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A new book about sentience



 
 
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  #1  
Old March 25th 04, 12:21 AM
Stream
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default A new book about sentience

I'm not sure if sci.astro.seti is fully the right group for this post,
but a few may find it of interest.


"The Soul and the Fabric of the Universe," by R. A. Elschlager, is a
new book about sentience.



Back Cover of Book



In spite of the title, this is a book about sentience looked at from
the perspective of science. It is not about specific functional
correlates in the brain, but rather about the deeper issue of the
nature of things. Ordinarily we make assumptions about the limitations
of how far science can see. But actually, it can see much farther.

The word "soul" is used in its ancient meaning, which included some
elements of a religious aspect but also meant consciousness or
awareness or sentience. Indeed, the words "soul", "sentience",
"consciousness", "mind", "awareness", "I-ness", "being" are words
that have different nuances, and more, but they all swirl around the
underlying mystery that this book approaches.


As an adult the author always had a deep interest in the intellectual
framework of science. In addition to this there were questions that
went far back into childhood: why are some things sentient and others
not?

The author's education is an undergraduate minor in physics, and
master's degrees, along with doctoral work, from Berkeley in
mathematical logic and from Stanford in artificial intelligence. Areas
of specialization were computational complexity, machine theory, and
the investigation of the formalization of natural language for the
purpose of specifying computer programs (automatic programming). This
was a while ago. But the questions remained. And so this book is a
journey of exploration to list some of the characteristics of this
strange phenomenon of sentience. It is also an exploration that delves
into understanding, for the mystery of sentience leads out into the
universe itself.




Preface



I like to think that this work provides a series of sign posts for
others, a series that has rarely been put together all in one place, a
series grounded from the approach that has occurred in the past when
what we call science has moved into new areas of explanation.
Sentience is a new kind of subject matter for science, but it is still
amenable to elements of that approach.



The book is written for the general public who are interested in the
issue of sentience. I hope that people from a number of different
interest groups can find value in this book no matter whether they are
or are not specialists, are or are not scientists, mathematicians,
believers, theologians, or philosophers. Though the book invokes the
kind of thinking that science has used in history as it struggled into
new areas, I hope that the writing nevertheless reaches outside
science. Still, a few notes about the language are in order.

Different people have different preferences for words. For instance,
if you do not prefer the word "creation" in this book, then wherever
you see it, replace it with, perhaps, "universe". And replace
"universe" with "creation", if you prefer that. This can be done with
other words too. Pounds, ounces, feet, and miles can be replaced with
kilograms, meters, and kilometers; and vice versa. A.D. and B.C.
(after and before year 0) can be replaced by C.E. and B.C.E, and the
currency sign "$" may be replaced by another.

Sometimes the book says "external world" when in our regular everyday
language we would just say "world" or "physical reality" or "reality".
All these words or phrases emphasize the same thing: the difference
between what is in the mind as distinct from the world about us.

Sometimes in this book, terminology from one region of science is
modified to make it understandable over several regions or outside
that region. As one example, the term "spike train," a term from
neurobiology, might be referred to as "electrical spike train," solely
for the purpose of reminding a larger audience that these are trains
of electrical spikes spikes of voltage signals traveling along
nerve fibers through the nervous system.

Sometimes parentheses or smaller font indicates more technical
material.

In a few places, the book presents assistance on the terminology found
in books on neurobiology, in case the non-neurobiologist reader should
want to go directly to such publications.

Numbers may be written in a variety of ways in order to express on the
emotional level the size involved. For instance, "23,000,000,000"
might also be written as "twenty-three billion," or "23 billion," or
"23 thousand million," or even, "twenty-three thousand, thousand,
thousand." These convey the almost mystical size of the material
world.

. . .

This book uses something like the phrase "metaphysics and ontology of
the universe" to indicate all that is in any way. The fabric of the
universe. Generally, ontology refers to issues of what exists;
metaphysics refers to the essence of things, or first principles, or
the deepest underlying nature of things and of the universe.

Philosophers would not use the word "thing" as freely as in this book.
I hope that in most cases such sections can be translated or rephrased
so that the word does not appear.

