X-Message-Number: 25376
Date: Tue, 21 Dec 2004 23:37:38 -0700
From: Mike Perry <>
Subject: Comments on Patternism
References: <>

Robert Ettinger writes in part,

"The patternist claims that the 'person' is defined by his material 
configuration, and if several configurations differ significantly only in 
location, all of them 'are' the 'same' person, in different 
'instantiations,'  and if one is destroyed he nevertheless 'should' be 
considered to have survived, so long as at least one duplicate remains.

"Again, this is just an assertion or definition or expression of personal 
preference. It is not a logical conclusion from agreed premises. It 
requires, but does not justify, a radical change in viewpoint."

I am in basic agreement with the above--yes, it *is* an expression of 
personal preference, what I choose to consider important. It does require a 
radical change of viewpoint, and in and of itself it does not justify that 
change (is scientifically unprovable). Part of the justification, however, 
is in the good consequences I see that follow (the non-finality of death in 
particular), coupled with the property, as I maintain, that this 
alternative view of a person, strange though it will seem to many, is at 
least defensible on logical grounds and can be said to fit the observable 
facts of experience.

"As a practical matter, Mike's view is probably mostly harmless, although 
some may be seduced into passivity or complacency if they take it 
seriously. But there will be some of those latter."

Yes, and I worry about such people, who may conclude that cryonics is not 
important if they can expect to return to consciousness eventually anyway. 
I remain a strong advocate of cryonics and have even devoted my career to 
it (even though I have a Ph.D. in computer science and could have chosen 
another, more lucrative occupation). I think it is a better choice than 
alternatives of destruction, for reasons elaborated elsewhere, that are 
somewhat subtle but seem very real to me, and I wish I could convince 
others to consider it.

"Also, I think Mike overestimates the likelihood of the multiverse 
being  factual."

Time will tell, as they say. (I *think* it will in this case, though it 
cannot be considered self-evident.)

"Plenty of the leading thinkers disagree, and believe hidden variables will 
be found. One hint is in the existence of phenomenological quantons such as 
phonons and several others. They act like quantons, but result primarily 
from classical wave phenomena. I have never seen an explanation of a 
mechanism for interference between quantons in different 'universes.'"

If you looked hard enough I actually think you could find it.

"Any mechanism that involves waves seems to imply the existence of some 
substrate, something that can wave, a form of hidden variables."

Again, it's interesting that many-worlds (implying the multiverse, though a 
multiverse could also exist without the Everett many-worlds scenario) has 
waves as the substrate of reality, with particles (including atoms) as 
virtual effects only.

Best to all,
Mike Perry

Rate This Message: http://www.cryonet.org/cgi-bin/rate.cgi?msg=25376