Re: another paradox and a solution

From: Hal Finney <>
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 1998 09:07:09 -0800

I have trouble with probabilities adding to be greater than 1, and in
particular with individual probabilities being greater than 1.

I have an intuitive sense of what it means for a probability to be
in the range [0..1]. What does it mean for an event to happen with
probability 2? Is it more likely than one with probability 1?

Would you say, that if you are going to be duplicated tonight, that the
probability that the sun will rise tomorrow is 2?

How about your paradox? Won't it still be the case that both parties
are happy to make the bet? If so, then you have redefined probability
to mathematically eliminate some inconsistencies but it no longer serves
as a guide to decisions, which was its original point.


Wei Dai, <>, writes:
> Ok, here's another probability paradox. Suppose in the quantum suicide
> experiment the assistant offers the experimenter a bet. The experimenter
> gives the assistant $2 before he pulls the gun, and in return the
> assistant will give $3 to the experimenter after pulling the gun, if the
> result is a click instead of a bang. The assistant clearly has a positive
> expected return from this bet. But if the experimenter believes she will
> hear a click with 100% certainty, she also has a positive expected return.
Received on Mon Feb 23 1998 - 09:27:50 PST

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