AndyGB
AndyGB
Joined: Feb 7, 2013
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August 3rd, 2013 at 11:04:01 AM permalink
An insane billionaire (or a psychotic magic leprechaun, or alien overlord ...) offers you a wager in which you have a large chance of winning a large amount of money, and a small chance of losing your life. I'm interested in people's opinions about what payouts and what odds might make this an acceptable wager. For example, most people wouldn't take a 50-50 shot at $100 with their life on the line. On the other hand if the odds of losing your life get small enough, they become comparable with the odds of getting hit by a bus or whatever. To make it more concrete, let's say the amount of money is $10million. What would the odds have to be for you to take this bet. Let's say that he will make the offer to the person willing to take the highest chance of losing his life. How low would you go? Assume the game is fair and completely randomly determined (using the magic alien technology or etc).
1BB
1BB
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August 3rd, 2013 at 11:34:33 AM permalink
Good poll question. My answer is 100%.
Many people, especially ignorant people, want to punish you for speaking the truth. - Mahatma Ghandi
MrV
MrV
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August 3rd, 2013 at 11:45:42 AM permalink
I'd never take the bet.
"What, me worry?"
Wizard
Administrator
Wizard
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August 3rd, 2013 at 12:02:10 PM permalink
I've been one to say your happiness is proportional to ln(wealth). The answer is obviously going to depend on your wealth going into the problem. Let's say, for the sake of argument, your wealth is one million. Let p = probability of death at which you're indifferent to taking the bet.

ln(1,000,000) = (1-p)*ln(11,000,000)

1-p = ln(1M)/ln(11M)
1-p = 13.8155/16.2134
1-p = 0.8521
p = 0.1479

At a wealth of 100,000 p goes up to 0.2862.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
Doc
Doc
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August 3rd, 2013 at 12:07:38 PM permalink
My answer just might be related to how terminally ill I already am at the time of the wager -- a chance to win and leave something to someone other than the insane millionaire?
wroberson
wroberson
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August 3rd, 2013 at 2:34:29 PM permalink
I actually believe that when a person dies and leaves my world, he remains alive and well in his world. It's a 1st person view of the multiverse. There are 2 other views. Yours and theirs. Even with this belief, I am in no hurry to find out or prove it. It's called quantum immortality. There's only one way to prove the theory, but you can only prove it to yourself.
Buffering...
treetopbuddy
treetopbuddy
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August 3rd, 2013 at 3:50:21 PM permalink
provocative.....
Each day is better than the next
Wizard
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Wizard
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August 3rd, 2013 at 4:08:22 PM permalink
Quote: wroberson

I actually believe that when a person dies and leaves my world, he remains alive and well in his world. It's a 1st person view of the multiverse. There are 2 other views. Yours and theirs. Even with this belief, I am in no hurry to find out or prove it. It's called quantum immortality. There's only one way to prove the theory, but you can only prove it to yourself.



Is like in the Sixth Sense, or does dying spawn a parallel universe?
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
beachbumbabs
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beachbumbabs
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August 3rd, 2013 at 6:02:48 PM permalink
I'd only go about 2%, around the odds for not surviving serious heart surgery. I can have great fun without money, but not without life. Obviously I wouldn't get the money; there are people who risk their lives for 7 dollars every day. So I'll just hit the Powerball on the way home...
If the House lost every hand, they wouldn't deal the game.
24Bingo
24Bingo
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August 3rd, 2013 at 6:36:30 PM permalink
We can talk about how we wouldn't take this bet, but most of us take it every day in one form or another. I remember hearing, albeit from a rather embarrassing source, that the de facto threshold for most people is about p*($5M).
The trick to poker is learning not to beat yourself up for your mistakes too much, and certainly not too little, but just the right amount.

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