[ExI] Avoiding bad black swan events/was Re: extropy-chat Digest, Vol 111, Issue 15

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Thu Dec 13 09:24:18 UTC 2012

On Thu, Dec 13, 2012 at 2:15 AM, Dan wrote:
> On Wednesday, December 12, 2012 9:53 AM Keith Henson wrote:
>> If we understand this potential problem we can take steps to mitigate it.
>> The harder problem is taking steps to mitigate "black swan" events
>> that we have no idea might happen at all.
>> A large number of combustion turbines and a year's supply of oil or
>> methane to fire them might be a prudent backup.
> I don't disagree. I think the problem is mainly looking for the one optimal
> solution and then enforcing it top-down as opposed to just letting people
> make bottom up choices on what energy sources they'll use. I think the
> top-down approach invites "black swans" because it makes for a one size fits
> all solution, so if the solution fails and its back up fails too, then you
> get total system interruption if not collapse.

I think limited resources is also a problem. On the small scale as
well as a large scale.

The preppers are getting quite a lot of flak at the moment as stocking
up with supplies and generators, etc. seems somehow to be 'unsporting'
and selfish. And obviously if a disaster happens they will become a
target for the rest of the desperate population.

But the problem I see is that a black swan event is not guaranteed.
How much do you spend on planning for an event that might not happen?

Do you want to double the cost of power satellites by building
possibly unnecessary protection?

Human history shows that usually we go for the cheapest version and
hope it will turn out OK.


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