X-Message-Number: 11639
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: And just what Mike Perry and I are discussing, for others
Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1999 23:56:40 +1000 (EST)

Hi everyone!

Since many may not at first understand just what Mike Perry and I are
discussing, here is how it relates to cryonics.

Some have suggested that we be brought back as computer simulations in
an artificial world; the claim behind that suggestion is that our real
world has no essential difference from a very good computer simulation
of it. 

There are lots of extra problems, into which I will not go, in considering
anything close to an accurate computer simulation of our world. But even
supposing that we can come anywhere close, there is a second problem:
we would then basically have a routine inside a computer program which is
supposed to emulate US. I am claiming that this possibility is out of the
question --- to be able to deal with the real world involves abilities
which dealing with an artificial computer simulation, no matter how
complex, cannot match. The major lack is the finitude of the computer
program, no matter how large it may be, compared with the infinite
character of the world (note that current ideas AND EXPERIMENTS in
cosmology have made even the notion that our universe will come to an 
end look less and less likely). 

And that infinitude is not something which shows up only if you live for
a long long time. It shows up every day, when we see something which we
did not expect, something new and unpredictable. (Like the rational
numbers versus the integers: infinity isn't just at the ends, it shows
up between every number ... and in between the rational numbers we have
others, too). 

If and when we can be revived, we will be revived not as computer programs
but as real creatures living in the world. This may be both upsetting and
gladdening: upsetting because we will likely find lots that we do not at
first understand, gladdening because we have been revived and will live
for far far longer than we ever expected when living at the end of the
20th Century.

			Best and long long life to all,

				Thomas Donaldson

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