How would you spend 30 million dollars?

post by MariaKonovalenko · 2010-11-17T14:28:12.659Z · LW · GW · Legacy · 9 comments

There's a good song by Eminem - If I had a million dollars.  So, if I had a hypothetical task to give away $30 million to different foundations without having a right to influence the projects, I would distribute them as follows, $3 million for each organization:

1. Nanofactory collaboration, Robert Freitas, Ralph Merkle – developers of molecular nanotechnology and nanomedicine. Robert Freitas is the author of the monography Nanomedicine.
2. Singularity institute, Michael Vassar, Eliezer Yudkowsky – developers and ideologists of the friendly Artificial Intelligence
3. SENS Foundation, Aubrey de Grey – the most active engineering project in life extension, focused on the most promising underfunded areas
4. Cryonics Institute – one of the biggest cryonics firms in the US, they are able to use the additional funding more effectively as compared to Alcor
5. Advanced Neural Biosciences, Aschwin de Wolf – an independent cryonics research center created by ex-researchers from Suspended Animation
6. Brain observatory – brain scanning
7. University Hospital Careggi in Florence, Paolo Macchiarini – growing organs (not an American medical school, because this amount of money won’t make any difference to the leading American centers)
8. Immortality institute – advocating for immortalism, selected experiments
9. IEET – institute of ethics and emerging technologies – promotion of transhumanist ideas
10. Small research grants of $50-300 thousand

Now, if the task is to most effectively invest $30 million dollars, what projects would be chosen? (By effectiveness here I mean increasing the chances of radical life extension)

Well, off the top of my head:

1. The project: “Creation of technologies to grow a human liver” – $7 million. The project itself costs approximately $30-50 million, but $7 million is enough to achieve some significant intermediate results and will definitely attract more funds from potential investors.
2. Break the world record in sustaining viability of a mammalian head separate from the body - $0.7 million
3. Creation of an information system, which characterizes data on changes during aging in humans, integrates biomarkers of aging, and evaluates the role of pharmacological and other interventions in aging processes – $3 million
4. Research in increasing cryoprotectors efficacy - $3 million
5. Creation and realization of a program “Regulation of epigenome” - $5 million
6. Creation, promotion and lobbying of the program on research and fighting aging - $2 million
7. Educational programs in the fields of biogerontology, neuromodelling, regenerative medicine, engineered organs - $1.5 million
8. “Artificial blood” project - $2 million
9. Grants for authors, script writers, and art representatives for creation of pieces promoting transhumanism - $0.5 million
10. SENS Foundation project of removing senescent cells - $2 million
11. Creation of a US-based non-profit, which would protect and lobby the right to live and scientific research in life extension - $2 million
11. Participation of  “H+ managers” in conferences, forums  and social events - $1 million
12. Advocacy and creating content in social media - $0.3 million


Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by Alicorn · 2010-11-17T14:32:22.481Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

What's the relevance? Why this specific amount?

Replies from: MariaKonovalenko
comment by MariaKonovalenko · 2010-11-17T14:56:33.716Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

The amount is random. The main idea is to show that even an insignificant amount of money put into the projects in life extension can bring substantial advances in the field.

Replies from: None
comment by [deleted] · 2010-11-17T16:20:21.322Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

You've not shown that, though. You've just said what you'd spend money on. Which is fine, but you've not shown that it would have any results.

Replies from: MariaKonovalenko
comment by MariaKonovalenko · 2010-11-17T17:08:00.502Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I can't guarantee any results, but I believe that these project have great potential to be fruitful. I am also wondering if anyone can suggest a better plan to spend this virtual money.

comment by Louie · 2010-11-18T17:30:36.528Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

This is an interesting exercise. I'm glad you took the time to write it up for us.

It would be interesting to try and quantify the benefits of proposed investments by estimating the amounts and probability of extending life for each project or donation -- and maybe converting that back into dollars -- JenniferRM may be able to share her handy insurance formulas for doing such things. Perhaps something like that would make it more obvious how much leverage you think each of these projects has.

Replies from: MariaKonovalenko
comment by MariaKonovalenko · 2010-11-22T13:51:33.642Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Thank you, Louie. As a matter of fact, I was thinking about what you're proposing and it certainly seems like a great idea. It would be also very good to estimate the multiplication effect of these projects, because they can act like firestarters, giving birth to interest, more donations, and hence, more leverage.

comment by Jack · 2010-11-17T15:11:58.849Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Welcome to Less Wrong.

Replies from: MariaKonovalenko
comment by MariaKonovalenko · 2010-11-17T17:08:16.246Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Thanks a lot.

comment by Mercy · 2011-05-09T16:18:15.777Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Why so many projects? With such a large amount of money you might reach the point where investments reach diminishing returns but donating for instance, to two different cryonics firms is silly. If you had six million dollars, you'd want to figure out which one could use the money most efficiently, and give it all to them. Have you read any of the threads on efficient charity?