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From: Saibal Mitra <smitra.domain.name.hidden>

Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2001 00:18:23 +0100

Nick Bostrom wrote:

``Saibal wrote:

A proper calculation using Bayes' theorem is missing in the article. The

conclusion is false.

E.g. let's assume that (2) and (3) are false. So, we know with almost 100%

certainty that we are not living in a simulation, and we know with almost

100% certainty that a posthuman civilization is going to run significant

number of simulations of their evolutionary history.

Concluding that (1) must be true is thus precisely the Doomsday argument

which is false because of improper Bayesian reasoning:

No, this is different from the Doomsday argument. DA relies on the premiss

that subjectively distinguishable observer-moments are in the same reference

class. The Simulation argument presupposes only the much weaker assumption:

that subjectively indistinguishable observer-moments are in the same

reference class. (For an explanation of this terminology and the ideas

behind it, I refer you to my forthcoming book Anthropic Bias: Observation

Selection Effects in Science and Philosophy, Routledge, New York, April

2002. I have made five sample chapters (as many as the publisher would

permit) available at http://www.anthropic-principle.com/book/.´´

Why not make the book available for free for all membrers of this list?

Anyway, although the effect may be different from the usual doomday

argument, it is completely analogous. The analog of the self indicating

assumption would be to assume that the prior probability for the cases is

proportional to the number of simulations that will be run by posthuman

civilizations (plus one). In the above case this will nullify any evidence

that seems to prove that we are not alive in a computer simulation, and will

steer us away from early doom.

Saibal

Received on Sun Dec 09 2001 - 15:20:22 PST

Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2001 00:18:23 +0100

Nick Bostrom wrote:

``Saibal wrote:

A proper calculation using Bayes' theorem is missing in the article. The

conclusion is false.

E.g. let's assume that (2) and (3) are false. So, we know with almost 100%

certainty that we are not living in a simulation, and we know with almost

100% certainty that a posthuman civilization is going to run significant

number of simulations of their evolutionary history.

Concluding that (1) must be true is thus precisely the Doomsday argument

which is false because of improper Bayesian reasoning:

No, this is different from the Doomsday argument. DA relies on the premiss

that subjectively distinguishable observer-moments are in the same reference

class. The Simulation argument presupposes only the much weaker assumption:

that subjectively indistinguishable observer-moments are in the same

reference class. (For an explanation of this terminology and the ideas

behind it, I refer you to my forthcoming book Anthropic Bias: Observation

Selection Effects in Science and Philosophy, Routledge, New York, April

2002. I have made five sample chapters (as many as the publisher would

permit) available at http://www.anthropic-principle.com/book/.´´

Why not make the book available for free for all membrers of this list?

Anyway, although the effect may be different from the usual doomday

argument, it is completely analogous. The analog of the self indicating

assumption would be to assume that the prior probability for the cases is

proportional to the number of simulations that will be run by posthuman

civilizations (plus one). In the above case this will nullify any evidence

that seems to prove that we are not alive in a computer simulation, and will

steer us away from early doom.

Saibal

Received on Sun Dec 09 2001 - 15:20:22 PST

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