X-Message-Number: 11330
Date: Sat, 27 Feb 1999 16:47:41 -0700
From: Mike Perry <>
Subject: Re: CryoNet #11322

Thomas Donaldson writes,

>To Mike Perry:
>Basically, you believe it will someday become possible to exactly
>duplicate anyone or any creature that has died in the past. I do not. I 
>doubt that these beliefs can be argued on on their merits unless we're
>both VERY patient. When you blithely assume that it will someday be
>possible to make an EXACT reconstruction of a past person or creature,
>you are making an assumption with which I disagree.

See my previous posting (#11324).

>And we are NOT quantum DEVICES.

All right, if "devices" seems an inappropriate term because
of its suggestion of a "deviser" who had a particular purpose
in mind, let's just say "systems". (To me the distinction is not
important at our level of discussion.) Tipler,
though not perfect in his book, says "according to physics, 
everything in sight is a quantum system" 
(p. 31, *The Physics of Immortality*). This seems
reasonably well established at this point. Though the harmonization
of quantum mechanics with relativity theory is not fully worked out,
I will conjecture that it will be, and other things, without 
overturning QM so badly that arguments about the basically 
digital nature of all processes will lose force.
>As for the Bekenstein bounds, please explain them or give a reference. I
>am not familiar with them.

Try Tipler, *The Physics of Immortality*, starting pp. 30-32; check the index
for further references in the book.

Another place to look is on the Web under "bekenstein bound". There
are some interesting-looking references here, such as 


though I haven't had time to explore them all yet.

> I do know about differential equations and
>the effects of nonlinearity, and given that predictions of quantum
>mechanics reduce to complicated partial differential equations, I in turn
>think that your ideas seem unlikely.
Basically, the "digital" arguments come into play because the PDEs describe,
more or less, what happens *between* significant events only. The significant
events themselves, sometimes known as "collapse of the wave function"
do happen at discrete points in space-time, and not themselves over
a continuum. That's my understanding anyway (and I do hope to
deepen that understanding, but that's the way I see it at present).
That's where the Bekenstein bounds, digitality, etc. 
all come into the picture.

Here's a further thought on all this. I've been arguing for a basically
digital model of all processes in our reality because of certain
philosophical implications if this model is true. In particular, it
would facilitate resurrections of past individuals by limiting
the varieties of all possible individuals or the size of the "space" that
such individuals could occupy. But it seems to me that we could argue
that the individuals must occupy a discrete space anyway, if we consider
the finite complexity of matter alone. Only so many different solid structures
at -196 C (the temperature of liquid nitrogen) could be built in, say,
a volume of 5 cubic meters, which should be big enough to hold any
human with room to spare. We could systematically, over
a long interval of future time, construct all these structures, 
which could lead to
creation of exact copies of everybody who died. (Or as a minimum,
create descriptions and work from there to actualize the
individuals, in sufficiently close form.) Moreover, that
this much digitization should be possible can be turned into an
argument that the significant conscious events in our lives are
digitizable too. I.e. if the cryonics premise is valid, for some
preservation technique, in effect we are digital even
if our processing on some level is not. 

Mike Perry

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