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Recent Comments

That's a very good summary of Caves' argument, thanks for providing it.

EDIT: I upvoted you, but now I see someone else has downvoted you. As with me, no reason was given.

I am new here at LW. I thought it would be a place for rational discussion. Apparently, however, this is not a universally hel...(read more)

Why is that case "non random"? A randomly selected person could well turn out to be a 1 month old child. If you know in advance that this is not typical, then you already know something about median life expectancy, and *that* is what you are using to make your estimate, not the age of the selected ...(read more)

For a general analysis along the same lines of life expectancies of various phenomena, see Carl Caves, "Predicting future duration from present age: Revisiting a critical assessment of Gott's rule", . Caves shows (like Dieks) that the original priors are the correct on...(read more)

I've been doing some more reading on DA, and I now believe that the definitive argument against it was given by Dennis Dieks in his 2007 paper "Reasoning about the future: Doom and Beauty". See sections 3 and 4. The paper is available at or, in preprint form, at ...(read more)

At least some DA proponents claim that there should always be a change in the probability estimate, so I am pleased to see that you agree that there are situations where DA conveys no new information.

OK, let me rephrase the question.

The biologist has never heard of DA. He sets up the initial conditions in such a way that his expectation (based on all his prior knowledge of biology) is that the probability of exponential growth is 50%.

Now the biologist is informed of DA. Should his probabili...(read more)

So do you agree with me that, in the experiment I described (a biologist sets up a petri dish with a specific set of initial conditions, and wants to find out if a small bacteria colony will grow exponentially under those conditions), DA logic cannot be applied (by either the biologist or the bacter...(read more)

I claim that self-sampling plays no essential role in DA logic.

If you think that self-sampling is essential, then you still must allow one of the bacteria in the petri dish to use DA logic about its own future. If you do not allow the biologist to use DA logic, then the bacterium and the biologist...(read more)

I think it is an excellent idea to try DA logic in other domains.

Example: A a biologist prepares a petri dish with some nutrients, and implants a small colony of bacteria. The question is: will this colony grow exponentially under these conditions? According to DA logic (with a reference class o...(read more)

You must have written the article off-campus while logged into the OSU proxy server. All links are the ones provided by the OSU proxy. This allows you to read subscription-only journals while off campus, but if you copy them, they won't work for anyone else. Salon won't be able to help you.

It does...(read more)