[2020-05-24] Program-2

Blame Quintushalls for this.

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gopher65
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun May 25, 2014 12:23 am

[2020-05-24] Program-2

Post by gopher65 »

The comic and button text posits that Elon Musk's life is an absurdly unlikely paradox that can only be solved if the universe is a simulation. Hilarious! I loved it!

The real answer to this, of course, is the Lottery Fallacy. "It's unlikely that I'll win the lottery, so no one will win" isn't a valid argument. There is a low probability of a *specific* individual winning, but a high probability of a random individual winning. Unlikely events happen all the time. In the same way, "Elon Musk's life is so weird. Simultaneous near bankruptcies that were both saved at the very last moment, pregnant celebrities, rockets to Mars??? We must be in a simulation!" (see below) Those are meaningless statements though. Beyond the fact that weird rich people things only happen to rich people, low probability events are bound to happen to someone. He's just that someone.

Other examples of this fallacy:

1. Creationists like to claim that giraffes are so weird that they couldn't have evolved. "What are the chances a giraffe would evolve" they literally ask? Low, of course. But the chances that *something* would evolve to fill that evolutionary niche are very high. And if a giant badger relative with a long neck had evolved instead of a giraffe, creationists would then be asking "what are the chances that a weird giant badger with a long neck could have evolved?" When you add up the probability of everything in the evolutionary space of that particular niche, that's the real probability. Some creature was going to win the lottery, giraffes just got lucky.

2. Self made rich people like that claim that the reason they're rich is because they're hardworkers, never give up, are intelligent, and never let an opportunity get them by. They're rich because they're better at those things than everyone else, and that's why they deserve to be rich. No, sorry. Those traits are *necessary* to become self-made rich, but they aren't what made *you* self-made rich instead of the 10000 other people just like you who had similar or identical ideas and beliefs. Luck was. If you'd walked into one critical meeting 10 seconds before you did, you wouldn't have accidentally elbowed the senior VP who was deciding between your proposal and 12 other equally good ones. You ended up riding down in the elevator together after the meeting, and he saw you get elbowed the same way. That related you to him in his head, and he subconsciously chose your proposal (which was 2% worse in a technical sense than the best proposal he saw that day). That one project jumpstarted your career. Without it, your life would have been that of an ordinary person: moderately successful, because of your good traits and hard work. (Like Picard's life in "Tapestry" the Star Trek episode. Pull one thread, and everything else changes.) You got lucky. It's a lottery fallacy to think any differently. Someone had to win, and it was you.

See Below: All that said, you don't even need to apply the lottery fallacy to Musk except for his very first "strike it rich" scheme. Everything else flowed from that. Nothing else was an independent event. Companies all about to go bankrupt at the same time? Yes, because he's done things like used money from one company to bail out others, which is a bit of a nono, but he got away with it. He used SpaceX to bailout solarcity, but when solarcity was about to go bankrupt it owed so much money to SpaceX that it might have killed SpaceX, so he used Tesla to bail out solarcity. As soon as one company is stabilized, they all are. So from the outside it looks like luck, but none of those are independent events. All linked. Everything else can be explained by the fact that he's rich, and that's why things like celebrity relationships (and possibly drugs or orgies, depending on whose account of events you buy into) happen to him.
Last edited by gopher65 on Mon May 25, 2020 2:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

RecoveringCatholic
Posts: 45
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:49 pm

Re: [2020-05-24] Program-2

Post by RecoveringCatholic »

For the record, I don't believe Mr Musk ever has smoked crack -- at least not in public.

What he smoked was a "blunt" -- marijuana inside tobacco.

Personally, I don't care about the weed but tobacco? Ewwwwwww.

RyanW
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:58 am

Re: [2020-05-24] Program-2

Post by RyanW »

gopher65 wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 10:27 pm
1. Creationists like to claim that giraffes are so weird that they couldn't have evolved. "What are the chances a giraffe would evolve" they literally ask? Low, of course. But the chances that *something* would evolve to fill that evolutionary niche are very high. And if a giant badger relative with a long neck had evolved instead of a giraffe, creationists would then be asking "what are the chances that a weird giant badger with a long neck could have evolved?" When you add up the probability of everything in the evolutionary space of that particular niche, that's the real probability. Some creature was going to win the lottery, giraffes just got lucky.
It's the Super Monty Hall problem: If you pick a door, then both of the other doors are opened to reveal goats*, you can't really say that the low chance you initially had to have picked the correct door proves you probably didn't.

* The Monty Hall problem doesn't work for people who are really into goats.
"Most of the quotes you read on the internet are misattributed." - George Washington

RecoveringCatholic
Posts: 45
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:49 pm

Re: [2020-05-24] Program-2

Post by RecoveringCatholic »

A certain stick figure comic was there first.
Image

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