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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Notably uncared for causes you can work on


The thought this week: engaged on a extremely uncared for or pre-paradigmatic problem could possibly be a strategy to make a giant optimistic distinction.

We often give attention to how folks might help sort out what we predict are the most important world catastrophic dangers. However there are many different urgent issues we predict additionally deserve extra consideration — a few of that are particularly extremely uncared for.

In comparison with our top-ranked points, these issues usually don’t have well-developed fields devoted to them. So we don’t have as a lot concrete recommendation about find out how to sort out them, they usually may be stuffed with useless ends.

However for those who can discover methods to meaningfully contribute (and have the sort of self-directed mindset crucial, doing so may properly be your prime possibility.

Right here they’re, in no specific order:

1. Dangers of secure totalitarianism

If we put apart dangers of extinction, one of many greatest risks to the long-term way forward for humanity may be the potential for an ultra-long-lasting and horrible political regime. As know-how advances and globalisation and homogenisation improve, a secure type of totalitarianism probably may take maintain, enabled by improved surveillance, superior lie detection, or an obedient AI workforce. We’re unsure how massive or tractable these dangers are, however extra analysis into the world could possibly be extremely priceless. Learn extra.

2. Lengthy-term centered house governance

Humanity’s future, and the way forward for sentient life, could prolong far past Earth and even the photo voltaic system. However whether or not this potential enlargement goes properly or badly is way from sure. Within the meantime, as a result of house governance isn’t but settled, points corresponding to weapons in house may presently improve the danger of nice energy struggle. We expect some folks may have a big impression and enhance the prospects for our descendants by working within the discipline of house governance to put a optimistic groundwork for the longer term — and that now may be a very good time to take action. Learn extra.

3. Civilisational resilience

We usually give attention to measures to scale back world catastrophic dangers, however it’s additionally price asking: what can we do to assist humanity survive a worldwide disaster if one does occur, like an unlimited nuclear struggle or organic catastrophe? How possible is civilisation to get better from most disasters by default? Regardless of the significance of those questions, we all know of just a few folks and organisations making an attempt to reply them. Learn extra.

4. Wild animal struggling

Nature isn’t inherently variety. Many wild animals are compelled to endure vital ache, struggling, and illness all through their lives with little consolation. Whereas there’s traditionally been little curiosity in assessing or mitigating these harms, there’s now a nascent discipline of analysis and advocacy round potential alternatives to considerably cut back the pointless struggling of untamed animals. Learn extra.

5. Synthetic sentience

We’ve written so much in regards to the dangers AI poses to humanity. However we additionally assume there’s a believable case that AI methods themselves may sooner or later grow to be sentient — that’s, capable of endure or flourish. Which may properly make them topics of ethical concern themselves, and it may grow to be actually necessary that we guarantee the longer term goes properly for them too. We hope to dive extra into this problem quickly, however for now, you possibly can learn extra right here.

6. S-risks

S-risks, or struggling dangers, check with the danger of seeing vastly extra struggling sooner or later than has existed on Earth up to now. Sadly, this doesn’t look like such a distant chance to us that it may be ignored, however only a few persons are occupied with it. These dangers may come up as a part of different downside areas, and will have an effect on humanity, non-human animals, and maybe even future sentient, non-biological beings. Learn extra.


These points are all extremely uncared for, and although we don’t know as a lot about them as we’d like, we predict they may be crucial. Because of this if you will discover a approach to assist — for instance by doing analysis to disentangle the problem or assist begin up a analysis discipline — you may be capable of make fairly an outsized distinction.

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