Humanity may have to live no more than 700 years is an extremely short time scale in the history of human existence, which has about 3 million years, the report of a canadian company, BCA Research, specializing in investment research. Been sent to clients last week, the review entitled “Risk judgment day” (have) chief strategist BCA Research Peter Berezin, a former economist at Goldman Sachs, is set to a non-trivial investment analysis whether to come to an end and what is the probability of total destruction of human civilization. Although such a hypothetical event is considered to refer to the so-called “tail risk” (tail risk), implying a very low probability to underestimate it it is impossible. “The most disappointing that our analysis implies a high probability of disappearance on the horizon of several centuries, and perhaps much earlier”, — says the review.
Recognizing that the calculation of these probabilities is only a mind game, Berezin however, estimates at 50% probability of destruction of mankind to 2290 year and 95% that this will happen to 2710 year.
“The great filter”
The emergence of intelligent life on Earth itself was a rare event — otherwise people could count on detecting any traces of their own kind among 400 billion galaxies in the observable Universe. However, so far there are no signs of the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations, says Berezin. American scientist Robert Hanson in 1996, explained this using the concept of the “Great filter”, which among other things implies a high probability of destruction of humanity at the stage of advanced technological development. “We already have technologies that allow you to destroy the Earth, but we haven’t developed technology that will allow to survive in the event of a disaster,” writes BCA Research.
Berezin gives an example: in 2012, scientists at the University of Wisconsin in Madison in USA have shown that it is possible relatively easily to breed a new strain of flu is more dangerous than the “Spanish flu” that wiped out 50 million people worldwide in 1918. And this is not to mention the threat of nuclear war, asteroid impact, pandemics, the emergence of unfriendly artificial intelligence, out-of-control climate change.
The theorem on the end of the world
Berezin reminds about another catastrophic hypothesis — “the theorem of the doomsday” (Doomsday argument) astrophysicist Brandon Carter. Carter reasoned that if people today are in a random place in the whole of human history, chances are good that we live in the middle of this chronological scale. Economist at BCA Research borrows this idea comes from the fact that, to date, lived on Earth, according to rough estimates, 100 billion people. If civilization is destined to die, it will happen once on the planet is born even 100 billion people.
If humanity can colonize other planets or create a giant orbital ships, the probability of extinction of earthly life because of a disaster will decrease sharply, says Berezin, but at the moment the probability of doomsday is much higher than it was in the distant past or will in the future. According to him, civilization is apparently close to a turning point — the third in its history, overcoming that humanity will be able to rapidly raise the IQ by genetic technologies. Developing intelligence, in turn, will ensure the emergence of more and more intelligent people. However, with the increasing opportunities also increase the risks of end, says the economist, referring to a theory about the end of the world.
“A theorem on the end of the world” claims that humanity cannot or will not exist forever. It also does not set any upper limit of the number of people who will ever exist, no date of extinction of mankind. According to some calculations (the canadian philosopher John Leslie), there is 95% probability that humanity will die within 9120 years. But Peter Berezin suggests that the world could end much earlier. In his analysis he assumes that the total fertility rate in the world stabiliziruemost on the level of 3.0 (now is about 2.4), and comes to estimates, that the probability of 50-95% mortality of mankind will come before the year 3000.
The reasoning Berezina, if we assume that humanity in the foreseeable future, waiting for death, the accumulation of funds ceases to be so attractive. A lower savings rate, in turn, implies a higher interest rate and thus cheaper bonds, says the economist.
Another hypothesis that Berezin analyzes the impact on the choice of investment strategy, the concept of “parallel universes”, each of which are one and the same natural laws and which have the same world constants, but which are in different States. Proponents of this idea, among which are such famous physicists like Stephen Hawking, Brian Greene and Michio Kaku, I suppose, that we live in a multiverse which consists of many “universe bubbles”.
If the investor believes in the multiverse, he may be more predisposed to the bets that can bring a big payoff with very low probability, and thus harder to avoid a very small risk of large losses, says Berezin. The fact that the choice of investment person, may consider that even if he does not earn her much money, it will comfort the idea that this will be one of his “doubles” in a distant galaxy or a different quantum state.
Therefore, if we assume that there are billions of parallel universes, where billions “versions” of each person, for investors, is preferable to more risky assets (such as stocks) is less risky (bonds), concludes the economist BCA Research.