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Kindly comments on Scope Insensitivity - Less Wrong

46 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 14 May 2007 02:53AM

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Comment author: Kindly 29 April 2013 02:14:31PM 0 points [-]

Likewise, for the disease cures, it would make more sense to work on a cure that had a much higher success rate.

I don't see how the "potentially naive request" translates to this setting. Say there is a potential cure for disease A which saves 4,500 people of 11,000 afflicted, and a potential cure for disease B which saves 9,000 people of 200,000 afflicted (just to make up some numbers where each potential cure is strictly better along one of the two axes). What's the argument for working on the cure for disease A, rather than for disease B?

(I'm not going to argue with the "send Program A to work at Site B" argument, but I am also skeptical that many people in the study actually took it into account.)