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Is the effort to improve the world a lost cause?
While we might like the hopeful images painted by Wright and Bostrom as to solving major problems, or the rise of non-zero-sum games, these only hold up when looked at in isolation from the rest of the system. If we solve the problem of death, then the impact of massive consumption on the earth will be mind-boggling. Similarly if we achieve economic harmony between nation-states, the impact of increases in material growth and consumption would be astounding. It seems to me that non-zero-sumness only exists at a localized level, and that when looked at in the larger context, there is always a decline offsetting the gain. Even in Lomborg's talk, we must allow that reducing suffering due to problem A is to allow continued increase is suffering due to problems B-Z.
What are examples of gains or improvements that don't have counterbalancing downsides?