Global Catastrophic Risks


Author: Nick Bostrom,Milan M. Cirkovic
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199606501
Category: Mathematics
Page: 576
View: 7448

A Global Catastrophic Risk is one that has the potential to inflict serious damage to human well-being on a global scale. This book focuses on such risks arising from natural catastrophes (Earth-based or beyond), nuclear war, terrorism, biological weapons, totalitarianism, advanced nanotechnology, artificial intelligence and social collapse.

Global Catastrophic Risks


Author: Nick Bostrom,Milan M. Cirkovic
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 9780191578496
Category: Science
Page: 578
View: 8963

A global catastrophic risk is one with the potential to wreak death and destruction on a global scale. In human history, wars and plagues have done so on more than one occasion, and misguided ideologies and totalitarian regimes have darkened an entire era or a region. Advances in technology are adding dangers of a new kind. It could happen again. In Global Catastrophic Risks 25 leading experts look at the gravest risks facing humanity in the 21st century, including asteroid impacts, gamma-ray bursts, Earth-based natural catastrophes, nuclear war, terrorism, global warming, biological weapons, totalitarianism, advanced nanotechnology, general artificial intelligence, and social collapse. The book also addresses over-arching issues - policy responses and methods for predicting and managing catastrophes. This is invaluable reading for anyone interested in the big issues of our time; for students focusing on science, society, technology, and public policy; and for academics, policy-makers, and professionals working in these acutely important fields.

Global Catastrophic Risks


Author: Nick Bostrom,Milan M. Cirkovic
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 9780198570509
Category: Science
Page: 576
View: 4964

A global catastrophic risk is one with the potential to wreak death and destruction on a global scale. In human history, wars and plagues have done so on more than one occasion, and misguided ideologies and totalitarian regimes have darkened an entire era or a region. Advances in technology are adding dangers of a new kind. It could happen again.In Global Catastrophic Risks 25 leading experts look at the gravest risks facing humanity in the 21st century, including natural catastrophes, nuclear war, terrorism, global warming, biological weapons, totalitarianism, advanced nanotechnology, general artificial intelligence, and social collapse. The book also addresses over-arching issues - policy responses and methods for predicting and managing catastrophes.This is invaluable reading for anyone interested in the big issues of our time; for students focusing on science, society, technology, and public policy; and for academics, policy-makers, and professionals working in these acutely important fields.

Quantifying and Controlling Catastrophic Risks


Author: B. John Garrick
Publisher: Academic Press
ISBN: 9780080923451
Category: Nature
Page: 376
View: 322

The perception, assessment and management of risk are increasingly important core principles for determining the development of both policy and strategic responses to civil and environmental catastrophes. Whereas these principles were once confined to some areas of activity i.e. financial and insurance, they are now widely used in civil and environmental engineering. Comprehensive and readable, Civil and Environmental Risk: Mitigation and Control, provides readers with the mathematical tools and quantitative methods for determining the probability of a catastrophic event and mitigating and controlling the aftermath. With this book engineers develop the required skills for accurately assessing risk and formulating appropriate response strategies. The two part treatment starts with a clear and rigorous exposition of the quantitative risk assessment process, followed by self-contained chapters concerning applications. One of the first books to address both natural and human generated disasters, topics include events such as pandemic diseases, climate changes, major hurricanes, super earthquakes, mega tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, industrial accidents and terrorist attacks. Case studies appear at the end of the book allowing engineers to see how these principles are applied to scenarios such as a super hurricane or mega tsunamis, a reactor core melt down in a nuclear plant, a terrorist attack on the national electric grid, and an abrupt climate change brought about by a change in the ocean currents in the North Atlantic. Written by the current Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board, Environmental risk managers will find this reference a valuable and authoritative guide both in accurately calculating risk and its applications in their work. Key Features Mathematical tools for calculating and Controlling Catastrophic Risk Presents a systematic method for ranking the importance of societal threats Includes both Natural and Industrial Catastrophes Case studies cover such events as pandemic diseases, climate changes, major hurricanes, super earthquakes, mega tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, industrial accidents, and terrorist attacks.

