Unfortunately, I think the logic is really flawed.
Near the end of the video, his “inescapable conclusion” is that “when faced with uncertainty about our future, the only responsible choice is to
eliminate ‘this’ [the worst consequences in column B] as a possibility.” And then says, “Because the risk of not acting far outweighs the risk
The problem, of course, is that he converts a “consequence” into a “risk” as if they are equivalent concepts. They are not…which makes his
argument largely meaningless.
I *might* be hit by a meteorite if I get out of bed in the morning…a dire consequence (to me anyway
), but with little risk… Using his logic, I
should avoid that consequence altogether and never get out of bed.
But even far more problematic is that he divorces any consideration of the relationship between “action” and his presumed outcomes…and dare I
say it… the issue of causation
For example, how does he know the expense, whatever the amount, will be sufficient to avert any global catastrophe? What if it’s too late and no
amount of human intervention will change matters? ( Read this.
Things really don’t sound too promising. ) Wouldn’t that mean that one of the possibilities is that I might have the worst expense *AND* the
worst consequence? Where is that in his matrix?
Also, the two ‘smiley’ outcomes are not really equivalents either. The first smiley in the do nothing column essentially represents the status
quo. The second smiley in the action column is really the same consequence as the global-economic-meltdown-for-nothing consequence found in the first
row of the action column… the only thing that changes is a justification
for the consequence.
Look at his matrix this way:
Assuming each outcome has an equal chance of happening…
Is column A still the obvious choice?
Nice try, though… I really do wish it were as easy as a simple logic test…
[edit on 19-6-2007 by loam]