I hope your day is going well,
you’ve gotten enough water, you had a good night’s sleep.
I care about you.
I don’t know you, but I know you have value. You experience vibrant emotions and you generate great new ideas. Imagine if we had more people like you.
Well, right now we’ve got around eight billion humans running around. Being creative. Solving problems. Loving others and the world.
And that’s WAY more people than any other time in history.
When HER grandma was hanging up posters of Napoleon in her college dorm room, there were only NINE HUNDRED MILLION PEOPLE. TOTAL.
(just kidding. she wasn’t allowed to go to college)
I think your grandma would probably agree that your life is worth the same as hers. *
*even if she likes your brother better :(
If you believe that all human lives have equal value, then logically more humans > less humans
So the total value of humanity right now is more than it’s ever been.
And… well, get this
No for real this broke me
If we were to settle the solar system with self-sustaining colonies, our civilization could reach TWENTY BILLION BILLION* PEOPLE.
*or twenty quintillion, if you’re an academic
For the entire Milky Way, that figure becomes 10^25 people … TEN MILLION BILLION BILLION PEOPLE.
And for the reachable universe*.. 10^35 humans* and numbers have lost all meaning :))
*not the same as the observable universe
*uploading ourselves to the metaverse notwithstanding
Even if you think that people who haven’t been born yet don’t have the same importance as living people…
that’s still a TON of potential humans. Friendships made, jokes told, blog posts written, jello shots slurped…
-but what if we decide not to colonize space?-
Who said that??
this isn’t even a physical space!!
Okay, but that’s a fair question. It sure seems like we’re going to settle space - NASA at least has made its intentions clear. There are plenty of incentives to establish colonies outside the Earth, such as minerals and real estate.*
*if we end up not settling space .. would that be an existential risk?
Also - even if we all become *digital minds* and no longer need a house or food or property rights or personal space * EMILY *
we’d still need increasing amounts of energy to simulate all the chocolate we will eat and the weighted blankets we will have
-Oookay, so we expand into the galaxy. What’s the risk?-
We’re screwing it all up!
The lack of international collaboration or heavy commercialization in space could lock in a competitive or undemocratic culture for future generations.
We have to determine the right governing mechanisms SOON or else
FOR THE NEXT 10^?? YEARS!!!
So if space expansion is going to happen anyway - and it could be a GREAT THING for trillions of people (obviously including 10^9 descended from you personally)
we need to make sure we don’t accidentally set a dangerous precedent RIGHT NOW that will jeopardize humanity’s future in space.
To reduce the risk of war, how should colonies be established? How should they be able to become sovereign states? How should mining and territorial rights be distributed?
Is settling Mars a realistic strategy for reducing existential risk from asteroids and pandemics?
How will debris in low-earth orbit affect space exploration?
Should we bring animals with us to other planets?
and a LOT more open questions