The Singularity is Near


Author: Ray Kurzweil
Publisher: Gerald Duckworth & Co
ISBN: 0715640151
Category: Science
Page: 683
View: 9380

Inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil examines the next step in the evolutionary process of the union of human and machine. He foresees the dawning of a new civilization where we will be able to transcend our biological skills with the vastly greater capacity, speed and knowledge-sharing abilities of our creations. In practical terms, human aging and illness will be reversed; pollution will be stopped and world hunger and poverty will be solved. There will be no clear distinction between human and machine, real reality and virtual reality. The Singularity is Near offers a view of the coming age that is both a dramatic culmination of centuries of technological ingenuity and a genuinely inspiring vision of our ultimate destiny.

Feeding Everyone No Matter What

Managing Food Security After Global Catastrophe
Author: David Denkenberger,Joshua M. Pearce
Publisher: Academic Press
ISBN: 0128023589
Category: Technology & Engineering
Page: 128
View: 8444

Feeding Everyone No Matter What presents a scientific approach to the practicalities of planning for long-term interruption to food production. The primary historic solution developed over the last several decades is increased food storage. However, storing up enough food to feed everyone would take a significant amount of time and would increase the price of food, killing additional people due to inadequate global access to affordable food. Humanity is far from doomed, however, in these situations - there are solutions. This book provides an order of magnitude technical analysis comparing caloric requirements of all humans for five years with conversion of existing vegetation and fossil fuels to edible food. It presents mechanisms for global-scale conversion including: natural gas-digesting bacteria, extracting food from leaves, and conversion of fiber by enzymes, mushroom or bacteria growth, or a two-step process involving partial decomposition of fiber by fungi and/or bacteria and feeding them to animals such as beetles, ruminants (cows, deer, etc), rats and chickens. It includes an analysis to determine the ramp rates for each option and the results show that careful planning and global cooperation could ensure the bulk of humanity and biodiversity could be maintained in even in the most extreme circumstances. Summarizes the severity and probabilities of global catastrophe scenarios, which could lead to a complete loss of agricultural production More than 10 detailed mechanisms for global-scale solutions to the food crisis and their evaluation to test their viability Detailed roadmap for future R&D for human survival after global catastrophe

Catastrophe

Risk and Response
Author: Richard A. Posner
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780195346398
Category: Science
Page: 336
View: 3404

Catastrophic risks are much greater than is commonly appreciated. Collision with an asteroid, runaway global warming, voraciously replicating nanomachines, a pandemic of gene-spliced smallpox launched by bioterrorists, and a world-ending accident in a high-energy particle accelerator, are among the possible extinction events that are sufficiently likely to warrant careful study. How should we respond to events that, for a variety of psychological and cultural reasons, we find it hard to wrap our minds around? Posner argues that realism about science and scientists, innovative applications of cost-benefit analysis, a scientifically literate legal profession, unprecedented international cooperation, and a pragmatic attitude toward civil liberties are among the keys to coping effectively with the catastrophic risks.

Anthropic Bias

Observation Selection Effects in Science and Philosophy
Author: Nick Bostrom
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 113671099X
Category: Philosophy
Page: 240
View: 8928

Anthropic Bias explores how to reason when you suspect that your evidence is biased by "observation selection effects"--that is, evidence that has been filtered by the precondition that there be some suitably positioned observer to "have" the evidence. This conundrum--sometimes alluded to as "the anthropic principle," "self-locating belief," or "indexical information"--turns out to be a surprisingly perplexing and intellectually stimulating challenge, one abounding with important implications for many areas in science and philosophy. There are the philosophical thought experiments and paradoxes: the Doomsday Argument; Sleeping Beauty; the Presumptuous Philosopher; Adam & Eve; the Absent-Minded Driver; the Shooting Room. And there are the applications in contemporary science: cosmology ("How many universes are there?", "Why does the universe appear fine-tuned for life?"); evolutionary theory ("How improbable was the evolution of intelligent life on our planet?"); the problem of time's arrow ("Can it be given a thermodynamic explanation?"); quantum physics ("How can the many-worlds theory be tested?"); game-theory problems with imperfect recall ("How to model them?"); even traffic analysis ("Why is the 'next lane' faster?"). Anthropic Bias argues that the same principles are at work across all these domains. And it offers a synthesis: a mathematically explicit theory of observation selection effects that attempts to meet scientific needs while steering clear of philosophical paradox.

