Feb 26Liked by Erik Torenberg

Evolution has a major elephant in the room that it is ignoring: abiogenesis. Life arising from non-living matter is pretty much impossible. The odds of even an amino acid spontaneously being created is infinitely small, let alone a cell. Mathematically speaking, it is zero. But even ignoring the massive problem that is the origin of life, the fossil records do not support Darwinian evolution. Huge numbers of fossils, many in the Cambrian explosion, appear without the dozens or hundreds or thousands of variants that would have superseded the final complex finished form.

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Feb 27Liked by Erik Torenberg

Devils advocate… The emergence of non-zero sum solutions arise because cooperation and coordinated entities can defeat un or less-coordinated ones. IOW, competition between entities is the driving force for cooperation among entities. But the better organized more complex organizations are themselves the ones that create the power of these various existential risks. A village or town could never have made nuclear weapons, computers, or an industrial economy.

This is the dilemma of progress. With higher level, better coordinated NZS organizations we get not just more power to solve problems, but also more power to generate problems.

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It may be useful to better categorize existential risks to extract ways they can be addressed. For example, I wouldn't put the threats of climate change and AI in the same category. I'm sure there are also places where they intersect. In the future we may, for example, be faced with the decision of allowing parts of the planet to succumb to devastating pollution for the sake of true AI that can make huge leaps in understanding the mechanics of the universe, material sciences, biology etc. I can see this being a very hot debate. Even now I have engineer friends who gravely insist we should be much more careful with AI and biotech research. So maybe the question we should be asking is how and to what extent should we steer evolution? Do we have a right to do so? What if chasing zero sumness more rapidly leads to zero sum outcomes?

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