[ExI] homo sapiens as endangered species

Kelly Anderson kellycoinguy at gmail.com
Sun Jun 5 03:42:12 UTC 2011

On Sat, Jun 4, 2011 at 3:31 PM, Anders Sandberg <anders at aleph.se> wrote:
> Stefano Vaj wrote:
>> On 4 June 2011 17:38, Kelly Anderson <kellycoinguy at gmail.com
>> <mailto:kellycoinguy at gmail.com>> wrote:
> Continuity of government plans are around in every developed country, but
> they all depend on certain assumptions about the threat. Looking at the US
> continuity of operations plans that have been revealed since the Cold War,
> such as Mount Weather
> https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Mount_Weather_Emergency_Operations_Center
> and Raven Rock
> https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Raven_Rock_Mountain_Complex
> suggest that they could be pretty good refuges in my model (several seem to
> be big enough to ensure demographic stability), except that I doubt they are
> equipped for a decade of independent operation (the timescale appears to be
> months instead, since fallout was regarded as the key threat). And, assuming
> they worked, the skill basis of the government people would perhaps be
> suboptimal for restarting agriculture (not to mention age and gender ratio).

According to one documentary I saw, Mount Weather was set up for at
least a year, possibly longer. Don't know much about Raven Rock. There
was also a much smaller facility associated with Cheyenne Mountain,
more for military than civilian use though if I understand what they
were doing there correctly.

> Such shielded sites might also be losing importance, since they are
> vulnerable to sufficiently targeted nukes if they are known and the nuclear
> threat is being downplayed anyway. A nice hotel with some hardened basement
> in a sufficiently big military site might work pretty well against modern
> "light" threats like terrorism.

It would probably work well against biological and chemical attacks.
Of course, living in an isolated location in the mountains is probably
good enough to survive those as well. Not that I would know anything
about that. ;-)

> Now, saving humanity level projects... to my knowledge there are absolutely
> none like that. While that is maybe because they are really top secret,
> given the amount of leakage we get about military projects and things like
> the above refuges I suspect they would be noticed. It is easier to guess
> that there is no incentive for doing them: such a project would not directly
> benefit the decisionmakers (they are benefited by safe refuges for
> themselves, at most - many US government people find rotating to site R a
> waste of time), especially since a secret project will not gain them any
> public kudos and an open project will likely lead to both arguments about
> government waste and concerns about justice. They would have to do it out of
> pretty tricky ethical concerns, and generally when ethics comes with a
> substantial bill attached it tends not to be done if there are no strong
> public support.

I would doubt they are spending much on that. Although I would assume
that they did support the Svalbard seed bank to some extent.

> But let's hope DTRA is doing a good job. Now, how many of you US citizens
> had ever heard of it? ;-)

Not that specific FLA, but I knew they were working on that kind of
stuff. They will probably change their name again once nanotech
becomes good enough to be potentially dangerous. ;-)

>>    I love Svalbard!
>> So do I. And not only the Golden Compass version thereof. :-)
> I can recommend it. Lovely place, at least in summer.

I'm quite jealous if you have actually been there. Are there lots of mosquitoes?


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