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Real-Life Anthropic Weirdness

24 Eliezer_Yudkowsky 05 April 2009 10:26PM

In passing, I said:

From a statistical standpoint, lottery winners don't exist - you would never encounter one in your lifetime, if it weren't for the selective reporting.

And lo, CronoDAS said:

Well... one of my grandmothers' neighbors, whose son I played with as a child, did indeed win the lottery. (AFAIK, it was a relatively modest jackpot, but he did win!)

To which I replied:

Well, yes, some of the modest jackpots are statistically almost possible, in the sense that on a large enough web forum, someone else's grandmother's neighbor will have won it. Just not your own grandmother's neighbor.

Sorry about your statistical anomalatude, CronoDAS - it had to happen to someone, just not me.

There's a certain resemblance here - though not an actual analogy - to the strange position your friend ends up in, after you test the Quantum Theory of Immortality.

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