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SiebeRozendal comments on The person-affecting value of existential risk reduction - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: SiebeRozendal 17 April 2018 03:14:56PM *  1 point [-]

Thus the trends in factual basis become more salient. One example is the ongoing demographic transition, and the consequently older population give smaller values of life-years saved if protected from extinction in the future. This would probably make the expected cost-effectiveness somewhat (but not dramatically) worse.

I think this is largely compensated by a rise in average life-expectancy.

I'd also like to remark Bostrom's point in Astronomical Waste that extinction could prevent current people from living billions of years, and that this gives enough reason for person-affecting utilitarians to prioritize x-risk reduction.

From Bostrom (2003):

"[..] we ought to assign a non-negligible probability to some current people surviving long enough to reap the benefits of a cosmic diaspora. A so-called technological “singularity” might occur in our natural lifetime, or there could be a breakthrough in life-extension [..] Clearly, avoiding existential calamities is important, not just because it would truncate the natural lifespan of six billion or so people, but also [..] because it would extinguish the chance that current people have of reaping the enormous benefits of eventual colonization."