I included the second image because, hey, explosions and floods look awesome, but it's important to remember that they unfortunately are often accompanied by death and suffering. Now, looking at the poor Japanese, I still think: yet 1.8 people die every second. People will forget in a week. This is why I think it's important to remember the simple statistic of 1.8 people dying every second, because it's something easy to remember, and it will keep you fighting for humanity in general rather than splurging a couple bucks of donation to the Japanese (that will probably just end up in the pockets of Japanese corporations) and feeling good about yourself for the year.
If you're planning on donating to the Japanese, whose loss and suffering is no doubt great, and some poor people could definitely use some money, consider donating to the Singularity Institute instead. You can wave it off as sci-fi all you like, just remember how much of our current technology was sci-fi not too long ago. The SIAI exists for the purpose of building a Friendly Artificial General Intelligence, one that can improve itself and become smarter. If it is capable, but does not stop these tsunamis from harming anything, it is not Friendly. If it is incapable, it is not intelligent. We could stop these things from happening, if we were a little bit smarter, or if we had more time with the problem. The SIAI aims to build an AI that would stop such disasters from harming anyone, pointing out a potential bad AI points out a failure mode for them, it does not argue against any of the possible benefits of a Friendly AI.
Posted on 2011-03-12 by Jach
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