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Cognitive Dissonance and Immortality

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#1 Bruce Klein

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Posted 13 May 2003 - 06:47 AM

Cognitive Dissonance and Immortality
Immortality Institute Online Chat :: Sun. May 18th, 2003
Location: Cyberspace - http://www.imminst.org/chat

On May 18th, 2003 at 8:00 PM EST the Immortality Institute will hold a moderated chat to discuss social psychology and the topic of cognitive dissonance as it relates the possibility of physical immortality. How does one internalize paradigm shifting ideas like infinite life extension and what techniques are beneficial in helping the process along. Members will discuss the work of Leon Festinger and others.

#2 Bruce Klein

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Posted 13 May 2003 - 06:47 AM


Cognitive Dissonance Theory, developed by Leon Festinger (1957), is concerned with the relationships among cognitions. A cognition, for the purpose of this theory, may be thought of as a ?piece of knowledge.? The knowledge may be about an attitude, an emotion, a behavior, a value, and so on. For example, the knowledge that you like the color red is a cognition; the knowledge that you caught a touchdown pass is a cognition; the knowledge that the Supreme Court outlawed school segregation is a cognition. People hold a multitude of cognitions simultaneously, and these cognitions form irrelevant, consonant or dissonant relationships with one another.

Dissonance occurs most often in situations where an individual must choose between two incompatible beliefs or actions. The greatest dissonance is created when the two alternatives are equally attractive. Furthermore, attitude change is more likely in the direction of less incentive since this results in lower dissonance. In this respect, dissonance theory is contradictory to most behavioral theories which would predict greater attitude change with increased incentive (i.e., reinforcement).

Consider someone who buys an expensive car but discovers that it is not comfortable on long drives. Dissonance exists between their beliefs that they have bought a good car and that a good car should be comfortable. Dissonance could be eliminated by deciding that it does not matter since the car is mainly used for short trips (reducing the importance of the dissonant belief) or focusing on the cars strengths such as safety, appearance, handling (thereby adding more consonant beliefs). The dissonance could also be eliminated by getting rid of the car, but this behavior is a lot harder to achieve than changing beliefs.

Festinger claimed that people avoid information that is likely to increase dissonance. Not only do we tend to select reading material and television programs that are consistent with our existing beliefs, we usually choose to be with people who are like us.

A little more than 40 years ago, Leon Festinger published A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance (1957). Festinger's theory of cognitive dissonance has been one of the most influential theories in social psychology

In March, 1964 Kitty Genovese was returning home from her job in New York City. She was in her neighborhood when she was attacked by a stranger. She was stabbed and beaten repeatedly. It took 30 minutes before she died. At least 38 of her neighbors watched the events of her death unfold from the safety of their apartments without calling the police or giving any other help.

Festinger observes:
"A man with a conviction is a hard man to change. Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Show him facts or figures and he questions your sources. Appeal to logic and he fails to see your point.

"We have all experienced the futility of trying to change a strong conviction, especially if the convinced person has some investment in his belief. We are familiar with the variety of ingenious defenses with which people protect their convictions, managing to keep them unscathed through the most devastating attacks.

"But man's resourcefulness goes beyond simply protecting a belief. Suppose an individual believes something with his whole heart; suppose further that he has a commitment to this belief, that he has taken irrevocable actions because of it; finally, suppose that he is presented with evidence, unequivocal and undeniable evidence, that his belief is wrong: what will happen? The individual will frequently emerge, not only unshaken, but even more convinced of the truth of his beliefs than ever before. Indeed, he may even show a new fervor about convincing and converting other people to his view."
"But whatever explanation is made it is still by itself not sufficient. The dissonance is too important and though they may try to hide it, even from themselves, the believers still know that the prediction was false and all their preparations were in vain. The dissonance cannot be eliminated completely by denying or rationalizing the disconfirmation. But there is a way in which the remaining dissonance can be reduced. If more and more people can be persuaded that the system of belief is correct, then clearly it must, after all, be correct. Consider the extreme case: if everyone in the whole world believed something there would be no question at all as to the validity of this belief. It is for this reason that we observe the increase in proselytizing following disconfirmation. If the proselytizing proves successful, then by gathering more adherents and effectively surrounding himself with supporters, the believer reduces dissonance to the point where he can live with it."

#3 Lazarus Long

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Posted 13 May 2003 - 05:12 PM

Just as a point of reference not one of these links has been opening inside AOL but they do when I copy/paste them into an IE6 browser open behind AOL.

