X-Message-Number: 605
Date: 14 Jan 92 04:09:21 EST
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: Re: cryonics: #603

Arel, that was good. I wish you spoke up more often because generally
you say good things when you do.

I can only speak for myself on the issue of "identity". When I study how
memory works of course I'm concerned that I do not lose that past cloud
of habits, thoughts, skills, and others that you've spoken of. For 
cryonics, quite seriously, I don't think we need to go further than that:
recover the body, and then recover the mind and memories. 

As for the deeper issue, without disputing you I would feel like putting
it this way. Our identity, if it is to be taken as how we respond and
have responded to all the experiences, good or bad, that we have faced,
is not simply inside us but outside us too. For the experiences and their
consequences are things that we need not remember or encode, but come from
whatever we experience, in an ongoing way. That is why I don't think it's
quite right to say that anyone is finite, with only N possibilities after
which their story is over. To learn anything is to learn also about 
ourselves. And we won't really know whether we want or do not want some
change to ourselves until it faces us (and vice versa).
			Best, and thanks for your message

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