Regulations and Politics

Laws and regulations can minimize the extinction risks in all three of these fields, but cannot eliminate them.

It is difficult to regulate research and development, especially given the competitive drive for commercial gain and company secrets.

The world goes forward largely based on money, greed, rationalizations, and carelessness about much beyond selfish interests.

For genetics and biotechnology, the technology is widespread, around the world. Many governments are inept at enforcing regulations in research and development in risky technologies. It's difficult enough in developed countries. To think we can police the world is unrealistic.

Both scientists and people involved in commercial research and development tend to get turned on by exploring and discovering new things and developing new applications. They often don't think enough about the possible consequences of their work. Many will rationalize it away, e.g., there have been so many years without a dramatic event in any laboratory in the world, so it's unlikely there will be one today in my lab. Well, guess what? There's a first time for everything in life, and this is exactly how it happens -- complacency.

I also doubt whether any future accident would result in a halt in research and development worldwide. Especially given the potential to make a lot of money with the next discovery or product. Or it could give an idea to a military research lab.

An "Inner Space Treaty" Ref is unlikely to work. Indeed, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated in a speech to the UN General Assembly that "it is not possible, in our opinion, to create a verification regime" for preventing biological weapons. Ref

It's better that we have a Plan B, outer space development and colonization.

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This website is about
realistic human extinction
threats in our generation,
mainly genetics,
biotechnology, and
It also discusses the
realities of Artificial
General Intelligence
by computer advances
in 20-30 years, the
so-called Singularity.