[ExI] Repudiating the national debt

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Fri May 13 07:37:24 UTC 2016

On 2016-05-12 21:41, Dan TheBookMan wrote:
> "While I wouldn't want to risk it, my guess is other folks in the 
> chain of command would likely not follow orders. However, let's set 
> that aside. Let's say you're right: Trump in office would increase the 
> odds of a nuclear war. By how much? Maybe Caplan is right about the 
> overall 2.5 times risk. Let's say 2.5 times whatever the base rate 
> would be or, better, than Clinton or Sanders. (My guess is Sanders 
> would be less bellicose than either Trump or Clinton.)
You can estimate the base rate by doing a Bayesian update on a uniform 
prior [0,1] of nuclear war probability per year, given 70 years of no 
war. That gives you an expected 1.4% risk per year.

If we accept the 2.5 increase, that means 3.5% risk per year. Over 4 
years that is 13% risk of a nuclear war (compared to 5.4% for normal 

(Note that if you accept the above calculation, living in the vicinity 
of a primary target makes a health risk more significant than almost any 
pollutants or epidemic diseases.)

> Now, what can you do about this? Panic? Build a bomb shelter? My guess 
> is very little aside from get worked up."

Move to Tasmania?

Anders Sandberg
Future of Humanity Institute
Oxford Martin School
Oxford University

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