Re: Value of Long Lives (Was: What is the best place ...)

From: Emlyn (onetel) (
Date: Thu Jun 29 2000 - 23:35:17 MDT

> Wei writes:
> > I don't think it's possible to have an infinite utility. Here's a
> > experiment to find out what your maximum utility is:
> >
> > Suppose a genie told you that he could grant you one wish (which may be
> > composed of an infinite number of subwishes), but first you would be
> > tortured for a year, and then the wish only has 1% chance of coming
> > Would you accept? What if the wish has only 0.1% chance of coming true?
> > Keep lowering the probability until you refuse to accept. Now divide
> > minus the of the utility of being tortured by that probability to get
> > maximum utility.
> I don't think I'd take a year of torture even for a 100% chance of having
> every wish granted. At least not if it was bad torture. Maybe a day
> of torture, but not a year.
> Is it possible though that I'm not being rational in saying this?
> Maybe the rational thing to do is to take the torture, in the sense that
> if I did, afterwards I would say it was the right decision. But perhaps
> I am too blinded by fear to go through with it?
> Hal

You could always wish for the universe to be rewound (time wise) to a point
where the initial choice was presented to you, and change the choice to "How
would you like infinite wishes right now buddy, with no hassles". Maybe
you'd be too twisted after a year of torture (maybe!), to be able to do
anything sensible with the wishes when/if you got them, even if there was
100% probability of receiving them.

No, I wouldn't bite at this one either, even if the wish were certain to be


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