Community bias in threat evaluation

by pianoforte611 1 min read17th Jan 201426 comments


If I were to ask the question "What threat poses the greatest risk to society/humanity?" to several communities I would expect to get some answers that follow a predictable trend:

If I asked the question on an HBD blog I'd probably get one of the answers demographic disaster/dysgenics/immigration.

If I asked the question to a bunch of environmentalists they'd probably say global warming or pollution.

If I asked the question on a leftist blog I might get the answer: growing inequality/exploitation of workers.

If I asked the question to Catholic bishops they might say abortion/sexual immorality.

And if I were to ask the question on LessWrong (which is heavily populated by Computer scientists and programmers) many would respond with unfriendly AI.

One of these groups might be right, I don't know. However I would treat all of their claims with caution.

Edit: This may not be a bad from thing from an instrumental rationality perspective. If you think that the problem you're working on is really important then you're more likely to put a good effort into solving it.