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This was originally published as free content, in Robert Christgau's And It Don't Stop newsletter. You can have Christgau's posts delivered to your mailbox if you subscribe.

Guest Post: Brad Luen

A review of catastrophic and existential risks from Semipop Life

I'm pretty sure I've never met New Zealand-born University of Indiana statistics professor Brad Luen, an early member of the Witnesses commenting community generated by Microsoft's blog-like Expert Witness version of the Consumer Guide--a community that connected me to many warm friends and acquaintances new and old, some virtual and some live-and-direct, including my onetime personal assistant David Schweitzer, who died suddenly in his early forties, and the recently deceased Richard Cobeen. But a year or so ago I became aware of Luen's Semipop Life Substack newsletter, which once a month devotes itself to a Consumer Guide-style roundup that includes a few albums I've already written up and a few I've never heard of but am moved to check out. It's the only Substack I've felt inclined to recommend, at least so far, and it's so consistently smart that I always skim it at the very least. So as a convinced but relatively recent global warming alarmist, I jumped on Luen's roundup of end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it books. After all, Luen is a statistician--a professor of statistics at the University of Indiana, to be precise--and I'm not, which meant I could trust his recommendations more confidently than those of my fellow alarmists. Whether I'll ever read any of the books he covers in this Semipop Life post I'm not sure--The Uninhabitable Earth and Deadliest Enemy are the most likely candidates. But now I have a substantially clearer overview of the issues at hand, and found Luen's analyses so stimulating that I'm proud to run his roundup as a guest post on And It Don't Stop.

The Semipop Review of Catastrophic and Existential Risks

It might be the end of the world as we know it (pr. < 0.02) and I feel middling

by Brad Luen: [not yet reprinted by permission] from Semipop Life.

And It Don't Stop, November 2, 2022