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*To*: starship-design@lists.uoregon.edu (Starship list)*Subject*: Re: starship-design: Irrational Odds*From*: kuo@bit.csc.lsu.edu (Isaac Kuo)*Date*: Thu, 28 Aug 1997 15:36:18 -0500 (CDT)*In-Reply-To*: <199708281741.KAA10690@watt> from "Ken Wharton" at Aug 28, 97 10:41:41 am*Reply-To*: kuo@bit.csc.lsu.edu (Isaac Kuo)*Sender*: owner-starship-design

Ken Wharton wrote: >Isaac writes: >>>You can do an experiment of asking people how they're doing. A >>>large portion of them will actually respond by saying "fine" or whatever, >>>even though the odds of everyone "randomly" behaving this way (and not >>>saying random words, clawing your eyeballs out, etc.) are inconceivable. >>>Every time you can even somewhat-accurately predict how someone will >react >>>to a given set of circumstances, you are helping to refute the infinite- >>>universe possibility. >>Here you demonstrate how little you understand about probability and >>what it means to be a random event. >>Consider a hypothetical lottery which is randomly determined. You >>buy one of those tickets. Whether you win or not is random, and >>yet the most likely result is that you lose. Just because something >>is random doesn't mean the chances are 50-50. >>Similarly, if you go up to John Smith and ask him how he's doing. >>Most of the time he'll say "fine". >Ahhh - but once you start thinking in terms of multiple universes, you lose >the idea of probability. What does it mean to have one universe that is >less probable than another? If a universe exists it's probability is one; >the only probability involved is Which universe we happen to find ourselves >in right now. And that would mean that there have to be a lot of identical >universes where John Smith says "fine" for every universe in which he says >"hovercraft" just to make the odds turn out right. If a universe exists, its probability of existing is indeed 1. So? If we can never access that universe, what difference does that make? BTW, out current understanding doesn't just involve 1 or two or a million million million simultaneous possibilities--it involves an infinite continuum of possibilities. It's not even a countable infinity. >But that leads to more problems. Suppose you have a quantum event that has >a 1/pi chance of coming out A, and a (1 - 1/pi) chance of coming out B. If >the universe really splits off into alternate possible universes for each >outcome, with each of the universes as "real" as the others, then there's >no way to do it. Even if you have lots of universes, because pi is >irrational there's no way to make the odds come out correctly. Wrong. Consider the act of choosing randomly from [0,1] with the Lebesgue probability distribution. The probability of picking a number in [0,1/pi] is exactly 1/pi. I'm not about to go through the trouble of teaching you measure theory and probability theory. -- _____ Isaac Kuo kuo@bit.csc.lsu.edu http://www.csc.lsu.edu/~kuo __|_)o(_|__ /___________\ "Mari-san... Yokatta... \=\)-----(/=/ ...Yokatta go-buji de..." - Karigari Hiroshi

**References**:**starship-design: Irrational Odds***From:*wharton@physics.ucla.edu (Ken Wharton)

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