[ExI] Repudiating the national debt

Dan TheBookMan danust2012 at gmail.com
Mon May 16 05:03:38 UTC 2016

On Fri, May 13, 2016 at 12:37 AM, Anders Sandberg <anders at aleph.se> wrote:
> 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?
> 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
> would be less bellicose than either Trump or Clinton.)
> You can estimate the base rate by doing a Bayesian update on a uniform
> [0,1] of nuclear war probability per year, given 70 years of no war. That
> 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 presidents).

I think that estimate is too high. Caplan's view is for a major war -- not
necessarily a nuclear war. I think we'd have to include another term to
determine what the rate of any major war turning into a nuclear one. But
let's run with it.

> (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.)

I think that would be the case even without the 2.5 multiplier. :/ Either
we're doomed to a nuclear war or something's wrong with our estimates or
Bayesian reasoning is wrong about this case. (Compare to Erwin S. Strauss's
views on mass nuclear proliferation from the 1970s. I don't think he used
Bayesian reasoning, but I'm reckoning if he did and were honest, the big
problem for him is mass proliferation hasn't happened by now. Of course, it
could be more complicated and might end being how personal computing took
some time to get from hobbyists to many folks having handheld devices much
more powerful than anything hobbyists were making forty years ago. And, in
between, there was a zone when the average person probably noticed no
improvement and even experts were likely starting to doubt the wild-eyed

> 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?

Bouvet might be better. :/


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