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Tuesday
Aug212018

RS 215 - Anders Sandberg on "Thinking about the long-term future of humanity" 

Release date: August 19th, 2018

Anders Sandberg

This episode features Anders Sandberg, a researcher at Oxford's Future of Humanity Institute, explaining several reasons why it's valuable to think about humanity's long-term future. Julia and Anders discuss the common objection that we can't predict or steer the future, and explore whether people really care if humanity dies out.

Links 

Anders Sandberg's website

"Dissolving the Fermi Paradox" by Anders Sandberg, Eric Drexler, and Toby Ord

"Blueberry Earth" by Anders Sandberg

"Death and the Afterlife" by Samuel Scheffler

"Life Extension Versus Replacement" by Gustaf Arrhenius

"An Impossibility Theorem for Welfarist Axiologies" by Gustaf Arrhenius

"Long-Term Trajectories of Human Civilization"

Edited by Brent Silk

Music by Miracles of Modern Science

Full Transcripts 

Reader Comments (7)

We definitely need faster spaceships to explore the universe, preferably much much faster than light speed, or nearly instantaneous wormhole technology.

It makes more sense, both financially and technologically, to use probes to explore the Solar System. So it may make sense to use probes instead of humans to explore the universe.

Actually, the focus of all our research at this point should probably center on immortality. If we make ourselves immortal, the issue of the welfare of existent society collapses into the issue of the welfare of future society, since indeed a substantial part of existent society will survive to form a component of future society.

If human life on Earth did indeed die off, would new intelligent life begin to slowly evolve? As Julia mentioned, would that new lifeform have to go through all the misery that Humanity went through to get to its present state? To spare some potential likely intelligent lifeform from our own miserable history, do we not indeed have the Duty to continue our own existence? Would the continuation of our own existence prevent another intelligent lifeform's evolution? Or perhaps would our own existence allow us to integrate any such new intelligent lifeform into our modern, substantially less brutal civilization? Therefore, we have an important Ethical Obligation to prevent our own annihilation for the sake of some unknown but probable intelligent species that would otherwise possibly suffer horribly just as our ancestors did !!
August 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJameson
Sandberg's arguments were completely anti-convincing to me. I went into the episode not convinced either way, and now I believe that the Future of Humanity Institute's endeavors in prediction might be philosophically or existentially interesting, but probably not very important, accurate or useful in any time-frame.
August 24, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterLukas
I browsed the paper linked at the bottom of the post: 'Long Term Trajectories ...' If that refers to the quality of the discussion in the podcast, I'll pass. Anyone who asks 'will civilization lat one billion years/' without thinking of the biological implications has nothing valuable to say to me. Sorry to be so negative, but ....
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