Re: Goo prophylaxis (was: Hanson antiproliferation

Anders Sandberg (
26 Aug 1997 00:43:42 +0200

"Nicholas Bostrom" <> writes:

> Anders wrote:
> >Remember that we humans consistently overestimate the risks
> >of huge disasters and underestimate small, common disasters, and that
> >fear is the best way of making people flock to an "obvious solution",
> >especially if it is nicely authoritarian.
> You know, I think so too, but I think that is only 2/3 of the truth.
> We underestimate small, common disasters, overestimate the risks of
> huge disasters, and we underestimate the risks of absolutley enormous
> disasters. Or we put them in the same category as the huge disasters
> without realising that they may be millions of times worse.

Hmm, you mean like the risk for dinosaur killer asteroid impacts
or vacuum decay? They seem to belong in the category of disasters
that are so absurdly devastating that they do not appear real; we
can relate to nuclear war and plagues of nanites, but not the
truly big disasters?

However, I'm not sure there is much evidence for your statement
that we underestimate the enormous disasters, but I would love to
be proven wrong.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!    
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y