[extropy-chat] Doomsday argument

Russell Wallace russell.wallace at gmail.com
Fri Oct 13 03:12:28 UTC 2006

I've been taking a fresh look at questions like Newcomb's paradox, quantum
immortality and the doomsday argument because it seems to me that the
paradox I recently commented on is related to some of them. One question I
have is this: in the article at


Nick Bostrom says:

"For instance, it turns out that if there are many extraterrestrial
civilizations and you interpret the self-sampling assumption as applying
equally to all intelligent beings and not exclusively to humans, then
another probability shift occurs that exactly counterbalances and cancels
the probability shift that the Doomsday argument implies."

Nick, if you're reading this, or anyone else who knows the reasoning applied
- what's the motive for this statement? It doesn't seem to me to follow. (I
think the doomsday argument is fallacious because it fudges the term "I",
but that's a different thing; it doesn't seem to me that many civilizations
has any bearing on it.)
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