Classical vs MWI Probability Nomenclature

by DataPacRat 1 min read23rd Nov 201312 comments


"I estimate 5% odds of X happening" can mean at least two things:

* I have about 1-in-20 confidence that all future timelines from this point contain X, and about 19-in-20 confidence that none do.

* I estimate about 1-in-20 future timelines contain X, and 19-in-20 future timelines don't.

Looked at this way, the usual way of quantifying probability seems to be a lot like quantifying area - the first bullet-point by having a 1x20 rectangle, the second by having a 20x1 one. (This also seems valid for having, say, 50% confidence that 1-in-10 future timelines contain X.) It seems like it might be worth having an easy and understandable way to differentiate between these different forms of '5% odds', but any easy way I've been able to think of is barely understandable, and vice versa. Are there any existing standard ways to do this that I'm unaware of? If not, does anyone reading this have any decent answers?


I'm not opposed to coming up with a new word for personal use to help get in the habit of thinking in certain ways; such as bei'e in Lojban to remind myself to think of probability logarithmically. I don't mind doing the same with a word meaning 'such-and-such a fraction of future MWI branches', if that's the best solution, or even just a useful tool; I'd just like to know what the full range of useful approaches really are, first, and any potential loopholes therein or drawbacks thereof.