2 Jun 2008

14 Wild Ideas

So here's a fun article: 14 Wild Ideas, 5 of which are true from the always fascinating Robin Hanson

Sounds like a challenge. Call me systematic if you like, but on the train home I couldn't help but rank them myself: high chance, medium, low and fat.

It's a game you can play at home.

In the buckets I placed four, four, three and three ideas respectively. I wonder if anyone can guess my top four. Or bottom three.


Robin Hanson said...

You got me curious.

botogol said...

(!) I might have to think about them more carefully now...

botogol said...

OK with some trepidation then:

My four-most-likely to be true

- Half the medicine, just as healthy
- Growth of humanity will stop in 1000yrs
- Aliens very far away
- Truth Seekers cannot honestly agree to disagree

My three least likely to be true
- mind splits into many worlds
- majority of people are simulated brains by 2100
- 5% chance I am in a simulation


Having been reading Robin Hanson for some time I am half expecting him right back here instructing me to defend my opinion (gulp) so briefly.. (for this was gut feel rather than carefully researched)

- medicine: I may have been reading far *too much* Robin Hanson, because this never occurred to me for 40yrs until recently, but I suspect it's true

- humanity growth will stop.
Well, it can't go on forever, and expansion to other stars doesn't seem likely to me (too far)

- aliens far away (sigh, very sadly for I had seti@home running for five years)... but for these reasons


- many worlds
I obviously haven't been read enough Eliezer Yudkowsky but this idea still seems plain silly to me (yep the Argument From Personal Incredulity)

- the *majority* of people will simulated brains by 2100?
Way too soon, I don't think there will be even one in100 years

- 5% chance I am in a simulation
If this is a simulation it's a pretty pointless one.

Robin Hanson said...

So, in your judgement how likely am I to meet my claim that 1/3 of the claims were true?

botogol said...

I feel like I handed in my homework, and was given an extension task :-)

Robin, your 14 ideas are well-chosen, beguiling: at first sight they do indeed seem wild (well most of them) but on inspection, and reflection... well, do you know, just perhaps...

So let's say - a 65% chance that five or more are true.

alien software engineer said...

Hmmm....well, admittedly it's not my best sim game ever but "pretty pointless" is a little harsh, don't you think? I'll have you know I've sold quite a few characters. Frankly, I am surprised someone as perceptive as you hasn't spotted that a few of your world leaders behave rather oddly at times.