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

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

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Comment author: shokwave 26 December 2010 04:35:49PM 3 points [-]

Think of it as a linear algebra problem, with numerous parameters with different weights. You end up with an optimal solution for all variables together rather than for a single variable alone.

This is what I had in mind; I just felt that that the "saving childrens' lives" variable would have a multiplier of a few hundred in front of it (because lives are important) and the other variables like "improves their community" would have multipliers of two or three at best. I couldn't think of any other variable that would have a similar multiplier to "child's life".

Comment author: Strange7 27 December 2010 11:45:09PM 0 points [-]

Some of those other variables will feed back in to the "child's life" variable, a generation or two down the road.

Comment author: shokwave 28 December 2010 05:26:19AM 3 points [-]

Feeding back into "child's life" a few generations down the road is not a multiplier of a few hundred. That it feeds back gives it an extra 10% or so; even with the feeding back, doing anything that isn't directly saving as many lives as possible right now is an objectively worse option.