Re: Once more with the Doomsday Argument

Nick Bostrom (
Fri, 28 Aug 1998 17:08:34 +0000

Lee Daniel Crocker writes:

> NB> In a sense you are betting against yourself when you decide
> > how to plan your life in view of your estimates of how long our
> > species will survive.
> Precisely; which is why you are not an acceptable random sample.
> If we are betting a short-lived civilization against a long-
> lived one, then we must offer the bet to a random sample of ALL
> the postulated possible civilizations, not just the one at hand.

I rather think one should consider oneself randomly sampled from the set of *actual* civilizations, not the set of all possible ones. (I have explained my reasons for this in the Robin-thread and also in my "Investigations"-paper.)

Nick Bostrom
Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method London School of Economics