Not a very big problem but I thought I would mention it to anyone else having trouble opening the links.

Edited by Lazarus Long, 13 May 2003 - 05:26 PM.

#4 Lazarus Long

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Posted 13 May 2003 - 05:25 PM

You link a page that I found interesting from a personal perspective, I lived through the Kitty Genovese event as a child and it colored my perspectives of group bhavior considerably. I would offer that everyone also analyze the next page in that study group as highly relevent to our discussion.


I probably won't be able to make this discussion but I would offer that the analysis of motivation as cognitively related to attitude is a vital issue that is being glossed somewhat too broadly addressed by the first two studies above.

Motivation is also determined by the "values" we are taught during cognitive development but it is not a unidirectional relationship as most of the data suggests. Our motivations are changed by our attitudes as there exists a kind of feedback loop, there is also a considerable amount of adaptive change as the environment of attitude is altered.

#5 Bruce Klein

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Posted 19 May 2003 - 02:13 PM

Chat archive:

Topic: Cognitive Dissonance and Immortality
<BJK> 'How does is blow someone's mind? and how can we help'
<BJK> does it*
<BJK> background: http://www.imminst.o...=ST&f=63&t=1182
<BJK> primer:
<BJK> Dissonance occurs most often in situations where an individual must choose between two incompatible beliefs or actions. The greatest dissonance is created when the two alternatives are equally attractive. Furthermore, attitude change is more likely in the direction of less incentive since this results in lower dissonance. In this respect, dissonance theory is contradictory to most behavioral theories which would predict greater attitude change with increased incentive (i.e., reinforcement).
<BJK> Festinger observes:
<BJK> "A man with a conviction is a hard man to change. Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Show him facts or figures and he questions your sources. Appeal to logic and he fails to see your point.
<BJK> "We have all experienced the futility of trying to change a strong conviction, especially if the convinced person has some investment in his belief. We are familiar with the variety of ingenious defenses with which people protect their convictions, managing to keep them unscathed through the most devastating attacks.
<BJK> ok.. that's all
<Utnapishtim> 2This highlights an imprtant problem
<Utnapishtim> Opinions aren't merely thigns we hold
<Utnapishtim> in a quite important and gfundamental way we ARE our opinions
<BJK> we are, yes.. and that is in flux
<Utnapishtim> Opinions are the building blocks of our self-concept/identity
<Utnapishtim> But on the other hand there are many people who are quite happy to hold two contradictory views at once
<Gordon> Utnaphishtim: actually, I would use the world `beliefs' instead of `opinions'
<Utnapishtim> Gordon: On reflection, your wordchoice is superior. I agree
<BJK> one key idea that hit me was how a person can go on believing in an obsolete idea.. even after obvious proff otherwise..
<jubungalord> So at anytime the identity will fluxuate beyond what we have previously expierenced it to be. But the limits of this "fluxation" determines the rationality of wanting to be immortal
<BJK> it's a group dynamics problem as much as an individual problem..
<Gordon> interestingly, cognitive dissonance problems can get worse as intelligence increases; the person has more power to throw at consonance (i.e. rationalization)
<Utnapishtim> Most beliefs have more to do with personal branding and group allegiance than an earnest attempt to discover truth
<Utnapishtim> Gordon: I was going to raise the same point
<BJK> both excellent points
<BJK> a quirk in our evolutionary psychology
<Mermaid> uh huh..ep again
<Gordon> Mermaid: you will join our tribe. Dissonance is futile.
<Utnapishtim> Discussions also frequently devolve into into zero sum status game
<Discarnate> Especially on social levels, Utapishtim
<Utnapishtim> intellectual armwrsetling for its own sake or rather for the sake of voctory
<Discarnate> Or for secondary perqs which depend on a perception of victory by 3rd parties.
<Discarnate> Etc.
<Utnapishtim> Take admitting mistakes...
<Discarnate> *nod*!
<Utnapishtim> The maturity issue of the person you admit the mistake to is an issue
