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

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

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

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