domingo, 23 de noviembre de 2014

My conversation with John Leslie about the end of the world

I recently spoke to Canadian philosopher John Leslie. He is the author of The End of the World, a book I came across a few years ago. This book is not an easy read, but it is extremely interesting. In the book, Leslie develops the so-called “Doomsday Argument”. Roughly, the argument goes like this: if we become extinct in, say, a couple of centuries, our generation would be roughly 10% of all humans that will ever have lived. If, instead, we colonize the galaxy and survive into trillions of human beings, our generation would only make up 0,0000001% of human beings that will ever have lived. By the principle of mediocrity (which assumes that we are not exceptional), it is more likely we are among the 10% than among the 0,00000001%. Therefore, it is more likely we will become extinct. 

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