X-Message-Number: 14832
Date: Fri, 03 Nov 2000 12:41:10 +0100
From: Henri Kluytmans <>
Subject: Memories are Secondary

David Pizer wrote :

>I think memories ARE ONLY information.  I do not see how they can be broken
>down into anything else??  A memory is a pattern of information imprinted
>somewhere in the brain.

I agree completely with this! But that is not what our discussion 
was about. The discussion was about : "Is the mind only information 
when in a frozen state?"

>>First you must realize that we did never claim that *the 
>>mind is only memories*.

>Perhaps, *you* didn't but I was refering to all the people who think that
>memories are the sum total of selfness, and  if they can upload their
>memories into a computer that has awareness, 

Hmm, sorry, but I do not remember anybody on this list claiming that 
*the mind is only memories*. People did claim that our mind (at least 
in a frozen state) is only information or patterns. Then you seemed 
to replace the term "information" with "memories".

My point is that you cannot *equal* information to memory. Memories 
are just one kind of information that is stored in our brain. There 
are lots of other kinds of information stored in our brain. For 
example : expectations, habits, personal character, skills, etc...

>>It seems that you are confusing a running state and frozen state 
>>of the mind. According to the informational theory of identity, 
>>the mind is only information when in a frozen state. In a running 
>>state (when the process of feeling can take place) the mind is 
>>an *information process*.

>Perhaps we are all confusing each other.  I am not saying the mind is or is
>not memories.  I am saying a person is NOT mainly memories, although they
>play a role in the make up of a person.  A person is a mind that feels
>memories.  That mind is different, separate from the memories.  The part of
>the mind that feels memories and direct sensory input and awareness is the
>part that is the main  component of selfhood.  It is a living hunk of meat;
>not an abstract pattern of information similar to what a memory is
>imprinted as.

I'm not interested in deciding which one of these two is more important 
because I dont want to loose my memories nor the part of my mind that 
feels. Furthermore this is not what our discussion is about. What I 
would like to discus is the statement : "In a frozen state our mind is 
only information."  (And this is why I said it's irrelevant, it 
is irrelevant with respect to the discussion we had.)

>>>Then it follows that memories without a mind to percieve them 
>>>in cannot exist.  
>>But they can. Somebody can read a book or store it away. 
>>And a story can still exist without a mind to percieve it.
>I am thinking of a memory in the mind that can only be felt directly.  A
>book has to be read and then would enter the mind through regular sensory
>impression channels, either through the eyes or ears.

Of course, the story/book was only an abstract analogy. At an 
abstract level, both a story and a memory are stored information, 
and reading a story or thinking about a memory are both information 

>>I would like to know, what was your answer to my hypothetical scenario? 
>>Or did you put that to rest ?
>I am sorry, I lost it.  Please send it again.

Hmm, Im curious what your answer will be... 

This was my hypothetical scenario :

Your body is frozen (in this hypothetical example it will 
be a perfect vitrification, so no repairs will be necessary). 

Your body is taken apart atom by atom. All the atoms 
are labeled when they are stored away. The locations 
of every atom are stored in a database. Then the body 
is build up again, atom by atom, to its original state. 
Every original atom is put in its old place. The body 
is reanimated.

Would you mind ?

(And if you would mind, could you please elaborate on 
why you would mind? )


>As you know if you measure some things one way they look like a wave;  if
>you measure them another way, they look like a particle.  I don't know if
>we are having a similar difference?

No the current discussion is not similar at all.
(Do you want me to elaborate?)


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