Re: List of envisioned global catastrophic risks

From: Olie L (
Date: Mon Dec 12 2005 - 18:34:09 MST

The Wikipedia list is a useful primer...

One thing tho- The wiki article calls the risk of impacts from space
"meteorites". I had thought that the general term for large objects
impacting the earth was "boloid"s. It would be inappropriate to call a
small planet hitting another planet a "meteorite" - it would be a boloid.
However, it seems that this term is neither in the dictionary, nor on
particularly many webpages, so it's not a common use term. Any astro


Because (1) It might be useful for certain futurology purposes, and even
planning; and (2) I Have something of a fondness for contemplating disaster
scenarios; I would be interested to see a list of possible events that
would have a significant impact on society, with one key measure being AI

Furthermore, I would be interested to put together some informed opinions
about the probability of some disaster scenarios. If the predictions are
any good, they might be useful for developing policies, and whether the risk
of pushing one tech might be offset the the benefits of averting a different
risk- see the discussions on:

Re: [sl4] Singularity, "happiness", suffering, Mars

from back in Late September '05

Note that things don't have to be existential risks to be globally
problematic and singularity relevant... For instance, although economic
stagnation is clearly not an existential risk, if there is enough economic
stagnation, it could seriously interrupt AI development and consequently FAI
singularity development, and consequently reduce our ability to address real
existential risks.

Another thing: although regional risks won't stop humanity, they are serious
concerns for AI development. F'rinstance, if a supervolcano - particularly
Yosemite - goes off, the US economy is rooted. The chances of this
happening are, what, in the order of 3E-06 per year (once every three
hundred thousand years or so)? Now, a supervolcano won't be a big issue for
the whole of humanity, but if the US economy is kaput, it's going to wreck
the global economy, and put a tangible dampener on AI development. How
much? Well, just say it put FAI development back 20 years (blind
conjecture), that's 20 extra years of risk of another catastrophy that
could... you get the picture.

-- Olie

>From: BillK <>
>Subject: Re: List of envisioned global catastrophic risks
>Date: Mon, 12 Dec 2005 09:59:59 +0000
>On 12/12/05, Tyler Emerson wrote:
> >
> > I recall seeing a long list of envisioned GCRs. Anyone know the URL?
> >
>You might be thinking of

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