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MichaelPlant comments on On funding medical research - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: MichaelPlant 20 February 2018 09:41:35AM 1 point [-]

unsure why this was downvoted. I assume because many EAs think X-risk is a better bet than aging research. That would be a reason to disagree with a comment, but not to downvote, which is snarky. I upvoted for balance.

Comment author: MichaelStJules 26 February 2018 02:39:17AM 0 points [-]

I'm not sure I'd put it only on X-risk people. My understanding is that disease burden and DALYs are calculated using as a reference the highest life expectancy of any country by gender, which was previously Japanese women (now South Korean women?), and somewhere between 80 and 90 years. This means that deaths after this reference life expectancy simply don't count towards disease burden at all. I'd like to hypothesize that this and some of the downvotes may be due to what I suspect is a common intuition (perhaps not common in EA; I don't know): everyone ought to have an overall good life with a decent lifespan, i.e. "fair innings".

This "fair innings" might be part of why EAs are generally more concerned with global health and poverty than anti-aging. Maybe the stronger evidence for specific poverty/health interventions explains this better, though.

Mostly guesses on my part, of course.