X-Message-Number: 14107
Date: Sun, 16 Jul 2000 11:15:15 EDT
Subject: Bagga, Bozzonetti

1. Gurvinder Bagga (#14088) wonders about the "knower" vs. the "known" in 
mental function, and whether the "knower" may be an "emergent" property of 
the system. (The question of the "knower" is closely tied to that of 
consciousness and qualia or feelings; it is sometimes called the "hard 
problem" in mental science.)

This question is indeed crucial both to the potential practice of cryonics 
and to philosophy, and does not yet have an answer. 

Some people think that if your memories (including attitudes or personality) 
could be saved or restored--even on another substrate--you would survive; and 
that "survival" without memory, or with substantial loss of memory, would 
either not be survival at all or would be survival without worth. Others 
think that if YOU--the "knower"--can be saved or restored, that is survival, 
regardless of losses of memory.

My own tentative view is that there is a (yet unidentified) 
anatomical/physiological subsystem in the brain, time-binding and 
space-binding, which I call the "self circuit," that creates or permits 
feelings, and it is only this that makes us alive at all in the human sense. 
(It might be based on some kind of modulated standing wave.) This is the 
essence of the "knower." 

In a sense, this says almost nothing--it could be viewed as just another way 
of saying that mental functions are physical and not supernatural. But it 
really does have consequences. For example, it tends to discount the 
"emergent" notion of consciousness. It also tends to discount the possibility 
of "survival" on another substrate.

2. Yvan Bozzonetti has given us in recent weeks a series of fascinating 
discourses touching on quantum and relativity theory. I hope to find time to 
follow through on some of them, but meanwhile just want him to know that some 
of us are paying attention and appreciate what he is doing.

Robert Ettinger
Cryonics Institute
Immortalist Society

Rate This Message: http://www.cryonet.org/cgi-bin/rate.cgi?msg=14107