Human Enhancement


Author: Julian Savulescu,Nick Bostrom
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 0199299722
Category: Medical
Page: 423
View: 2653

Human enhancement has risen into prominence as a topic in practical ethics and in public debates about the appropriate focus of biomedical research.This book features original contributions from many of the world's leading ethicists and moral thinkers working on these questions, representing a wide range of perspectives---from both the East and the West, from both booster and knockers and sceptics and moderates, with an emphasis on carefulanalytic work. Julian Savulescu and Nick Bostrom thus present a unique snapshot of the state of the debate. This is a must-read for anybody who wishes to have an informed opinion on these matters.

The Economics of the Global Environment

Catastrophic Risks in Theory and Policy
Author: Graciela Chichilnisky,Armon Rezai
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319319434
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 649
View: 7606

This is the first book combining research on the Global Environment, Catastrophic Risks and Economic Theory and Policy. Modern economic theory originated in the middle of the twentieth century when industrial expansion coupled with population growth led to a voracious use of natural resources and global environmental concerns. It is uncontested that, for the first time in recorded history, humans dominate the planet, changing the planet's atmosphere, its bodies of water, and the complex web of species that makes life on earth. This radical change in circumstances led to rethinking of the foundations of human organization and, in particular, the industrial economy and the economic theory behind it. This book brings together new approaches on multiple levels: environmental sustainability requires rethinking in terms of economic theory and policy as well as the considerations of catastrophic risk and extremal events. Leading experts address questions of economic governance, risk management, policy decision making and distribution across time and space.

Superintelligence

Paths, Dangers, Strategies
Author: Nick Bostrom
Publisher: Oxford University Press (UK)
ISBN: 0199678111
Category: Computers
Page: 328
View: 4632

The human brain has some capabilities that the brains of other animals lack. It is to these distinctive capabilities that our species owes its dominant position. Other animals have stronger muscles or sharper claws, but we have cleverer brains. If machine brains one day come to surpass human brains in general intelligence, then this new superintelligence could become very powerful. As the fate of the gorillas now depends more on us humans than on the gorillas themselves, so the fate of our species then would come to depend on the actions of the machine superintelligence. But we have one advantage: we get to make the first move. Will it be possible to construct a seed AI or otherwise to engineer initial conditions so as to make an intelligence explosion survivable? How could one achieve a controlled detonation? To get closer to an answer to this question, we must make our way through a fascinating landscape of topics and considerations. Read the book and learn about oracles, genies, singletons; about boxing methods, tripwires, and mind crime; about humanity's cosmic endowment and differential technological development; indirect normativity, instrumental convergence, whole brain emulation and technology couplings; Malthusian economics and dystopian evolution; artificial intelligence, and biological cognitive enhancement, and collective intelligence.

Natural Catastrophe Risk Management and Modelling

A Practitioner's Guide
Author: Kirsten Mitchell-Wallace,Matthew Jones,John Hillier,Matthew Foote
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1118906071
Category: Science
Page: 536
View: 1025

This book covers both the practical and theoretical aspects of catastrophe modelling for insurance industry practitioners and public policymakers. Written by authors with both academic and industry experience it also functions as an excellent graduate-level text and overview of the field. Ours is a time of unprecedented levels of risk from both natural and anthropogenic sources. Fortunately, it is also an era of relatively inexpensive technologies for use in assessing those risks. The demand from both commercial and public interests—including (re)insurers, NGOs, global disaster management agencies, and local authorities—for sophisticated catastrophe risk assessment tools has never been greater, and contemporary catastrophe modelling satisfies that demand. Combining the latest research with detailed coverage of state-of-the-art catastrophe modelling techniques and technologies, this book delivers the knowledge needed to use, interpret, and build catastrophe models, and provides greater insight into catastrophe modelling’s enormous potential and possible limitations. The first book containing the detailed, practical knowledge needed to support practitioners as effective catastrophe risk modellers and managers Includes hazard, vulnerability and financial material to provide the only independent, comprehensive overview of the subject, accessible to students and practitioners alike Demonstrates the relevance of catastrophe models within a practical, decision-making framework and illustrates their many applications Includes contributions from many of the top names in the field, globally, from industry, academia, and government Natural Catastrophe Risk Management and Modelling: A Practitioner’s Guide is an important working resource for catastrophe modelling analysts and developers, actuaries, underwriters, and those working in compliance or regulatory functions related to catastrophe risk. It is also valuable for scientists and engineers seeking to gain greater insight into catastrophe risk management and its applications.

