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nazgulnarsil2 comments on Scope Insensitivity - Less Wrong

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

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Comment author: nazgulnarsil2 23 January 2009 10:27:14AM 0 points [-]

how many lives an action saves is less important than the emotional connotations of the act which takes the lives. take micronutrient dispersal programs vs terrorism. malnutrition kills orders of magnitude more people and yet far more money is spent on terrorist prevention (well, mostly terrorist prevention signaling, but that's another topic). This is because fighting terrorism is more exciting than fighting scurvy. The order of magnitude difference in impact is ignored when evaluating which thing to spend money on. This makes choosing terrorism easier as saving 100 people from terrorism is much better for public relations than saving 100 random kids with goiters.