Russell Standish wrote:

On Thu, Jun 09, 2005 at 07:35:42PM -0400, Jesse Mazer wrote:
> Russell Standish wrote:
> >
> >You are arguing that it is possible to have an absolute measure for
> >each observer moment, as well as a relative measure on the transitions
> >between observer moments. Of course this is correct.
> >
> >However, the ASSA and the RSSA are more than that. The SS stands for
> >self sampling, ie the principle that one should reason as though one's
> >own observer moment were sampled from the A or the R measure
> >respectively. With the RSSA, only the birth moment is sampled
> >according to an absolute measure, so it is an elaboration of the
> >SSA. I'm not sure how compatible the ASSA is with the SSA.
> >
> >The ASSA and RSSA are incompatible principles, even if both absolute
> >and relative measures are compatible.
> Well, perhaps the problem is that we don't have definite agreement on this
> list about how these acronyms are defined--for example, Hal Finney gave
> different definitions on the original "Request for a glossary of acronyms" > thread, in his post at --
> "ASSA - The Absolute Self-Sampling Assumption, which says that you should
> consider your next observer-moment to be randomly sampled from among all
> observer-moments in the universe.
> RSSA - The Relative Self-Sampling Assumption, which says that you should
> consider your next observer-moment to be randomly sampled from among all
> observer-moments which come immediately after your current observer-moment
> and belong to the same observer."

How does this differ? The only difference I see is that the word
"measure" is not mentioned explicitly, however random sampling implies
sampling according to some measure. Sometimes  uniform measure is
implied by random sampling, but I can't see how Hal Finney might have
thought that, as the measure is so patently nonuniform.

Hal didn't say anything about only sampling the birth moment randomly according to the absolute measure, or imply it as far as I understood him.

> And as I said in my response to that post at
> , I would prefer to define
> the ASSA in terms of reasoning as if your *current* observer-moment is
> randomly sampled from the set of all observer-moments, weighted by each
> observer-moment's absolute probability.
> Jesse

I can't see that changing "next" to "current" makes any difference to
the meaning, except if there is no "next" OM. If you are comparing the
two - eg perhaps asserting a compatibility, then there must be a "next"
OM. This is pedantry for pedantry sake.

No, I'm not saying there is no "next" OM, my point was that the two methods can give different probabilities for my next OM--for example, a Jesse Mazer OM and a Russell Standish OM might have about equal absolute measure, but given my current OM, a Jesse Mazer OM would have much higher relative measure.

It does not change the fact that the RSSA and the ASSA are
fundamentally incompatible principles.

Could you explain why you think they're fundamentally incompatible? In what type of situation would they lead to contradictory conclusions, for example? In terms of my water-tank analogy, if you happen to be riding on a water molecule, there doesn't seem to be any incompatibility between 1) reasoning as if your water molecule was randomly selected from the set of all molecules, so the probability your molecule will be in a given tank is proportional to the amount of water in that tank (absolute probability), and 2) assuming that the next tank you will find yourself in after this one is randomly sampled from all the tanks which your current tank is pumping water into, with each possible next tank weighted by the rate that the current tank is pumping water into that tank (conditional probability).


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