. . .

Similarly, we will use a variety of phrases all to get at a certain
same something, a something which is hard to define. Such phrases will
include "awareness," "the innermost experience itself," "awareness
itself," "the inner quality itself of awareness," "the sensation
itself," "the experience," "the experience itself," "what it is like
for a human to experience such and such," "the feeling associated with
such and such," or "the very awareness of the experience itself" all
these phrases will hark back to that same innermost, underlying
experience itself.


It should be obvious that two or so sections are fiction, but even
they contain possibly valid, speculative thought.

Running through this work is some of the spirit of math and science, a
spirit that today much of the population is unacquainted with, but it
is a spirit that people in a democracy need.

Finally, what book is not improved by a picture or two, even if it is
a book on science, philosophy and spirit? Thus are included a few
sketches by the author.



The subject matter of our book is a journey about an individual who is
trying to understand being or sentience. We, along with the
individual, will roam into issues of form and meaning and evolution.
We will roam into abstraction but at one point look at the notion
itself of abstraction. The book starts with some background.

Then, as befits the way of science, we turn our attention to the
physical, real world, and we look very hard at locations that are
intimately bound up with sentience. Such locations are, or include,
animals and their brains. This is how scientists become acquainted
with something new. They look at it very hard as it occurs in the real
world.

Since the going on of logics in the brain is abstract, you must expect
that our journey will concern itself with getting a handle on this
going-on. The third part of the book moves fully into this, with a
basic statement about the I, with a future history of how our science,
technology, and machines will be used to figure out sentience, and
with how long it will take. There are several chapters on this
going-on.

The fourth part moves into sentience in its totality, and finally does
the same with the going-on. This is a long book. There are many
interesting sections and they need not all be read in order, though
the development of some ideas may then be missing. All the sections
can be found in the detailed table of contents.

Many things can be seen just by looking at the world, for it is full
of marvels.


General Table of Contents


Contents v
Detailed Contents vii
List of Figures xvi
Preface xvii
Part 1 Background 1
Chapter
32 All Souls are Waiting Right Now 5
1 The Desert 17
2 The Soul 37
3 Science: Introduction 49
4 Science: Non-sentient Origins 51
5 Science: Chart of the Physical Universe 59
6 Science: Fizeau and Light 77
7 Science: Newton, Gravity, and the Laws of Motion 81
8 What is Science 89
9 Our Universe 91
Part 2 Animals and Brains 93
10 Discussion with the God 95
11 Waves 101
12 Euglena 113
13 Volcanoes, Euglenas, and Logic 117
14 The Leech (Also, the Neuron and its Signals) 121
15 Magnetism and Polarization in Ants and Bees 139
16 Zero Crossings 141
17 Electric Fish 145
18 Closing Points 163
Part 3 Onwards 171
19 The I 173
20 Devices to See Logic 189
21 Machines 205
22 Initial Notes on Logic 235
23 Logic and Space 239
24 All is Logic: Things 241
25 All is Logic: Vinegar Bog 263
26 All is Logic: Abstract Objects 271
27 All is Logic: Close 281
28 Logic to Physical 283
29 Definition of Evolution. Omega 287
30 Deep Physics, Newton, Some Religion 297
31 Astounding Sentience Logic 303
Part 4 Onwards Some More 315
32 All Souls are Waiting Right Now 317
33 Teletransportation and Evolution of the I 321
34 Standard I, Non-standard I 351
35 Brain Mirror Theory 355
36 Pillars of Judgment 363
37 Judgment: Does What We See Exist 367
38 Judgment: Logic 379
39 Relation to Other Work 425
40 Final Flight 439
41 End 447
Appendix: Numbers, Computations, Internet Sites 451
Endnotes 457
Bibliography 477
Name Index 485
Subject Index 487



The website

http://soul.mav.net

contains the above information along with excerpts as well as the
detailed table of contents.
Ads
  #2  
Old April 6th 04, 12:38 AM
Elschlager
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default A new book about sentience


Just thought I would present some information about the contents of
the book



A) *** Say a little bit more about what the theorem on all souls is
about ***

Case 1. Ten years ago Aunt G was crogenically frozen at death, and a
190 years from today she will successfully be unfrozen and brought
back to life. She will indeed be successfully brought back to life 190
years from today. That is a given in case 1.

