We’re Not Great At Thinking About The Long-Term Consequences Of Catastrophes That Threaten Our Existence

Imagine that tomorrow a catastrophe wipes out 99% of the world’s population. That’s clearly not a desirable scenario — we would all agree that a peaceful, continued existence is preferable. Now imagine that the disaster kills everyone, wiping out the human race. Most of us would rate that as an even worse occurrence. But how do we see the relative severity of these different possibilities? Is there a bigger difference between nothing happening and 99% of people dying, or between 99% and 100% of people being wiped out? ….[READ]