In reference to my Bloggingheads appearance, one loyal MR reader emails me:
you said don’t be certain, be 90-10 or 60-40 then [you] said 1-99 that humanity dies out when sun’s gone.
Yes, I believe the chance is very small that humanity survives the death of our sun or even gets close to that point. I’ll give it p = .005. But what’s the chance I think that is the correct p or even in the neighborhood of the correct p? Maybe 60 percent. Of course my p estimate could go either up or down and after I apply meta-rationality p = .005 is where I end up, for better or worse. I expect that fragile estimate to undergo lots of revision as I age, read more, etc. I just don’t know if it will go up or down, thereby satisfying one of Robin Hanson’s canons of rationality (or some approximation thereof).
Why am I skeptical? The Fermi paradox, for one thing, plus I observe that humans aren’t very good at solving large-scale collective action problems. Our environment may be more fragile than we had thought and that’s without even considering the impact of man.