Case 2. Here is the other situation. Aunt G died 10 years ago. It was
a "regular" death: there was no cyrogenesis or anything special.

I and many others too, would feel, or sense, or believe, or think, or
be sure that there is a difference, a "real" difference between these
two cases - a difference in the nature of things.

The theorem in the book states that in terms of the "nature of things"
there is no difference whatsoever between 1 and 2. To me, that is
surprising. But that is what some theorems do. They state surprising
results.

(Since the book tries to be technical, in spite of our current
difficulty with various words and understanding, the "nature of
things" is phrased as something like "the state of Aunt G's sentience
in the fabric of the universe").

In (1), I would see Aunt G as waiting to come back. I don't mean I
would sort of see it. I would really and fully see and feel and
believe that. To me, it would be natural to see, feel, and believe
that Aunt G was in some kind of state of waiting. But by the theorem,
I do see and feel and believe that, as far as reality, the same is
true in situation (2). In the nature of things, the two situations are
identical.

Well, that is what the theorem is stating. (The proof is in the book,
the first appearance of chapter 32, and it is currently on the website
too).


B) *** What do you mean by "soul"? ***

(1) The book's preface states that the words "soul", "sentience",
"consciousness", "mind", "awareness", "I-ness", "being" are words
that have different nuances, and in places more than differences in
nuance, but they all swirl around the underlying mystery that this
book approaches. In other words, these words are used pretty
interchangeably in terms of the analysis in the book. The difference
between these words is not what this book is delving into.

(2) The book attempts to list characteristics or properties of what we
take to be mind (that is, soul, sentience, being, consciousness, and
so on). To list characteristics or properties is one scientific
approach, especially when one is trying to establish a foundation for
science moving into a new area.

The fabric of the universe could also be phrased as "the nature of
things." Not only that, but in science, some of the most important
features of the nature of things can appear as un-understandable magic
(see the sections on Fizeau and Newton).



----
"The Soul and the Fabric of the Universe"
http://soul.mav.net

  #3  
Old April 6th 04, 12:38 AM
Elschlager
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default A new book about sentience


Just thought I would present some information about the contents of
the book



A) *** Say a little bit more about what the theorem on all souls is
about ***

Case 1. Ten years ago Aunt G was crogenically frozen at death, and a
190 years from today she will successfully be unfrozen and brought
back to life. She will indeed be successfully brought back to life 190
years from today. That is a given in case 1.

Case 2. Here is the other situation. Aunt G died 10 years ago. It was
a "regular" death: there was no cyrogenesis or anything special.

I and many others too, would feel, or sense, or believe, or think, or
be sure that there is a difference, a "real" difference between these
two cases - a difference in the nature of things.

The theorem in the book states that in terms of the "nature of things"
there is no difference whatsoever between 1 and 2. To me, that is
surprising. But that is what some theorems do. They state surprising
results.

(Since the book tries to be technical, in spite of our current
difficulty with various words and understanding, the "nature of
things" is phrased as something like "the state of Aunt G's sentience
in the fabric of the universe").

In (1), I would see Aunt G as waiting to come back. I don't mean I
would sort of see it. I would really and fully see and feel and
believe that. To me, it would be natural to see, feel, and believe
that Aunt G was in some kind of state of waiting. But by the theorem,
I do see and feel and believe that, as far as reality, the same is
true in situation (2). In the nature of things, the two situations are
identical.

Well, that is what the theorem is stating. (The proof is in the book,
the first appearance of chapter 32, and it is currently on the website
too).


B) *** What do you mean by "soul"? ***

(1) The book's preface states that the words "soul", "sentience",
"consciousness", "mind", "awareness", "I-ness", "being" are words
that have different nuances, and in places more than differences in
nuance, but they all swirl around the underlying mystery that this
book approaches. In other words, these words are used pretty
interchangeably in terms of the analysis in the book. The difference
between these words is not what this book is delving into.

