Re: Definition of survival

From: Matt Mahoney (
Date: Sat Apr 19 2008 - 15:17:34 MDT

--- Jeff L Jones <> wrote:

> On Fri, Apr 18, 2008 at 5:46 PM, Matt Mahoney <> wrote:
>> 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?
> I'd offer him slightly less than the value of one day of his life...
> take the money, and then go copy myself a couple times. :) Seriously
> though, I don't see how such a game would arise as neither of us is
> capable of predicting the future of our lives.

A more realistic example would be: suppose your life expectancy is 10,000
days. How much would you have to be paid to push a button that will kill you
with probability 1/10000?

> This is getting away from the original question, where you would be
> deciding *after* you had the experience whether to erase it. I see
> that as a much more well-defined dilemna.

I agree, but it can be measured. Suppose you climbed Mt. Everest. How much
is this memory worth? The facts: it costs $60,000 and 6 weeks to try, you
have a 1/2 chance of reaching the summit and a 1/30 chance of dying. 10^-7 of
the world's population attempts it each year.

-- Matt Mahoney,

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