Russell Standish wrote:
> I retract an earlier agreement with Jonathon that the
> expected income argument is the same as the "Why I am not
> Chinese argument". They are not, for the simple expedient
> that ones income does not affect your chances of birth (if
> there is any effect, it would be a negative one with your
> parent's wealth). In the "Why am I not Chinese" argument, the
> population of your country of birth is indexical.
> My expected income is a complicated function of my life's
> history, it may have some bearing on things like my innate
> intelligence, and my parent's wealth, but the problem is so
> multifactorial it is inappropriate to use anthropic reasoning.
My consciousness (or degree of such) is a complicated function of my
evolutionary history, but the problem is so multifactorial it is
inappropriate to use anthropic reasoning.
> What it does show is what an ass the ASSA is. It is
> unreasonable to suppose that my current wealth is sampled
> randomly from the distribution of al wealths (a Pareto
> distribution like P(x)=x^a, for some a).
Why is it any more unreasonable than supposing that your birth rank is
sampled randomly from the distribution of all birth ranks?
> A more interesting point that Jonathon Colvin could have made
> was questioning why ones IQ is so high. It is a reasonable
> speculation that the IQ of people on this list would usually
> be far above average (IQ=100 by definition). Of course, that
> is selective effects of this list. But one can also ask why
> in anthropic reasoning is my IQ in the top part of the
> distribution (I don't know my IQ, but I'm sure I'm in the
> tail :). The answer is that if you consider all possible
> congenital characteristics (eg country of birth, parents
> wealth, intelligence, skill at playing ball, etc.), there is
> very likely one or two chracteristics that are extreme. In my
> case it happens to be intelligence. My family's income was
> below average (for Australia that is, but probably more on a
> par with world average, actually)
If you consider all possible personal characteristics, there is very likely
one or two characteristics that are extreme. In my case it happens to be
> So that is not so strange really. However, when it comes to
> sampling indexical quantities (eg birth rates or population
> sizes), anthropic arguments take on a particular force, than
> sampling non-indexical quantities.
Why do anthropic arguments suddenly take on such force when sampling