<Fidika> BJK, people are designed by natural selection to be centered around themselves and their relatives, and their beliefs decisions will hold in accord with this, even if it is counterfactual.
<Discarnate> Does anyone here have a problem with the previously-made assertion that 'we are our opinions'?
<Fidika> So it's not a quirk, but a design feature, as the adage goes.
<Jef> "We are our beliefs"
<jubungalord> I do
<BJK> Fidika, agreed, but it's a problem, and thus a quirk in a pre-posthuman world
<Gordon> it's not the total sum of your goal system
<Discarnate> OK - Mind if I ask why, jubungalord?
<Gordon> beliefs just make up part of it
<Discarnate> Valid point, Gordon - but would it be valid to say then that they (beliefs/opinions) make up some significant fraction of your personality?
<Fidika> BJK, yes, logic is more important in our current and future society than is reproduction.
<Gordon> I don't know
<jubungalord> Our beliefs are not exact or definable by ourselves.
<Discarnate> Fidika - Disagree. As we are now, without reproduction we won't have a social future.
<Utnapishtim> Discarnate: That would depend on the invididual concerned
<Discarnate> jubungalord - Potentially true, but they still influence the actions of the person who holds them, correct?
<BJK> well, I agree with Fidika, rationality and continuance (physical immortality) will prove to be more important than biological reproduction.
<Utnapishtim> Academics can be some of the most stubborn entrecnhed thinkers in the world precisely because their identity is even more cewntered on their views than it is for most people
<Jef> Some beliefs are transparently imposed by our culture
<Fidika> I should say "sexual reproduction", to diferentiate from cloning / test tube babies / uploading as reproduction ^_^
<Discarnate> Utnapishtim - Disagree. Anyone who has learned anything will be affected to some degree by that learned 'thing'.
<Discarnate> Jef - agreed! Strongly!
<Gordon> one thing I have always found strange is this: some people don't seem to change, I and a few others seem to change so often it's hard to read what they wrote a year or two ago and believe it is the same person
<Gordon> I used to worry that my beliefs changed so often
<Discarnate> Fidika/BJ - I don't think those reproductive replacements are yet ready to replaced the beast with two backs and 9 months...
<Utnapishtim> There are many people whose self concept is rooted in their physical attributes and/or their social status than in their beliefs
<Gordon> but now I realize it's just that 99% of humanity is totally, completely insane
<jubungalord> i think this conversation has become oversimplified by the all encompassing identity meme. the mind is just not that simple.
<Discarnate> *wry grin* I prefer the term irrational, Gordon. Sanity is a normative function, IMO
<Fidika> Gorden, I strongly agree!
<Hugh_Bristic> Hello.
<Fidika> hi
<Hugh_Bristic> I agree as well.
<Discarnate> I agree it's been simplified, jubungalord, but I don't know how to handle this kind of material other than in a simplified setting
<Hugh_Bristic> Whatever it is I'm agreeing to.
<Fidika> *just smiles at Hugh*
<BJK> http://www.imminst.o...=ST&f=63&t=1182 hugh check for topic
<Discarnate> You agreed to fund the next Immortality Institute Tea and Crumcake get together, Hugh. *impish grin*
<Hugh_Bristic> Thanks BJ
<Utnapishtim> I think its safe to say that evryone in this discussion likes thinking .. There are many people that don't particularly enjoy it
<Gordon> Discarnate: yes, but all human brains involve irrational processes, no matter what you do, they are still there
<Gordon> humans can't escape irrationality
<Utnapishtim> and I have found that the latter group are generally quite happy to hold contradictory views at once
<Jef> "Irrational processes, and cognitive dissonance can be an excellent source of creativity.
<Fidika> Gorden, true, but posthumans can.
<Gordon> sanity seems like a the best we can do, since flawless rationality is not possible in humans
<Hugh_Bristic> My place next week. BYOC (Bring Your Own Crumpet)
<Utnapishtim> they don't feel the need to reconcile conflicting views at all but simply accumulate them in a haphazard manner
<Discarnate> *smile* Ah, music to my ears! (or rather, art to my eyes) - agreed, Gordon. Yet somehow rational work gets done, regarldess if it's scientific research, carefully troubleshooting an electrical system, or finding funding.
