Re: Pareto laws and expected income

From: Russell Standish <>
Date: Tue, 21 Jun 2005 17:43:46 +1000

On Tue, Jun 21, 2005 at 12:00:38AM -0700, Jonathan Colvin wrote:
> Russell Standish wrote:
> My consciousness (or degree of such) is a complicated function of my
> evolutionary history, but the problem is so multifactorial it is
> inappropriate to use anthropic reasoning.

Nonsense. You are either conscious, in which case you will observe
something, or you are not, which case you don't. This is a simple two
state logic.

> >
> > What it does show is what an ass the ASSA is. It is
> > unreasonable to suppose that my current wealth is sampled
> > randomly from the distribution of al wealths (a Pareto
> > distribution like P(x)=x^a, for some a).
> Why is it any more unreasonable than supposing that your birth rank is
> sampled randomly from the distribution of all birth ranks?

Because current observer moments are dependent on previous observer
moments. Births are not.

For example, one's income tends to be positively correlated with age
(until age of retirement, that is, when the trend reverses).

> If you consider all possible personal characteristics, there is very likely
> one or two characteristics that are extreme. In my case it happens to be
> birth rank.

What evidence do you advance for this? If true, this would be remarkable.

> >
> > So that is not so strange really. However, when it comes to
> > sampling indexical quantities (eg birth rates or population
> > sizes), anthropic arguments take on a particular force, than
> > sampling non-indexical quantities.
> Why do anthropic arguments suddenly take on such force when sampling
> indexical quantities?
> Jonathan Colvin

Think about it! Why is a 1/f law for country populations mean
Anthropic considerations do not constrain which country you might be
born, yet a 1/f law in incomes implies you're likely to be born into a
poor family.

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Received on Tue Jun 21 2005 - 04:24:06 PDT

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