Re: Doomsday Example

Robin Hanson (
Mon, 24 Aug 1998 15:20:09 -0700

Hal writes:
>I wonder if it would make sense to approach the question of the
>appropriate priors via the "Miraculous Universal Distribution", the title
>of an article in v19, n4 of The Mathematical Intelligencer by Kirchherr
>et al.
>The universal prior sets the probability of an object at one over two to
>the power of its complexity (entropy).

Universal priors are useless in finite state spaces, where every prior with full support is universal. And unless you think infinities are essential to an issue like the doomsday argument, I think you're off staying with the simplicity of finite examples.

Robin Hanson RWJF Health Policy Scholar, Sch. of Public Health 510-643-1884 140 Warren Hall, UC Berkeley, CA 94720-7360 FAX: 510-643-8614