All of Emanuele_Ascani's Comments + Replies

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 comp... (read more)

2freedomandutility1y
Thanks for your comment. I'm agnostic (EDIT) I personally do not think funding certain types of research within anti-ageing research could still have similar EV to EA priorities despite the EV being lower than it was before, but I think this is plausible. I'm also hopeful that Altos Labs is more open and collaborative than Calico Labs. While I'm seeing some criticism of the idea that billionaires want to live longer, I think it's unlikely to be widespread enough or draw enough attention to noticeably damage Altos Labs, or cause much further damage to anti-ageing research in general.
Anti-Aging and EA (Recorded Talk)

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.

2Frank_R1y
Thank you for your answer and for the links to the other forum posts.
Announcing "Naming What We Can"!

Yeah, seriously, William MacAskill just change your surname already. It's basic SEO for Singer's sake.

Third time's the charm!

Propose and vote on potential EA Wiki entries

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".

3MichaelA2y
I'd say "scientific research" is probably covered by Scientific Progress [https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/tag/scientific-progress], Research Methods [https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/tag/research-methods], and tags about specific areas scientific research can be done in?
3MichaelA2y
I think I'm in favour of a Cost-Effectiveness Evaluation tag. (Or maybe Cost-Effectiveness Analysis? I think that's the more common term?) That seems similar to Impact Assessment (a tag I made last month), so some of my thoughts on that tag [https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/rxbLqMDhd4832WYit/propose-and-vote-on-potential-tags?commentId=ba7wdf5QSM7m955ey] might also be relevant. But I think Cost-Effectiveness Analysis is probably different enough from existing tags to be worth having.
6JP Addison2y
I'd be in favor of all of those tags, except "pandemic preparedness" which I currently think is too overlapping with "Biosecurity".
I'm Linch Zhang, an amateur COVID-19 forecaster and generalist EA. AMA

How much time do you spend on forecasting, including researching the topics?

Influencing pivotal Individuals

Also 80k Hours, which is all about multiplying the impact of their effort by influencing the direction of other people's careers.

How bad is coronavirus really?

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 evalua... (read more)

Reducing long-term risks from malevolent actors

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.

8Tobias_Baumann2y
Thanks for the comment! I would guess that having better tests of malevolence, or even just a better understanding of it, may help with this problem. Perhaps a takeaway is that we should not just raise awareness (which can backfire via “witch hunts”), but instead try to improve our scientific understanding and communicate that to the public, which hopefully makes it harder to falsely accuse people. In general, I don’t know what can be done about people using any means necessary to smear political opponents. It seems that the way to address this is to have good norms favoring “clean” political discourse, and good processes to find out whether allegations are true; but it’s not clear what can be done to establish such norms.
Why SENS makes sense

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.

Why SENS makes sense

Thanks Gavin, there are some great questions in here.

I'm only able to answer two of them pretty conclusively:

For instance, if we treat an 80 year olds telomere attrition, are we going to need to treat them again in the future? Are consecutive treatments going to need to occur at more regular intervals?

The answer is simply: absolutely, yes.

If you condense the most crucial questions I will add them in the interview, and we will see what Aubrey de Grey has to say.

2gavintaylor2y
Sure, I think the key questions would be: -Of the treatments currently being developed (in reference to the list on lifespan.io), is it likely that treatments for multiple hallmarks can be used in parallel? --Are there currently any observed or expected interactions between different treatments? --Has any effort been made to see if the effects of multiple treatment are additive, in terms of improved lifespan, in a pre-clinical study? -What side effects have been observed for the treatments currently in clinical trials? It's interesting to know that recurring and more frequent treatments are going to be needed. That point hasn't been obvious to me before, but it could be important to consider in relation to the economics of scaling up mass anti-aging treatment - it's not like a one of vaccination against a specific type of ageing damage, but still a 'condition' that requires ongoing, and perhaps increasing, care.
Why SENS makes sense

Edited my comment slightly before yours appeared. Wanted to specify the reasons more but resolved to delete them since I was going to modify the post anyway. The rationale was that 7-KC, even if not a protein, is still an aggregate that overwhelms lysosomes and actively causes their dysfunction (loss of function of lysosomes and other degradation mechanisms being accounted for in the loss of proteostasis paragraphs in the Hallmarks).

