#208 Existential Risk
Hundred percent of those requests no question. Okay! Well, the last episode was. Controversial. Episode two of seven on racism and police violence. we have since released an annotated transcript to that episode. With links to relevant videos and articles and data. I've seen some response some quite a of in praise. And some of it outraged. Which of course I expected. Many people also contacted me privately to convey their gratitude and full support. All the while making it clear that they can't take such a position publicly. And this is definitely a sign of the Times that concerns me. I'm talking about people who. In any sane society. Should be able to have the courage of their convictions. And some people thought it ironic. Even hypocritical for me to trump value of conversation in a solo podcast. But the truth is that podcast was just my way of starting. My side of a public conversation. I'm sure it will have proper conversations on this topic in future episodes. And I welcome recommendations about who I should speak with. But given what I perceived to be the desperate state of public irrationality at the moment. I wanted to say something at full length that was relatively well-formulated and compromise give. Rather than just lurch into a conversation with someone. And just see what came of it. anyways, it make clear in the podcast. That wasn't the final word anything. Apart from my sense of intellectual honesty has to be the basis for any progress we make here. And to that end, I will keep listening and reading and having conversations. Another thing to clarify here there now to formats to the podcast. And actually there's three types of podcasts that fall into two categories. The first is the regular podcast. which generally an exploration of a single topic, and that is usually with a guest very often based on a book here she has written. But sometimes it's a solo effort like my last podcast was. And the aim in this standard format is to say something of more than topical interest. Is Our podcast that I. Hope if you listen to them two years from now or even further in the future. They would still be worth listening to. And if you're seeing these episodes online, you'll see that they have a unique photo or piece of artwork associated with them, and they're titled in some way to reflect their theme and the second format which I've piloted with Palm Bloom and Caitlin Flanagan, but which have also used for other guests recently David from. Jonathan Height Andrew Yang. Ivano Harari. This format aims to be more topical. Is Not that we won't say anything of lasting, interest. But the goal is certainly to cover some events that are in the news, and to not linger too long on any one topic. And these episodes are titled Just with the date of the broadcast. So. I, hope, that clarifies fusion out there. Once he gave you wanted to get full episodes of the podcast. You need an account at Sam Harris Dot Org. And as there are no sponsors for the show. The fact that people subscribe is what allows me to do this. So thank you all for your support. Okay And now for today's podcast. Today I'm speaking with Toby Ord. Toby is a philosopher at Oxford, university. Morgan on the big picture questions that face humanity. He is focused on the ethics of global poverty. He is one of the young founders of the effective altruism movement. I previously had his colleague Wilma Casco on the, podcast. and He created the online society giving what we can, which has gotten as members to pledge over one point five billion dollars to the most effective charities. As current resources on the risks that threaten human extinction or the permanent collapse of civilization. Otherwise known as existential risk. And Toby has advised the World Health Organization the World Bank the World Economic Forum the US National Intelligence, Council and the UK Prime Minister's Office. And most important. Toby is the author of the new book. The precipice existential risk and the future of humanity. And is an excellent book which we cover only in part in this conversation. But we cover a lot. We talk about the long term future of humanity, the moral biases that we all suffer with respect to distance in space and time. The, psychology, of effective altruism. Feeling, good versus doing good. Possible blind spots inconsequential Azam. Natural verses human caused risk. The risk of asteroid impacts nuclear war pandemics. The potentially cosmic significance of human survival. The difference between bad things and the absence of good things. Population Ethics Derek Parfitt Dir. Parfitt was told his thesis adviser. The symmetry between happiness and suffering. Climate Change. And other topics. Needless to say, this is a conversation that. Stands a very good chance of being relevant? For many years to come. Because our capacity to destroy ourselves as only increasing. So without further delay I bring you toby ord.