Re: more desperate self-glorification....

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Wed, 24 Nov 1999 21:02:23 -0600

Eric Watt Forste wrote:
> >>Perhaps Universe is so young that we are the first kids on the
> >>block.
> On Wed, 24 Nov 1999, Rob Harris <> wrote:
> > Consider the number of stars in this galaxy, and then the number
> > of galaxies in the universe, and then the fact that our galaxy is
> > far from the most outward-lying (ancient). For us to be No.1 in
> > this universe would be quite incredible luck. In fact, I'm sure I
> > couldn't even write the odds in standard form and fit all the digits
> > on all the computers on earth.
> Um, since when is outward-lying the same as ancient? Outward lying
> from what, anyway? Our own galaxy is the *most* ancient galaxy that
> we can observe, because we are looking into the past at younger
> and younger galaxies as we look further away.

I think maybe he means "outward-lying (ancient)" as in "farthest out on the age curve". Or not. Either way, that business about all the digits is untrue. No matter how normal or how young our star is, I sincerely doubt the odds are greater than 10^400:1, given that there are only 10^22 stars in the Universe and the average odds of each one evolving life probably aren't higher than 10%.

           Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Running on BeOS           Typing in Dvorak          Programming with Patterns
Voting for Libertarians   Heading for Singularity   There Is A Better Way