Re: Essence Vital (was)Ahumans

From: Dana Hedberg (
Date: Fri Jan 21 2000 - 11:38:46 MST

Robert Bradbury wrote:

[Stuff about the structure and "value" of information which I have
already commented on elsewhere, snipped.]

> If 50% or more of
> natural conceptions end in abortion (according to one issue of
> Science), then there would appear to be lots of faulty working sets.

I'm a little confused on terminology here, Robert. The above paragraph
suggests that you are indicating that natural abortions arise due to the
incompatibility of the "working set" of genes that comprise the fetus. I
might actually place more emphasis on the mother's fault tolerance as a
"gestation machine" in these cases.

> In fact, rationally there would be a fairly linear increase in
> stored information during childhood and early adulthood. Implying
> that killing an adult is a greater crime than killing a child (more
> information is lost). However, once you are an adult and you
> switch from rapid information accumulation to the exercise of
> crystalized information, your "valuation" probably ceases to
> change much. I would agree that you accumulate memories on
> a linear basis, but question whether those memories have as
> much value, since so much of it is redundant information.
> So killing an old adult perhaps isn't much worse than killing
> a young adult.
> Robert

I would disagree with your assessment that killing an old adult is about
the same as killing a young one, in terms of information loss. I agree
that memories are probably gathered linearly, but the older adult has so
much more base information with which to form new thoughts. A silly

Young adult has items of information: A and B | Total info: A, B, and
AB. Where AB is the set of relations between the two initial pieces.
Old adult has items of information: A, B, and C | Total info: A, B, C,
AB, AC, BC, and ABC.

Now when each of these learns something new, D, then the older adult
would seem to "get" much more out of that new piece of information, no?


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