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 late™
Joined: 9/11/2009
Msg: 1
A Human Extinction Thought ExperimentPage 1 of 2    (1, 2)
Scenario #1
Every human being (total population or TP) on the planet must choose:

– One living human being to eliminate.
– No collusion allowed.
– Those who are either unable or unwilling to choose an extinction candidate are eliminated by default.
– Each extinction candidate must be a unique choice.


This scenario guarantees instant mass extinction, or TP - TP = TPE (Total Population Elimination), because of the fourth variable.

If we change the parameters of the exercise by removing or changing variables what results could we expect?


Scenario #2
Let's first remove the fourth variable leaving only:

Every human being on the planet must choose:
– One living human being to eliminate.
– No collusion allowed.
– Those who are either unable or unwilling to choose an extinction candidate are eliminated by default.


The group defined by the third variable is still subject to total elimination (all principled pacifists and those unable to choose due to insentience or isolation).
I think that the remaining people will choose their elimination candidate based on perceived altruistic/malicious motives, here is where I would expect a lot of
(non partisan/non denominational) choice duplication in regards to politicians and religious leaders, I think the same would apply to all well-known, or famous/infamous individuals by those motivated by envy/resentment.
I also think it likely that there would be close to total elimination of these three groups. There is also be the likelihood of total mutual elimination (null value choices) of pairs of personal enemies/rivals. I'm going to call these groups with the highest probability of total elimination, TE, any other possible choices we'll call O (probably mostly personal grudges), So let's call this scenario, TP - TE + O = n.

I think the majority of people's choices in this scenario are going to represent a very small percentage of TP due to duplication < 10% of TP = n.

The part of this exercise that is most *thought provoking for me is when the Scenario #1 is modified by replacing the fourth variable with successive elimination-rounds, or "ER" until TPE is achieved:

Scenario #3
Every human being on the planet must choose:
– One living human being to eliminate.
– No collusion allowed.
– Those who are either unable or unwilling to choose an extinction candidate are eliminated by default.
– The process - ER, is repeated daily until TPE is achieved.


So let's call this scenario, x(ER) = TPE

So, for those familiar with probability mathematics and/or game theory, is there any way to find an accurate value for x in Scenario #3?

A few speculations and questions come to mind for me with this scenario. Without even bothering to do any real number calculations I suspect intuitively that x falls somewhere between 2 and 5 days because duplication/pair nullification are ameliorated early and random attrition eventually takes over. What degree (if any) would eliminating the second variable (principled pacifists excluded from this exemption by default, of course), increase/decrease the value of x via moderating the effect of duplication, i.e Those wanting to minimize/maximize the effective nature of their choices? Another thought is that; TPE is obviously still achievable when the third variable is eliminated, but how how many rounds will it take before this group is extinct and will this happen early or late in process?

Rhetorical (because this is not a poll or survey topic) questions to ask yourself include; How many rounds do you think you would last? Who would your successive choices be? Would your first choice be determined by the duplication factor?
 late™
Joined: 9/11/2009
Msg: 2
A Human Extinction Thought Experiment
Posted: 9/20/2009 7:41:49 PM
Depends, does my ex-wife get to participate?

I hear you brother, ...and being an ex-moderator of these forums myself, I'd expect an early curtain.

I got to thinking about this because I sometimes see people who make me think (NO, not seriously, but "in passing), even for just a second, an idle thought, "Hmmm... if I knew I wouldn't get caught, I could kill that asshole without losing any sleep."

I met one of those people last night, they "crossed a line" and I got to wondering about this particular kind of "thought" and how long we would continue as a species if these thoughts were to manifest in reality, which led me to thinking of the game theory aspect of the math and I created the "thought experiment" while falling asleep.

It made me think of a few things concerning human nature, but the most predominant thought was, "How many days would we last?"
 late™
Joined: 9/11/2009
Msg: 3
A Human Extinction Thought Experiment
Posted: 9/20/2009 10:27:29 PM

Total Population Elimination could delayed if there is at least one person remaining whom no-one else remaining knows exists.


