Download Catastrophe: Risk and Response by Richard A. Posner PDF

By Richard A. Posner

It is a very fascinating publication however it did not rather seize me. it's a very educational booklet, kind of like a textual content publication. This booklet may make a greater lecture. so much of his meat within the ebook comes from fiscal fee gain research. That details most likely comes throughout higher in a lecture.

First the writer lays out quite a few threats not to simply the rustic yet to the realm. He does donate much to the top of the realm stuff like an asteroid hitting the earth. Then he talks much approximately how one can show that hazard. He additionally is going into how one can show that chance. that's an enticing factor. The expression of the danger is helping society show the price of recommendations. the writer is going into usual clarification of current worth vs. destiny price. His approach to explaining that reaction is admittedly fascinating. for instance he explains how society places a cost worth on lives.

His final bankruptcy is a departure of the ebook kind. He has a few fascinating options. these ideas is a huge departure for a pass judgement on, yet not anything to radical.

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Extra info for Catastrophe: Risk and Response

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The response would reduce, however slightly, the cost of the impending extinction. The risk of extinction is only one of the risks created by the asteroid menace, and it is the aggregation of risks that should be the focus of concern. 41 This figure equates to an expected annual death rate from such strikes of 10,000. 42 But that figure was based on a Monte Carlo simulation (Monte Carlo simulations map probabilities onto timescales, showing when a probabilistic event might occur on the timescale covered by the simulations) that was truncated at 10,000 years; thus a very rare, very destructive asteroid collision might not show up in the truncated simulation but would if the simulation covered a longer interval.

89 Our eager searchers for extraterrestrial life are heedless of the danger that beings more intelligent than we—and many planets, perhaps a million in our galaxy alone, may be inhabited by beings as intelligent as we90 — might, if they discovered our existence, want to destroy us or put us in zoos, and be capable of doing so. Like Kurzweil, the searchers subscribe to the unwarranted belief that intelligence and goodness (our conception of goodness, moreover) are positively correlated, or that progress is always—progressive, which if true would mean that the twentieth century had been less violent than the nineteenth; in fact, it was more violent.

A robot equipped with a cost-benefit algorithm that specified safety or survival as the transcendent benefit might “decide” that its best course was to enslave or destroy the human race. Even if robots never develop the ability or inclination to take over the world, in the hands of human beings they could still constitute weapons of mass destruction comparable to the most destructive forms of nuclear and biological warfare. For this purpose, all that would be necessary would be for the robots to be able to identify and destroy human targets — a capability close to being achieved by the Unmanned C ATA S T R O P H E 42 Aerial Vehicles that the United States used in the Afghan war in 2001,95 and later in Yemen — and to reproduce.

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