Re: another paradox and a solution

From: Hal Finney <>
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 10:19:44 -0800

> To avoid the question of whether she cares about what happens when she is
> dead, we should assume that the experimenter has no savings and normally
> spends all of her income. She was planning to spend her last $2 before
> performing the experiment until her assistant offered her the bet.
> She faces a trade-off between consuming $2 with probability 1 and
> consuming $3 with probability 1/2, so she should choose the former.

I understand that if you use your revised definitions to calculate
probabilities, and compute expected outcomes based on these probabilities,
then it is unwise to take the bet.

However it still seems to me that in the real world, people will take
the bet, suggesting that this probability definition is not practically

Consider a population of experimenters, some of whom take the bet and
some who don't. Of those who survive, those who took the bet will
have more money. Over time, this should spread the belief, the "meme",
that taking the bet is a good thing. Those who adopt this meme will have
more success than those who don't.

Received on Tue Feb 24 1998 - 10:45:42 PST

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