Nope, covered that by the variable (insentient or isolated) , this is by design, ...I wanted to avoid the loopholing and moralizing aspects, ...it's a math problem. I know many will try to avoid it to moralize, but that isn't a variable.


All this assumes that people would want to survive more rounds rather than fewer and I don't see any motivation for that.


Hmmm... I knew I was right about defaulting the pacifists.
 FrogO_Oeyes
Joined: 8/21/2005
Msg: 4
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A Human Extinction Thought Experiment
Posted: 9/20/2009 10:56:14 PM
Nope, covered that by the variable (insentient or isolated) , this is by design,

Nope, not as far as I can tell. The variable in question applies to selection BY the isolated person, not OF the isolated person. Any person isolated from knowledge of anyone likely to select him, could survive, so long as he is able and willing to select someone ELSE. In the first scenario, a single isolated person may select one other. Since all outside humans are compelled to select from one another, they are able to eliminate each other. One other person is unable to find anyone to select, but has been mathematically selected himself and eliminated.

Remaining population - 1

I haven't examined the other scenarios in this light, but this is enough to put a shoe in the works of the first. The single survivor could be a 14 year old female with access to medical knowledge and an abundant supply of frozen semen, in which case, she could choose to churn out a decent starter population over the next 40 or so years. Or it could be an 85 year old man in a sedge lean-to on Ellesmere Island, in which case he's just as doomed as the rest.

Edit...the surviving population could actually be huge, since EVERY person who is able to choose while remaining unknown to all others, is exempt and survives. All odd ones out are eliminated either by selection or inability to choose. At this point, the rules have been fulfilled, and all the hidden survivors can make themselves known to one another should they so wish.
 late™
Joined: 9/11/2009
Msg: 5
A Human Extinction Thought Experiment
Posted: 9/20/2009 11:42:35 PM
The variable in question applies to selection BY the isolated person

I did neglect to clarify "isolated", it was an oversight. The hidden will get turfed too.
I should have been even clearer to plug the "hidden survivor" and other loopholes with a please assume that avoidance is futile....


The postulate appears loaded.

Loaded ....YES!

Quite intentionally,
I wanted to keep this as simple as possible to see what numbers the math jockeys could cipher.

If it makes it easier for the math, go ahead and stretch "collusion" to include the "hidden".

Scenario 1 - 100% TPE (loaded, also assume 6 billion for the starter number)

The starting point for round 2/scenario 3 is a fudgelicious <10% eliminated. (loaded)

It's the numbers after round two scenario 3 that I'm trying to figger.

I'll be happy with a 10% math-based reply rate.
 Lint Spotter
Joined: 8/27/2009
Msg: 6
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A Human Extinction Thought Experiment
Posted: 9/23/2009 4:00:07 AM
Moving along with scenario number 3, my guess is that the population would initially decrease by a factor of 25%. I chose that percentage with the thought in mind that in general, the world would initially rid itself of the criminals, politicians, lawyers and other persons of tawdry reputation… yes, I’m sometimes an optimist; the second day would decrease by 50% as it would be easier than the first… and the pacifists would have been tossed out in the first round… after that, the choices would get much more difficult and less predictable, though I'm sure it would take a month or more to achieve TPE.

Barring my being picked off in the first round (or any successive round until near the end); this would give me the 10 that I could easily jot off as my eliminators…

So who do I give my list to?
 late™
Joined: 9/11/2009
Msg: 7
A Human Extinction Thought Experiment
Posted: 9/23/2009 1:26:39 PM

i'd be gone in the first round trying to bloody protect others

Yup, the null variable is eliminated first, that's a given loaded variable in order to be able to have better numbers with which to play with in the thought experiment.

Again, assume no loopholes, it's not a morality experiment (that's the rhetorical/aphorism part of the OP to be avoided in order to stay on topic).