<Utnapishtim> Sanity is a dubious goal if it is defined by the 'group mean'
<Discarnate> Eggzactly, Utnapishtim
<Gordon> yes, sometimes we can have wholly rational thoughts :-)
<Discarnate> And sometimes we can even have wholly rational, logical STREAMS of thought!
<Gordon> sanity may have a technical definition that I'm not aware of
<Discarnate> And (o wonder of wonders) we can occasionally even SHARE such with OTHERS!
<Gordon> it sounds like you're using sane to mean normative
<Hugh_Bristic> How does cognitive dissonance relate to immortality really? I don't see the obvious connection. Could someone elucidate a bit?
<Utnapishtim> Gordon I don't know how it is possible to define sanity without reference to group norms
<jubungalord> does the same go for rationality?
<Utnapishtim> I don't think so know
<Discarnate> jubungalord - not really. Rationality should be reproducable given the same evidence. Which is why that's such a big benchmark test for new radical science - can others get the same results?
<Jef> Consistency is the test of rationality.
<Gordon> I would say that you're sane if your beliefs correspond with reality and you reason rationally based on those beliefs
<Hugh_Bristic> Hey Celindra
<jubungalord> I just see everyone using rationality and logically with all kinds of definitions
<Utnapishtim> Gordon isn't that a tautolgy?
<Utnapishtim> if your beliefs correspond to reality...?
<Discarnate> Gordon - but how can you judge if your beliefs correspond with reality?
<Discarnate> Simplest answer - do others agree with you.
<Discarnate> Heya, celindra, localroger...
<Gordon> evidence
<localroger> Hi all
<Gordon> no, I wouldn't necessarily consider political evidence (at least not strong)
<Hugh_Bristic> Who is Utnapistim, a Hindu God?
<Discarnate> *smile* But how are you certain that the evidence is not, itself, a figment of insanity? (ref - the whole Matrix nightmare)
<Utnapishtim> Hugh Bristic: The first Immortal in World Literature
<Gordon> then your reality is the simulation
<Utnapishtim> He appears in the Epic Of Gilgamesh
<Gordon> you exist within a reference frame of some sort; a Reality
<Discarnate> *shrug* That's one way to look at it, Gordon - but I disagree, and it'll take us WAY outside the scope of this topic to cover it...
<Utnapishtim> Gordon: Your definition of sanity is circular. Based on reasoning rationally on the basis of rationality
<Gordon> yes, we should be getting back to immortality (somehow)
<Utnapishtim> in that case why not just do away with the concept of rationality and do away with the linguistic confusion
<Discarnate> The simple way back, IMO : How does immortality strike people as cognitively dissonant?
<Jef> Yes, deconstruct it all!.....NO!!
<Utnapishtim> Well it conflicts wioth religious beliefs
<Discarnate> Jef - Maybe later. *wry grin*
<Hugh_Bristic> Oh, that Utnapistim!
<Utnapishtim> and most notions of a good life
<BJK> why do people have religious beliefs?
<Utnapishtim> BJK For a plethroa of reasons
<Hugh_Bristic> Lots of reasons.
<Discarnate> *nod* As well as the whole learn/work/retire lifestyle of the modern western world
<Hugh_Bristic> Ha ha
<BJK> main reason?
<Gordon> viral memes: out out
<Hugh_Bristic> Utna you read my mind
<Utnapishtim> Saying they have religious beliefs simply to assuage their fear of dying is far too simplistic
<Hugh_Bristic> One good reason though.
<Utnapishtim> yes
<Discarnate> Gordon - Viral memes ain't bad. It's how they're used, like any tool. The concept of immortality for instance could well become/be crafted into a viral meme
<Utnapishtim> Group idnetity
<Utnapishtim> conforming to group norms
<Gordon> tribes have a culture
<Discarnate> Utnapishtim - Disagree. Never underrate stupidity
<Hugh_Bristic> I think a big part of it is as a frame of reference for defining who to be and how to live. Join the groupmind as it were.
<localroger> I think most people suffer a major failure of imagination w/r/t immortality, as in what would you do?
<Gordon> your brain had to evolve in the arm race for telling tribes members apart and building more effective tribes
<BJK> the main reason why people have religious beliefs is because of a desire for immortality (Religion Explained :: Pascal Boyer)
<Hugh_Bristic> Damn Utna! You read my mind again.
<Discarnate> BJ - One possible, true
<Jef> Hardwired genetic, cultural, emotional, and learned (experienced) reasons for beliefs.
