X-Message-Number: 27784
References: <>
From: David Stodolsky <>
Subject: Re: Cryonics/Life Extension Survey "Beta test"
Date: Sat, 1 Apr 2006 20:10:56 +0200

On 9 Mar 2006, at 07:35,  wrote:

>   I believe that the most common usage of the use of the word  
> "immortality"
> among cryonicists is infinite lifespan in the non-finite (mathematical
> sense).  This is my intuitive conclusion based on years of exposure to
> cryonicists, but it is a conclusion I was wanting to confirm. I  
> believe
> that the non non-finite uses of the words "forever", "always",
> "eternal", "infinite" and "immortal" are metaphoric uses of the more
> precise meanings of those terms.
>   I cannot understand your attraction to the phrase "I plan to live  
> forever"
> when you don't *really* mean infinite in the non-finite sense. If you
> mean a trillion years, why don't you say a trillion years? Why use  
> a phrase
> that has the *possibility* of being ambiguous and unclear? It must be
> a psychological cushion of some kind.

In a psychological sense, the terms "non-finite" and "infinite" are  
not necessarily equivalent. Most likely you will get different  
responses when using the two terms independently. If someone says a  
trillion years, they are acknowledging a *certain* endpoint to their  
life. This is different than non-finite in the sense that you don't  
know at which point the end will come. Due to the way the brain uses  
information, certainty plays a disproportionate role in decision  
making. Thus, the terms "indefinite" vs any "definite time" may be  
more appropriate in a survey.

The term "infinite" is a term of art among mathematicians. Thus, it's  
meaning will vary according to the education of the user. It is  
unlikely to prove useful in any survey of the general population,  
even though it is used by (some) people routinely.


David Stodolsky    Skype: davidstodolsky

Rate This Message: http://www.cryonet.org/cgi-bin/rate.cgi?msg=27784