On 18/11/2007, Vladimir Nesov <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:

> Yes, but there's no point in 'wondering' after winning the lottery
> either. 'Wondering' is a technique to update probability of winning
> after you experienced winning, but it's only applicable when this
> probability is unknown and you can gain enough experience with both
> kinds of outcomes. So, if you first expected some event to be very
> unlikely, and then you experience that event, you probably should
> increase your assessment of its probability.

That's a different question, I think. If someone keeps winning the
lottery, then there is reason to speculate that he is cheating in some
way. But if the lottery is perfectly fair, and every participant is
equally unlikely to win, someone still has to win. That person can
then look back and say that his win was unlikely at the time he bought
the ticket. It might sound as if this is the same as saying it is
unlikely that he should find himself a winner rather than a loser, but
there is a difference. If he is a winner then *of course* he is a
winner; it was the becoming a winner that was unlikely. There is no
equivalent process of becoming a human that can be pointed to as

> Here confusion is similar: you experience an event (being born on
> Earth), and based on that you try to update probability of being born
> on Earth. But data is insufficient, so you can't do that.

Would it make any difference if you had data for how many inhabited
planets there are in the Universe?

Stathis Papaioannou

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