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RyanCarey comments on The expected value of the long-term future - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: RyanCarey 29 December 2017 12:20:20AM 12 points [-]

Re page 9, I think the talk of a civilization maintaining exponential growth is unconvincing. The growth rate of a civilization should ultimately be bounded cubically (your civ grows outward like a sphere), whereas the risk is exponential. Exponentials in general defeat polynomials, giving finite EV in the limit of t, regardless of the parameters.

Comment author: Carl_Shulman 29 December 2017 12:45:42AM *  9 points [-]

That's our best understanding.

But there is then an argument on this account to attend to whatever small credence one may have in indefinite exponential growth in value. E.g. if you could build utility monsters such that every increment of computational power let them add another morally important order of magnitude to their represented utility, or hypercomputers were somehow possible, or we could create baby universes.

Comment author: ThomasSittler 04 January 2018 09:41:47PM 0 points [-]

FYI I ended up deciding to keep exponential growth in the main model, but I added a footnote discussing what happens in the limit of t. Thanks! :)