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#55 - Baum on the Long-Term Future of Human Civilisation

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In this episode I talk to Seth Baum. Seth is an interdisciplinary researcher working across a wide range of fields in natural and social science, engineering, philosophy, and policy. His primary research focus is global catastrophic risk. He also works in astrobiology. He is the Co-Founder (with Tony Barrett) and Executive Director of the Global Catastrophic Risk Institute. He is also a Research Affiliate of the University of Cambridge Centre for the Study of Existential Risk. We talk about the importance of studying the long-term future of human civilisation, and map out four possible trajectories for the long-term future.You can download the episode here or listen below. You can also subscribe on a variety of different platforms, including iTunes, Stitcher, Overcast, Podbay, Player FM and more. The RSS feed is available here. Show Notes0:00 - Introduction1:39 - Why did Seth write about the long-term future of human civilisation?5:15 - Why should we care about the long-term future? What is the long-term future?13:12 - How can we scientifically and ethically study the long-term future?16:04 - Is it all too speculative?20:48 - Four possible futures, briefly sketched: (i) status quo; (ii) catastrophe; (iii) technological transformation; and (iv) astronomical23:08 - The Status Quo Trajectory - Keeping things as they are28:45 - Should we want to maintain the status quo?33:50 - The Catastrophe Trajectory - Awaiting the likely collapse of civilisation38:58 - How could we restore civilisation post-collapse? Should we be working on this now?44:00 - Are we under-investing in research into post-collapse restoration?49:00 - The Technological Transformation Trajectory - Radical change through technology52:35 - How desirable is radical technological change?56:00 - The Astronomical Trajectory - Colonising the solar system and beyond58:40 - Is the colonisation of space the best hope for humankind?1:07:22 - How should the study of the long-term future proceed from here? . . .

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News source: Philosophical Disquisitions

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