Risk in Extreme Environments

Preparing, Avoiding, Mitigating, and Managing
Author: Vicki M. Bier
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317029941
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 192
View: 8905

Risk in Extreme Environments presents a wide-ranging discussion of approaches for assessing and managing extreme risks. Extreme events are not only severe, but also outside the normal range of experience of the system in question, and can include environmental catastrophe; engineering failure; financial or business meltdown; and nuclear or other extreme terrorism. The book focuses on synthesizing research results in a way that provides insights useful to decision makers, and enables them to ask probing questions about the risks faced by their organizations, identify creative solutions, and minimize the neglect of extreme risks that can come from a focus on mundane or ordinary management challenges. The book details case studies on nuclear power, infectious diseases, and global catastrophic risks, in addition to sections on risk assessment, risk management, and risk perceptions. Since effective management benefits from an interdisciplinary perspective, the chapter authors include experts in economics, engineering, geography, law, political science, psychology, sociology, and science in addition to risk analysis. Risk in Extreme Environments is an accessible and valuable resource for risk managers and other decision makers responsible for large complex business and government decisions, while also providing enough detail and references to be informative for risk analysts interested in learning more about technical aspects of the various methods.

Here Be Dragons

Science, Technology and the Future of Humanity
Author: Olle Häggström
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198723547
Category: Technological innovations
Page: 288
View: 6259

The 20th century saw an unprecedented rate of technological development, and no slowdown is in sight. On the contrary, it is highly likely that changes in the 21st century will be even more revolutionary than those of the 20th, due to advances in science, technology and medicine. Particular areas where extraordinary and perhaps disruptive advances can be expected include biotechnology, nanotechnology, machine intelligence, and various ways to enhance humancognitive and other abilities using, e.g., pharmaceuticals, genetic engineering or machine-brain interfaces. The potential benefits are enormous, but so are the risks, including the possibility of humanextinction. This book is an attempt at a balanced discussion of these various technologies and their potential consequences. At the same time, it is a passionate plea for acting with foresight.

Risk Modeling for Hazards and Disasters


Author: Gero Michel
Publisher: Elsevier
ISBN: 0128040939
Category: Science
Page: 338
View: 8422

Risk Modeling for Hazards and Disasters covers all major aspects of catastrophe risk modeling, from hazards through to financial analysis. It explores relevant new science in risk modeling, indirect losses, assessment of impact and consequences to insurance losses, and current changes in risk modeling practice, along with case studies. It also provides further insight into the shortcomings of current models and examines model risk and ideas to diversify risk assessment. Risk Modeling for Hazards and Disasters instructs readers on how to assess, price and then hedge the losses from natural and manmade catastrophes. This book reviews current model development and science and explains recent changes in the catastrophe modeling space, including new initiatives covering uncertainty and big data in the assessment of risk for insurance pricing and portfolio management. Edited by a leading expert in both hazards and risk, this book is authored by a global panel including major modeling vendors, modeling consulting firms, and well-known catastrophe modeling scientists. Risk Modeling for Hazards and Disasters provides important insight into how models are used to price and manage risk. Includes high profile case studies such as the Newcastle earthquake, Hurricane Andrew and Hurricane Katrina Provides crucial information on new ideas and platforms that will help address the new demands for risk management and catastrophe risk reporting Presents the theory and practice needed to know how models are created and what is and what is not important in the modeling process Covers relevant new science in risk modeling, indirect losses, assessment of impact and consequences to insurance losses, and current changes in risk modeling practice, along with case studies

The Gray Rhino

How to Recognize and Act on the Obvious Dangers We Ignore
Author: Michele Wucker
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 125005382X
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 304
View: 4757

"A "gray rhino" is a highly probable, imminent threat; we can see the dust cloud on the horizon long before the charging animal comes into view. Gray rhinos are not random, but occur after a series of warnings and visible events. The Lehman Brothers crash of 2008, the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and other natural disasters, the file-sharing that presaged the collapse of the traditional music business model, the rising chaos in the Middle East...all were evident well in advance of the consequences. Gray rhinos are much easier to spot and guard against than "black swans"-- the rare, truly unforeseen catastrophes. Why then, when faced with solvable problems, do we continually fail to address them before they spiral out of control? Drawing on her extensive background in policy formation and crisis management, as well as in-depth interviews with leaders from around the world, Michele Wucker explains in The Gray Rhino how significant crises can be recognized and countered strategically. Filled with persuasive stories, real-world examples, and practical advice, The Gray Rhino is essential reading for managers, investors, planners, policy makers, and anyone who wants to understand how change really occurs"--

