[extropy-chat] Sasha is alive!

Russell Wallace russell.wallace at gmail.com
Mon Jan 1 10:59:36 UTC 2007

Will it ever be possible to bring back people like Sasha? I don't know.
There's nothing in our current understanding of physical law that would
permit such a thing even in principle, but we don't know everything about
how the universe works; maybe some future understanding will give a
different verdict.

But it's not something that merits argument. There's a distinction to be
drawn between ultimate vision and current effort.

Most people (myself included) need some sort of transcendent vision to
inspire them to work towards a brighter future. Different visions work for
different people; the idea that our dead might ultimately be restored is a
beautiful one, and will be all the more so if it turns out to be true; let
those of us who can't quite believe it acknowledge the unknowability and
hold onto something that does work for us.

The environmentalists have a saying: think globally, act locally. That's
exactly what we need to do, except in time rather than space. Let's not
confuse the ultimate and the imminent; rather let our transcendent visions
inspire us to work on projects that can be realistically accomplished in the
foreseeable future. Does it make sense to work today on a resurrection
machine? No. Does it make sense to work today on, say, molecular electronic
computers, with the idea that they might be a step on the road that
eventually leads to the dead being restored - and will have a lot of other
applications before then? Absolutely.

"Think globally, act locally" - I wish I were that good at coining phrases!
It would be nice if we did have an equally snappy temporal version - any
ideas anyone?

Happy 2007!
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