September 26, 2008

Petrov Day

Eliezer reminds us that today is Petrov Day. That is, on this day in 1983 Stanislav Yevgrafovich Petrov prevented a pre-emptive nuclear strike against the US.

During our workshop on existential risks this summer we discussed Petrov and other heroes of Armageddon-averting. The most annoying thing was that despite having a room crammed with experts on this kind of thing, we did not even know the names of some of Petrov's peers. I think one of the simplest, and most constructive ideas that came up during the meeting would be to try to set up a serious prize for averting an imminent threat to human survival, and use it to make everybody aware that real heroes walk the earth. Even if their heroism consists of not having done something.

Posted by Anders3 at September 26, 2008 01:18 PM