Re: Definition of survival

From: Matt Mahoney (
Date: Fri Apr 18 2008 - 18:46:45 MDT

--- Jeff L Jones <> wrote:

> On Fri, Apr 18, 2008 at 11:43 AM, Matt Mahoney <> wrote:
> >
> > > But what's your view? Have you said? Specifically, how much would
> > > you have to be paid to lose 10 seconds', 10 hours', 10 days', etc.,
> > > memories?
> >
> > I had to think about it for awhile, but I would say about $50 per hour.
> To me, It seems kind of pointless to try to come up with a single "per
> hour" rate for erasing of memories. It would all depend on what
> happened in that hour. If it was an hour spent waiting for the bus,
> then sure... $50 or perhaps even less would be fine with me. On the
> other hand, there are some hours of my life I would only be willing to
> erase for several billion dollars. Most of the hours in my life are
> somewhere in between.

Yeah, my price is probably low. Suppose I rephrase the question. How much
would they have to pay you to take a pill on Friday night where you wake up
Sunday morning? Assume you go about your normal activities on Saturday (not
drunk), but just have no memory of it afterwards.

Or let's remove the disturbing aspect of the discontinuity of memory. (Where
did I leave my keys? Weren't you listening to me yesterday?) Suppose you
knew the date of your death. Assume normal life expectancy. How much would
you pay to live one day longer, or accept to die one day sooner?

Make it a 2 player game. You name a figure, $X. Your opponent has the option
of either accepting $X from you, in which case you die one day later and he
dies one day sooner, or he can pay you $X in which case you die one day sooner
and he lives one day longer. What amount do you name?

Suppose your opponent can also name a multiplier, m, so he can choose to pay
or accept $X*m for m days of your life (up to some limit, say half of
whoever's life expectancy is smaller).

-- Matt Mahoney,

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