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woodchopper comments on The map of agents which may create x-risks - Less Wrong Discussion

2 Post author: turchin 13 October 2016 11:17AM

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Comment author: woodchopper 26 October 2016 10:41:12AM 0 points [-]

I really like that you mention world government as an existential risk. It's one of the biggest ones. Competition is a very good risk reduction process. It has been said before that if we all lived in North Korea, it may well be that the future of humanity would be quite bleak indeed. North Korea is less stable now than it would be if it was the world's government because all sorts of outside pressure contribute to its instability (technology created by more free nations, pressure from foreign governments, etc).

No organisation can ever get it right all the time. Even knowing what right is is pretty hard to do and the main way humans do it is with competition. We know certain things work and certain things don't simply because of policy diversity between nations - we can look and see which countries are successful and which aren't. A world government would destroy this. Under a world government I would totally write off humanity. I suspect we would all be doomed to die on this rock. People very much forget how precarious our current civilisation is. For thousands of years humanity floundered until Britain hit upon the ability to create continued progress through the chance development of certain institutions (rule of law, property rights, contracts, education, reading, writing, etc).

Comment author: g_pepper 27 October 2016 03:58:01AM 0 points [-]

I agree with your concerns regarding one world government. However, I am curious why you think that the following were "chance developments" of Britain: rule of law, property rights, contracts, education, reading, writing. Pretty much all of those things were in use in multiple times/locales throughout the ancient world. Are you arguing that Britain originated those things? Or that they were developed in Britain independently of their prior existence elsewhere?

Comment author: ChristianKl 26 October 2016 07:27:50PM 0 points [-]

North Korea is less stable now than it would be if it was the world's government because all sorts of outside pressure contribute to its instability (technology created by more free nations, pressure from foreign governments, etc).

The outside world also contributes to it's stability. The current leader is educated in Switzerland and he might be a less rational actor if he would simply be educated at a North Korean school

Comment author: turchin 26 October 2016 07:15:02PM 0 points [-]

While world government may be x-risks if it make mistake, fighting several national states could also be x-risk, and I don't know what is better.