1Florin2y
If you still feel unsure about the 7-KC thing, the following reasons should put your doubts to rest: 1) Although 7-KC accumulates, it doesn't aggregate. 2) If Hallmarks really thought that lipid accumulation belonged to the proteostasis hallmark it would have said so. 3) Hallmarks completely ignores 7-KC as a causative factor of atherosclerosis and instead ties atherosclerosis to "uncontrolled cellular overgrowth or hyperactivity" which is nonSENSical.
Why SENS makes sense

Yep, seems like for some reason I, err... aggregated extracellular matrix stiffening and extracellular aggregates together. Mistake corrected.

1Florin2y
The proteins that the proteostasis hallmark talks about refers to proteins like beta-amyloid and tau that misfold and subsequently form aggregates. Proteins that are crosslinked aren't misfolded but rather they become "glued" together by a chemical reaction and don't form aggregates. 7-KC isn't a protein and doesn't misfold; it's an oxidized lipid.
Effects of anti-aging research on the long-term future

Thanks for this post, strongly upvoted. The amount of attention (and funding) aging research gets within EA is unbelievably low. That's why I wrote an entire series of posts on this cause-area. A couple of comments:

1) Remember: if a charity finances aging research, it has the effect of hastening it, not enabling it. Aging will be brought under medical control at some point, we are only able to influence when. This translates into the main impact factor of hastening the arrival of Longevity Escape Velocity.

2) Now look again at your bulleted list of &qu... (read more)

5Matthew_Barnett2y
This isn't clear to me. In Hilary Greaves and William MacAskill's paper on strong longtermism [https://globalprioritiesinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/Greaves_MacAskill_The_Case_for_Strong_Longtermism.pdf] , they argue that unless what we do now impacts a critical lock-in period, then most of the stuff we do now will "wash out" and have a low impact on the future. If a lock-in period never comes, then there's no compelling reason to focus on indirect effects of anti-aging, and therefore I'd agree with you that these effects are small. However, if there is a lock-in period, then the actual lives saved from ending aging could be tiny compared to the lasting billion year impact that shifting to a post-aging society lead to. What a strong long-termist should mainly care about are these indirect effects, not merely the lives saved.
Why SENS makes sense
SENS doesn't consider telomere attrition as a significant type of damage, and in fact, SENS advocates removing the ability of all cells to extend their telomeres as a strategy to prevent cancer.

I think SENS doesn't consider telomere attrition because the solution would be the same as the one for cell loss (and telomere attrition is a direct cause of cell loss). Also note that at SRF they consider the strategy against cancer less and less likely to be necessary (and I hope so, since it is the most far fetched and difficult).

Edit: categorization mi... (read more)

1Florin2y
Besides the cancer thing, SENS ignores telomere attrition, because it's still unclear [https://qr.ae/T0uNwo] if telomere attrition is a significant cause of aging. And the likelihood that WILT will be needed is still above 50%. The miscategorizations have only been partially corrected. 7-KC isn't related to Hallmarks, and the crosslink projects should be classified as "extracellular crosslinks [https://web.archive.org/web/20181217213925/http://www.sens.org/research/introduction-to-sens-research/extracellular-crosslinks] " or "extracellular matrix stiffening [https://www.sens.org/our-research/intro-to-sens-research/]."
Why SENS makes sense

3) If you point out what categories I got wrong and why, I can correct if needed.

4) It seems to me that the biggest point of difference is the genomic instability hallmark, which is not present in SENS because de Grey believes it acts more slowly and probably belongs to a "SENS 2" panel of therapies. The others either mostly overlap or they are closely causally related. Do you agree?

