Where did the idea of x-risk come from?

by fowlertm1 min read26th Mar 20212 comments


World Optimization

Recently on the Futurati Podcast we interviewed Thomas Moynihan on how humanity came to discover the possibility of its own extinction and, with it, the full value of ourselves and our potential future. 

Ideas are the basic means by which we grapple with the staggering complexity the world. They matter, and where they come from matters.

Without a proper understanding of our place in the universe, of whether or not we're likely alone, of the source of values, and of what is likely to end the human experiment, we simply can't know how high the stakes are.

With the discovery of the concept of existential risk we've achieved an important milestone in our maturation as a species; Dr. Moynihan is, to my knowledge, the first intellectual historian to tell this story.

In our conversation we also discuss the anatomy of viral memes, the cognitive scaffolding required for having certain kinds of insights, 'vanguard ideas' which up open new regions of conceptspace, and many other things.

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Why I am downvoting this: your headline asks a question that a 1 sentence answer exists for in the form of (event, date). But you just tease and demand that a reader watch a whole video for the answer.

Agreed. I clicked on this thinking it was a question post and I thought "oh, I was hanging around back then, I could maybe say something that would be helpful" but instead it was teasing a video and not actually offering content of the type described.

I probably wouldn't be opposed if this were a link post with a title that made it clear that it was linking a video, but this feels spammy to me as is.