Hi! Just saw your comment—i am the author and i will write you
Actually, I expected Gott equation to be mentioned here, as his Doomsday argument is a contemporary version of Laplace equation.
Also, qualified observers are not distributed linearly inside this period of time: from the idea of AI to creation of AI. If we assume that qualified observers are those who are interested in AI timing, than it look like that such people are much more numerous closer to the end of the period. As result, a random qualified observer should find oneself closer to the end of the period. If the number of qualified observers is growing exponentially, the median is just one doubling before the end. This makes AI timing prior closer to current events.
Thanks for great piece! One thing which may increase the extinction risk is that after the collapse, the remaining economy will be based not on agriculture and manufacturing, but on scavenging remains of previous civilisation. The problem with such economy is that it constantly shrinking and also does not help to learn useful skills, but instead helps local warlords arise and fight over leftovers. (Example: the economy of the post Soviet Union countries declined partly because it was more profitable to sell a factory for metal than to use it for manufacturing of goods.)
This problem will be also fuelled by “dangerous leftovers”: in any moment, the access to weapons will be easy than to manufacturing capabilities. If most humans will extinct, enormous amounts of powerful weapons will still be available for decades, mostly firearms. Dangerous leftovers will include pieces of what has caused the catastrophe, for example, a biological agent or radioactive contamination. In such situation, the remaining population will die more often than rise successful children.
An example of dangerous leftovers are… dogs. If 99 per cent people went extinct, but all dogs remains, these feral dogs will eventually start hunting of survivors.
Toby Ord estimated in the Precipice a one in a thousand probability ofexistential risk this century due to climate change, largely due tolocking in a moist greenhouse effect. We would estimate thefeasibility of maintaining industrial civilization (with eventualcolonization of space) in this scenario. The physical space onAntarctica is adequate for industrial civilization, but alternativefoods produced on other continents would likely be required, such asfoods grown in air-conditioned greenhouses, single-cell proteinpowered by renewable hydrogen, electrosynthesized vinegar, and foodscreated by chemical synthesis. Though there would be significant timeto develop these solutions, the primary value of this research wouldbe the value of information on how much to prioritize climate changeas an existential risk.
It looks like for me that survival of the moisture greenhouse is possible in altitudes above 5000- 6000 meters. But the main question is if the temperature rise will be uniform. The town Rinconada is 5100 meters high and it has the median temperature of 2C. Meanwhile the hottest city on Earth, Basra, reaches 50C every summer everyday. So people in Rinconada could survive. Also, the median elevation of Himalaya is around 6000 meters, they have 595 000 sq km and 52 millions people. Meanwhile, the ice of Antarctica will probably take hundreds of years to melt after the start of the moisture greenhouse, and until it happens, the land there can’t be used. Strong rains and rivers also prevent living on the ice surface (though there are regions of ice in Antarctica with −60 C stable temperature and they could survive). More realistic moist greenhouse will result in stronger polar warming and weaker equatorial warming because of the polar amplification of the greenhouse effect. This means that the equatorial region will get additional 20-30 C warming and poles will get more than that (like +60). This again favours Himalaya as the survival place. What worries me is that there will be no stop from moist greenhouse to runaway global warming, as some regions of Earth could get close +100C in this scenario (like Persian Gulf) and the water may start boil there, creating never ending positive feedback loop.
I think that estimating fl should take into account the possibility of interstellar panspermia. Life appearing once could be disseminated through the whole galaxy in a few billion years via interstellar comets.
This creates strong observation selection effect: the galaxies where panspermia is possible will create billion times more observers than non-panspermia galaxies, and we are certainly in such a galaxy. So, fl is likely to be 1.
Interestingly, if no God exists, then all possible things should exist, and thus there is no end for our universe. To limit the number of actually existing things, we need some supernatural force, which allows only some worlds to exist, but which is not part of any of these worlds.
Easily available BCI may fuel a possible epidemic of wireheading, which may result in civilisational decline.