Moving along with scenario number 3, my guess is that the population would initially decrease by a factor of 25%. I chose that percentage with the thought in mind that in general, the world would initially rid itself of the criminals, politicians, lawyers and other persons of tawdry reputation… yes, I’m sometimes an optimist; the second day would decrease by 50% as it would be easier than the first… and the pacifists would have been tossed out in the first round… after that, the choices would get much more difficult and less predictable, though I'm sure it would take a month or more to achieve TPE.


Yay! someone gets it. Now if someone knows the different formulae for calculating this kind of exponential attrition that the increased randomness of the choice entails...
 late™
Joined: 9/11/2009
Msg: 8
A Human Extinction Thought Experiment
Posted: 9/23/2009 3:27:37 PM

i'd be gone in the first round trying to bloody protect others

Yup, the null variable is eliminated first, that's a given loaded variable in order to be able to have better numbers with which to play with in the thought experiment.

Again, assume no loopholes, it's not a morality experiment (that's the rhetorical/aphorism part of the OP to be avoided in order to stay on topic).


Moving along with scenario number 3, my guess is that the population would initially decrease by a factor of 25%. I chose that percentage with the thought in mind that in general, the world would initially rid itself of the criminals, politicians, lawyers and other persons of tawdry reputation… yes, I’m sometimes an optimist; the second day would decrease by 50% as it would be easier than the first… and the pacifists would have been tossed out in the first round… after that, the choices would get much more difficult and less predictable, though I'm sure it would take a month or more to achieve TPE.


Yay! someone gets it. While the choices may get "more difficult" (I don't exactly know what this means, less random/more random?), I'm thinkin' "more random" will mean bigger numbers.

Now if another someone knows the different (logarithmic?) formulae for calculating this kind of exponential attrition that the increased randomness of the choice entails...
 Lint Spotter
Joined: 8/27/2009
Msg: 9
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A Human Extinction Thought Experiment
Posted: 9/23/2009 3:54:03 PM
Yay! someone gets it. While the choices may get "more difficult" (I don't exactly know what this means, less random/more random?), I'm thinkin' "more random" will mean bigger numbers.
Not quite… allow me to elaborate.

Day 1: People will go with their knee jerk instinct of cleansing the world – population down 25%

Day 2: People realize that making what they originally thought was a difficult choice is actually easy. Greed, envy and revenge kick in and voila… of the 75% of the population, 50% is now gone.

Day 3: We’re now left with 37.5% of the original population, through the process of days one and two, many people are gone that might have been on our wish list and we’re now picking and choosing who we would eliminate moving back to the original response of global cleansing and the bulk of people are now evaluating their pick with a set criteria in mind. So instead of the population again decreasing by 50%, I would think that it would decrease by a lesser value of perhaps 30% of the remainder.

Day 4 and each successive day: A reduction of the percentage from the day before as once again, morality and mortality kicks in… the less predictable / more random refers to a set of personal beliefs and attributes that cannot possibly be defined by a mathematical algorithm… this is with the assumption that society has structurally altered to be unpredictable in individual thoughts and reactions.

I foresee people going into hiding in hopes of being overlooked and the masses peeking out of cracked windows to choose the first person they see in a desperate attempt to save themselves.


Now if another someone knows the different (logarithmic?) formulae for calculating this kind of exponential attrition that the increased randomness of the choice entails...
You got me on this one… I’m still stunned that I actually ’got it’


