[ExI] Existential Risks might be underestimated

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Thu May 28 17:49:22 UTC 2015

​ More is not better…

 Agreed.  I just don’t see a clear path to prevent it.


One thing give me some hope:  as a group/nation/country gets more and more
food and medical care the birth rate goes down.  Solid fact.  Didn't it go
negative in Japan awhile back?

If we could just share some of our wealth to provide those things to the
3rd world we could stop the destruction of habitat and not wind up with all
of our creatures bigger than squirrel in a few million acres of zoos.  Not
to mention the rain forests etc.

Superstition:  if we give them more food, more of them will breed, more of
them will live, and we will have more kids, not fewer.

bill w

On Thu, May 28, 2015 at 12:21 PM, BillK <pharos at gmail.com> wrote:

> On 28 May 2015 at 13:33, spike wrote:
> > Ja.  I have a hard time getting worried about unknown unknowns when we
> have
> > such an enormous known known existential threat right before us: energy
> availability.
> > If we fail to figure out a way to transition to renewable energy sources
> in time
> > (which looks likely) it isn't so much that humans will face extinction,
> but our
> > modern way of life would become extinct.  We could die back to leave
> mostly
> > those who have not mastered or eschew modern technology, such as the
> people
> > in the Australian outback, the Amazon jungles, the Inuit people of the
> frozen north,
> > the Amish, the African tribesmen and so forth, the segments of society
> which are
> > or have been in technological stasis or have suffered retrograde
> technology.
> <snip>
> > This future of humanity haunts me, not only because it is the end of
> every dream, but
> > that its outcome is so easily foreseeable: all we have to do is stay on
> our present course.
> >
> As you say, strictly speaking this is not an existential threat as
> some small groups of humans still remain. Though it might be many
> centuries before they develop technology. And with little fossil fuels
> left in the ground, technology might not ever be developed again.
> Torres points out that although this is not counted as an existential
> threat, with only small groups of humans left, it would only take,
> say, a bird flu epidemic or a drought to finish humanity off.
> That is his cumulative existential risk idea.
> BillK
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