X-Message-Number: 27577 From: Date: Sat, 4 Feb 2006 21:00:03 EST Subject: technology & identity Not that it has much practical importance at this time, but I take mild issue with RBR's statement that criteria of identity depend on logic and philosophy, not technology. It's really fairly easy to see that future developments in science could easily bear upon criteria of identity. In fact, present ideas (and disagreements among leading scientists) are so confused, and in some cases so misleading, that we are already walking in an intellectual swamp and surrounded by fog. As one example, RBR, if I remember correctly, ties his definition of identity to continuity of time and space (apparently ruling out quanta of time and space). But the nature of time and space (or times and spaces) remains speculative. Also, quantum entanglement has wide-ranging and very poorly understood consequences. We don't even know if the "laws" of physics and the "constants" of nature are fixed. Some string (or brane) theorists think they are not. Here's an easily (?) understood example of confusion among eminent physicists and mathematicians on simple propositions. They constantly confuse dimensions, coordinates, degrees of freedom, and parameters. We are told e.g.that the surface of a sphere is a two-dimensional region. Any child should be able to look at it and see how silly that is. Only two coordinates are required to locate a point on the sphere, but that doesn't make it two-dimensional. Also, we are told that, on a sphere, the angles of a triangle add up to more than 180 degrees. How can smart people be so dumb? They are messing with language. The DEFINITION of an "angle" is different on a plane than on a sphere. I could go on and on, but enough. Robert Ettinger Content-Type: text/html; charset="US-ASCII" [ AUTOMATICALLY SKIPPING HTML ENCODING! ] Rate This Message: http://www.cryonet.org/cgi-bin/rate.cgi?msg=27577