X-Message-Number: 9204
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: Re: CryoNet #9199 - #9202
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 13:02:03 -0800 (PST)

Hi everyone!

As I said in my own posting, survival of memory is important because it is
now the ONE thing we are not sure will survive suspension. Everything else
can be recreated. 

As for individuality and memory, I will make some further points. First of
all, many of our memories are already inexact or flatly false. This comes 
from interesting experiments on how well people remember scenes, and those
experiments suggest that witnesses to crimes should be very carefully
interrogated as soon after the event as possible --- otherwise there will
be contamination.

It is not the truth of our memories which gives us individuality, anyway. It
is their content, whatever it may be. Nor must that content persist 
indefinitely: though some kinds of memory (one of the most important facts
learned by research into memory is that there are provably several different
kinds of memory). As for exactly what memories must survive for the person
to remain "the same person", that depends on just what memories are important
to the individual. Those differ person to person, but they always exist.
Not only that, but because they are important they are often more accurate
than other memories (but that's not guaranteed). 

If you are revived without memories for the last month before your suspension,
you will most likely retain all the memories important to you, and thus you 
will have been revived, not a copy. If you were 78 at the time of your 
suspension and lost all memories for the last 74 years, then most people,
on revival, would not claim that you had survived. And there are lots of
mixtures in between, more complex because some kinds of memories may survive
better than others. You may have been a master pianist before, and revive
with that skill intact but no memory of any concerts you played in; my best
guess as to how you would feel about your survival was that you came through, 
though damaged. 

It seems to me that the important thing about survival of memories is that 
those of your memories which are important to you survive. That too involves
more than just memory itself, but requires survival of memory. And without
it, I doubt very much that you or anyone else would consider that you had
been revived after cryonic suspension.

As to accuracy, that's only tangentially relevant. And yes, if false 
memories were implanted in you, then (depending on how important they were)
you would not have been revived. Not because the memories were false, but
because they were implanted. If they were basically minor to you, you
would still have survived. But if not, you have not.

So I do not agree with the problems Ettinger raises. And of course many
things can be restored because they are not individual to you, but your
memories are individual, even if wrong.

			Best and long long life,

				Thomas Donaldson

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