X-Message-Number: 25917
Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2005 08:52:21 -0500
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: Some agreement with Bob and Yvan

For Bob Ettinger:

Yes, that's one of the problems of creating versus modelling a brain.
Although there's still plenty of argument whether or not it is true,
a lot of evidence suggests that we actually store our memories long
term by creating new synaptic connections. But even more fundamental,
I'd agree that even a working model of a brain isn't the same and
in some cases won't work the same as a real brain.

I've thought of satirizing this issue by saying that we have many
models of stars, but actually making a star is not now something we
can do. And just as in the case of stars, we will some day be able
to make brains and minds inside them, but that's not now something
we can do. In both cases we need tools and abilities we just don't now

To Yvan:

I note your discussion of suicide, and your personal experience.
Apparently even without hospitalization, starvation ceases to hurt
after a relatively short time... but unlike you, I can cite no
personal experience to that effect. It's also a form of "death"
unlikely to cause autopsy by any sane coroner: the reason for
"death" wasn't at all mysterious and so does not require an 
autopsy for verification.

In my original note I the fact that politics can get involved
also brings in-sanity into the problem, so a coroner might be
commanded by politicians to do an autopsy regardless. We do have
a political problem with patients whose brain is breaking down
and will otherwise simply disappear.

            Best wishes and long long life for all,

                Thomas Donaldson

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