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README.txt 2011-04-26 2.0 kB 0
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"DoomsdayCalculator.exe" runs directly under Windows without installation Copyright: Dr Dimitrios Geromichalos (2011) Minimum requirements: Windows XP Licence: 3-clause BSD Source code is contained in subfolder "source" According to the doomssay argument by Carter, Leslie, Gott and Nielsen, the remaining lifetime of a phenomenon can be estimated by knowing only the time it exists till now. "DoomsdayCalculator" is based on the thoughts of Richard Gott III and allows the user to calculate minimum and maximum expected remaining life- times at a certain confidence level. (This is not exactly the expected interval since both times are treated separately here.) Also, the probability that the remaining life time is bigger than a certain value is calculated. For example, the Eiffel tower exists for 122 years today (2011). Based on the assumption that there is nothing special about this "observation" time, it can be derived with a confidence level of 80% that the tower will last at least 24 additional years (i.e. till 2035). Also, it will probably not last more than 488 years (i.e. till 2499). The probability that it survives the year 3000 (i.e. 989 years) is only 11%. The same argument applied on the Apple iPhone leads to 1 and 15 years. This argument can be also applied on populations (e.g. humanity). Here, it may be more correct to use population numbers instead of years in order to fulfill the "self-sampling assumption". Since presumably 60 bn humans lived till now and the current world population is 7 bn, it is at a confidence level of 90% probable that no more than 540 bn humans will live in the future. Assuming a mean live time of 70 years, that means that humanity will probably not survive beyond the year 7400 (= 540 / 7 * 70 + 2011). However, it should be noted that though the math is very simple, the applicability of the doomsday argument is a very controversely discussed issue.
Source: README.txt, updated 2011-04-26

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