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e19brendan comments on 5 Types of Systems Change Causes with the Potential for Exceptionally High Impact (post 3/3) - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: e19brendan 23 October 2017 04:44:25PM 5 points [-]

This is an interesting point, though I wonder whether EAs have the right attitude about tractability. Tractability and neglectedness tend to be inversely related, and the relationship is imperfect - I think EAs can make reasonable bets about when society as a whole overly neglects low-tractability problems, making it worthwhile to disrupt complacency. Sea-changes are apparent even in recent history, say in treating HIV in sub-saharan Africa - something that many argued was impossible, unfeasible, and too costly. A similar transformation is apparent in TB care, especially in the treatment of drug resistant tuberculosis. Although these may not be priority areas for EAs, the global health community has majorly updated over the last 20 years about how tractable they are and at what cost these interventions could effectively improve people's lives. I think it's worth learning from these lessons.