Stefan_Schubert comments on Improving long-run civilisational robustness - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: Stefan_Schubert 10 May 2016 12:41:30PM 5 points [-]

Thanks. I agree that we should do cross-cutting work that addresses several or all catastrophic risks. At the same time, the catastrophic risks are so dissimilar (e.g. asteroids, AI, and synthetic biology have little in common) that many of the more effective interventions will be risk-specific.

It is also worth noting that prevention work in general seems more risk-specific than recovery work (response work might be somewhere in between). Also, note that for some risks (e.g. AI, asteroids), there is a risk that there would be no chance of recovery after a disaster.

Another relevant distinction is that between object-level interventions, which reduce X-risk directly, and meta-level/capacity-building interventions (e.g. setting up new X-risk institutions, raising awareness about X-risk among policy-makers), which reduce X-risk because we anticipate that they will enable us to do object-level work more effectively later on. Capacity-building is more often cross-cutting, and is plausibly quite important relative to object-level work at this point in time.