X-Message-Number: 25395
Date: Fri, 24 Dec 2004 07:49:13 -0500
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: CryoNet #25385 - #25394

Some comments re. 24 Dec Cryonets:

For Bill Walker: Your discussion of telomeres and their relation to
aging would look far stronger if you didn't just refer to what is
essentially a net bibliography on bibliographies but took the trouble
to cite, by reference, specific papers.

For Bob Ettinger: Sorry Bob, but first of all perhaps I should have
been clearer in what I said, but you still misunderstood it, and second,
your notion of continuity needs more sharpening to mean anything at 
all (remember what I said about continuity in a previous message?).

I did NOT say that we would necessarily never find a way of verifying 
the continuity of our identity. I said that I'd feel satisfied if 
all the hyperadvanced methods developed by the time we're revived 
still could not verify that I was the same I as before, I would 
be satisfied that I had continued. This is very much not the same
as simply saying that the whole issue was metaphysical. It would
BECOME metaphysical if after centuries of scientific effort we
still could not answer the question. 

I cannot speak for Mike here, he'll have to explain his own thoughts
for himself. 

And I'll add a bit here about my statement above that your notion of
continuity needs sharpening. If I understand you, you're making a  
physical assumption about our identity. IF we someday found that
time itself was discontinuous at a very small level, then you'd
need to reformulate your definition. For that matter, if you 
reappeared after a long disappearance (by human or other agency),
identical to the last version of yourself, that would be a form
of continuity but I suspect not the form you had in mind.

[Anyone who doesn't like math is welcome to ignore this section.
We can consider some possibilities. First, you are a continuous
as a function of time ie. at times close to one another, your
different versions will be close to one another. But "continuous"
can apply to objects other than functions. Consider all your
instances, with pointers to two sets of other instances of you.
These two sets are given as "earlier" and "later". I will also
assume that the contents of these sets have structures, so
that any instance in the "earlier" set will have you as an
instance in ITS "later" set, and similarly any instance in
your "later" set will have you as an instance in its "earlier"
set. The consequence of this is that we could impose a 
consistent order on ALL of your instances, say "i<i" without
any reference to time at all!!! And using this order, it's
easy to define your identity as continuous if instances 
closer to you resemble you more closely. You are not a function
here, you are an object with a uniform ordering ie. an ordering with no
branches. Put another way, your instances can all be put on a line,
but with no assumptions about distances between them on the line.
Yes, this is a more explicit statement of the notion of "continuity"
I alluded to in my last messages. 

And of course, Delights of the Season to everyone!

          Best wishes and long long life,

             Thomas Donaldson

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