X-Message-Number: 23930
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2004 08:28:34 -0400
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: CryoNet #23921 - #23928

FOR Scott Badger:

Rather than pointing at others for starting the discussion, I will
say how I feel Goedel's Theorem may relate to cryonics. Others may
have different ideas, and I will point out that I have said that
constructive math, which does not allow proofs by contradiction or
assuming that all statements must be either true or false, will 
make Goedel's Theorem inapplicable.

IF we assume that humans work like hyperadvanced computers, then
we will ourselves think according to a formal system which will
certainly (because it's hardly a simple one) put us into finding
unknowable or unprovable statements. In short, there are things 
that we ourselves will never be able to know, not because our
brains are too small but because they don't work in any way that
allows us to know these things. Could we design creatures able to
know such things even if we cannot? No, because by making such a 
design we would be working out how to answer those questions
ourselves (especially if we're not constrained by human lifespan).

I tell of these ideas not because I believe them, but because as
near as I can see they probably lie behind the interest of some
on Cryonet in Goedel's Theorem. 

As for myself, I do not think that we work like hyperadvanced
computers to start with, nor do I think that the questions which
we cannot answer: "This statement is false" is true, or is it
false? have much practical meaning, even for someone who lives
for trillions of years. (This is not to say at all that we might
not someday find ways to improve our brains so that they CAN
think thoughts impossible for mentally impoverished Einsteins).

              Best wishes and long long life for all,

                  Thomas Donaldson

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