[ExI] Immortality, Absolute and Potential

John Grigg possiblepaths2050 at gmail.com
Thu May 22 17:39:59 UTC 2008

Max More wrote:
> I would only add two points that I didn't see made. First, even for
> someone who will live a (potential) infinity of years, the sense of
> "wasting time" will often be perfectly reasonable for another reason:
> Many particular events in their specific circumstances will be
> *unique*. If that person misses any of these events, that would be a
> real loss (for the events the person cares about).

This is something that I often think about.  It is almost an obsession
with me! lol  I for instance, missed Transvision 07 and still feel
sick to my stomach about it (I could see the presentations online, but
I missed out on the most important thing to me, the social
networking!).  I at least up to a point, live for new experiences like
this.  And I see the real attractiveness of financial independence
being able to have freedom/control over both my money and time, so I
can go on "adventures."  I would love to hit the road someday and
visit as many Transhumanist and science fiction cons as I could fit
into my calendar.

Lee Corbin wrote:
> True, it may be possible to simulate those missed events in the
> future. However, you might be missing other such events while doing
> so. In addition, the person might care about *actually* experiencing
> those events and situations, rather than simulations of them.

The frustrations of life! lol  Have you read "Kiln People" by Brin?
hee  I feel largely satisfied if on a given night when there are let's
say three very cool events to attend, I get to at least go to one, and
perhaps read about the others in the paper or online.  I would love to
have 2-3 close friends (who think along similar lines as me & seek out
the same sort of people & ask them questions) who could go to those
other events with recording equipment. lol  In the future I may be
able to use some sort of sophisticated AI avatar to represent me and
record things.

Stuart LaForge wrote:
Would then you be satisfied with being a prescient mayfly. Doomed to live but
24 hours but knowing everything that would ever happen and never "missing" an


Max More wrote:
> The second point I would make is this: According to the view of
> personal identity that I favor, one individual can exist over very
> long periods of time (from a human perspective), even over a
> potential infinity. At the same time, that individual can undergo
> enormous change (so long as it is continuous rather than disrupting
> the essential continuity of self). What interests and matters to an
> earlier stage of a person may not interest and matter to a later
> stage of the same person. The person may exist throughout a potential
> infinity but the person-stage not. That introduces another reason for
> a potentially infinitely-long lived person to have a sense of urgency
> and time-wasting.

This makes such sense to me.  As I get older I find that certain kinds
of films, books and activities just don't appeal to me so much,
anymore.  And a part of me mourns that fact.  The summer movie "over
the top" action flick generally does not make me that excited (Iron
Man was an exception).  I will say that I am on pins and needles to
see the new Indiana Jones film, and I am so glad I can still feel this
way.  : )

I want to attend as many cons and social events (of various sorts) as
much as I can, because I realize in time due to age and oncoming
grouchiness, I might lose interest.  And also, some special con guests
may never pass my way again.  I missed Roger Zelazny (a favorite
author) and he is now dead.  And I may never get to meet William
Shatner before his demise.

Stuart LaForge wrote:
So you think there might be some sort of gradual replacement of identity that
may occur in some potentially infinitely long-lived being? Something like V'ger
(the Voyager probe) from the first Star Trek movie?

When Lt. Ilia of the Enterprise crew was assimilated by V'ger, it was
not a gradual replacement of identity. lol

John Grigg

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