Re: another anthropic reasoning

From: Saibal Mitra <>
Date: Thu, 22 Mar 2001 00:08:34 +0100

Wei Dai wrote:
> This experiment is not a "game", since the action of each participant only
> affects his or her own payoff, and not the payoff of the other player.
> Actually you can do this with just one participant, and maybe that will
> make the paradoxical nature of anthropic reasoning clearer.
> Suppose the new experiment has two rounds. In each round the participant
> will be given temporary amnesia so he can't tell which round he is in. In
> round one he will have low measure (1/100 of normal). In round two he will
> have normal measure. He is also told:
> If you push button 1, you will lose $9.
> If you push button 2 and you are in round 1, you will win $10.
> If you push button 2 and you are in round 2, you will lose $10.
> According to anthropic reasoning, the participant when faced with the
> choices should think that he is much more likely to be in round 2, and
> therefore push button 1 in both rounds, but obviously he would have been
> better off pushing button 2 in both rounds.

I would conclude that it is inconsistent to say that there are two rounds
and that in round one the participant has 1/100 of the measure of the second
round. If it is certain that there will be two rounds then the measures must
be equal.

Received on Wed Mar 21 2001 - 21:37:19 PST

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