[extropy-chat] Probability of identity.

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Fri Oct 13 05:18:07 UTC 2006

Russell writes

> > On 10/11/06, Lee Corbin <lcorbin at rawbw.com> wrote:
> > I mean to assert that probability is just not the right way to look
> > at identity or anticipation. Yes, you cannot but feel that "your odds"
> > are such-and-such in certain circumstances. But objectively, that's
> > not really the case because... (I claim) one must simply integrate
> > benefit over the runtime you get in the multiverse,

*nods* Everything you say in this post makes sense, and that would be how I'd approach it too, at least as far as practical policy 
is concerned: if the situation described were to occur, I'd behave as though I believed the odds were 1:999 whatever my intuition 
told me. But there's still a philosophical problem. In an infinite universe, there will always be infinitely many instances that 
experience each possibility, and infinities of the same cardinality at that. So mathematically the integral is undefined; how then 
do you justify any conclusions? How do you explain the fact that empirically we can make predictions, and they come out the way 
intuitively reasonable theories of probability say they should?

I would use the same approach as, say, astronmers might if trying to determine
the numerical ratio of a certain kind of galaxy to all galaxies. Namely, take a
limit over larger and larger finite samples. The limiting process is always pretty
good for avoiding infinities  :-)

May it simply be wished that throughout our infinite level-one universe, and
throughout the Everett multiverse, your runtime in the main be pleasant and


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