X-Message-Number: 23389
Date: Fri, 6 Feb 2004 09:40:02 EST
Subject: changing the past & survival

Mike Perry notes that, according to certain theorists, the past is ambiguous. 
(Also the present, as well as the future.) This might also be interpreted to 
mean that we can change the past. (When I was a boy, I asked whether God could 
change the past.)

What ought to be clear to everyone--but apparently isn't--is that our 

ignorance is still far too broad to allow any firm convictions about criteria of
survival. We need to know much more biology and much more physics. 

My own tentative view is that the physical continuity does play a part, the 
key being the mechanism of qualia, hypothesized as binding time and 

space--meaning that a quale has extension in time and space. Successive qualia 

allowing a later system to be appropriately considered a continuer of a former.
"Survival" is a matter of degree, and no one survives very much for very 

We should be concerned mainly with the welfare of our nearer continuers, but 
by extension to some extent also to the welfare of our more remote continuers.

Robert Ettinger

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