[Link] Physics-based anthropics?

by Brian_Tomasik 5y14th Nov 20141 min read13 comments

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Nick Bostrom's self-sampling assumption treats us as a random sample from a set of observers, but this framework raises several paradoxes. Instead, why not treat the stuff we observe to be a random sample from the set of all stuff that exists? I elaborate on this proposal in a new essay subsection: "SSA on physics rather than observers?" At first glance, it seems to work better than any of the mainstream schools of anthropics. Comments are welcome.

Has this idea been suggested before? I noticed that Robin Hanson proffered something similar way back in 1998 (four years before Bostrom's Anthropic Bias). I'm surprised Hanson's proposal hasn't received more attention in the academic literature.