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Pascal's PrP wager

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  • d.broadhurst@open.ac.uk
    Suppose that someone (e.g. Norman) advances a new probable prime (PrP) test that is capable of generating a indefinite number of PrPs, in sufficient time.
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 27, 2001
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      Suppose that someone (e.g. Norman)
      advances a new probable prime (PrP) test that
      is capable of generating a indefinite number of
      PrPs, in sufficient time.

      Nostrum [cf. Pascal's Wager]:
      The test is infinitely wrong.

      Argument: As no proof has been given, we should
      assume that there is a finite probability (however small)
      that it fails. There are an infinite number of cases.
      No matter how small the finite probability,
      the test should be presumed to fail
      an infinite number of times.

      The reference to Pascal serves to high-light
      the curious epistemics of this group:

      You can be practically right and infinitely wrong.

      David
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