I read in Tweeter (so it is not very good source) that one of the problem of the 3GD is cavitation inside discharge tubes. Cavitation is happening when the speed of the waterflow is above 10 meter per second and water creates “vacuum bubbles” which later collapse and create shockwaves which are able to destroy even strongest materials. The discharge channels are inside the body of the dam as we can see on photos and if there will be a problem, they will affect the dam from inside without overtoping. Obviously, such channels could be closed but this will slow water release and increase chances of the use of the emergency spillway. Such spillway itself could be fragile (like in the case of Oroville dam) and could undermine the dam if damaged.
If they evolve, say, from cats, they will share the same type-values: power, sex, love to children as all mammals. By token-values will be different as they will like not human children but kittens etc. An advance non-human civilization may be more similar to ours than we-now to Ancient Egyptian, as it would have more rational world models.
The article may reflect my immoralist view point that in almost all circumstances it is better to be alive than not.
Future torture is useless and thus unlikely. Let’s look on humanity: as we mature, we tend to care more about other species that lived on Earth and of minority cultures. Torture for fun or for experiment is only for those who don’t know how to get information or pleasure in other ways. It is unlikely that advance civilization will deliberately torture humans. Even if resurrected humans will not have full agency, they may have much better live than most people on Earth have now.
Reconstruction of the past is universally interesting. We have a mammoth resurrection project, a lot of archeological studies, Sentinel uncontacted tribe preservation program, etc—so we find a lot of value in studying past, preserving and reconstructing it, and I think it is natural for advanced civilizations.
The x-risks information will be vital for them before they get superintelligence (but humans could be resurrected after it). Imagine that Apollo program would find some data storage on the Moon: it will be one of the biggest scientific discoveries of all times. Some information could be useful for end-of-20th-century humanity, like estimation of the probability of natural pandemics or nuclear wars.
Past data is useful. Future civilization on Earth will get a lot of scientific data from other fields of knowledge: biology, geology, even some math problems may be solved by us which they still not solved. Moreover, they will get access to enormous amount of art, which may have fun value (or not).
The resurrection (on good conditions) here is a part of an acasual deal from our side, similar to Parfit’s hitchhiker. They may not take their side of the deal, so there is a risk. Or they may do it much later, after they advance to interstellar civilization and will know that there is a minimal risk and cost for them. For example, if they give 0.0001 of all their resources to us, but colonise a whole galaxy, it is still 10 million stars under human control, or bilion bilions of human beings: much better than extinction.
TL;DR: if there is any value at human existence, it is reasonable to desire resurrection of humanity (under no-torture conditions) + they will get x-risks useful information on earlier stage (end-20th-century equivalent) than they will actually resurrect us (they may do it much later, only if this information was useful, thus closing the deal).
We could survive by preserving data about humanity (on the Moon or other places), which will be found by the next civilisation on Earth, and they will recreate humans (based on our DNA) and our culture.
May be they are also less detectable, so early warning systems will not catch them on early stages?
I created once a map of crazy ideas how biotech could cause human extinction. There are around 100 ways.
There is an idea of a multipandemic, that is several pandemics running simultaneously. This would significantly increase the probability of extinction.
Yes, natural catastrophes probabilities could be presented as frequentist probabilities, but some estimates are based on logical uncertainty of the claims like “AGI is possible”.
Also, are these probabilities conditioned on “all possible prevention measures are taken”? If yes, they are final probabilities which can’t be made lower.
Your estimates are presented as numerical values similar to probabilities. Is it actually probabilities and if yes, are they frequentist probabilities or Bayesian? And more generally: How we can define the “probability of end of the world”?
For me, the most important intervention is to sleep on hard surface. I put 4 layers of yoga mat on my sofa, and it helps much.
Some internal air cleaner exist, including the ones with UV purification. My friend Denis Odinokov suggested to make a system to clean external air, which should consist of a tube with HEPA filter, ventilator and UV light source, which will create a positive air pressure inside the apartment. I think it is too difficult to hand-make at home. But it is another business opportunity of our time.
I heard about infection in HK via vent tubes.
If I were in a space with many people, I would like the windows will be open. At home, not.
What are the chances that the virus will flow from the apartment beneath mine into the mine one during ventilation?