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Does taking extreme measures to avoid the coronavirus make sense when you factor in the possibility of a really long life?

by adamzerner1 min read5th Jun 20202 comments

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Coronavirus
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Some back of the napkin math. Suppose we:

  • Value a QUALY at $50k. 
  • Use an expected lifespan of 10k years. Perhaps you expect a 1% chance of living 1M years due to the possibility of a friendly superintelligence or something.

That would mean:

  • The value of your life would be $500M.
  • A 1% chance of death would cost $5M.
  • A 100x smaller chance of death of 0.01% would cost $50k.
  • Decreasing your chance of death 100x would be worth ~$5M.

There seem to be various ways to decrease your chance of death from the coronavirus by 100x or more by going from "normal careful" to extremely careful.

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2 Answers

1% is a pretty high estimate; however, It’s okay to value your life to an arbitrary degree. Yes, that breaks down outside certain bounds, but it’s okay to take precautions. It’s a scary situation. Just don’t forget to see to your emotional needs too.

I hope that you’re doing well. It’s nice to run into you.

  • Jason Kleinberg

I think your value of your life is too high, since you almost certainly can't earn nearly that much during your life. Let's say you'll be getting 150k per year for 40 years. Then in total you'll earn only 6kk .