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dreeves comments on Money: The Unit of Caring - Less Wrong

95 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 31 March 2009 12:35PM

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Comment author: dreeves 12 April 2009 12:32:14AM 24 points [-]

What really makes people uncomfortable is taking this to its logical conclusion and pointing out that enough economic inefficiency is as much of a human tragedy as, say, driving a school bus full of kids off a cliff. Which I absolutely believe.

Comment author: DanielLC 05 December 2011 02:52:51AM 3 points [-]

I agree if you mean the economic inefficiency from one person. If you mean the entire system, the bus full of kids doesn't even compare.

Comment author: dreeves 09 December 2011 12:04:29AM 3 points [-]

Wait, we may not be on the same page here. There's nothing you can do to one person, economically or otherwise, that would be nearly as bad as a school bus full of kids driving off a cliff, right?

Comment author: DanielLC 09 December 2011 04:46:19AM 2 points [-]

No, but one person can do can be much better than saving a bus full of kids from driving off a cliff.

The average person can't do that. You'd have to be around average for a developed country.

Comment author: [deleted] 27 January 2013 11:53:28AM 1 point [-]

You'd have to be around average for a developed country.

Assuming there are 25 kids in the bus, it would take about 14 months' worth of the US nominal GDP per capita for the AMF to save as many lives (not to mention that the kids saved by the AMF will likely have less QALYs ahead of them than the kids in the school bus). If you only count discretionary income, it'd probably take decades for “one person” “around average for a developed country” to do “much better than saving a bus full of kids”. (And note that the average is a lot larger than the median.)