[extropy-chat] Re: Identity and becoming a Great Old One

The Avantguardian avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com
Fri Jan 27 01:17:50 UTC 2006

--- "Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" <sentience at pobox.com>

> If you permit that neural firings should stretch
> over vast periods of 
> elementary time, why should not we regard a
> suspended cryonics patient 
> as stretched out over an only slightly longer period
> of time?

The difference between being in a bonfire for 10^40
planck intervals and 10^50 planck intervals is more
substantial than your logic would seem to suggest,

> The fallacy is that you are calling upon your
> human-scale perspective on 
> time flow to decide what is "stopped" and therefore
> dead, and what is 
> "moving" and therefore alive.  Which makes around as
> much sense as 
> saying that anything smaller than a millimeter is
> "too small" to be 
> alive.  What matters is continuity of causality,
> whether over a 
> picosecond or an eon.

Everything is in motion, nothing is stopped. Does this
mean that everything lives? Or is there some
non-mechanical property that distinguishes life from
non-life?  Are humans smaller than a millimeter too
small to be alive? Are they too small to be human? It
seems that a human scale perspective is the most
useful one to have if you are a human. Neither
picoseconds nor eons are mine to give or take, despite
my being part of a continuum of causality stretching
back to the beginning of time. So don't count your
Great Old Ones before they hatch, Eliezer.   

The Avantguardian 
Stuart LaForge
alt email: stuart"AT"ucla.edu

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed. . ."

- Albert Einstein, "What I Believe" (1930)

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