<Gordon> BJ: I disagree; that's not an evolutionary explanation
<BJK> http://www.imminst.o...&f=13&t=1193&s=
<BJK> "For example, most religion in the world is not about God, bot about immortality,"
<Gordon> *all* humans have religion
<Discarnate> It's also a way for one group to supress another, also a way to gather power, also a way for an organizational identity to replicate itself...
<Gordon> that's more a what than a why
<Gordon> (to BJ)
<Hugh_Bristic> BJ. Not Immortality per se, but rather transcendence.
<Jef> a greater meaning
<Discarnate> Hugh - Depends on the religion, and the interpretation thereof
<Gordon> that shows that the way humans evolved they like to hear about immortality
<Hugh_Bristic> Sure.
<Chris> afterlife myths are just a carrot dangled at the end of a stick nothing more.
<Utnapishtim1> back
<Hugh_Bristic> Welcome
<jubungalord> NOT once has anyone mentioned anything technical about cognitive disonance or immortality. Talk of reason but give no test of reality.
<Hugh_Bristic> Bye
<Hugh_Bristic> Huh?
<BJK> jubungalord, read the thread
<Gordon> what are some specific kinds of arguments that you hear against immortality?
<Hugh_Bristic> You mean physical immortality?
<Gordon> clearly people are interested in immortality in some way
<Gordon> yes
<Discarnate> 1) Boredom. 2) Not God's Plan. 3) Impossible. 4) Heat death.... Just for a start
<Hugh_Bristic> 1. Wouldn't want to live forever. Life Sucks.
<Gordon> well, life does suck
<Hugh_Bristic> Sez you buddy.
<Utnapishtim11> given that most people of average to low intellect have no problem holding contradictory view at once
<Discarnate> Luckily, our form of life sucks and blows. It's called respiration.
<Gordon> it's the argument from short sightedness
<Hugh_Bristic> Poor Utna. He must be having network trouble.
<Utnapishtim11> yeah annoying as hell
<Hugh_Bristic> Dis ha ha
<Hugh_Bristic> lol
<Gordon> so, one aspect of arguing immortality is showing that life is going to get better
<Discarnate> Or, at least, won't get worse
<Utnapishtim11> Why do we need to make the case
<Hugh_Bristic> Yeah. I guess, but I think at base it is all a rationalization of some sort.
<Utnapishtim11> People don't want to die
<Jef> Due to lack of imagination, they see eternity though today's eyes, and don't realize that they will change and grow dramatically with time. Shouldn't try to measure by today's standards.
<Utnapishtim11> all that needs to be done is offering them a reasonable alternative
<Discarnate> And to do so in such a way as to step on the least number of preconceived notions possible. (cf - cog. diss.)
<Hugh_Bristic> I see the connection to cog di now.
<Hugh_Bristic> cog dis that is.
<Utnapishtim11> Discarnate: EXACTLY
<Gordon> I think the argument of boredom is most likely a rationalized defense
<BJK> heh
<Utnapishtim11> Lets not step over other peoples lame belief systems unneccessarily
<Discarnate> Gordon - Definitely, in some cases. However, I think that it's a rationalization of fear of the unknown more than anything.
<Jef> Each person's belief system, no matter how lame, is completely valid to them. :-)
<Hugh_Bristic> I think folks have an existential investment in a belief in supernatural immortality and a recognition of physical immortality would introduce cognitive dissonance.
<Hugh_Bristic> step step step.
<Gordon> I would say the same thing for the argument from entropy (that will happen no matter what; might as well make the most of it while entropy is still low) and the argument of impossibility
<Discarnate> Jef - Mm... not quite true -0 people keep seeking 'better' belief systems.
<Utnapishtim11> Hugh Bristic: I think here you are making an assumption that I don't share
<Utnapishtim11> Most people aren't as bugged by gonitive dissonance as smart thoughtful people
<Discarnate> Hugh - I agree more'n not with you.
<Hugh_Bristic> Really. Why not?
<Gordon> Utna: no, I disagree
<Discarnate> Utnapishtim - I think most people are, just don't realize why it makes 'em uncomfortable
<Jef> Discarnate: ...at that moment.
<Gordon> there have been some really smart rationalizers; look at some of the top folks over the years in the Catholic church
<Hugh_Bristic> Does cog dis neccessarily have to be a conscious thing?
<Discarnate> Agreed - most people live almost exclusively in the 'now' and more in the past than the future
<Utnapishtim11> I know nothing that characterises stupidness as much as the ease with which it embraces contradictory ideas
<Discarnate> Hugh - Nope
