X-Message-Number: 23841 Date: Fri, 9 Apr 2004 09:57:55 -0400 From: Thomas Donaldson <> Subject: comments re some Cryonet 9 April msgs Hi all subscribers to Cryonet! A few comments on the 9th April Cryonet: For Simon Carter: It's great to see you participating. However one major point in my own recent message on memory was that in normal cases we should not be disturbed because we can't remember EVERYTHING that happened to us in detail. Seriously, where's the problem? If someone on Cryonet is suffering serious memory problems, I'd suggest that he consult the Life Extension Society for access to doctors familiar with such problems. (A serious memory problem is one in which you forget material important to you). Our identity does not consist of our memories alone. I pay so much attention to memory in PERIASTRON because we don't yet know how it works, not because it's the only factor involved in our identity. For Francois: If you are either revived or recreated 1 million years in the future, you would still remain you. However I'd say that if twins of you were made --- even very exact twins, as you describe the situation --- they would cease to be the same as you upon their creation. You're more than just your memories: you also have strong relations to your possessions, and even if your new twins agreed to amicably share your possessions your feelings (and those of your twin!) will be considerably altered by that fact. Not to mention the possibility that both of you will fall to arguing about who owns what... For Bob Ettinger: The Cretan problem ultimately led to the conclusion that there could be unprovable math theorems. Math, like other theoretical constructs, has been thought of for some time now as basically sets of postulates on the relations between symbols. It can become useful depending on whether or not we can attach useful meanings to those symbols. I'll add that one of the major reasons for such a viewpoint consists of using the assumption that a statement must be either true or false. By now those who use only constructive proofs (no proofs by contradiction, no assumption that we've proved a statement if we prove that its negation is false) have gone much farther than many thought possible. I have a book on metric spaces (I'll explain that concept privately to anyone who asks) done entirely constructively: we get calculus, with some minor changes, and most of the math commonly used outside mathematics. What does this mean for what you say? Yes, we often work with symbols, but that does not mean that such work isn't significant. But we should remember what we're doing: no matter how strong some mathematical conclusion may seem, we still need to check it with the real world. And best wishes and long long life for all, Thomas Donaldson Rate This Message: http://www.cryonet.org/cgi-bin/rate.cgi?msg=23841