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

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

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Comment author: DanielLC 25 December 2010 11:30:10PM 1 point [-]

There is no simple metric for "most good done."

I suggest the QALY, or quality-adjusted life year.

Should I feel guilty for donating money to public radio because it doesn't save children?

Yes. Sure you want radio, but they don't want to die. Who says your wants are more important?

Could you justify killing people for entertainment? Is this any different?

Comment author: shokwave 26 December 2010 03:05:53PM 7 points [-]

I consider DALY - disability-adjusted life years - better than quality-adjusted.

Basically, I am leery of letting people choose their own factors when given a range of 1 being perfect life and 0 being death. For instance, a charity that cures blindness in impoverished sections of Africa, with a pro-this-charity treatment might choose 0.1 as blind, 0.9 as cured (blindness is hugely disadvantageous, giving back sight is therefore a huge improvement); an anti-this-charity treatment might choose 0.1 as blind and 0.3 as cured (the rest of their life still sucks). This means a QALY-based look at the charity could over- or under-estimate by as much as a factor of 4! Comparisons of charities based on QALYs that are gamed could, possibly, be only viable on order-of-magnitudes.

Comment author: DanielLC 08 November 2013 07:33:29AM 0 points [-]

Is there a standard for DALYs?

I'm told that there's some kind of difference, but I still think of them as the same unit.

Comment author: [deleted] 08 November 2013 07:59:18AM 2 points [-]

Yes. Sure you want radio, but they don't want to die. Who says your wants are more important?

The fact that it's her own money?

Comment author: Lumifer 08 November 2013 03:32:26PM 1 point [-]

Sure you want radio, but they don't want to die. Who says your wants are more important?

My autonomy.