is potentially devastating, it's worth paying a substantial premium to safeguard against it, even if it's unlikely, just as we take out fire insurance on our house.

Open Cloze

And my theme was this: Our _____ has existed for 45 million centuries, but this one is special — it's the first where one species, ours, has the planet's future in its hands. Over nearly all of Earth's history, threats have come from nature — disease, earthquakes, asteroids and so forth — but from now on, the _____ _______ come from us. And it's now not just the _______ threat; in our interconnected world, network breakdowns can cascade globally; air travel can ______ _________ _________ within days; and social media can spread panic and rumor literally at the speed of light. We fret too much about minor hazards — improbable air _______, carcinogens in food, low radiation _____, and so forth — but we and our _________ masters are in denial about catastrophic scenarios. The worst have thankfully not yet happened. Indeed, they probably won't. But if an event is potentially devastating, it's worth paying a substantial premium to safeguard against it, even if it's unlikely, just as we take out fire insurance on our house.

Solution

  1. political
  2. doses
  3. spread
  4. pandemics
  5. dangers
  6. nuclear
  7. crashes
  8. earth
  9. worst
  10. worldwide

Original Text

And my theme was this: Our Earth has existed for 45 million centuries, but this one is special — it's the first where one species, ours, has the planet's future in its hands. Over nearly all of Earth's history, threats have come from nature — disease, earthquakes, asteroids and so forth — but from now on, the worst dangers come from us. And it's now not just the nuclear threat; in our interconnected world, network breakdowns can cascade globally; air travel can spread pandemics worldwide within days; and social media can spread panic and rumor literally at the speed of light. We fret too much about minor hazards — improbable air crashes, carcinogens in food, low radiation doses, and so forth — but we and our political masters are in denial about catastrophic scenarios. The worst have thankfully not yet happened. Indeed, they probably won't. But if an event is potentially devastating, it's worth paying a substantial premium to safeguard against it, even if it's unlikely, just as we take out fire insurance on our house.

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
science fiction 3

Important Words

  1. air
  2. asteroids
  3. breakdowns
  4. carcinogens
  5. cascade
  6. catastrophic
  7. centuries
  8. crashes
  9. dangers
  10. denial
  11. devastating
  12. disease
  13. doses
  14. earth
  15. earthquakes
  16. event
  17. existed
  18. fire
  19. food
  20. fret
  21. future
  22. hands
  23. happened
  24. hazards
  25. history
  26. house
  27. improbable
  28. insurance
  29. interconnected
  30. light
  31. literally
  32. masters
  33. media
  34. million
  35. minor
  36. nature
  37. network
  38. nuclear
  39. pandemics
  40. panic
  41. paying
  42. political
  43. potentially
  44. premium
  45. radiation
  46. rumor
  47. safeguard
  48. scenarios
  49. social
  50. special
  51. species
  52. speed
  53. spread
  54. substantial
  55. thankfully
  56. theme
  57. threats
  58. travel
  59. world
  60. worldwide
  61. worst
  62. worth