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The Precipice: Existential Risk and the Future of Humanity

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Toby Ord

8 Hours 14 Minutes

Recorded Books

March 2020

Audio Book Summary

From one of the world's leading moral voices, this urgent and eye-opening book makes the case that protecting humanity's future is the central challenge of our time. If all goes well, human history is just beginning. Our species could survive for billions of years-enough time to end disease, poverty, and injustice, and to flourish in ways unimaginable today. But this vast future is at risk. With the advent of nuclear weapons, humanity entered a new age, where we face existential catastrophes-those from which we could never come back. Since then, these dangers have only multiplied, from climate change to engineered pathogens and unaligned artificial intelligence. If we do not act fast to reach a place of safety, it will soon be too late. Drawing on over a decade of research, The Precipice explores the cutting-edge science behind the risks we face. It puts them in the context of the greater story of humanity, showing how ending these risks is among the most pressing moral issues of our time. And it points the way forward, to the actions and strategies that can safeguard humanity. An Oxford philosopher committed to putting ideas into action, Toby Ord has advised the US National Intelligence Council, the UK Prime Minister's Office, and the World Bank on the greatest challenges facing humanity. In The Precipice, he offers a startling reassessment of human history, the future we are failing to protect, and the steps we must take to ensure that our generation is not the last.

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  • Vasilije S.

    Decent but dry book. Nothing inspiring.

    Book Rating

  • standaerdt

    bit too general, somewhat obvious and lacks a few possibilities all used causes seem prudent to consider but the method of risk evaluation seems unfounded

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  • Blake B.

    I liked the book and the general message in it and while I understand why the author didn’t go further, general disbelief in and the lack of other authors mentioning the possibility of pre historic human civilization that did indeed encounter a catastrophic event similar to some of the scenarios mentioned in this book. While there is no proof of a technologically advanced, to current levels, pre historic human civilization there is evidence of a wide spread collapse of a human civilization that is not acknowledged today by most. I would like to hear these things added in examples and theories.

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