Avoiding futures with astronomical amounts of suffering (s-risks) is a plausible priority from the perspective of many value systems, particularly for suffering-focused views. But given the highly abstract and often speculative nature of such future scenarios, what can we actually do now to reduce s-risks?
In this post, I’ll give an overview of the priority areas that have been identified in suffering-focused cause prioritisation research to date. Of course, this is subject to great uncertainty, and it could be that the most effective ways to reduce s-risks are quite different from the interventions outlined in the following.
A comprehensive evaluation of each of the main priority areas is beyond the scope of this post, but in general, I have included interventions that seem sufficiently promising in terms of importance, tractability, and neglectedness. I have excluded candidate interventions that are too difficult to influence, or are likely to backfire by causing great controversy or backlash (e.g. trying to stop technological progress altogether). When reducing s-risks, we should seek to find common ground with other value systems; accordingly, many of the following interventions are worthwhile from many perspectives.