<MRAmes> Ut: Most people detect cognitive dissonance, but don't deal with it intelligently, just use their relexes.
<Hugh_Bristic> Damn dis! You read my mind.
<Gordon> some of them were very intelligent, but argued voraciously that Earth was created in 6 days
<Discarnate> <-- is psycho, not psychic.
<Discarnate> *wry grin*
<Utnapishtim11> gordon you are actually making my point!
<Utnapishtim11> those smart people in the catholic church
<Utnapishtim11> place a great deal of stock in a consistent world view
<Utnapishtim11> far more than average people
<Hugh_Bristic> Consistent but untrue.
<Gordon> consistence is nice, but correctness is more important
<MRAmes> Ut: True, the CT chooses exactly what to believe and what not to believe... they hold meetings about it.
<Discarnate> Methinks another way to look at it, Utnapishtim, is that these smart people are better able to resist the flat out oddness (cog diss) of non-traditional ideas by rationalizing/creating/pick-yer-term
<Gordon> I'm willing to have inconsistency in my beliefs at the sacrifice of correctness
<MRAmes> Gordon: Too right.
<Utnapishtim11> Gordon Of course. But vbright people are also particularly vulnerable to building houses on imaginary fopundations
<Jef> Gordon: Example?
<Gordon> inconsistency usually just means that I don't have enough information yet to explain something
<MRAmes> Ut: But brighter people are willing to rebuild that how when new evidence arrives...
<Utnapishtim11> I am I guess what I am saying is that average people won't be nearly as bugged by the contradiction between their professed spiritual belief and the prospect of radically longer lives as some of you think
<Discarnate> Add a 'some', Mr Ames, and I'll agree w/ ya. *grin*
<Utnapishtim11> Mrames: Not all of them
<MRAmes> Dis: yeah.
<MRAmes> Ut:right
<Gordon> Jef: I'm willing to believe in quantum physics and general relativity
<Hugh_Bristic> Hmm. You could be right Ut, but it is the explanation that best explains what I've observed.
<Hugh_Bristic> How else to make sense of it?
<Jef> Gordon: thanks. Until a broader synthesis is available, right?
<MRAmes> There is a distressing tendency for people to attach thier personal worth to a particular world-view, a particular house of cards.
<Discarnate> Utnapishtim, I believe (there's that word again) that a LOT of people are disturbed about having precepts which contradict - but aren't able to point to the actual crux of the issue.
<Gordon> yes, eventually we should be able to develop a correct and consistent theory
<Discarnate> MrAmes -Agreed!
<Discarnate> We covered that a bit earlier, MrAmes, talking about how many arguements become zero-sum games.
<Gordon> Utna: something seems not right in your line of reasoning, but I'm not sure what
<MRAmes> Dis: Sorry I missed it.
<Utnapishtim11> Most people are more concerned with the external validation of their beliefs than their internal logic or consistecy
<Hugh_Bristic> MRAmes. You are right.
<Hugh_Bristic> Utna: Interesting.
<MRAmes> UT: yes, they have it backwards.
<Discarnate> Utanpishtim - Mmm... Possible. On second thought, probable.
<MRAmes> Ut: However, I suppose externally validating a belief is very comforting...
<Hugh_Bristic> What do you mean by external validation. Social or Empirical?
<Discarnate> Hugh - I'd guess more social than empirical.
<Utnapishtim11> Hugh Social
<Hugh_Bristic> Yeah. That makes sense.
<Discarnate> "You're doing the right thing." "Attaboy". etc.
<Hugh_Bristic> But I think it is related to the cognitive dissonance though.
<MRAmes> Ut: And, externally invalidating a belief is very unnerving...
<Hugh_Bristic> Dissonnance with the group mind as it were.
<Gordon> I think everyone can feel cognitive dissonance; most people just don't recognize that it's going on (once you realize what cognitive dissonance is and what it feels like you move towards avoiding rationalization, which is not what evolution wants)
<Discarnate> Hugh - What Mr Ames just said is EXACTLY where the cog dis fits in.
<Utnapishtim11> Well I believe that cryonics is rational
<Utnapishtim11> society doesn't validate that particular belief
<Utnapishtim11> but I hold it anyway
<Utnapishtim11> A lot of people are not prepared to do that
<MRAmes> Gordon: You may have a point there... dissonance is uncomfortable.
<BJK> is the immortalist philosophy rational
<Discarnate> BJ - can you restate that for us?
<Hugh_Bristic> But how likely would you be to have yourself frozen if you were the only one?
