Apocalypse When? Calculating How Long the Human Race Will by Willard Wells

By Willard Wells

This booklet may be a key trailblazer in a brand new and upcoming box. The author’s predictive strategy will depend on easy and intuitive likelihood formulations that may entice readers with a modest wisdom of astronomy, arithmetic, and data. Wells’ rigorously erected thought stands on a certain footing and hence should still function the root of many rational predictions of survival within the face of typical failures corresponding to hits by means of asteroids or comets within the coming years. Any formulation for predicting human survival will invite controversy. Dr Wells counters expected feedback with a radical strategy during which 4 traces of reasoning are used to reach on the similar survival formulation. One makes use of empirical survival statistics for company organizations and degree exhibits. one other is predicated on uncertainty of probability premiums. The 3rd, extra summary, invokes Laplace’s precept of inadequate cause and consists of an observer’s random arrival within the life of the entity (the human race) in query. The fourth makes use of Bayesian thought.

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After postulating a stream of observers, it then presumes to second-guess their motives and schedule. 3 above and in Appendix A are stronger. That is how it goes in this formulation: each viewpoint ®lls a weakness in the others. ) # # # Now we have the essential piece that was missing from the original Doomsday Argument discussed near the end of the introduction. People were applying indi€erence indiscriminately to the wrong quantities. The original random variable was our human serial number. If we divide that range into quarters like the timeline for Murphy's, then almost all of the risk falls in the last quarter.

To my knowledge there is no standard name for this quantity, so let us call it cumulative risk, or simply cum-risk (kewmrisk) for short, and use the symbol Z (as in hazard) for the meter reading. Like the utility meter the virtual meter's dial rotates at a rate that represents the current hazard rate. If the hazard rate is constant, our cum-risk meter turns at a constant rate; in e€ect it reverts to a clock, and so Z ˆ T. Thus it seems likely that the generalized version of Equation 1 should simply replace T by cum-risk Z.

Very likely it happens because human intuition is quite skilled at sensing bias. In the real world, any predictable risks, biases, or cuto€ ages would be well-known lore about the entity in question, in which case anyone making a theoretical model would have either chosen a di€erent entity or modi®ed the formulation to take the bias into account. 6, include just such modi®cations. Chapter 4 extends them to include modern man-made hazards to humanity. 3 CHANGING HAZARD RATES Let us now move on and consider the case in which hazard rates are known to be changing, as they have been for humanity during the past 50 years.

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