Uhmmmm... I still haven't heard where to submit my list...
 Inicia
Joined: 12/21/2007
Msg: 10
A Human Extinction Thought Experiment
Posted: 9/23/2009 6:50:22 PM
who sets up such an experiment?? and why?? for what purpose??
IMO we do this with every species/resource! Are you asking if it is just a period of time before we decide to "exploit" humans into extinction???
I am of the opinion that we have decide arbitrartily to choose the elimination of certain animals, trees, chemicals etc. They have no collusion possibilities so they are just "chosen" for elimination as needed for our existence and if humans are successful and the resources can't hide from our exploitation they are culled possibly to extinction. And as it so happens many resources and species are moving towards the "TPE" pile.... Even clean oxygen and water are entering that realm... Is this the point of the OP??
For myself I guess I am failing to see the point in postulating that we are just a human choice away from elimination? Our choices do indeed determine whether we will be extinct or not. . As we are not colluding on the subject for our own protection well so be it... I am really confused with the OP. Am I missing something??? http://www.wri.org/publication/content/8184
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 11
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A Human Extinction Thought Experiment
Posted: 9/24/2009 11:18:39 AM
Scenario #3

Even in scenario #2, a very large segment of people will pick people they want to die, who they know personally, purely for selfish reasons, but would not want to pull the trigger themselves, for a variety of reasons. So the segment that will be picked to die, is likely to be much larger than than just the politicans, although someone would be bound to vote for Bush, and another for Obama.

But, looking at it mathematically, we could expect that some part of the population would pick someone who has already been chosen by someone else, and the rest would pick someone unique. So we have a proportion of the current population that would be unique, and so, we have a proportion of the current population that would die, that is less than the current population. Call that ration r. So, 0 - log p / log (1-r).

Say p = 6 billion and r = 0.001 (0.1%), so only 6 million people get chosen in the first batch. Then n has to be at least 22,504 generations.
But if r= 0.1 (10%), so 600 million get chosen in the first batch, then n only needs to be at least 214 generations.
As I said, the more selfish the population, the quicker they become extinct.

However, my choices would always be no-one, and then I would have not have to worry about it, or live in such a horrible world.

That is what the Nazis did, to make the prisoners choose who would die. It was horrific then, and it remains horrific. Call it Godwin's Law of Horror: eventually, someone will suggest doing something the Nazis did is OK.
 late™
Joined: 9/11/2009
Msg: 12
A Human Extinction Thought Experiment
Posted: 9/24/2009 11:59:08 AM

who sets up such an experiment??

Please see: "Thought Experiment"


and why?? for what purpose??

As stated in the OP:

"So, for those familiar with probability mathematics and/or game theory, is there any way to find an accurate value for x in Scenario #3?"


However, my choices would always be no-one

This is why this variable is moot, as this isn't a question of moralizing or ethics, it's just a math question.


That is what the Nazis did, to make the prisoners choose who would die. It was horrific then, and it remains horrific. Call it Godwin's Law of Horror: eventually, someone will suggest doing something the Nazis did is OK.

Nope, that was not a "Thought Experiment", nor was it even remotely similar as to its "ends" and those of the OP.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 13
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A Human Extinction Thought Experiment
Posted: 9/24/2009 2:16:22 PM
RE msg 21 by late™:

However, my choices would always be no-one
This is why this variable is moot, as this isn't a question of moralizing or ethics, it's just a math question.
I already answered your math question. But read your own questions:How many rounds do you think you would last? Who would your successive choices be? Would your first choice be determined by the duplication factor?

If you wanted a math question, you should never have put in personal questions.


That is what the Nazis did, to make the prisoners choose who would die. It was horrific then, and it remains horrific. Call it Godwin's Law of Horror: eventually, someone will suggest doing something the Nazis did is OK.
Nope, that was not a "Thought Experiment", nor was it even remotely similar as to its "ends" and those of the OP.
There is nothing about a thought experiment that requires that it couldn't be dealing with something that the Nazis did. Thought experiments have no mind, and no conscience. We have both, and we can choose which thought experiments to conduct.
 late™
Joined: 9/11/2009
Msg: 14
A Human Extinction Thought Experiment
Posted: 9/24/2009 3:30:23 PM
But read your own questions:

I will, let's not truncate it though:

Rhetorical (because this is not a poll or survey topic) questions to ask yourself include; How many rounds do you think you would last? Who would your successive choices be? Would your first choice be determined by the duplication factor?

