Beyond Astronomical Waste

by Wei_Dai27th Dec 20182 comments

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Long-term futureExistential risk
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This LessWrong post was written with (in part) an EA audience in mind, but I neglected to cross-post it here earlier, so I'm doing that now.

Faced with the astronomical amount of unclaimed and unused resources in our universe, one's first reaction is probably wonderment and anticipation, but a second reaction may be disappointment that our universe isn't even larger or contains even more resources (such as the ability to support 3^^^3 human lifetimes or perhaps to perform an infinite amount of computation).

In the rest of the post, I list some ideas for how we can one day achieve value that may be much greater than what can be gained by just creating worthwhile lives in this universe, and suggest what we can do today to help realize such hopes.

2 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 9:51 PM
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Yeah, I don't think filling the finite universe we know about is where the the highest expected value is. It's likely some form of possible infinite value, since it's not implausible that this could exist. But ultimately, I agree that the implications of this are minor and our response should basically be the same as if we lived in a finite universe (keep humanity alive, move values towards total hedonic utilitarianism, and build safe AI).