X-Message-Number: 14205
Date: Sun, 30 Jul 2000 00:01:25 -0700
From: Mike Perry <>
Subject: More Survival

David Pizer, #14196, writes
>>Wanted to add my two-cents worth to reinforce Brook Norton's view that 
>>identity is a continuum rather than an on-off kind of thing. My mother in 
>>law has died recently, and my wife received among other condolences the 
>>message that her mother "lives" on in the her memory and the memory of 
>>others who have known her (the mother).

Sorry to hear about this.

>When I first posted the idea that a person (a self like you or me) is a
>(self-aware) continuer years ago, what I had in mind at the time was
>similar to what Robert Ettinger calls the self-circuit.  The point I was
>trying to make was the notion that a person is always changing (his
>thoughts, his atoms, etc) and yet he is still the same person he was a few
>instances ago.  That is because the change from one second to another is so
>small it is not enough to change the person (continuer) in any significant

Suppose Dave, over a considerable period of time, and very gradually, with
no sudden, mental jumps, you are changed into an exact replica of Greta
Garbo at some specific point in her life. She believes she is Greta Garbo,
and that she has suddenly been transported somehow to the future, alive and
well if a bit surprised, and she certainly never heard of this Pizer guy. Is
this Dave Pizer?

>We cryoncists are interested mainly in personal survival.  The point here
>is that in no way (zero) does the original person live on in anyone else's
>memory: nor in the words they wrote on paper being read by someone else,
>nor in the pictures they drew on canvas being seen by someone else (even
>though the words and pictures may cause emotional feeling in the someone
>else), nor in the memories they created and stored in their brains being
>read or seen or felt by someone else.  To survive you have to continue to
>be self-aware. 

Well, you are not self-aware while frozen solid. Now, what if in the future
you extracted all the memories, records, etc. pertaining to someone who died
and was not frozen, but for which a DNA sample was obtainable. From the DNA
you make a physical replica, and from the surviving information you
reconstruct an approximaton of their personality, and write it into the
newly-cloned brain. They wake up. They look and talk very much like they
did. They certainly know their name, their former native language, basic
facts about their friends and family, etc. They recognize faces of people
they knew who are still around. Nobody would say that they have been
perfectly restored, some shifting around must have occurred. But it will
occur with someone with a severe head injury who eventually recovers speech
and functioning. Are we to say that the reprogrammed clone "in no way
(zero)" is a survival of the original person, while the head-injured person
has survived, at least to some extent?

>> As I said in debates with Mike Perry a
>decade ago, there is a special part of the self's brain that continues to
>feel the memories and self awareness, and that, in a word, is you.  

What if I replace that with identical atoms. Is it still "you"?

Mike Perry

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