Re: QTI, SSI (fwd)

From: Gale <>
Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 07:55:16 -0400

Russell Standish wrote:
> >
> > Please James, Russell, redefine the term SSA. I must have missed a critical
> > exchange where this term was defined.
> "Self-Sampling Assumption". It is a generalisation (or
> specialisation?) of the totalitarian, or Copernican principle, in that
> you are saying there is nothing special about you. For example, SSA is
> often applied to birth order - that there are as many people born
> before you as are born afterwards - implying some sort of population
> crash in the near future.

The example given is commonly called the "Doomsday Argument" and is
an incomplete application of SSA. The principle needs to be applied
not only to birth order conditional on some particular number of
humans ever living, but also to the number of humans ever living.
When SSA is fully applied, there is no longer an implication of
some sort of population crash in the near future.

Nick Bostrum's collection of papers on this:
includes two that make this point clearly:
                    Too soon for doom gloom?: Tomas Kopf, Pavel Krtous,
                    Don N. Page
                    A Bayesian Analysis of the Doomsday Argument:
                    Oliver, Kevin Korb

Received on Tue May 18 1999 - 05:07:10 PDT

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