CCCR 2020 - Are we nearly there yet? Taking the long and longer term view of humanity

Published on 11 December 2020

Are we nearly there yet? Taking the long and longer term view of humanity.

Questions about global catastrophic risk are intimately bound up with questions about the long-term future of humanity and our place in the universe. Many of the low-probability/high-impact risk scenarios that GCR scholars are most concerned about are intergenerational in nature and depend upon the long-term trajectory of our species.
For instance, some risks arise specifically as a result of long term social and technological progress (AI, Climate Change), while other risks may be unlikely to impact on any given generation but will certainly affect humanity in the long run (volcanic super-eruptions, solar flares). Furthermore, the imperative to save humanity from extinction takes on a noticeably different form if we view our fate as having cosmic significance, for instance if we believe that humanity is alone in the universe.
This panel will consider how we can take a long-term view of our species, and just how long term a view it is appropriate to take. For instance, is it long-term enough to consider the risks that humanity will face in the 21st century, or should we already be concerned with how to survive the heat death of the universe?

Anders Sandberg: Grand futures: how much is there to hope for, how much is at stake?

Anders Sandberg is a Senior Research Fellow at the Future of Humanity Institute, Research Associate to The Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics and the Oxford Centre for Neuroethics and Fellow at Reuben College at the University of Oxford.

Sheri Wells-Jensen: Grand futures: Who will be there?

Sheri Wells-Jensen is an Associate Professor in the Department of English and undergraduate minor in linguistics at Bowling Green State University (BGSU), Ohio.

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