Mind Expanding Easter 2023: existential risk and rapid technological change🌐hyperreality machine🌀ectogenesis and ethics🚼the fabric of reality💫Dark Forest hypothesis🌲the Waluigi Effect😈
Mind Expanding is my ~fortnightly curation of links to deeper dives and bigger thinks that I’ve come across while compiling the weekly Memia newsletter. A bumper issue this weekend for your digestion over Easter.
Links in today’s post:
🌐 Existential risk and rapid technological change
🌀 Hyperreality machine
🚼 Ectogenesis and ethics: the coming problems with artificial wombs
📹 Surveillance states: a survey of government surveillance across 47 countries
🪐 The Universe we inhabit: physics and cosmology
☄️ Near miss
🔮 de Sitter space
🌲 Dark Forest Hypothesis
💫 The fabric of reality
🌌 The Sublimed
🌍 Population, climate inaction, and renewable energy
📉 The heresy of decline: are we ready for global population shrinkage?
🤦 Why we just can't do it: climate inaction explained
⚡ The wires that bind: Saul Griffiths’ quarterly essay on renewables
🌿 Hacking photosynthesis
🤖 AI, AI, AI
🎓 Meta AI head Yann Lecun lecture on why LLMs need sensory grounding
😈 The Waluigi Effect
🏭 Silicon as religion: A tour of the TSMC factory in Taiwan
🦾 A Vision for Transhumanism
💸 The pitfalls of CBDCs
🖥️ Infopunk: interview with “information social playground” startup Sane co-founder
(Note: while writing this post, Twitter unexpectedly restricted access for Substack to embed tweets… that’s going to make my life harder! Have added some screenshots for now.)
Thanks for reading!
🌐Existential risk and rapid technological change
In response to UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, stating that:
“(…) there is renewed pressure to consider whether global governance systems are fit for purpose, and how they could be improved. Even as we reconsider traditional threats to peace and security, we need to update these concepts for our more complex world, in which local threats may quickly become global, existential, and intergenerational.”
The Simon Institute for Longterm Governance published a thematic study for the UN Office of Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) on Existential risk and rapid technological change:
“Historically, the risks from emerging technologies have often been small compared to their benefits. That is no longer the case. Because of the increasing pace of technological change across the globe, it is becoming more difficult for risk governance to keep up. While new technologies can bring society enormous benefits and significantly contribute to achieving global goals such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals, they usually have unintended effects, often cause harm accidentally, and are sometimes misused.
Biotechnology and artificial intelligence are two technologies that pose existential risk if their development and deployment are not properly governed. Biotechnology brings together science and engineering to (re)design, manufacture, and modify genetic materials, living organisms, and biological systems to, for example, treat genetic diseases, and create new biofuels or more nutritious crops. However, recent technological advances have greatly reduced the costs and provide access to actors who could, deliberately or accidentally, create and release a dangerous pathogen…A lethal ‘engineered pandemic’ is therefore a real possibility.“
I’m always seeking out other people’s models of “what’s really going on?”.