If you really think about it, humans must look really strange to animals. We have more than one way of communicating, we’re ashamed of our bodies as to where it’s a law to wear fabrics, we destroy natural civilizations for artificial ones, and despite being of the same species, we always look past that aspect and question, judge, hurt and kill each other over what makes us different.

In that moment, we knew that we were all weird, all in this together, and that addressing our own suffering, while learning not to inflict it on others, is part of the work we’re all here to do. So is love, which comes in so many forms and can be directed at so many things.

Our approach to existential risks cannot be one of trial-and-error. There is no opportunity to learn from errors. The reactive approach – see what happens, limit damages, and learn from experience – is unworkable. Rather, we must take a proactive approach. This requires foresight to anticipate new types of threats and a willingness to take decisive preventive action and to bear the costs (moral and economic) of such actions.

The instinct of self-deception in human beings makes them try to banish from their minds dangers of which at the bottom they are perfectly aware by declaring them nonexistent, and a warning such as mine against cheap optimism was bound to prove particularly unwelcome at a moment when a sumptuously laid supper was awaiting for us in the next room.

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