1Florin2y
Well, it's complicated. Hallmarks is missing crosslinks [https://web.archive.org/web/20181217213925/http://www.sens.org/research/introduction-to-sens-research/extracellular-crosslinks] , intracellular junk like lipofuscin [https://web.archive.org/web/20181217220402/http://www.sens.org/research/extramural/enhancing-lipofuscin-clearance] and lipids like 7KC [https://web.archive.org/web/20181219154552/http://www.sens.org/research/introduction-to-sens-research/intracellular-junk] , and damaged elastin [https://web.archive.org/web/20181217213925/http://www.sens.org/research/introduction-to-sens-research/extracellular-crosslinks] . SENS is partly missing genomic instability at least in SENS 1.0 (as you've mentioned), but it does include mitochondrial mutations which Hallmarks considers to be one aspect of genomic instability and mentions cancer as a consequence of nuclear mutations which are another aspect of genomic instability. SENS is also missing epigenetic alterations but might consider them for SENS 2.0. SENS doesn't consider telomere attrition as a significant type of damage, and in fact, SENS advocates removing the ability of all cells to extend their telomeres as a strategy to prevent cancer [https://web.archive.org/web/20181219154503/http://www.sens.org/research/introduction-to-sens-research/cancerous-cells] . Besides the differences regarding aging damage, the most crucial difference between SENS and Hallmarks is that most of the interventions that Hallmarks mentions won't help out that much in reaching LEV. Now, it should be even easier to figure out how to correct those miscategorizations.
Why you should NOT support Aubrey de Grey's work on ageing. (maybe)
From hearing de Grey speak, you might get the impression that the scientific community has deftly avoided studying ageing. This is not the case; it has been studied for some time.

It's weird that you got this impression, because in many TED Talks de Grey explicitly mentions that biogerontology has more than a century of history. It's his approach to be new, together with the attitude of aging research as translational research instead of just basic non-translational biology research. When, for example, The Buck Institute was founded 20 years ago, ... (read more)

Love seems like a high priority

Yes, I addressed everything you wrote over and over in multiple comments and in my posts. You should read part 1 carefully and also Aging Research and Population Ethics.


1kbog3y
Read both and still don't see anything to contradict my post, unless you are assuming "person-affecting" ethics.
Love seems like a high priority

Well... I disagree with the claim that aging is on par with love or malaria prevention. This is the beginning of your post:

Making it possible for people to deliberately fall in love seems like a high priority, competitive with good short- and medium-term causes such as malaria prevention and anti-aging.

I thought you were going to mention LEV in the "Scope and direct impact" section, or at least in "Direct chage in average quality of life" section. Instead, in the first, you proceed to say:

Overall, nearly everyone will be affected by the
... (read more)
1kbog3y
Those issues are addressed in different sections. Scope just refers to what % of the future people are affected. This is reasoning from the lifetime utility of a given individual. I think that's incorrect. Assume population size remains the same; if there are 10 people living 100 years, that's comparable to one person living 1000 years, save for the unfortunate experiences surrounding death. OTOH, if we imagine 10 people living 1000 years, the principal advantage is not to be understood as improved quality of life, but rather as an increase in population size over time. So I give credit to anti-aging both for making mortality/morbidity very rare, and for increasing the population size. I've only skimmed your part 1 LEV post so I may be missing something. But the way I see it, if you assign full QALYs for the 1000 years, you are doing one of two things: 1) assuming that the fertility rate (births per person per year) will not decline as a result of the greater population, or 2) not worried about the foregone births. I presume the population will grow as a result of solving aging, but not to the extent that is naively implied by assuming that fertility remains constant. I implicitly assumed that both of these interventions are going to happen at some point anyway, and early research can just shift them forwards.
Love seems like a high priority

Could be, or could be the usual causation=/=correlation problem, or the usual study that doesn't replicate. What study are you referring to?

-3Kirsten3y
I've seen it a few places. This article seems like a good place to start if you want to start looking at literature on it - it discusses both happiness and lifespan. https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/may/25/women-happier-without-children-or-a-spouse-happiness-expert [https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/may/25/women-happier-without-children-or-a-spouse-happiness-expert]
Love seems like a high priority

Interesting overall, but I'll never be tired of repeating that the majority of impact of aging research comes from making Longevity Escape Velocity come faster. This puts aging research in a much better position as a cause area than short or medium term causes. Not sure why literally everyone in the EA movement continues to ignore this metric completely. It just doesn't make sense.