<MRAmes> Gordon: Even though dissonance can often be the beginning of learning something new, better, more useful.
* Discarnate never remembers the details
<Gordon> MRA: of course; you just have to avoid consonance
<BJK> is the desire to live forever because one feels that Death Equals Oblivion a rational belief system
<Gordon> at least automatic consonance
<MRAmes> Gordon... why avoid it?
<Discarnate> BJ - it's unfalsifiable.
<Discarnate> Not quite the same thing
<Gordon> it's okay if you learn more and your dissonance goes away
<BJK> so is religion
<Discarnate> *nod* No arguement.
<MRAmes> Gordon: Ahh, yes... running on 'mental automatic' is not conducive to accurate assessment of reality.
<Utnapishtim11> BJK: Therefore your belief is essentially a faith position
<Hugh_Bristic> Hmm. Its more of a value issue than a matter of rationality
<Gordon> if your brain gets it right, you're either much, much smarter than anyone I've ever met or very lucky to have the right confluence of wrong thoughts
<Utnapishtim11> Why not simply say. I intend to live as long as I can
<Discarnate> MrAmes - the oppositie side of that arguement is that you must consider all repercussions of every action. That is not a survival behavior, IMO
<BJK> hmm, 1/3 faith 2/3 techno embrace
<Hugh_Bristic> What is this slef we are trying to preserve anyway? That is the interesting question to me.
* BJK scratch that..
<MRAmes> Gordon: *That* is one of the ways I hope AI will immediately exceed our mental performance - no 'automatic'.
<BJK> 1/100 faith 99/100 techno
<Hugh_Bristic> self
<Gordon> BJ, it's not faith to believe that there's no afterlife
<Utnapishtim11> Hugh Bristic: I think selfhood is largely illusory but I'd rather we diodn't open that can of worms
<Utnapishtim11> we'll be here all night
<Discarnate> I'd put it the other way, BJ - there's nothing in there about HOW you're gonna go for immortality, be it Raelian theology, meditation under a plum tree, or cellular regeneration
<MRAmes> Dis: true... thinkins.
<Gordon> believing that there's not afterlife corresponds with the evidence we have from observing reality
<Discarnate> Gordon - sure it is. There's no proof, for or against.
<Hugh_Bristic> Yeah. It is illusory from a certain vantage point, yet I am compelled to maintain it whatever it is. How strange?
<Utnapishtim11> Hugh Bristic: You'll get no argument from me as to the strangeness!
<Discarnate> *wry grin* The afterlife is as provable as the theory that you're constantly being stalked by invisible, intangible pink elephants.
<Jef> Hugh: *Who* is trying to maintain it? ;-)
<Discarnate> Or what!
<Hugh_Bristic> Me. Whoever that is.
<Discarnate> *grin* Good answer!
<Hugh_Bristic> Or Whatever.
<Gordon> religious faith means believing something contrary to observable evidence
* BJK expects a disconnect any moment now
<Discarnate> Faith in general means believing something without reference to evidence, for or against.
<Hugh_Bristic> I look forward to the day the Human Cognome Project allows us to talk about these issues scientifically.
<Utnapishtim11> OR believing something in the simple absence of evidence
* MRAmes hands BJK a disconnect
<Discarnate> Hugh - I'd LOVE to see that!!!
<Gordon> actually, that's just the religious version of faith
<Hugh_Bristic> Hey give it 20 years, an who knows?
<Utnapishtim11> There is no evidence for the nonexistence of the aliens the raelians believe in
<Discarnate> *grin* Nope, there aint.
<Utnapishtim11> but despite not being contrary to the evidence thsi belief is not rational
* Discarnate tucks away his devils' advocate horns and tail.
<Hugh_Bristic> There is no eveidence that there are not fairies who hide behind treees whenever I try to see them too.
<MRAmes> I have found the idea of immortality causes frequent cognitive dissonance in myself.
<Discarnate> How so, Mr Ames?
<Gordon> if I say that I `take it on faith', I mean that I'm reasoning based on prior evidence to believe that something will happen in the future
<Hugh_Bristic> Ames: In what respect?
<Gordon> for example, I have faith that BJ will be disconnected momentarily
<MRAmes> Because, for so long I have believed that my life was limited in span... and now...?
<Utnapishtim11> We should try to sheer this ship back toward the waters of cognitive dissonance and how they impact immortalist memes
<Hugh_Bristic> grin
* BJK experiences very little cd in terms of the prospect of immortality