If you wanted a math question, you should never have put in personal question

I expected most would understand what a rhetorical question is.

There is nothing about a thought experiment that requires that it couldn't be dealing with something that the Nazis did.

On the contrary, there's nothing that even implies this here, aside from deliberate misinterpretation/trolling.

Thought experiments have no mind, and no conscience. We have both, and we can choose which thought experiments to conduct.


Wrong:

"A thought experiment, sometimes called a Gedanken experiment in English, is a proposal for an experiment that would test or illuminate a hypothesis or theory."

Some mathematics thought experiments include:

Balls and vase problem (infinity and cardinality)
Gabriel's Horn (infinity)
Infinite monkey theorem (probability)
Lottery paradox (probability)
Sleeping beauty paradox (probability)
Wittgenstein's rod (geometry)

The context as to what the experiment is about is also clear in the question:
"So, for those familiar with probability mathematics and/or game theory, is there any way to find an accurate value for x in Scenario #3?"

Reading and comprehension are all that's required to understand this.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 15
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A Human Extinction Thought Experiment
Posted: 9/24/2009 4:09:59 PM
RE msg 23 by late™:
I expected most would understand what a rhetorical question is.
OK. I didn't notice that you put that. That's because the word rhetorical means a question that is not supposed to be answered, either by the person asking the question, or by the person being asked the question, even to himself. A rhetorical question would be: "Is the Pope Catholic?" "Does the Sun shine?" "Is the grass green?" It isn't even meant to be something that anyone would consider asking. As such, a rhetorical question is a tool of speech, this is indicated by its usage. One cannot say a question is rhetorical. Either it is rhetorical, by the way one posed it, or it is not, again by the way one posed it. Your questions were posed in a way that indicated they were intended to be answered. Ergo, they were not rhetorical.

You might not realise this. Many people today don't study English in all that great detail. They just take it for granted, that because they use the words, that they understand how it is to be used as well.



There is nothing about a thought experiment that requires that it couldn't be dealing with something that the Nazis did.
On the contrary, there's nothing that even implies this here,
Sorry, I must have misunderstood. The Nazis did address inmates, and tell them that they had to elect some to be killed, and if they didn't choose someone, that they themselves would be killed. You described the same situation. Or did someone else write the opening post?

aside from deliberate misinterpretation/trolling.
Nope. I'm simply pointing out the similarities between what you wrote, and what others did. If you don't like the comparison, you have the opportunity to go into denial. But if you can accept reality, even if you don't like it, you have the capacity to admit you now do not like what you did.

I met someone once who made a joke about Jews and ashtrays. Once I pointed out that this was a comparison to what the Nazis did, he realised his mistake, and apologised for it. You have the opportunity to do the same, or remain as he was, before he made that realisation. That doesn't make you evil. It just makes you able to comit atrocities, without realising it, because you don't realise you're doing anything wrong. Personally, I'd rather say sorry. Much easier, and much, much less likely to haunt me with guilt for atrocities in the future.


Thought experiments have no mind, and no conscience. We have both, and we can choose which thought experiments to conduct.
Wrong:

"A thought experiment, sometimes called a Gedanken experiment in English, is a proposal for an experiment that would test or illuminate a hypothesis or theory."

Some mathematics thought experiments include:

Balls and vase problem (infinity and cardinality)
Gabriel's Horn (infinity)
Infinite monkey theorem (probability)
Lottery paradox (probability)
Sleeping beauty paradox (probability)
Wittgenstein's rod (geometry)
What part of ANY of these problems, horns, theorems, paradoxes, rods, hypotheses, theories, or experiments, have a mind and a conscience? Do you lack a mind and a conscience? Do you lack the ability to consider more than one thought experiment, and to choose one, or is your mind so limited that it can only think of one type of experiment at a time?

Reading and comprehension are all that's required to understand this.
Nope. You need skills in probability and geometrical algebra as well.