1kbog3y
I don't see what your disagreement is. Reaching LEV means we end greatly reduce or end natural deaths, which is what I discussed above. I don't think there's a huge benefit of going from, say, 1000 year lifespans to infinite lifespans.
[Link] We run the Center for Applied Rationality, AMA

Would it be possible and cost-effective to release video courses at a much lower cost?

EDIT: Going to ask on LW, since the AMA is there.

EDIT 2: Oh no, I'm late

[This comment is no longer endorsed by its author]Reply
The Future of Earning to Give

Hey, regarding aging: you might be interested to know I'm writing a series of articles to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of any project related to aging research. I've found that the cost-effectiveness of aging research might be much higher, in certain cases, than what Sarah Constantin found. That's mostly because I'm also accounting for the fact that new aging research brings the date of Longevity Escape Velocity closer in time, and this increses the scope by many orders of magnitude. Each single year "buyed" means averting ... (read more)

1PeterMcCluskey3y
With almost all of those proposed intermediate goals, it's substantially harder to evaluate whether the goal will produce much value. In most cases, it will be tempting to define the intermediate goal in a way that is easy to measure, even when doing so weakens the connection between the goal and health. E.g. good biomarkers of aging would be very valuable if they measure what we hope they measure. But your XPrize link suggests that people will be tempted to use expert acceptance in place of hard data. The benefits of biomarkers have been frequently overstated [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21632484]. It's clear that most donors want prizes to have a high likelihood of being awarded fairly soon. But I see that desire as generally unrelated to a desire for maximizing health benefits. I'm guessing it indicates that donors prefer quick results over high-value results, and/or that they overestimate their knowledge of which intermediate steps are valuable. A $10 million aging prize from an unknown charity might have serious credibility problems, but I expect that a $5 billion prize from the Gates Foundation or OpenPhil would be fairly credible - they wouldn't actually offer the prize without first getting some competent researchers to support it, and they'd likely first try out some smaller prizes in easier domains.
A general framework for evaluating aging research. Part 1: reasoning with Longevity Escape Velocity

Yes, looking back at this, I should have just said that on average, if someone dies with a probability of 1/1000, then he will live 999 years and die in the 1000th. And then I should have linked him the "Expectation" section of the Wikipedia page of the negative binomial distribution.

Expected cost per life saved of the TAME trial

Thanks, great info. This post is officially outdated :)

2avturchin3y
I think that there are other cost-effective interventions in life extension, including research in geroprotectors combinations and brain plastination.
English as a dominant language in the movement: challenges and solutions

Great post, I really appreciate the solutions you propose. I often fear some english mistakes could harm how my arguments are perceived. I think keeping personal written notes with solutions could help people in putting the conscious effort of evaluating arguments in virtue of their content. It could even help the comprehension of arguments made by natives speakers...

I have a fear that, even knowing all this, if the conscious effort is lacking, the effect remains the same. I don't feel very optimistic given what I've seen in similar contexts, bu... (read more)

English as a dominant language in the movement: challenges and solutions

It's not a matter of fairness. It's a matter of reducing the probability of not hearing good ideas because of stupid reasons.

Aging research and population ethics

I agree.

I used "Counterintuitive", because people tend to think the person-affecting view generates more cost-effectiveness than the impersonal view (see comments under my first post), regardless of how the views affect the comparison with other causes. But yes, adopting the person-affective view seems to make aging research look better in comparison to the other causes you mention, since it negates a lot of their impact. Instead, adopting the impersonal view makes the comparison favour prevention of x-risks that could wipe out literally all of ... (read more)

How do you decide between upvoting and strong upvoting?

I think I upvote mostly like this (I'll edit this answer if I remember more reasons):

Strong upvote: correct (if applicable) and important.

Upvote: correct (if applicable) and slightly important, or not completely correct but interesting/potentially important (In this case I usually also reply). I also tend to upvote comments under my own posts much more because I feel the need to thank the person who took the time to write the comment somehow.

I don't always follow these rules exactly, but mostly. For example, sometimes I upvote to close the gap between two comments I consider equally important under a post.


Who would you like to see do an AMA on this forum?

