Tuesday, January 12, 2016

I am weird

The Doomsday Argument says that we should expect to be typical people: this is the "self-sampling assumption". Hence, we should expect to be roughly in the middle of humanity's birth order. But since the population has grown exponentially, being in the middle of humanity's birth order implies being close to the end of the world. Hence, the end is nigh.

But I have evidence against the self-sampling assumption. The self-sampling assumption predicts that I am typical. But I am not: I am weird.


Anonymous said...

This is only a good argument against the Doomsday argument if weird people are concentrated toward the beginning of the world. If they are getting more common as time goes on, it simply strengthens the claim that the end is near.

Alexander R Pruss said...

It's a semi-humorous argument specifically against one premise of the Doomsday argument: the self-sampling assumption (SSA). SSA predicts that I will be typical and hence non-weird. But I am weird and hence atypical.

I think the weakness of the argument is that it's unclear what kind of a prediction the denial of the SSA makes with respect to my weirdness.

SMatthewStolte said...

A Dialogue:

A.P.: I am weird.
Kind Acquaintance: Now now, don't say that. You're not weird.
A.P.: Really?
K.A.: Really, I don't think you're weird at all.
A.P.: Are you sure?
K.A.: *nods*
A.P.: Well, then, I guess we're all doomed.
K.A.: Never mind what I said before. You are weird.

Alexander R Pruss said...

I can offer lots of evidence for the premise that I'm weird, by the way. :-)

Dagmara Lizlovs said...

Alex, you are in good company. :-)