(2) The book attempts to list characteristics or properties of what we
take to be mind (that is, soul, sentience, being, consciousness, and
so on). To list characteristics or properties is one scientific
approach, especially when one is trying to establish a foundation for
science moving into a new area.

The fabric of the universe could also be phrased as "the nature of
things." Not only that, but in science, some of the most important
features of the nature of things can appear as un-understandable magic
(see the sections on Fizeau and Newton).



----
"The Soul and the Fabric of the Universe"
http://soul.mav.net

  #4  
Old April 6th 04, 05:06 AM
Matt Giwer
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default A new book about sentience

Elschlager wrote:
Just thought I would present some information about the contents of
the book


A) *** Say a little bit more about what the theorem on all souls is
about ***


Case 1. Ten years ago Aunt G was crogenically frozen at death, and a
190 years from today she will successfully be unfrozen and brought
back to life. She will indeed be successfully brought back to life 190
years from today. That is a given in case 1.


Case 2. Here is the other situation. Aunt G died 10 years ago. It was
a "regular" death: there was no cyrogenesis or anything special.


I and many others too, would feel, or sense, or believe, or think, or
be sure that there is a difference, a "real" difference between these
two cases - a difference in the nature of things.


The theorem in the book states that in terms of the "nature of things"
there is no difference whatsoever between 1 and 2. To me, that is
surprising. But that is what some theorems do. They state surprising
results.


Does the book define life and death so that stating there is no
difference means something?

B) *** What do you mean by "soul"? ***


(1) The book's preface states that the words "soul", "sentience",
"consciousness", "mind", "awareness", "I-ness", "being" are words
that have different nuances, and in places more than differences in
nuance, but they all swirl around the underlying mystery that this
book approaches. In other words, these words are used pretty
interchangeably in terms of the analysis in the book. The difference
between these words is not what this book is delving into.


Is the author Joss Whedon?

It is very simple to tell if humans have souls. We simply find
indentical twins where one does and one does not have a soul. That may
be difficult to find so we simply to observe people without souls.

Without playing games, as we cannot observe with and without cases it
is mental masturbation to attempt to describe something which
presense or absense cannot be observed. Tell me we can describe light
without a wavelength, a circle without curvature or a human without
the nature of a human.

(2) The book attempts to list characteristics or properties of what we
take to be mind (that is, soul, sentience, being, consciousness, and
so on). To list characteristics or properties is one scientific
approach, especially when one is trying to establish a foundation for
science moving into a new area.


As above this is not scientific. These are descriptions of the nature
of a human as angles and sides are descriptions of the nature of a
square. We cannot have a square without sides nor a human without
whatever he chooses to name.

The fabric of the universe could also be phrased as "the nature of
things." Not only that, but in science, some of the most important
features of the nature of things can appear as un-understandable magic
(see the sections on Fizeau and Newton).


We discriminate particles by their characteristics. Take away or
change a characteristic and it is a different particle or does not
exist at all.

As we cannot separate out a "soul" the use of the word soul is like
spin in particles, misleading people to think the particle actually
spins. It is reasonable in this case to avoid the word soul and do the
particle physics, up, down, strange, charm. Those have sort of human
meanings so I suggest instead of soul we call it spin and then
describe it.

--
The question is not if there is repression in Iran. The
question is if it is greater or lesser than under the
Shah, the American flunky.
-- The Iron Webmaster, 3112
  #5  
Old April 6th 04, 05:06 AM
Matt Giwer
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default A new book about sentience

Elschlager wrote:
Just thought I would present some information about the contents of
the book


A) *** Say a little bit more about what the theorem on all souls is
about ***


Case 1. Ten years ago Aunt G was crogenically frozen at death, and a
190 years from today she will successfully be unfrozen and brought
back to life. She will indeed be successfully brought back to life 190
years from today. That is a given in case 1.


Case 2. Here is the other situation. Aunt G died 10 years ago. It was
a "regular" death: there was no cyrogenesis or anything special.


I and many others too, would feel, or sense, or believe, or think, or
be sure that there is a difference, a "real" difference between these
two cases - a difference in the nature of things.