Relevant people involved in potential top cause areas.

How do you, personally, experience "EA motivation"?

For me there is a strong "what the world could be if I did this, so it would be a huge waste if I didn't do this" sense that motivates me, although in the past I used to overestimate the potential good effects of my actions. I think it is probably similar to the need for efficiency you mention, but it also generates an unpleasant but correct sense of urgency, because usually if I don't do things fast, the effect could not be the same. There's also wanting to have a good impact in the world, which is more core and generates meaning.

Do Long-Lived Scientists Hold Back Their Disciplines?

I'm not sure if these considerations would change how aging research looks from an EA perspective. It's one of the many "rounding errors" that could be considered as side effects, besides the main purpose of buying QALYs and freedom. Moreover, all of these additional considerations, both positive and negative, might be made irrelevant by new disrupting tech and societal/political/organisational change. Examples: cognitive enhancements, AI, research funding management.

I'm not sure if there's a definite answer about how much cog... (read more)

4gavintaylor3y
A simple suggestion to mitigate these problems could already be trialled well before life extension is available. It is probably possible to identify niche field where star scientists are acting as gatekeepers (either from citation patterns or conversations with scientists in a variety of fields) - an agency interested in that field could then simply offer some large and long term grants for work in the field provided that does not involve any of the star scientist or any of his collaborators. Hopefully the promise of substantial funding would be enough to encourage new entrants to the field. Admittedly, this would be a very confrontational approach that might lead the star scientist to try and block publications or other grants from people entering his field in this way, but academic rivalries already occur via other causes so it should hopefully work itself out. If funding scientific competition like this resulted in similar gains as this publication shows for the death of a star scientist then it is not only a solution to the situation, but also suggests funding competitors could prove more effective than funding the incumbent gatekeepers in some cases.
A general framework for evaluating aging research. Part 1: reasoning with Longevity Escape Velocity

Population capacity gets larger as technology improves, so it's not obvious we'll reach maximum capacity in the near future (next centuries). Regardless of this, even if we reached it, the impact of aging research wouldn't be impacted, because impact comes from making LEV closer, not from guaranteeing LEV's existence. You will find answers in the second post of the framework: https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/uR4mEzMR7fiQzb2c7/aging-research-and-population-ethics

Notice that the post you are commenting under is just the first in ... (read more)

Impact of aging research besides LEV

The fact that no new hallmark has been discovered in decades is probably telling. But I think it is reasonable to believe that there are different hallmarks that will be visible in longer-than-human lifespans.

2InquilineKea2y
A lot of hallmarks (eg genetic mosaicism or improper stoichiometry or proteins not doing what they're "supposed to do") are systems effects rather than effects that can be analyzed reductionistically. Fedichev and Gladyshev have lots of papers that hint in that direction
Impact of aging research besides LEV

Yes! What Hallmarks to prioritise is an extremely important thing to figure out. The next post is coming out soon, and this topic is a central part of it. In short, I think we should keep an eye on two things when trying to prioritise in this area: if a given research is necessary for achieving LEV, and how neglected it is. Neglectedness seems to be particularly important because the hardest research is often the most neglected (too long term for private investment, too risky for public funding). The hardest hallmarks will be cracked later, so they will mo... (read more)

2gavintaylor3y
To step back even earlier in the research pipeline, do you have any idea if there could be additional hallmarks to be found? I look forward to the next post!
Impact of aging research besides LEV

I think in general It would make most sense to prioritise research that would impact the date of LEV the most, because LEV results in both living healthier and longer. Also, it would be probably easier to do, since it's difficult to know what hallmark/aspect of aging impacts healthspan the most, and they impact each other a lot. Instead, we probably can estimate the relative impact on the date of LEV using neglectedness (more on this in the next post). As a strategy, prioritising the short-term to have a bigger immediate effect I suspect would be less... (read more)

2gavintaylor3y
Good point, it does seem best just to work on the most life extending therapy when phrased that way. Then the trade of between living longer and suffering from diseases less would probably just be considered by somebody looking to rank LEV relative to short-term causes.
Impact of aging research besides LEV

Thanks for the comments :) I basically agree with everything. The only thing I would add is this:

