aarongertler comments on Moloch's Toolbox (1/2) - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: aarongertler  (EA Profile) 05 November 2017 07:54:10PM 4 points [-]

One Molochian factor that was briefly mentioned in the dead-baby example: The people most skilled at generating outrage, at least until good-aligned organizations get good at training people to generate outrage, will typically generate outrage about more-or-less random topics that happen to affect them.

See, for example, the one-man campaign by a heart surgeon, whose wife died due to very rare complications, to reduce the odds of those rare complications ever happening -- and getting unusually rapid support from the FDA, because he made a Change.org petition and writes in a style that is accessible, yet sufficiently medical-sounding, to draw attention from many different groups.

(I'm no medical expert, but the surgeon's suggestions are controversial, and many doctors seem to think they'll cause more harm than good by squeezing out the good uses of the procedure which caused the complications.)


If this person had been the father of a child who died of parenteral nutrition-associated liver disease, the FDA might well have acted on that issue instead. But it's hard to point people like this in the "right direction".