The theorem in the book states that in terms of the "nature of things"
there is no difference whatsoever between 1 and 2. To me, that is
surprising. But that is what some theorems do. They state surprising
results.


Does the book define life and death so that stating there is no
difference means something?

B) *** What do you mean by "soul"? ***


(1) The book's preface states that the words "soul", "sentience",
"consciousness", "mind", "awareness", "I-ness", "being" are words
that have different nuances, and in places more than differences in
nuance, but they all swirl around the underlying mystery that this
book approaches. In other words, these words are used pretty
interchangeably in terms of the analysis in the book. The difference
between these words is not what this book is delving into.


Is the author Joss Whedon?

It is very simple to tell if humans have souls. We simply find
indentical twins where one does and one does not have a soul. That may
be difficult to find so we simply to observe people without souls.

Without playing games, as we cannot observe with and without cases it
is mental masturbation to attempt to describe something which
presense or absense cannot be observed. Tell me we can describe light
without a wavelength, a circle without curvature or a human without
the nature of a human.

(2) The book attempts to list characteristics or properties of what we
take to be mind (that is, soul, sentience, being, consciousness, and
so on). To list characteristics or properties is one scientific
approach, especially when one is trying to establish a foundation for
science moving into a new area.


As above this is not scientific. These are descriptions of the nature
of a human as angles and sides are descriptions of the nature of a
square. We cannot have a square without sides nor a human without
whatever he chooses to name.

The fabric of the universe could also be phrased as "the nature of
things." Not only that, but in science, some of the most important
features of the nature of things can appear as un-understandable magic
(see the sections on Fizeau and Newton).


We discriminate particles by their characteristics. Take away or
change a characteristic and it is a different particle or does not
exist at all.

As we cannot separate out a "soul" the use of the word soul is like
spin in particles, misleading people to think the particle actually
spins. It is reasonable in this case to avoid the word soul and do the
particle physics, up, down, strange, charm. Those have sort of human
meanings so I suggest instead of soul we call it spin and then
describe it.

--
The question is not if there is repression in Iran. The
question is if it is greater or lesser than under the
Shah, the American flunky.
-- The Iron Webmaster, 3112
  #6  
Old April 6th 04, 09:45 AM
Anthony Cerrato
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default A new book about sentience


"Matt Giwer" wrote in message
om...
Elschlager wrote:
Just thought I would present some information about the

contents of
the book


A) *** Say a little bit more about what the theorem on

all souls is
about ***


Case 1. Ten years ago Aunt G was crogenically frozen at

death, and a
190 years from today she will successfully be unfrozen

and brought
back to life. She will indeed be successfully brought

back to life 190
years from today. That is a given in case 1.


Case 2. Here is the other situation. Aunt G died 10

years ago. It was
a "regular" death: there was no cyrogenesis or anything

special.

I and many others too, would feel, or sense, or believe,

or think, or
be sure that there is a difference, a "real" difference

between these
two cases - a difference in the nature of things.


The theorem in the book states that in terms of the

"nature of things"
there is no difference whatsoever between 1 and 2. To

me, that is
surprising. But that is what some theorems do. They

state surprising
results.


Does the book define life and death so that stating there

is no
difference means something?

B) *** What do you mean by "soul"? ***


(1) The book's preface states that the words "soul",

"sentience",
"consciousness", "mind", "awareness", "I-ness", "being"

are words
that have different nuances, and in places more than

differences in
nuance, but they all swirl around the underlying mystery

that this
book approaches. In other words, these words are used

pretty
interchangeably in terms of the analysis in the book.

The difference
between these words is not what this book is delving

into.

Is the author Joss Whedon?

It is very simple to tell if humans have souls. We simply

find
indentical twins where one does and one does not have a

soul. That may
be difficult to find so we simply to observe people

without souls.

Without playing games, as we cannot observe with and

without cases it
is mental masturbation to attempt to describe something

which
presense or absense cannot be observed. Tell me we can

describe light
without a wavelength, a circle without curvature or a

human without
the nature of a human.