Getting a life satisfaction curve from 20 to 90 year old that don't have age related-disabilities could be a step in the right direction for understanding how to extrapolate life satisfaction to life spans that are only possible through LEV. It has to be kept into account, though, that a healthy old person (or a healthy middle aged person) is still in worse health than a healthy young person. In fact, yesterday, it was suggested to me to add to the post t... (read more)

1gavintaylor3y
That's true, many aspects physical/mental aspects naturally decline with age and summing up many small improvements (appearance, neuroplasticity) could add up to a substantial extra benefit for LEV. Still because aging tends to come with age related diseases, age and health are still covarying predictors of life satisfaction. Another good comparison would be the relative reduction in life satisfaction in healthy vs. disabelled between different age groups. I would go out on a limb and say that an elderly person is less bothered by being disabled than a younger person, but I may be wrong. Combined with a healthy life satisfaction curve across age, this could then be helpful in making the case for treating aging vs. treating age related diseases. The first piece of information extrapolates to (tentative) gain in life satisfaction just from living longer, the second predicts life satisfaction gained from curing the age-related diseases (which could also be done without curing aging). This would be useful in prioritising LEV research between the hallmarks of aging that are most likely to result in the largest reduction in age-related diseases (if the hallmarks do not uniformly effect disease burden) rather than those that extend life the most. All the hallmarks should be addressed, but if likely gains in satisfaction from disease alleviation outweigh satisfaction from extended life (that still has a high probability of disease), the former should be our focus.
Which scientific discovery was most ahead of its time?

Charles Babbage designed The Analytical Engine, that was a mechanical general purpose (Turing complete) computer, in 1837. This is remarkable, because it came a century before all the theory that was put in place by Turing, which inspired, and is at the heart of, today's computers. You can find a description of The Analytical Engine in Babbage's biography: "Passages from the Life of a Philosopher". His apprentice Ada Lovelace wrote some programs for it, becoming the first programmer in history.

This fact inspired a lot of Steampunk fict... (read more)

Aging research and population ethics

This is true, but the carrying capacity increases as technology improves. This plus the fact that birthrates are under the replacement rate in the developed world and going down pretty much everywhere should make us think we will not be in a malthusian situation when LEV arrives.

Aging research and population ethics
It depends how you interpret PA. I don't think there is a standard view - it could be 'maximise the aggregate lifetime utility of everyone currently existing', in which case what you say would be true, or 'maximise the happiness of everyone currently existing while they continue to do so', which I think would turn out to be a form of averaging utilitarianism, and on which what you say would be false.

Good points, although I'm not sure who would hold averaging utilitarianism. But yes, in this case prolonging life wouldn't m... (read more)

Aging research and population ethics
The person-affecting (PA) view doesn't make this a slam-dunk. PAness doesn't signify that death in itself has negative value, so given your assumption 'that there isn't suffering at the end of life and people get replaced immediately', on the base PA view, increasing lifespans wouldn't in itself generate value. No doubt there are flavours of PA that would claim death *does* have disvalue, but those would need to be argued for separately.

The PA view doesn't need to assign disvalue to death to make increasing lifespans valu... (read more)

1Arepo3y
It depends how you interpret PA. I don't think there is a standard view - it could be 'maximise the aggregate lifetime utility of everyone currently existing', in which case what you say would be true, or 'maximise the happiness of everyone currently existing while they continue to do so', which I think would turn out to be a form of averaging utilitarianism, and on which what you say would be false. Yes, but this was a comment about the desirability of public advocacy of longevity therapies rather than the desirability of longevity therapies themselves. It's quite plausible that the latter is desirable and the former undesirable - perhaps enough so to outweigh the latter. Your argument was that it's bigger subject to its not reducing the birthrate and adding net population in the near future is good in the long run. Both are claims for which I think there's a reasonable case, neither are claims that seem to have .75 probability (I would go lower for at least the second one, but YMMV). With a .44+ probability that one assumption is false, I think it matters a lot. Again this is totally wrong. Technologies don't just come along and make some predetermined set of changes then leave the world otherwise unchanged - they have hugely divergent effects based on the culture of the time and countless other factors. You might as well argue that if humanity hadn't developed the atomic bomb until last year, the world would look identical to today's except that Japan would have two fewer cities (and that in a few years, after they'd been rebuilt, it would look identical again). Looking forward to it :)
Who is working on finding "Cause X"?