The context as to what the experiment is about is also clear in the question:
"So, for those familiar with probability mathematics and/or game theory, is there any way to find an accurate value for x in Scenario #3?"
So what? Why not ask what is the quickest method to eliminate an entire people, given the methods currently available? It's a perfectly valid question in terms of mathematics. Sure, it requires a bit more thinking than your example. But that's what makes for interesting problems in mathematics, thinking outside the box, like the Königsberg Bridge problem, or the 4-Colour Theorem. Your problem is rather crude, and really doesn't make for anything that is interesting. Note that the 2 posters who replied to this problem who both have a degree in Mathematics, and of which, rune has a PhD, and published papers in Mathematics, both regarded this question as such.

A more interesting set of questions, would be if scientists established a new colony on the Moon, and people had to elect who would go each day, and to go, you had to have 2 people vote for you, but the voting would closed, so no-one would know who voted for who, how many people would go on each day, and how many days would elapse before only a few are left, and how many would be left?

Now, THAT would be interesting to mathematicians.
 Dale 09
Joined: 5/21/2009
Msg: 16
A Human Extinction Thought Experiment
Posted: 9/25/2009 4:10:46 PM
One,

an old movie, "logans run" runs along this same prospective thread.

the "computers" in this movie display complete sentience along the lines of pure logic.

but where this movie points it out, the main character finds a new freedom in a non-logical world.

my point is that if a computer becomes sentient, it to must be in line randomly to be "picked, therefore, to be in sync with this thread's premise.

not to mention who or what would succeed its job as fomulary decipherer?

so, the question of the time it would take for end game to be reached becomes moot.


Dale
 Rainsands
Joined: 1/9/2007
Msg: 17
A Human Extinction Thought Experiment
Posted: 9/25/2009 6:44:12 PM
Perhaps the posters who cannot imagine why Late would create such a thread missed this ~


I got to thinking about this because I sometimes see people who make me think (NO, not seriously, but "in passing), even for just a second, an idle thought, "Hmmm... if I knew I wouldn't get caught, I could kill that ***hole without losing any sleep."

I met one of those people last night, they "crossed a line" and I got to wondering about this particular kind of "thought" and how long we would continue as a species if these thoughts were to manifest in reality, which led me to thinking of the game theory aspect of the math and I created the "thought experiment" while falling asleep.

It made me think of a few things concerning human nature, but the most predominant thought was, "How many days would we last?"


Chill out peeps.......
 Dale 09
Joined: 5/21/2009
Msg: 18
A Human Extinction Thought Experiment
Posted: 9/30/2009 4:58:35 PM
Zeke,




AGREED!!!!

Dale
 Lint Spotter
Joined: 8/27/2009
Msg: 19
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History
A Human Extinction Thought Experiment
Posted: 9/30/2009 6:40:58 PM

I would last an infinite number of rounds because right before this happens, I would change my name to an unspellable and unpronouncable symbol and then I would hide myself in the computer room at work where nobody would find me.

That way, nobody would be able to refer to me in any way... hence, I'll be safe.
I believe the OP stated that you must choose an extinction candidate, not name... what he didn't mention was the format of choice. One could describe you in any way and you would be eliminated.

I would probably choose the person asking me to make the choice.

Other person: "Choose your extinction candidate."
Me: "You"

That in turn would result in the people responsible for that callous policy to get wiped out.
Your house of cards crumbles if one thinks in terms of a supernatural being(s) as the responsible party.

OP... I've just updated my list...
 Lint Spotter
Joined: 8/27/2009
Msg: 20
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A Human Extinction Thought Experiment
Posted: 10/4/2009 3:25:56 PM

Nah... even with that, I'll still be safe. How would someone describe me if they haven't seen me recently? It's not like I've got some feature to my looks or personality that isn't duplicated by someone else somewhere. And you'd still have to find be before you could eliminate me. And don't rule out that I'd be on the lookout, ready to eliminate one who is trying to eliminate me.
How resonant of I'm rubber and you're glue...

