Re: evolution and "I"

Stephen de Vries (
Mon, 2 Sep 1996 12:04:26 GMT2

Tim_Robbins wrote :

> In response to de Vries:
> <As I see it, immortalists can be divided into two groups: those who
> want to live on through there current minds and/or bodies, and those
> who don`t care how the "I" fits into the picture as long as the
> descendants are "better" than the current version of "I".>
> I don't think we should be so *binary* in that judgment. The extent to
> which we are willing to change or evolve is much more of a continuum
> or spectrum.

True, it does not have to be binary, rather to extreme ends of the

> Partly because none of us can agree as to when we've
> passed beyond the threshold of humanity. I am interested in changing
> and growing and evolving a great deal. Yet I feel that I'm unwilling to give
> up some basics of my humanity. That might be conservative to some, but
> radical to the majority. I suppose it comes down to an individual judgment
> of what is really "I" at the core. I'm willing to give up this body, for
> example, but not yet willing to give up the human form.

A contradiction.

> But I'd like it to be
> enhanced of course. Where does that place me in the extropian values
> spectrum? I guess I have similar reservations about my mind. (Don't take
> that sentence out of context.) I'd like it to be better informed, faster, even
> "sub-contracted" with daemon sub-routines, but all this in pursuit of my
> current identity, values, and goals structure.

If you have changed your cognitive abilities, especially size and
speed, it will be quite unlikely that you have the same values and
definitely not the same identity.

> I guess I have a serious
> Aesthetic Appreciation for some aspects of humanity and my own life.
> Presently, I would want that to continue forever. I thought the very point
> of immortality was continuity of the self. Continuity of life processes is
> just a variant of the life cycle.

Please elaborate on the last statement.

> I don't just want better descendants, I
> want a better self. Maintaining a self absolutely requires some limits to
> how far you are willing to let yourself change, or evolve. I think those
> limits are probably different for each of us.

Exactly. If you are growing continously, the only thing that the
remains constant is the act of growing. This is exaclty why I hold
that "I" is a process, not a thing.

Stephen de Vries

"Nothing is true. Everything is permitted" - Hassan i Sabbah