RE: FIN too

From: Charles Goodwin <>
Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2001 12:15:54 +1200

I'll have another go at explaining my position (maybe I'll spot a flaw in it if I keep examininig it long enough). Bayesian
reasoning assumes (as far as I can see) that I should treat my present observer moment as typical. My objection to doing so is that
this assumes the result you want to prove, because if my observer moment is typical and QTI is correct, then the likelihood of me
experiencing a moment at which my age is less than infinity is infinitesimal.

This either demonstrates that (1) my present observer moment is typical and QTI is wrong or (2) the present observer moment isn't
typical and Bayesian reasoning is inappropriate ((2) doesn't imply that QTI is correct, of course, merely that it's compatible with

*Assuming* that QTI is correct, then the chances of you and me interacting at a typical observer moment (for either of us) is
negligible. QTI guarantees that almost all interactions between observers will occur at highly non-typical observer moments, because
(scary thought) for 99.9999999999999999999....% of any given person's observer moments, the rest of the human race will be extinct.
Hence Bayesian reasoning isn't appropriate because the fact that we're communicating with one another guarantees that at least one
of us, and with overwhelming probability both of us, is experiencing highly atypical observer moments.

The "assumption of typicality" can't be made without first checking that you're not dealing with a special case. To take an obvious
example, if I was to apply Bayesian reasoning to myself I would be forced to assume that I am almost certainly a peasant of
indeterminate sex living in the third world. Or more likely a beetle... Or even more likely a microbe (assuming microbes have
observer moments).

Which I believe isn't the case! (Even on those rare occassions when I argue with my better half, she very rarely calls me a


PS - I could be a butterfly dreaming that I'm a man, I suppose...

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jacques Mallah []
> Sent: Tuesday, 4 September 2001 2:32 p.m.
> To:
> Subject: RE: FIN too
> >From: "Charles Goodwin" <>
> >Um, OK, I don't want to get into an infinite argument here.
> I guess we both
> >understand the other's viewpoint. (For the record: I don't
> see any reason
> >to accept QTI as correct, but think that *if* it is, it
> would fit in with
> >the available (subjective) observational evidence - that
> being the point on
> >which we differ.
> Um, no, I still don't understand your view. I think the
> point that
> Bayesian reasoning would work with 100% reliability, even
> though the FIN is
> technically compatible with the evidence, is perfectly clear.
> Any reason
> for disagreeing, I have no understanding of.
> It may help you to think of different moments of your
> life as being
> different observers (observer-moments). That's really just a
> matter of
> definition.
> - - - - - - -
> Jacques Mallah (
> Physicist / Many Worlder / Devil's Advocate
> "I know what no one else knows" - 'Runaway Train', Soul Asylum
> My URL:
> _________________________________________________________________
> Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at
Received on Tue Sep 04 2001 - 17:13:40 PDT

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