Just in Case You Weren’t Already Worried About the Future, Here’s a Few Ways Society Could Collapse in 2024

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A worldwide collapse of civilization could be triggered by what are called existential risks. Existential risks have been studied extensively by Swedish philosopher Nick Bostrom, who created the graphic above of qualitative existential risk categories. Bostrom now runs the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University, which specializes in the study of existential risks.

Bostrom defines existential risks as a risk, “…that threatens the premature extinction of Earth-originating intelligent life or the permanent and drastic destruction of its potential for desirable future development…” A notch down from existential risks are global catastrophic risks. Bostrom has edited a collection of essays on Global Catastrophic Risks with Milan Ćirković. They define global catastrophic risks as, “…a risk that might have the potential to inflict serious damage to human well-being on a global scale…”

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While I am sympathetic to the other answer to this question given by John Dewar Gleissner, which emphasizes the robustness of civilization and the unlikelihood of complete collapse not followed by recovery, I think it nevertheless a good idea to be fully aware of the existential risks that could bring an end to civilization, even if they are unlikely.



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