Pascal's mugging

Analysis 69 (3):443-445 (2009)
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In some dark alley. . . Mugger: Hey, give me your wallet. Pascal: Why on Earth would I want to do that? Mugger: Otherwise I’ll shoot you. Pascal: But you don’t have a gun. Mugger: Oops! I knew I had forgotten something. Pascal: No wallet for you then. Have a nice evening. Mugger: Wait! Pascal: Sigh. Mugger: I’ve got a business proposition for you. . . . How about you give me your wallet now? In return, I promise to come to your house tomorrow and give you double the value of what’s in the wallet. Not bad, eh? A 200% return on investment in 24 hours.



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Nick Bostrom
Oxford University

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