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NancyLebovitz comments on Efficient Charity: Do Unto Others... - Less Wrong

130 Post author: Yvain 24 December 2010 09:26PM

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Comment author: NancyLebovitz 25 December 2010 05:07:46AM *  2 points [-]

I wonder if getting too focused on the best (or worst) case scenario is a named logical error.

I'm also not sure whether giving a rare blood type is likely to save more lives than giving a more common blood type.

Comment author: rabidchicken 25 December 2010 07:41:50AM *  1 point [-]

It seems odd the more people of a certain blood type would sustain injuries requiring blood, or that people of a certain blood type would care more about blood donation So if the people who heard about blood banks and were interested, and the people who needed them are nearly randomly distributed in the population, I would expect the demand vs supply of each type to average out to the same figure.

However, I have heard blood banks ask specifically for people with rare blood types to donate, so it would appear that this theory is wrong. Alternatively, there is an equal shortage of all types, and someone in marketing thought that the specification would attract more people. (Even though if I was going to use the dark arts to make a group more likely to come, I would target the largest one)

Comment author: Perplexed 25 December 2010 03:35:32PM 4 points [-]

It seems odd the more people of a certain blood type would sustain injuries requiring blood, or that people of a certain blood type would care more about blood donation.

Blood types vary by ethnicity, SES varies by ethnicity, injuries and donations vary by SES.

Comment author: [deleted] 25 December 2010 07:41:32PM *  0 points [-]

For the same reason donating organs if one is mixed race is worth more (than organ donations by individuals of predominantly monoracial ancestry) because of complications in compatibility for the demographic.

Comment author: SimonF 25 December 2010 12:44:04PM 3 points [-]

The reason for this is the compatibility of the blood types, for example O-negative-blood can be donated to everyone and is therefore used in emergencies where the blood type of the recipient is not known.

Comment author: Nornagest 25 December 2010 09:02:36AM 0 points [-]

I know pretty much nothing about the mechanics of saving and donating blood, but I'd expect logistical effects to push demand for rare types up even if the actual need for them is proportional to their rarity.