OP made no mention of the supernatural. And anyway, even if something is supernatural does not necessarily mean that it can't die.
Actually, the OP made no mention of where the mandate originated or how it was to be implemented... so to manipulate the situation to save the world from his destructive evils is moot... one would have to get in his mind and stop the synapses from firing... and mine too for that matter.

If you mean that I'm on the list... well just remember... I'm not a person... I'm actually Supernatural Water Vapour.
How egocentric to think that it was you that made it to the top 10 of my list... and how geeky to come up with the supernatural water vapour scenario...

I'm actually now leaning towards the first day having a decrease of 75% population... it would seem that the application of common sense and logic in this scenario was generous on my part...
 JustDukky
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 21
A Human Extinction Thought Experiment
Posted: 11/29/2009 8:10:27 PM
With regard to scenario three:

The first round would eliminate all of the real pacifists (except maybe me - see below) and the most notoriously famous of the human race.
The second round would eliminate the most famous people left, good and bad, as nearly everyone would vote for names they recognize, knowing that everybody else is doing the same, and so minimize the carnage on that round (purely coincidental -- no collusion)
The third round would likely find the less popular locals dropping like flies, so again, selection would be less than "optimally random"
The fourth round would probably have the honorable warriors bumping off the cowards hiding in caves till it all blows over, so the survivalists likely wouldn't get past day 4 (this scenario only valid if everybody knows what everybody else is doing - However, this is the last day where the "nasties" are killing off their enemies, so from here on in, selection is "just business - nothing personal")
Now the selection rate reaches optimal randomness and each round takes out about 63% of the remaining population.
It would take about 23 days total to pare the human race down to 2 or 3 people, at which point it becomes interesting(?). Suppose there are 2 people left. Each selects the other and everyone is eliminated. If there are three people left, it may be that #1 selects #2, #2 selects #3 and #3 selects #1, so again there is nobody left. However #1 & #2 might both select #3, who selects one of them, thus leaving one lone survivor of the "cull", who will be the last of his kind and the end of the human race when he dies. (good riddance! -- any species that likes to play a six-billion man "hit man" game deserves extinction.)

As a pacifist, I found this scenario challenging owing to the assumptions. Frankly, I don't know how valid they are and it is a matter of some curiousity to me to see how the scenario plays out. On the one hand I should simply hold to my ethical principles and get knocked off the first day. However, where curiousity killed the cat, it seems to have resurrected me. Knowing that my "vote" on the first two days would be totally meaningless and not do any good at all (just like in a real election), I would vote for the famous until there were none left (two rounds max). Day three would leave me torn between ethics and curiousity, but I suspect I'd wind up not voting and therefore wake up dead.
 JustDukky
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 22
A Human Extinction Thought Experiment
Posted: 11/29/2009 8:49:15 PM

one of the last two remaining would have first shot at eliminating the other.

Since all the humanitarians and pacifists would be dead, the decision (if there were only two remaining) would probably be to toss a coin to see who dies a pacifist while the other votes his demise, leaving (by rational decision) one man to survive. I confess this didn't occur to me before.

As an aside, and regarding the "honorable warriors", it occurred to me that once they had eliminated everyone they would like to kill (for honorable reasons), they would probably opt for suicide on the next round, since it would be dishonorable to kill someone you had nothing against. It seems that the samurais would join the pacifists in choosing to die, just maybe in a later round.
 JustDukky
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 23
A Human Extinction Thought Experiment
Posted: 11/29/2009 9:52:43 PM

explain how the poor masses in places like these and in places like the Philippines, are being productive, and contributing to society.

Easy. They are contributing (with cheap labour and their resources) to OUR society, to the detriment of their own.
 JustDukky
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 24
A Human Extinction Thought Experiment
Posted: 11/29/2009 10:13:36 PM

The Danes, Swedes, live in smaller homes, consume less, are healthier.

You left out "happier" and "live longer."
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