Re: another anthropic reasoning paradox

From: Russell Standish <>
Date: Thu, 1 Mar 2001 08:27:58 +1100 (EST)

I don't see a paradox here. In the latter situations, the volunteers
are acting in accordance with different information, ie that of their
measures. If they were not aware of their measures, they would have to
assume a 50/50 chance of being A or B, hence would choose button 1.


Wei Dai wrote:
> Consider the following thought experiment.
> Two volunteers who don't know each other, Alice and Bob, are given
> temporary amnesia and placed in identical virtual environments. They are
> then both presented with three buttons and told the following:
> If you push 1, you will lose $9
> If you push 2 and you are Alice, you will win $10
> If you push 2 and you are Bob, you will lose $10
> I'll assume that everyone agrees that both people will push button 2.
> The paradox is what happens if we run Alice and Bob's minds on different
> substrates, so that Bob's mind has a much higher measure than Alice's. If
> they apply anthropic reasoning they'll both think they're much more likely
> to be Bob than Alice, and push button 1.
> If you don't think this is paradoxical, suppose we repeat the choice but
> with the payoffs for button 2 reversed, so that Bob wins $10 instead of
> Alice, and we also swap the two minds so that Alice is running on the
> substrate that generates more measure instead of Bob. They'll again both
> push button 1. But notice that at the end both people would have been
> better off if they pushed button 2 in both rounds.
> Any anthropic reasoning proponents want to tackle this?

Dr. Russell Standish Director
High Performance Computing Support Unit, Phone 9385 6967
UNSW SYDNEY 2052 Fax 9385 6965
Room 2075, Red Centre
Received on Wed Feb 28 2001 - 13:54:47 PST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Feb 16 2018 - 13:20:07 PST