(2) The book attempts to list characteristics or

properties of what we
take to be mind (that is, soul, sentience, being,

consciousness, and
so on). To list characteristics or properties is one

scientific
approach, especially when one is trying to establish a

foundation for
science moving into a new area.


As above this is not scientific. These are descriptions of

the nature
of a human as angles and sides are descriptions of the

nature of a
square. We cannot have a square without sides nor a human

without
whatever he chooses to name.

The fabric of the universe could also be phrased as "the

nature of
things." Not only that, but in science, some of the most

important
features of the nature of things can appear as

un-understandable magic
(see the sections on Fizeau and Newton).


We discriminate particles by their characteristics. Take

away or
change a characteristic and it is a different particle or

does not
exist at all.

As we cannot separate out a "soul" the use of the word

soul is like
spin in particles, misleading people to think the particle

actually
spins. It is reasonable in this case to avoid the word

soul and do the
particle physics, up, down, strange, charm. Those have

sort of human
meanings so I suggest instead of soul we call it spin and

then
describe it.


To me, the whole question is kinda moot. I used to believe
the current cryogenic process was to all practical purposes
equivalent to real suspended animation (with the provision
that the life extension company survived long enough to
effect unfreezing.) Then I saw a documentary (PBS I guess)
on the company's freezing process--after seeing how it's
done in practice, I don't see a chance in hell that the
body, never mind the brain, could ever survive enough for
serious resuscitation. I have since stopped saving money for
the process to be done on myself.

First, the body remains at too high a temperature for too
long before the freezing process is even started from what I
could see--or even from when the company even usually gets
to it.

Second, the initial steps in the process (preparing the body
with anti-freezing protectant solutions etc.) are so
violent/traumatic (think liposuction,) I doubt any cells
could survive at all in viable form for reanimation. I hope
I'm wrong, for the sake of those pioneers who have already
tried it...but I no longer have my immortality bets on
cryogenics--maybe stem cell and genetic research...but very
quickly, I hope! ...tonyC


  #7  
Old April 6th 04, 09:45 AM
Anthony Cerrato
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default A new book about sentience


"Matt Giwer" wrote in message
om...
Elschlager wrote:
Just thought I would present some information about the

contents of
the book


A) *** Say a little bit more about what the theorem on

all souls is
about ***


Case 1. Ten years ago Aunt G was crogenically frozen at

death, and a
190 years from today she will successfully be unfrozen

and brought
back to life. She will indeed be successfully brought

back to life 190
years from today. That is a given in case 1.


Case 2. Here is the other situation. Aunt G died 10

years ago. It was
a "regular" death: there was no cyrogenesis or anything

special.

I and many others too, would feel, or sense, or believe,

or think, or
be sure that there is a difference, a "real" difference

between these
two cases - a difference in the nature of things.


The theorem in the book states that in terms of the

"nature of things"
there is no difference whatsoever between 1 and 2. To

me, that is
surprising. But that is what some theorems do. They

state surprising
results.


Does the book define life and death so that stating there

is no
difference means something?

B) *** What do you mean by "soul"? ***


(1) The book's preface states that the words "soul",

"sentience",
"consciousness", "mind", "awareness", "I-ness", "being"

are words
that have different nuances, and in places more than

differences in
nuance, but they all swirl around the underlying mystery

that this
book approaches. In other words, these words are used

pretty
interchangeably in terms of the analysis in the book.

The difference
between these words is not what this book is delving

into.

Is the author Joss Whedon?

It is very simple to tell if humans have souls. We simply

find
indentical twins where one does and one does not have a

soul. That may
be difficult to find so we simply to observe people

without souls.

Without playing games, as we cannot observe with and

without cases it
is mental masturbation to attempt to describe something

which
presense or absense cannot be observed. Tell me we can

describe light
without a wavelength, a circle without curvature or a

human without
the nature of a human.

(2) The book attempts to list characteristics or

properties of what we
take to be mind (that is, soul, sentience, being,

consciousness, and
so on). To list characteristics or properties is one

scientific
approach, especially when one is trying to establish a

foundation for
science moving into a new area.


