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Wendy_Collings comments on Circular Altruism - Less Wrong

40 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 22 January 2008 06:00PM

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Comment author: Wendy_Collings 22 January 2008 08:53:00PM 0 points [-]

Eliezer, can you explain what you mean by saying "it's the same gamble"? If the point is to compare two options and choose one, then what matters is their values relative to each other. So, 400 certain lives saved is better than a 90% chance of 500 lives saved and 10% chance of 500 deaths, which is itself better than 400 certain deaths.

Perhaps it would help to define the parameters more clearly. Do your first two options have an upper limit of 500 deaths (as the second two options seem to), or is there no limit to the number of deaths that may occur apart from the lucky 4-500?