Re: Reference class (was dualism and the DA)

From: Russell Standish <>
Date: Tue, 21 Jun 2005 10:20:01 +1000

On Mon, Jun 20, 2005 at 12:52:23PM -0700, Jonathan Colvin wrote:
> That's quite an assumption. *Do* all conscious things ask this question of
> themselves? Babies don't. Senile old people don't. I'm not sure that
> medieval peasants ever thought to ask this question, or pre-literate
> cavemen.

What makes you so sure about this? a) that they are conscious, and b)
that they do not wonder how it might be different if they were someone
or something else?

> I'd be interested to hear it. Here's something else you could look
> at...calculate the median annual income for all humans alive today (I
> believe it is around $4,000 /year), compare it to your own, and see if you
> are anyway near the median. I predict that the answer for you (and for
> anyone else reading this), is far from the median. This result is obviously
> related to the "why you are not Chinese" criticism, and is,

Yes, it is. Incomes follow a Pareto law, which is another one of these
power laws (although I remember a recent paper that indicated the rich
part of the curve had a different law). It may even be exactly 1/x, in
which case one's income could be anything! However, I'd need to look
up the relevant papers. Comparing things to medians is _not_ relevant.

> I believe, the reason the DA goes astray.
> Jonathan Colvin

No it's not! Working with actual distributions solves these counter
arguments (or at least seems to).

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A/Prof Russell Standish                  Phone 8308 3119 (mobile)
Mathematics                         	       0425 253119 (")
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Received on Mon Jun 20 2005 - 20:55:14 PDT

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