As above this is not scientific. These are descriptions of

the nature
of a human as angles and sides are descriptions of the

nature of a
square. We cannot have a square without sides nor a human

without
whatever he chooses to name.

The fabric of the universe could also be phrased as "the

nature of
things." Not only that, but in science, some of the most

important
features of the nature of things can appear as

un-understandable magic
(see the sections on Fizeau and Newton).


We discriminate particles by their characteristics. Take

away or
change a characteristic and it is a different particle or

does not
exist at all.

As we cannot separate out a "soul" the use of the word

soul is like
spin in particles, misleading people to think the particle

actually
spins. It is reasonable in this case to avoid the word

soul and do the
particle physics, up, down, strange, charm. Those have

sort of human
meanings so I suggest instead of soul we call it spin and

then
describe it.


To me, the whole question is kinda moot. I used to believe
the current cryogenic process was to all practical purposes
equivalent to real suspended animation (with the provision
that the life extension company survived long enough to
effect unfreezing.) Then I saw a documentary (PBS I guess)
on the company's freezing process--after seeing how it's
done in practice, I don't see a chance in hell that the
body, never mind the brain, could ever survive enough for
serious resuscitation. I have since stopped saving money for
the process to be done on myself.

First, the body remains at too high a temperature for too
long before the freezing process is even started from what I
could see--or even from when the company even usually gets
to it.

Second, the initial steps in the process (preparing the body
with anti-freezing protectant solutions etc.) are so
violent/traumatic (think liposuction,) I doubt any cells
could survive at all in viable form for reanimation. I hope
I'm wrong, for the sake of those pioneers who have already
tried it...but I no longer have my immortality bets on
cryogenics--maybe stem cell and genetic research...but very
quickly, I hope! ...tonyC


  #8  
Old April 7th 04, 07:25 AM
Elschlager
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default A new book about sentience

On Tue, 06 Apr 2004 04:06:15 GMT, Matt Giwer
wrote:
Does the book define life and death so that stating there is no
difference means something?

I list A and B again, below. For myself, I see no difficulty in
interpreting them. B mentions "death" as in the "regular standard
death of the physical body". (A) talks about Aunt G's physical body
being "brought back to life," in the sense, that we would say, yes,
this is Aunt G - or at least most of us would. I would. The theorem
merely states that there is no difference between A and B. This is
contrary to our, or at least my, feeling that they are different.

It does happen that in theorems that are not totally formalized, we
must look a bit at the proof to see exactly what is being talked about
- are there any conditions that have not been made explicit, and so
on.

Every book must start somewhere. Surely there are other books that
delve far into what is "death", what is "life". This book does not.
It tries to pick out relevant characteristics of how we use those
words, and then builds from that. In other places in the book, there
are ideas for how to deal with the fact that whatever anyone says in
this area large area of investigation, it is problematic as to exactly
what is meant.

A). Ten years ago Aunt G was crogenically frozen at death, and a 190
years from today she will successfully be unfrozen and brought back
to life. She will indeed be successfully brought back to life 190
years from today. That is a given in case 1.

B) Here is the other situation. Aunt G died 10 years ago. It was a
"regular" death: there was no cyrogenesis or anything special.


----

Is the author Joss Whedon?

??????????

----

To me, your next comments seem to be expressing unhappiness with the
book using the word "soul". Why not "mind", or "person", or
"consciousness"? If you are unhappy with the word "soul", then
wherever you see it in the book, replace it with "mind".
In those parts where the book is analyzing, it uses these words
interchangeably. But maybe I should say a little as to why I included
the word "soul" in this list. First of all, it seems to me that in our
times, religion has been attacked beyond the border of reasonableness.
Second, for a religious person, the word "soul" is like "being" or
"consciousness" or "mind".

----

I wrote
(2) The book attempts to list characteristics or properties of
what we take to be mind (that is, soul, sentience, being,
consciousness, and so on).

You wrote
As [to the] above[, ] this is not scientific.

It is scientific because one thing science does is to list
characteristics of a phenomenon. Certainly science does much more than
this, but listing characteristics is one of the things it does.

