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Addressable Threats and Politics October 28, 2016

Posted by ficial in Blogroll.
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What with the election and all I’ve been thinking recently about what candidates talk about and focus on, and how that compares to what I think probably should be the major issues. In my mind these boil down to various kinds of threats which we have the potential to address (if there’s no way to address it – mitigation or avoidance – then it’s not really worth talking about – e.g. Yellowstone super-volcano). These sorted themselves into 6 categories, from worst to… less-worst, I guess.

  1. Extinction Events – no more humans to speak of
  2. Global Collapse Events – no more modern civilization to speak of
  3. Political/National Collapse Events – no more country to speak of
  4. Way-of-life Collapse – things just aren’t good (anymore)
  5. Indirect Issues – things that aren’t directly any of the above but will / may lead to one or more of them
  6. Ideological Issues – essentially, matters of opinion (the line between this category and the one above is blurry)

Politicians (in America, anyway) seems to mainly focus on 4 and 6, with a bit of 5, even less of 3, and basically nothing at all on 1 and 2. While 4-6 are important, they really are less important than 1-3, and I wish there was more focus and action on threats at those levels.

Here are the actual addressable threats and categorization I came up with:

Extinction Events – no more humans to speak of
– super impactor
– global nuclear war
– super-plague (natural or engineered) – global, highly lethal
– hostile super-intelligence
– state-shifting climate change – ice-world, hell-world, poison air, etc.
– artificial black hole
– grey goo – nanotech eats everything, everything organic, or similar

Global Collapse Events – no more modern civilization to speak of
– global food-chain destruction
– global water supply destruction
– maybe strong AI? probably not (see Corporations)
– catastrophic climate change
– limited nuclear war
– major impactor
– blue goo – nanotech eats key resources
– super-plague (natural or engineered) – global, highly lethal
– hostile super-intelligence
– climate change – continental catastrophes

Political/National Collapse Events – no more country to speak of
– continental/regional water supply destruction
– continental/regional food-chain destruction
– minor impactor
– super storm
– civil war – open fighting at all levels; vertical divide(s)
– national / continental revolution – internal low-level and broad fighting against mid- and high-level
– coup – internal high-level take-over / replacement, existing systems replaced / dismantled
– dissolution – internal mid- or high-level obstruction / dismantling
– exodus – internal low-level and broad departure
– invasion – external take over
– maybe strong AI? probably not (see Corporations)
– grey- or blue-goo outbreak, contained at large scale
– super-plague (natural or engineered) – moderately lethal
– targeted-plague (engineered) – highly lethal
– climate change – regional catastrophes
– economic collapse
– hostile super-intelligence

Way-of-life Collapse – things just aren’t good
– unemployment
– poverty
– immorality
– oppression
– large-scale stealing
– corruption
– loss of the commons
– abandonment / left-behind
– infrastructure decay
– fossil fuel depletion
– super-plague (natural or engineered) – low- or non-lethal, but disruptive / disabling over long term
– climate change effects – local catastrophes, regional problems
– economic decay / descent
– coup – high-level take-over / replacement, existing systems left largely in place
– civil breakdown
– invasion – external attack
– conceptual exodus – internal low-level and broad disengagement (i.e. leaving, just not physically)
– regional / local revolution(s) – internal low-level and smaller-scale fighting against mid- and high-level

Indirect Issues – things that aren’t directly any of the above but will / may lead to one or more of them
– culture shift
– technology disruption
– strong AI
– corporations
– global isolation

Ideological Issues
– things that are working but that should be different / ought to be a particular way
– sub-optimal-but-sufficient things
– opportunities, potentially lost
– prioritization

 

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