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The_Jaded_One comments on The map of global catastrophic risks connected with biological weapons and genetic engineering - Less Wrong

7 Post author: turchin 22 February 2016 11:18AM

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Comment author: The_Jaded_One 14 April 2017 09:06:13PM 1 point [-]

AFAIK Anthrax is not human transmissible. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthrax

In result there will be multipandemic with mortality 1- (0.5 power 100) = 0,99999

I don't think that's what would actually happen. Most likely, there would be a distribution over transmission rates. Some of your pathogens would be more infectious then others. The most infectious one or two of them would quickly outpace the transmission of all the others. It would be extremely hard to balance them so that they all had the same transmission rate.

The slower ones could be stranded by the deaths and precautions caused by the faster ones.

Comment author: turchin 15 April 2017 11:17:12AM 1 point [-]

I oversimplified to illustrate the idea of the multipandemic - that is many pandemics could happen simultaneously, either deliberately or because of explosion of bad biohacking, like it happened with computer viruses. Many pandemic will interact non-lineary, competing for dissemination ways, but their interaction could make also situation worse, as they could potentiate one another.

Anthrax probably could be made human transmittable by means of genetic manipulation.

I wrote long article about it, now under send it to Risk Analysis

Comment author: The_Jaded_One 16 April 2017 10:25:15PM 0 points [-]

But then why have we not seen a multipandemic of computer viruses?

Mostly (I assert) because the existence of an epidemic of virus A doesn't​ (on net) help virus B to spread.

Parasites which parasitize the same host tend to be in competition with each other (in fact as far as I am aware sophisticated malware today even contains antivirus code to clean out other infections); this is especially true if the parasites kill hosts.

I think a multipandemic is an interesting idea, though, and worthy of further investigation 👍

Comment author: turchin 17 April 2017 08:07:09AM 0 points [-]

I think that there are a multipandemic of computer viruses, but most of them now are malware which is not destroying data, and they are in balance with antivirus systems. However in early 1990s loosing data because of virus was common, and any computer user has experienced computer virus infection at least once.

"Nearly 1 million new malware threats released every day" http://money.cnn.com/2015/04/14/technology/security/cyber-attack-hacks-security/

Comment author: The_Jaded_One 18 April 2017 05:25:27PM 0 points [-]

I think that there are a multipandemic of computer viruses, but most of them now are malware which is not destroying data, and they are in balance with antivirus systems.

Well............ I don't know about this. If it's "in balance" and not actually destroying the hosts then it's not really a pandemic in the sense that you were using above. (Where it kills 99.999% of hosts!)

Comment author: turchin 18 April 2017 07:59:51PM 0 points [-]

There is a difference. We can reboot a computer, or reinstall an OS, but for a human it will be permanent damage or death.