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Global Catastrophic Risks

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Product Description

In Global Catastrophic Risks 25 leading experts look at the gravest risks facing humanity in the 21st century, including natural catastrophes, nuclear war, terrorism, global warming, biological weapons, totalitarianism, advanced nanotechnology, general artificial intelligence, and social collapse. The book also addresses over-arching issues - policy responses and methods for predicting and managing catastrophes.

Chapters from leading experts and thinkers covering some of the biggest risks facing the world today. Covers natural catastrophes, nuclear war, terrorism, biological weapons, totalitarianism, advanced nanotechnology, general artificial intelligence, and social collapse. Addresses the key methodological, ethical, and policy issues arising from the study of Global Catastrophic Risks. A global catastrophic risk is one with the potential to wreak death and destruction on a global scale. In human history, wars and plagues have done so on more than one occasion, and misguided ideologies and totalitarian regimes have darkened an entire era or a region. Advances in technology are adding dangers of a new kind. It could happen again.

Readership: A must-read book for anyone interested in the big issues of our time; for students focusing on science, society, technology, and public policy; and for academics and professionals working in these highly topical areas.

Edited by:  Nick Bostrom, Department of Philosophy, Oxford University, and Milan M. Cirkovic, Astronomical Observatory, Belgrade Foreword by Martin J. Rees

ISBN: 9780198570509

Publishers: Oxford University Press - July 2008

Format: Hardback 576 pages | 234x156mm

CONTENT:

Introducion Background  

  • Fred C. Adams: Long-term astrophysical processes  
  • Christopher Wills: Evolution theory and the future of humanity  
  • James J. Hughes: Millenial tendencies in responses to apocalyptic threats  
  • Eliezer Yudkowsky: Cognitive biases potentially affecting judgememnt of global risks  
  • Milan M. Cirkovic: Observation selection effects: the Fermi paradox, the Doomsday argument and the simulation argument  
  • Yacov Y. Haimes: Systems-based risk analysis  
  • Peter Taylor: Catastrophes and insurance  
  • Richard A. Posner: Public policy toward catastrophe Risks from Nature  
  • Michael R. Rampino: Supervolcanism and other geophysical processes of catastrophic import  
  • William Napier: Hazards from comets and asteroids  
  • Arnon Dar: Influence of supernovae, gamma-ray bursts, solar flares, and cosmic rays on the terrestrial environment Risks from Unintended Consequences  
  • David Frame and Myles Allen: Climate change and global risk  
  • Edwin Dennis Kilbourne: Plagues and pandemics: past, present, and future  
  • Eliezer Yudkowski: Artificial Intelligence as a positive and negative factor in global risk  
  • Frank Wilczek: Big troubles, imagined and real  
  • Robin Hanson: Catastrophe, social collapse, and and human extinction  
  • Joseph Cirincione: The continuing threat of nuclear war  
  • William Potter and Gary Ackerman: Catastrophic nuclear terrorism: a preventable peril  
  • Ali Nouri and Christopher F. Chyba: Biotechnology and biosecurity  
  • Chris Phoenix and Mike Treder: Nanotechnology as global catastrophic risk  
  • Bryan Caplan: The totalitarian threat  
  • Acknowledgements  
  • Index  
  • Author's Biographies

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