Re: Risk vs. Payoff (was Re: Alcor on KRON)

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Tue May 08 2001 - 00:30:31 MDT

On Tue, May 08, 2001 at 12:07:21AM +0200, Max M wrote:
> > From: E. Shaun Russell
> > --------------------------------------
> > | Not Signed Up | Signed Up |
> > ------------------------------------------------------------------
> > If Cryonics Doesn't Work | You're Dead | You're Dead |
> > ------------------------------------------------------------------
> > If Cryonics Does Work | You're Dead | You're Not Dead |
> > ------------------------------------------------------------------
> > Seems like a pretty easy choice to me...
> Havn't we discussed this before and found that the basic fallacy here is
> pretending that it is without cost to sign up?
> If using your money for signing up for Cryonics gives you a lower overall
> chance of surviving indefinately than using them for general healthcare or
> other things to improve your longivity it's not such an easy choice.

The monthly cost for a suspension contract seems to be a fairly small
amount compared to whatever value you put on your life, other outlays
for lifestyle and perhaps also the cost of longevity health care.

So the matrix becomes:

                             Not signed up Signed up
Cryonics doesn't work O O - C
Cryonics works O O - C + L

C is the cost of cryonics, L is the value of your life (assumed to be >>
C) and O is the amount of money you can spend on other beneficial stuff.

If cryonics has probability P of working, then the benefits of signing
up are better than the benefits of not signing up if
P(O-C+L)+(1-P)(O-C)>O, or PL>C. So roughly speaking, if the value of
your life times the chance you think cryonics has to work is on the same
order of of magnitude as cryonics costs, then it starts to get

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

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