X-Message-Number: 19143 Date: Thu, 23 May 2002 15:57:28 -0700 From: Mike Perry <> Subject: Re: Can we become immortal? There have been some postings recently on the possibility of living forever, based on expressing the probability of surviving as an infinite product which is nonzero. Some years ago I wrote a paper on this subject which was published in a small circulation newsletter, *Abiolysist Macroscope* (reprinted later in *The Trans Times*, another small circulation newsletter). I considered not merely individuals but populations of individuals that go to infinity in such a way that the probability that everyone in the entire group lives forever is nonzero. The opening paragraph may be of interest; here it is: "The survival of an organism such as man requires the preservation of the information stored in the brain that encodes the memories and personality. A similar preservation is required for the survival of other entities such as libraries that are devoted to the collection, storage, and retrieval of information. Here we consider the problem of preserving such information based on the assumption that the information is divided into segments called records, each of which is subject to radioactive (exponential) decay. Generally speaking, then, records must exist in multiple copies and must be copied repeatedly to insure their survival. Moreover, it is not sufficient merely to maintain a fixed number of copies of a record, but the number of copies itself must grow without limit. It is shown, however, that a slow, logarithmic growth rate in the number of copies is adequate to insure that the record survives forever with nonzero probability. Such a growth rate, moreover, is sufficient to insure a similar survival of every record in an expanding hierarchy such as a library or a mind that consists of a growing collection of records, or even a growing collection of record hierarchies of lower order. An expression is derived for the probability of survival of every record in a hierarchy of this type, and a brief tabulation of probabilities is made. As might be expected, the probability of survival increases with the number of copies of the first record that are initially available, and decreases with the order of the hierarchy. In fact, under the strategy of record-copying considered, a linear increase in the number of initial copies very nearly offsets a linear increase in the order of the hierarchy, so that corresponding probabilities are replicated." If anyone is interested I can email the paper as a word file. Mike Perry Rate This Message: http://www.cryonet.org/cgi-bin/rate.cgi?msg=19143