[extropy-chat] Doomsday argument

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Mon Oct 16 16:32:47 UTC 2006

On Mon, Oct 16, 2006 at 10:26:41AM -0400, George Dvorsky wrote:

> You and I have gone back and forth many times on the topic of the SSA, 
> and we clearly have differing perspectives on the matter. One thing I 

George, if it's science, it has to be straightforward. 
There have to be zero space for interpretation. There must
be a rigorous argument as to why SSA must be valid for
first-person single-instance observers, or not. I don't
see such reasons, but then I'm not an expert. Those
here who are experts please set me straight.

> want to make clear, however, is that the SSA does not indicate the 
> *truth*, merely what you should probabilistically *assume* given 

But the whole point of self-observation is that you can't
argue probabilistically, because it's an infinitely biased
sample of one. I must be missing something, because
it is completely obvious to me.

> insufficient data. I will admit that it is at best a philosophical mind 
> exercise, but it's one that, imo, offers some profound insight as where 
> we find ourselves within certain reference classes.

I agree that probability applies to external observers, 
assuming sufficient number of samples. But we're not external observers.
Our ability to observe is causally linked to our existance.
I can infer no probability from a self-measurement, other
than me (a member of a particular class) exists.

Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
ICBM: 48.07100, 11.36820            http://www.ativel.com
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