Takeoff and Takeover in the Past and Future

Over the past two years I ended up writing multiple well-received posts about AI takeoff and AI takeover, usually involving historical case-studies to serve as precedents and analogies. Since they all fit a theme, I’ve bundled them together in a sequence.

The most important posts are “The Date of AI Takeover...” and “Against GDP as a Metric...” If you only read two posts, read those. If you only read three, read those + the “Cortes, Pizarro, and Afonso… ” one. I’ve put them in suggested order of reading, but I have no evidence that this is the best order. You may prefer to read them in the order in which they were written, or in order of highest to lowest karma/​score.

The date of AI Takeover is not the day the AI takes over

Cortés, Pizarro, and Afonso as Prece­dents for Takeover

Les­sons on AI Takeover from the conquistadors

Soft take­off can still lead to de­ci­sive strate­gic advantage

Re­view of Soft Take­off Can Still Lead to DSA

Per­sua­sion Tools: AI takeover with­out AGI or agency?

Against GDP as a met­ric for timelines and take­off speeds

What 2026 looks like