# Re: how to do something with really small probability?

From: Byrne Hobart (sometimesfunnyalwaysright@gmail.com)
Date: Thu Nov 01 2007 - 14:52:48 MDT

It can generate a random number between 0 and 1, and multiply that by 1/3^^^3?

Or not. I don't have a background in this, but that's my usual hack.

On 11/1/07, Wei Dai <weidai@weidai.com> wrote:
> Suppose an SI wants to do something with a very small, but non-zero
> probability, say 0 < p <= 1/3^^^3 (in Knuth's up-arrow notation). How would
> it go about doing this? The answer seems to be "it can't", because
> algorithmic information theory says there is no way that it can generate a
> sufficiently long random number that it can know is truly random. Can anyone
> see a way around this limitation?
>
> This problem came up in the context of Eliezer's "Torture vs. Dust Specks"
> dilemma (http://www.overcomingbias.com/2007/10/torture-vs-dust.html), but I
> think it might be of interest outside that context.
>
>
>
>

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