X-Message-Number: 19822
Date: Sat, 17 Aug 2002 09:41:04 -0400
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: CryoNet #19794 - #19796

Another comment on probabilities, for Ralph Merkle:

Yes, it's clear that if we try to compute probabilities using 
related events (ie. events dependent on one another for their
occurrence) the computation will turn out wrong.

Yet there is another and perhaps deeper problem. Even as an
individual cryonicist, you are trying to follow a path which
gives you the largest chance of success with your suspension.
And you CAN affect the odds by what you do in support of the
cryonics society you join. By just how much remains an open
question hard to give probabilities for; but the success of
cryonics is not like throwing dice, it is much more like
trying to affect the outcome with a die that is KNOWN to
be affected by magnetic fields, windspeed, noise, and many
other factors. Not only that, but right now we're basically
ALL trying to cause that die to fall in one way rather 
than another.... it's not as if we are in a competitive
game with a loaded die. We're in a cooperative game with
a loaded die.

When we consider the situation with different cryonics
societies, their ability to change the roll of that die
is much greater than that of any of their members. It is
this ability to change probabilities which makes the 
probability of a good outcome, either for you as an
individual or for a given cryonics society, much harder
to work out than computing simple probabilities. I'd say
myself that it is hard enough not to bother with ...
instead spend that time on thinking of ways to increase
the success of cryonics.

And yes, AFTER most of us have been suspended and revived,
we'll be able to look back on the history and work out
probabilities. Not that such probabilities will mean
very much any more.

		Best wishes and long long life for all,

			Thomas Donaldson

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