[extropy-chat] Just curious, cryonicist living life in reverse

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Fri Mar 2 10:23:13 UTC 2007

On 3/2/07, Anna Taylor <femmechakra at yahoo.ca> wrote:

--- Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
> >e.g. you don't remember being 40 when you are 20. It
> >is like imagining that you swap places with George
> >Bush: if you remember being you when you are him then
> >something interesting has happened, but if you
> >instantaneously swap over his body and mind for your
> >body and mind, then no-one will notice any
> >difference, and in fact it could have happened while
> >you read the last sentence.
> Memory plays a huge function between how many things
> one remembers as being a positive or negative
> "interesting things that happen".  Do you have a
> philosophy as to why many people choose to keep in
> their memory all the negative "interesting things that
> happen" instead of the positive?

It has partly to do with mood and personality. Depressed people tend to
remember and ruminate about all the negative things, or view neutral or even
positive things in a negative way. Cognitive behavioural therapy and
antidepressant medication help to change this way of thinking. Manic people,
on the other hand, are the opposite: they dismiss bad things and turn
everything into a cause for optimism. Mood-stabilising and antipsychotic
medication is the usual treatment for mania.

>I probably shouldn't spoil a good story with
> >philosophy, but there is no difference between living
> >your life forward and living your life in reverse,
> >provided that each experience is exactly the same at
> >each moment in each case..
> I enjoyed your example but i'm not really clear by
> what you mean.  Could you explain?

Suppose all the moments of your life (your observer moments) could be
seamlessly sliced up, so that their content remained the same but they could
be shuffled like cards. This could actually happen if you were part of a
computer simulation: the program could be stopped at any point, saved to
memory, and restored at a later time or on another computer. The point is
that you would have no way of knowing, without being provided with external
information, when or for how long your program was stopped, how fast the
computer clock was running, whether the observer moments were being run in
sequence, what machines your program was being run on, or indeed any details
about the substrate of your implementation.

Stathis Papaioannou
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