Ex­is­ten­tial security

TagLast edit: 3 May 2021 23:05 UTC by EA Wiki assistant

Existential security is a stable state of negligible existential risk.

Reaching existential security is the first stage in a grand strategy of human development proposed by Toby Ord in his book The Precipice, to be followed initially by the long reflection and ultimately by the full realization of human potential. This first stage may itself be decomposed into two substages: first, reducing the most pressing existential risks and second, virtually eliminating all future risks. Reaching existential security thus involves both avoiding immediate failure and making eventual failure impossible. Ord refers to these substages as preserving and protecting humanity’s potential, respectively (Ord 2020). The substages may also be characterized in terms of the temporal scope of the risks involved: while preserving humanity’s potential aims at reducing short-term existential risks, protecting humanity’s potential aims at reducing long-term existential risks.


Ord, Toby (2020) The Precipice: Existential Risk and the Future of Humanity, London: Bloomsbury Publishing.

Related entries

existential risk | long reflection | longtermism | vulnerable world hypothesis | Trinity

Miti­gat­ing x-risk through modularity

Toby Newberry17 Dec 2020 19:54 UTC
82 points
4 comments14 min readEA link
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