When I came to know the Effective Altruism movement in 2016 I was immediately captured. I currently have a CS degree and an interest in longevity, among many other things. I would like to make a positive impact.
Relatedly, here's another example of the kind of headlines you mention: https://futurism.com/neoscope/aging-unstoppable-youth
The fact that it's on an online newspaper called "Futurism" is even more eye-popping.One positive thing this might lead to is if people on the fence start to be actually more positive about weird future-related stuff given the hysteria of such headlines. But I have no idea. Might be wishful thinking.
It seems to me that the EV of financing cellular reprogramming research and aging clocks dropped significantly. There are many other very neglected and promising areas. That said, the case that "billionaires are going to finance all this anyway" did seem to get stronger regardless, because now there's a higher chance that other neglected areas will be included in such funding.
How much higher though? This is not the first billionaire-led longevity initiative. What makes me more hopeful compared to other past initiatives is that this new company might be more focused on getting translational research done given the choice of topics and people involved. And also I wonder if the time is riper than in 2013 for other billionaires to start imitating these efforts, although it seems to be more of a PR risk for billionaires to take than in the past.
PR risk is just perceived though, I wonder how real of a problem it is for billionaires in this case. It seems to me that billionaires are hated regardless, and longevity research is an excuse to be more vocal about it. I wonder if they are realizing this. The PR damage might be to research rather than to billionaires. See AppliedDivinityStudies' comment.
I answered you here:
1. Yes, this is probably true. But see longtermist considerations of effects of anti-aging research. They might be in the same ballpark. Or not.2. There are three ways in which the impact of anti-aging research is evaluated: DALYs averted and other short-term considerations, LEV being brought closer in time, and effects relevant to the long-term future. All three don't suffer from this objection.
Yeah, seriously, William MacAskill just change your surname already. It's basic SEO for Singer's sake.
I'm surprised that "cost-effectiveness evaluation" doesn't exist yet.
Some others that it's weird enough that they don't exist yet: "meta-charities", "advocacy", "pandemic preparedness".
A couple of tags that would apply to all of my posts: "aging research", "scientific research".
How much time do you spend on forecasting, including researching the topics?
Also 80k Hours, which is all about multiplying the impact of their effort by influencing the direction of other people's careers.
I will only write a comment and not an answer because I think other people will probably give better answers. The thinking probably includes that 1) the world was unprepared, therefore even if there is a massive effort going on, cheap opportunities to do good might arise. 2) This situation might somewhat change the equilibriums between cause-areas and within EA, also changing how the world responds to risk, which may influence what is neglected and what is not, for example. Here a good post by Peter Hurford.
About the lockdown: I find it difficult to evaluate the short term effects, but thinking about the very long term effects is also probably interesting. On the one hand, under the longtermist view, slowing down technological progress has enormous negative consequences for the far future if the slope of progress continues to be positive. On the other, a lockdown means that the world will take pandemic preparedness more seriously, which in turn diminishes the probability of existential risk, which should lead to a greater positive impact... so, maybe the answer should be "enough lockdown for this situation to improve our chances to face greater threats"? I recognize this is not exactly what you asked though.
This is one of the best posts I've read here, wow.
One of the main things that concern me is that malevolent people could appropriate the concept of malevolence itself and start a witch hunt for people who have nothing to do with malevolence. This was passingly mentioned when acknowledging that political leaders could brand their opponents as malevolent. Overall I think this post makes a good job of outlining the pros and cons, but I just wanted to write this consideration in a comment because it has been somewhat prominent in my mind.
You are correct. I will also add a question about how much time he estimates will need to pass between one treatment and its repetition. This could be fairly calculable from the informations the scientific community already has (the rate of damage in the elderly). I will get back to you with another reply in case I come up with other questions in light of your comment and if I modify or add something to your questions.