•  218
    Long-Term Trajectories of Human Civilization
    with Seth D. Baum, Stuart Armstrong, Timoteus Ekenstedt, Olle Häggström, Karin Kuhlemann, Matthijs M. Maas, James D. Miller, Markus Salmela, Anders Sandberg, Kaj Sotala, Phil Torres, Alexey Turchin, and Roman V. Yampolskiy
    Foresight 21 (1): 53-83. 2019.
    Purpose This paper aims to formalize long-term trajectories of human civilization as a scientific and ethical field of study. The long-term trajectory of human civilization can be defined as the path that human civilization takes during the entire future time period in which human civilization could continue to exist. Design/methodology/approach This paper focuses on four types of trajectories: status quo trajectories, in which human civilization persists in a state broadly similar to its curren…Read more
  •  6
    Comment on ‘The Aestivation Hypothesis for Resolving Fermi’s Paradox’
    with Charles H. Bennett and C. Jess Riedel
    Foundations of Physics 49 (8): 820-829. 2019.
    In their article, ‘That is not dead which can eternal lie: the aestivation hypothesis for resolving Fermi’s paradox’, Sandberg et al. try to explain the Fermi paradox by claiming that Landauer’s principle implies that a civilization can in principle perform far more times more) irreversible logical operations if it conserves its resources until the distant future when the cosmic background temperature is very low. So perhaps aliens are out there, but quietly waiting. Sandberg et al. implicitly a…Read more
  •  26
    Compared with non-union workers, union workers take more of their compensation in the form of insurance. This may be because unions choose democratically, and democratic choice mitigates adverse selection in group insurance. Relative to individually-purchased insurance, we show that group insurance chosen by an ideal profit-maximizing employer can be worse for every employee, while group insurance chosen democratically can be much better. The reason is that democracy can fail to represent the pre…Read more
  •  3
    Single atom doping for quantum device development in diamond and silicon
    with C. D. Weis, A. Schuh, A. Batra, A. Persaud, I. W. Rangelow, J. Bokor, C. C. Lo, S. Cabrini, E. Sideras-Haddad, G. D. Fuchs, D. D. Awschalom, and T. Schenkel
    The ability to inject dopant atoms with high spatial resolution, flexibility in dopant species, and high single ion detection fidelity opens opportunities for the study of dopant fluctuation effects and the development of devices in which function is based on the manipulation of quantum states in single atoms, such as proposed quantum computers. The authors describe a single atom injector, in which the imaging and alignment capabilities of a scanning force microscope are integrated with ion beam…Read more
  •  29
    Are you fascinated by some basic questions about science, technology, and our future? Questions like: Is cryonics technically feasible? When will nanoassemblers be feasible and how quickly will resulting changes come? Does a larger population help or hinder the world environment and economy? Will uploading be possible, and if so when? When can I live in space? Where will I be able to live free from tyranny? When will A.I.s be bucking for my job? Is there intelligent life beyond earth? If you are…Read more
  •  26
    Forager Facts
    with David Youngberg
    We are economists with a long-standing interest in evolutionary psychology, who recently came to appreciate the rich collections of relevant data cultural anthropologists have spent decades collecting on the social environments of a wide range of human societies. While we found some systematic collections of these observations, we could not find a systematic summary of the social environment of the subsample of societies that most resemble the social environment where most human psychology seems…Read more
  •  50
    Enhancing our truth orientation
    In Julian Savulescu & Nick Bostrom (eds.), Human Enhancement, Oxford University Press. pp. 357--372. 2009.
  •  263
    How to live in a simulation
    Journal of Evolution and Technology 7 (1). 2001.
    If you might be living in a simulation then all else equal you should care less about others, live more for today, make your world look more likely to become rich, expect to and try more to participate in pivotal events, be more entertaining and praiseworthy, and keep the famous people around you happier and more interested in you.
  •  5
    Why Health Is Not Special: Errors In Evolved Bioethics Intuitions
    Social Philosophy and Policy 19 (2): 153-179. 2002.