  #9  
Old April 7th 04, 07:25 AM
Elschlager
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default A new book about sentience

On Tue, 06 Apr 2004 04:06:15 GMT, Matt Giwer
wrote:
Does the book define life and death so that stating there is no
difference means something?

I list A and B again, below. For myself, I see no difficulty in
interpreting them. B mentions "death" as in the "regular standard
death of the physical body". (A) talks about Aunt G's physical body
being "brought back to life," in the sense, that we would say, yes,
this is Aunt G - or at least most of us would. I would. The theorem
merely states that there is no difference between A and B. This is
contrary to our, or at least my, feeling that they are different.

It does happen that in theorems that are not totally formalized, we
must look a bit at the proof to see exactly what is being talked about
- are there any conditions that have not been made explicit, and so
on.

Every book must start somewhere. Surely there are other books that
delve far into what is "death", what is "life". This book does not.
It tries to pick out relevant characteristics of how we use those
words, and then builds from that. In other places in the book, there
are ideas for how to deal with the fact that whatever anyone says in
this area large area of investigation, it is problematic as to exactly
what is meant.

A). Ten years ago Aunt G was crogenically frozen at death, and a 190
years from today she will successfully be unfrozen and brought back
to life. She will indeed be successfully brought back to life 190
years from today. That is a given in case 1.

B) Here is the other situation. Aunt G died 10 years ago. It was a
"regular" death: there was no cyrogenesis or anything special.


----

Is the author Joss Whedon?

??????????

----

To me, your next comments seem to be expressing unhappiness with the
book using the word "soul". Why not "mind", or "person", or
"consciousness"? If you are unhappy with the word "soul", then
wherever you see it in the book, replace it with "mind".
In those parts where the book is analyzing, it uses these words
interchangeably. But maybe I should say a little as to why I included
the word "soul" in this list. First of all, it seems to me that in our
times, religion has been attacked beyond the border of reasonableness.
Second, for a religious person, the word "soul" is like "being" or
"consciousness" or "mind".

----

I wrote
(2) The book attempts to list characteristics or properties of
what we take to be mind (that is, soul, sentience, being,
consciousness, and so on).

You wrote
As [to the] above[, ] this is not scientific.

It is scientific because one thing science does is to list
characteristics of a phenomenon. Certainly science does much more than
this, but listing characteristics is one of the things it does.

  #10  
Old April 12th 04, 08:07 AM
Elschlager
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default A new book about sentience

On Thu, 08 Apr 2004 06:24:04 GMT, Matt Giwer
wrote:

I read that but I was serious. People do not die even of old age.
They suffer repeated trauma until one occurs which they do not
survive. George Burns did survive to 100 but did not appear at the
Palladium as the trauma of air travel would have been fatal. One can
look at death as so easy to occur we can put people on trial for
accidents or so hard to reliably kill that we debate reliable means of
execution.


Many issues about death are indeed fascinating. The time at which it
occurs, the whole vocabulary "disease" "fatal disease" and the like.

Fact is, if there is ever to be any chance of this being successful
the process has to occur while the person is realitively healthy so
the preservation process can be survived.


I think so.

At the moment the only way
to do that would be to legally kill the person by induced hypothermia
followed by replacing the blood with antifreeze.


Pretty much, yes. Though even here, as I understand it, the big
problem is freezing the brain through and through fast enough. It's
not easy cooling a mass all the way through, fast. And I don't
remember the details, but the brain starts suffering permanent damage
in an extremely short period after ... "death".

Who is the we that uses the words? Of a random thousand people you
might find one person who has seriously considered the issue and ten
who have memorized the thoughts of others and the rest may or may not
remember one or more Sunday School side discussions.


Is the author Joss Whedon?

??????????


Buffy, Vampire Slayer, Vampires as bodies without a soul inhabited by
demons.


Religion and science are incompatible methodologies.


They are different methodologies. But ultimately they seek
understanding of one and the same universe. There is only one
universe. There is only one reality. It's just that it may be a very
long time before they reach common ground. The universe is a very big
place..

A listing without rigorous definition is not science. Using different
words interchangably is clearly not science.

It does not wash.


 




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