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Ben_Jones comments on Zut Allais! - Less Wrong

23 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 20 January 2008 03:18AM

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Comment author: Ben_Jones 20 January 2008 12:00:17PM 1 point [-]

tcpkac - that's what they said to Columbus.

The circular money pump kept bringing M C Escher illustrations to my mind - the never-ending staircase in particular. This post cleared up a lot of what I didn't take in yesterday - thanks for taking the time.

There is no special rational basis for claiming that when lives are at stake, it's especially important to be rational.

James - the reason 'lives at stake' comes up in examples is because the value we place on human life tends to dwarf everything else. Just because that value is enormous, doesn't mean it's uncalculable. Considering lives is the best way to force ourselves to think as economically as we can - more so than money (many people are rich already). It may give us a pang of cold, inhuman logicality to sit down with a piece of paper and a pen to work out the best way to save lives, but that's the game.