X-Message-Number: 21023
Date: Fri, 31 Jan 2003 08:10:23 -0500
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: CryoNet #21007 - #21020

For Mike Perry:

You said in your latest message that continuers were "the same" in
some sense of "same". OK, so we want to use the word "same"
differently here; I would try to use it only in the case in which
we had a sense of "same" which satisfied the 3 postulates I gave
in my first message on this subject. I think my definition may
be clearer when used, but so long as you make clear just what
you mean by "same" you have every right to use it as you wish.

In terms of how well others understand you (or me) eventually
a standard notion of "same" may come out of our discussions.

Finally, here is an attempt to describe a concept with might
take the place of "continuer". Yes, it gets mathematical; for
those who can't stand such kinds of thinking, sorry.

We can think of ourselves as present on one node of a graph
which is also a tree; the nodes may have one or more branches
sticking out from them, but the graph is a tree because none
of these branches turns around and connects with a previous
node. B and C are continuers of A if they are on nodes which
belong to branches which separate and connect to A. In virtually
all present cases, the tree consists only a sequence of nodes
with only one branch leaving them ie. a line of nodes. As
before the nodes connect to one another by a sequence of
small changes (where the person discussed decides whether
the change was small). Different nodes which branch off
from one single node are "continuers" of that node; a 
"continuer" is also said to be the "same" as the nodes
preceding it and also to other continuers which branched
off when it branched off. Question: what if such branches
happen more than once? Are all the nodes on all such branches
the "same" as nodes which branched off BEFORE them? Again,
if we have a node on one branch (which branched before
the branch on which is another node) then are both nodes
to be considered continuers OF ONE ANOTHER, or only of 
the last node they had in common?

For Mr Kluytmans, again: On rereading your message, you DO
consider what I said as saying exactly what I meant: that
living things MIGHT turn out to be reproducible at much
less cost than your nanotech devices. You even agree with
me that they are. The degree to which they are more expensive
tells us something about how they stand in relation to
living things. If they are sufficiently more expensive,
then living things will win out, not because they are 
more efficient or more compact but merely because they 
can make more of themselves more easily --- or for our use,
they are much less expensive. And we can "buy" many
living nanosystems, enough to easily make up for the
lack of efficiency of one compared to one of your more
expensive nanosystems.

         Best wishes again, and long long life for all,

               Thomas Donaldson

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