From an information-theoretic approach to the St Petersburg paradox we may conjecture that money has the same units as entropy as a result of it being used for price discovery via maximum entropy inference. This represents a theoretically-sound approach to deriving Daniel Bernoulli’s logarithmic utility function.

In pursuit of Universal truths, the St Petersburg game is organised as follows:

**Casino manager:** Has a general interest in the
halting problem and its applications to open problems in
mathematics.

**St Petersburg machine:** An arcade game simulated by
an Oracle that is capable of solving any decision problem in exchange
for good money, including the task of determining the first \(N\) bits of Chaitin’s Constant.

**Gambler:** An MIT undergrad that read too many books
on information theory and has a particular fascination for Chaitin’s
Number of Wisdom that determines the algorithmic probability that an
arbitrary program halts.

If the Gambler guesses \(N\) consecutive bits of Chaitin’s Constant correctly, his recompense is \(2^N\) dollars and the game ends as soon as he makes an incorrect guess.

Assuming that the total resources of the Casino are \(N\) dollars, the expected value of the game becomes:

\[\begin{equation} E = \sum_{k=1}^{\lfloor \log_2 N \rfloor} \frac{1}{2^k} \cdot {2^k} \sim \log_2 N \tag{1} \end{equation}\]

so the expected value grows logarithmically in the resources of the Casino. In fact, it equals the Minimum Description Length of the first \(\sim \log_2 N\) bits of Chaitin’s Constant. Here, it is worth clarifying that the Gambler is being paid by the Casino manager to reveal the bits of Chaitin’s Constant.

Thus, in order for the manager to profit with probability:

\[\begin{equation} P = 1-2^{-\log_2 N} = 1- \frac{1}{N} \tag{2} \end{equation}\]

the Gambler ought to pay \(\log_2 N\) dollars upfront.

From this analysis, we may deduce that money has the same units as entropy as a result of it being used for price discovery via methods for Maximum Entropy inference.

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For attribution, please cite this work as

Rocke (2022, Nov. 27). Kepler Lounge: The St Petersburg Paradox, or how to gamble on the first N bits of Chaitin's Constant. Retrieved from keplerlounge.com

BibTeX citation

@misc{rocke2022the, author = {Rocke, Aidan}, title = {Kepler Lounge: The St Petersburg Paradox, or how to gamble on the first N bits of Chaitin's Constant}, url = {keplerlounge.com}, year = {2022} }