51. An overly simplistic explanation is the most prominent
Popular science writers often simplify complex scientific issues. The quality standard for articles in Popular Science, for instance, is guaranteed to be inferior to that of the best scientific journals. Understanding a domain of risk, for instance nanotechnological arms races, may require years of analysis. If a version of this risk does reach the public (such as the “grey goo” scenario) it may be a highly simplified and fantastic form of the true risk, and motivate improper preparations33. Another variant is that a minor mishap occurs and many years of analysis are needed to find its exact cause, delaying efforts to deal with future dangers from the same source. In certain conditions, such a backlog of knowledge acquisition could lead to a critical failure.