Open Philanthropy, Give Well, Rethink Priorities probably qualify. To clarify: my phrase didn't mean "devoted exclusively to finding new potential cause areas".

Who is working on finding "Cause X"?

In my understanding "Cause X" is something we almost take for granted today, but that people in the future will see as a moral catastrophe (similarly as to how we see slavery today, versus how people in the past saw it). So it has a bit more nuance than just being a "new cause area that is competitive with the existing EA cause areas in terms of impact-per-dollar".

I think there are many candidates seeming to be overlooked by the majority of society. You could also argue that no one of these is a real Cause X due to the fact that they ar... (read more)

4Milan_Griffes3y
What organizations do you have in mind?
A general framework for evaluating aging research. Part 1: reasoning with Longevity Escape Velocity

I just answered your other comment, but I saw this one only now. Apparently both notifications didn't arrive. Thanks a lot for taking the time to read and answer both.

Some of my replies in the other comment apply here too. I'll go in order.

Regarding your first paragraph: Yes, I'm preparing a post about potential age discounting that could be applied. I included it among the moral considerations that would correct impact. But you made a good point, and I may need to modify it in the light of it.

Regarding AI and other technology: For the very ... (read more)

Expected cost per life saved of the TAME trial

Hey! Thanks for the comment! I really appreciate it. For some reason I'm only seeing it now and by chance. I don't know if I didn't get the notification or if I missed it.

I'm not sure if this is the post I was asking feedback for though. This analysis is from nine months ago, and my views on it changed. On Facebook I was probably referring to this other post I made recently: A general framework for evaluating aging research. Part 1: reasoning with Longevity Escape Velocity. [EDIT: I just saw you made a comment under that post too, so ne... (read more)

EA Forum Prize: Winners for December 2018

I want to remind that in January some posts may not be browsable by day anymore. This happened to my post, but I don't know if other people had this same problem. You may want to keep this in mind in order not to miss potential candidates.

1Aaron Gertler4y
Thanks for noting this concern! We gather candidates using an extract directly from the Forum's database, which contains every post. (There have been issues with certain posts not appearing in certain views, but we haven't seen posts vanish from the site completely -- I've checked each post reported this way and have been able to find it with a quick Google search.)
You Should Write a Forum Bio

Thanks for this post! I didn't realise a description could be important. I added one :)

Cost-Effectiveness of Aging Research

Hey, this is a great post! I'm really happy to see it, and it was a really nice and unexpected surprise.

I don't know if you have seen it, but I recently published the first post of a (will be) series in which I'm trying to build a framework for evaluating the cost-effectiveness of any given aging research/project: this one.

In your model you only account for DALYs prevented for measuring impact, while I would like to account for many more things: all the considerations arising from the concept of Longevity Escape Velocity (e.g. bringing its... (read more)

2SarahC4y
I might do more cost-effectiveness estimates, but it's not a top priority -- I'm currently running the Longevity Research Institute [https://thelri.org/], a nonprofit devoted to experimentally testing anti-aging interventions, and I have a lot of object-level work to do there. Definitely happy to consult, make intros, and share my own existing notes whenever you have questions. Yes, my estimates are a large underestimate of the potential benefit of life-extending therapies if you assume that they extend life at all, rather than just delay the onset of disease-related disability. I wanted to indicate that the impact is large even with rather pessimistic assumptions.
A general framework for evaluating aging research. Part 1: reasoning with Longevity Escape Velocity

It's not necessarily obvious that this is the case.

Premise: In probability theory the chance of two independent events (which are events that don't affect each other) happening together, like six coming up after you toss a dice and head coming up after you toss a coin, is calculated by multiplying the probability of the two events. In the case of the dice and the coin .

In the case of calculating expected future lifetime you need to sum all the additional number of years you could possibly live, each multiplied by their probab... (read more)

Load More