    There is a widespread feeling that health is special; the rules that are usually used in other policy areas are not applied in health policy. Health economists, for example, tend to be reluctant to offer economists' usual prescription of competition and consumer choice, even though they have largely failed to justify this reluctance by showing that health economics involves special features such as public goods, externalities, adverse selection, poor consumer information, or unusually severe con…Read more
  •  129
    Uncommon priors require origin disputes
    Theory and Decision 61 (4): 319-328. 2006.
    In standard belief models, priors are always common knowledge. This prevents such models from representing agents’ probabilistic beliefs about the origins of their priors. By embedding standard models in a larger standard model, however, pre-priors can describe such beliefs. When an agent’s prior and pre-prior are mutually consistent, he must believe that his prior would only have been different in situations where relevant event chances were different, but that variations in other agents’ priors …Read more
  •  199
    When Worlds Collide: Quantum Probability from Observer Selection? (review)
    Foundations of Physics 33 (7): 1129-1150. 2003.
    In Everett's many worlds interpretation, quantum measurements are considered to be decoherence events. If so, then inexact decoherence may allow large worlds to mangle the memory of observers in small worlds, creating a cutoff in observable world size. Smaller world are mangled and so not observed. If this cutoff is much closer to the median measure size than to the median world size, the distribution of outcomes seen in unmangled worlds follows the Born rule. Thus deviations from exact decohere…Read more
  •  81
    Are disagreements honest
    with Tyler Cowen
    Journal of Economic Methodology. forthcoming.
  •  59
    Shall We Vote on Values, But Bet on Beliefs?
    Journal of Political Philosophy 21 (2): 151-178. 2013.
    Policy disputes arise at all scales of governance: in clubs, non-profits, firms, nations, and alliances of nations. Both the means and ends of policy are disputed. While many, perhaps most, policy disputes arise from conflicting ends, important disputes also arise from differing beliefs on how to achieve shared ends. In fact, according to many experts in economics and development, governments often choose policies that are “inefficient” in the sense that most everyone could expect to gain from o…Read more
  •  96
    Consensus By Identifying Extremists
    Theory and Decision 44 (3): 293-301. 1998.
    Given a finite state space and common priors, common knowledge of the identity of an agent with the minimal (or maximal) expectation of a random variable implies ‘consensus’, i.e., common knowledge of common expectations. This ‘extremist’ statistic induces consensus when repeatedly announced, and yet, with n agents, requires at most log2 n bits to broadcast
  •  21
    The Hanson-Hughes debate on “The Crack of a Future Dawn.”
    Journal of Evolution and Technology 16 (1): 99-126. 2007.
  •  100
    For Bayesian Wannabes, Are Disagreements Not About Information?
    Theory and Decision 54 (2): 105-123. 2003.
    Consider two agents who want to be Bayesians with a common prior, but who cannot due to computational limitations. If these agents agree that their estimates are consistent with certain easy-to-compute consistency constraints, then they can agree to disagree about any random variable only if they also agree to disagree, to a similar degree and in a stronger sense, about an average error. Yet average error is a state-independent random variable, and one agent's estimate of it is also agreed to be…Read more
  •  36
    Why health is not special: Errors in evolved bioethics intuitions
    Social Philosophy and Policy 19 (2): 153-179. 2002.
    There is a widespread feeling that health is special; the rules that are usually used in other policy areas are not applied in health policy. Health economists, for example, tend to be reluctant to offer economists’ usual prescription of competition and consumer choice, even though they have largely failed to justify this reluctance by showing that health economics involves special features such as public goods, externalities, adverse selection, poor consumer information, or unusually severe con…Read more
  •  3
    Meet the new conflict, same as the old conflict
    Journal of Consciousness Studies 19 (1-2): 1-2. 2012.
    Chalmers is right: we should expect our civilization to, within centuries, have vastly increasedmental capacities, surely in total and probably also for individual creatures and devices.We should also expect to see the conflicts he describes between creatures and devices with more versus less capacity. But Chalmers' main prediction follows simply by extrapolating historical trends, and the conflicts he identifies are common between differing generations. There is value in highlighting these issu…Read more