Catastrophe Risk Financing in Developing Countries

Principles for Public Intervention
Author: J. David Cummins,Olivier Mahul
Publisher: World Bank Publications
ISBN: 0821377361
Category: Political Science
Page: 268
View: 3525

'Catastrophe Risk Financing in Developing Countries' provides a detailed analysis of the imperfections and inefficiencies that impede the emergence of competitive catastrophe risk markets in developing countries. The book demonstrates how donors and international financial institutions can assist governments in middle- and low-income countries in promoting effective and affordable catastrophe risk financing solutions. The authors present guiding principles on how and when governments, with assistance from donors and international financial institutions, should intervene in catastrophe insurance markets. They also identify key activities to be undertaken by donors and institutions that would allow middle- and low-income countries to develop competitive and cost-effective catastrophe risk financing strategies at both the macro (government) and micro (household) levels. These principles and activities are expected to inform good practices and ensure desirable results in catastrophe insurance projects. 'Catastrophe Risk Financing in Developing Countries' offers valuable advice and guidelines to policy makers and insurance practitioners involved in the development of catastrophe insurance programs in developing countries.

Options for Volatile Markets

Managing Volatility and Protecting Against Catastrophic Risk
Author: Richard Lehman,Lawrence G. McMillan
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1118102665
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 210
View: 6352

Practical option strategies for the new post-crisis financial market Traditional buy-and-hold investing has been seriously challenged in the wake of the recent financial crisis. With economic and market uncertainty at a very high level, options are still the most effective tool available for managing volatility and downside risk, yet they remain widely underutilized by individuals and investment managers. In Options for Volatile Markets, Richard Lehman and Lawrence McMillan provide you with specific strategies to lower portfolio volatility, bulletproof your portfolio against any catastrophe, and tailor your investments to the precise level of risk you are comfortable with. While the core strategy of this new edition remains covered call writing, the authors expand into more comprehensive option strategies that offer deeper downside protection or even allow investors to capitalize on market or individual stock volatility. In addition, they discuss new offerings like weekly expirations and options on ETFs. For investors who are looking to capitalize on global investment opportunities but are fearful of lurking "black swans", this book shows how ETFs and options can be utilized to construct portfolios that are continuously protected against unforeseen calamities. A complete guide to the increased control and lowered risk covered call writing offers active investors and traders Addresses the changing investment environment and how to use options to succeed within it Explains how to use options with exchange-traded funds Understanding options is now more important than ever, and with Options for Volatile Markets as your guide, you'll quickly learn how to use them to protect your portfolio as well as improve its overall performance.

Our Final Hour

A Scientist's Warning
Author: Martin Rees
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 9780786740697
Category: Science
Page: 240
View: 9703

Bolstered by unassailable science and delivered in eloquent style, Our Final Hour's provocative argument that humanity has a mere 5050 chance of surviving the next century has struck a chord with readers, reviewers, and opinion-makers everywhere. Rees's vision of our immediate future is both a work of stunning scientific originality and a humanistic clarion call on behalf of the future of life.

Life 3.0

Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence
Author: Max Tegmark
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 1101946601
Category: Technology & Engineering
Page: 384
View: 2115

New York Times Best Seller How will Artificial Intelligence affect crime, war, justice, jobs, society and our very sense of being human? The rise of AI has the potential to transform our future more than any other technology—and there’s nobody better qualified or situated to explore that future than Max Tegmark, an MIT professor who’s helped mainstream research on how to keep AI beneficial. How can we grow our prosperity through automation without leaving people lacking income or purpose? What career advice should we give today’s kids? How can we make future AI systems more robust, so that they do what we want without crashing, malfunctioning or getting hacked? Should we fear an arms race in lethal autonomous weapons? Will machines eventually outsmart us at all tasks, replacing humans on the job market and perhaps altogether? Will AI help life flourish like never before or give us more power than we can handle? What sort of future do you want? This book empowers you to join what may be the most important conversation of our time. It doesn’t shy away from the full range of viewpoints or from the most controversial issues—from superintelligence to meaning, consciousness and the ultimate physical limits on life in the cosmos.