I'm not sure whether to revive a thread on Pascal's Mugging to ask this question, but why is it specified that the person says "Give me five dollars, or I'll use my magic powers from outside the Matrix to run a Turing machine that simulates and kills 3^^^^3 people"? Let S = "the person has the power to do so, and will do so unless you give $5". Suppose you assign a probability 1/3^^^3 to the P(S| person claims S), and suppose you assign a probability of 10^-100 to P(does not claim S|S). Then shouldn't you assign a probability of 1/((10^100)(3^^^3)) to P(S|doesn't claim S)? If you're willing to give $5 to someone who claims S, shouldn't you be only slightly less willing to give $5 to everyone, regardless of whether they claim S?

More "Stupid" Questions

by NancyLebovitz 1 min read31st Jul 2013498 comments


This is a thread where people can ask questions that they would ordinarily feel embarrassed for not knowing the answer to. The previous "stupid" questions thread went to over 800 comments in two and a half weeks, so I think it's time for a new one.