[extropy-chat] Survival tangent (was Just curious, it's not natural!)

Heartland velvethum at hotmail.com
Tue Oct 31 13:50:04 UTC 2006

Robert Bradbury:
"Unfortunately very very few individuals in the world today grasp this -- they are
more concerned with being who or what they "are" than simply "being"."

For years I've been saying that it doesn't matter who you are as long as you are.
It seems like you are saying something very similar but considering that so far
I've met not a single soul that has been able to grasp this I doubt what you mean
by those words produces the same meaning when I read them.

Lee Corbin:
"But what happened to *me* in there?   I'm more than my memes, pal.
Don't forget my memories."

I'm with you on the second sentence but not the third. While it's almost trivial to
show that you are not the memes (or values) you support, the same logic applies to
memories. Say, you decide to take a stroll in the park. When you go there you find
hundreds of people executing the same plan. Next day it rains so all the folks sit
at home and fondly recall the time spent at the park the day before. Now, would the
memories of the "park experience" really be that much different between the people
who visited the park? If your brain expired, the memories of the "park experience" 
certainly survive inside other people's brains.

There's absolutely nothing special about individual values, beliefs and memories.
It's a virtual certainty that all your values, beliefs, and memories will always
overlap with values, beliefs and memories of some other people in the world. Then 
might just as well say that you survive as long as humanity survives yet personal
survival is not quite the same as survival of the species. There's a point beyond
which further abstraction loses the essence of the thing that it's supposed to
abstract. Reducing a person to his values, beliefs and memories goes way past that


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