Living Forever

From: Lee Corbin (
Date: Mon Apr 30 2001 - 23:19:13 MDT

Emlyn wrote:

> I will add, that very few people involved in... extropianism, purely
> cryonics, or whatever your flavour, would seriously suggest that any
> of us will live for *all eternity*.

You're quite wrong. I dare say that both a remarkable number
of cryonicists and extropians do not concede the necessity of

> ...the maths alone says we must come a cropper some time before
> forever. So, any life-extension techniques are merely temporary.

Not at all. If persons now living do manage to get past the
next couple of centuries, nothing prevents them from establishing
numerous copies of themselves throughout the universe, and the
chance of them all being taken out, in say a gamma burst, is
quite small. And some folks, such as Freeman Dyson, have been
talking a long time about physics that might support an infinite
amount of computation. The ultimate source for these
considerations is Tipler, "The Physics of Immortality".

Samantha wrote

> My personality of the moment truly isn't all that important.
> [Sigh] The time and opportunity to change it many times, to
> grow and learn without particular limit *is* that important.
> [That's more like it!] I am not limited to my personality.
> [Whatever...] I do not necessarily believe that even my
> concept of that most intimate of conglomerate illusions,
> "I", is invariant or deserving of being preserved indefinitely...

It may or may not be invariant, but that has little to do
with it "deserving" to be preserved. Does an obscure type
of ant in the Amazon jungle "deserve" to have its pattern
recorded for all time? Most people today would say yes.
Well, I'd say that the pattern of Samantha Atkins is about
10^7 times as important to preserve. Where the hell does
this concept of "deserve" come from anyway? It almost
sounds as though one's "worthiness" were being evaluated
by the Almighty, or by some similarly transcended creature
(perhaps the AI you're working on).

> "I" over time would change in ways that would seem very
> "not-I" today. Even this concept of "me" as distinct from
> "others" in quite this way is open to change and
> modification given time enough.

But watch out. If you evolve into something that on objective
grounds is not-Samantha, then unless you've arranged that
earlier versions of you get ample run time, you'll be quite
dead. Please don't let that happen.

> I want that time and the opportunity to witness all of these
> changes and much more. It is not death so much that I seek
> to avoid but the end of becoming and being. I am not done
> with that and don't plan to be done.

That's more like it! Well said at last.

Lee Corbin

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 10:00:01 MDT