<BJKlein> k, maybe that'll satisfy the connection goddess for another hr or so
<Discarnate> WB, BJ. *grin*
<MRAmes> Dis: whereas before I learned about immortalist ideas, that option was not on the table.
<Gordon> ah, my faith has been confirmed
<Davidov> I'm not interested in immortality upon my individual self as a supergoal.
<BJKlein> MRAmes do you remember the first cd experience with the physical immortality meme?
<Discarnate> Mr Ames - sure it was. The trick being, you're now in a position to help increase the likelyhood of the existance of such a treatment, yet before you would have been a passive benificiary.
<MRAmes> BJ: Yep. I was approximately 15 years old.
<Hugh_Bristic> Davidov: What are you interested in?
<MRAmes> BJ: I was reading some Isaac Asimov, one of his robot books I think, and I got to thinking... what if?
<Discarnate> Davidov - Not for me, either. I don't want to worry about the side effects of focussing solely on that goal.
<Utnapishtim11> The central question.. Does Cognitive dissonance threaten the pursuit of anti aging remdies/life extension. I fso how. Lets get specific
<BJKlein> thanks Utnapishtim11
<Hugh_Bristic> I think we covered that before sort of didn't we Utna?
<Davidov> Since I live in a physical universe, application of my certain consciousness isn't as important as acheiving, say "Apotheosis"
<Jef> Anti-aging remedies are not part of God's plan
<Hugh_Bristic> Davidov: So transcendence of limitations then could be viewed as the end goal?
<Utnapishtim11> Jef:What percetage of people will be prepared to die in order to maintain the consistency of their beliefs. Some will for sure. But I would argue that most certainly won't
<BJKlein> MRAmes, what if what exactly?
<MRAmes> Ut: Perhaps we cannot say that cognitive dissonance (CD) because CD itself is the what people will have to experience before they can 'get' the whole immortalist perspective.
<BJKlein> dabda
<Davidov> Yeah, and more like "The Best Thing Conceivable" and it doesn't have to involve my consciousness
<Jef> Most people will not challenge that belief until it's right in front of their eyes. See "Lack of imagination"
<MRAmes> s/dissonance/dissonance threatens/
<Hugh_Bristic> Utna, I think they have to believe physical immortality to be remotely possible before they will overcome their fear of rejecting supernatural immortality.
<Discarnate> Hugh - Yep.
* BJK is experiencing cognitive dissconnect
<Utnapishtim11> Hugh Bristic: I think soem people are certainly stupid enough
<Jef> Avoid a frontal attack on existing beliefs. approach from the angle of improving current appearance, current health, augmenting minor capabilities.
<Athenagod> Ut: Agreed
<Davidov> Yeah, I think so too Hugh
<Davidov> Some people ARE trying to stop it, I believe Hugh
<Discarnate> Jef - Strongly agreed!
<BJK> what did Hugh_Bristic say? (sorry)
<Hugh_Bristic> Makes ya mad, don't it?
<Utnapishtim11> jef: That is my approach exactly
<Davidov> [21:02] <Hugh_Bristic> Do you think people are stupid enough to prevent research that will make it a possibility because of their fear of jinxing supernatural immortality?
<BJK> Ahh, Thank You.
<Discarnate> Hugh - More sad than mad, but yeah, it's (grin) a dissonant emotion.
<Davidov> Not me in particular, I just find it sorta necessary. It doesn't make me happy tho :D
<Athenagod> I'm not sure I want to live forever...but I would like to live a long long time!
<Discarnate> Athena - I'd like the option to live a long time, regardless of what my choice ends up being.
<BJK> Athenagod, that's a start
<Utnapishtim11> I think that people as a whole will embrace anti aging research when THEY personalyl are convinced that A) it is possible and B) They will be able to afford it
<MRAmes> Athenagod: Just so long as you don't mind if others shoot for 'forever', eh?
<Hugh_Bristic> I just don't want anyone else deciding how long I'm gonna live.
<Athenagod> and I don't mind at all
<Discarnate> Utnapishtim - Somewhat agreed - it'll be easier, but it won't be embraced until it's "normal"
<Discarnate> MrAmes - I do, if it costs me my existance.
<Hugh_Bristic> And how to get from here to normal is the rub!
<Discarnate> Drats, missed.
<Utnapishtim11> If it was available now it wouldn't take very long for our nursing homes to be empty
<Discarnate> Hugh - devil's always in the details.
<Discarnate> Utnap - Depends - if it's a 'medical treatment' - who's gonna pay?
<Discarnate> Where are they gonna live? What're they gonna do?
<Hugh_Bristic> The man!
<Discarnate> There are MASSIVE social issues with such a 'santa clause machine' solution!
<Davidov> I think different types of immortality could be defined, as well. If one were to only have their brain throughout infinity, eventually their past memories would become nil. I'm not sure the brain was evolved to store eons of lifetime memories.
<BJK> btw, would Athenagod happen to be a members of the rare and opposite gender set in immortalist/transhumanist circles?
<Hugh_Bristic> Better to pay for healthy productive workers than resource sucking geezers!
<Athenagod> :)
<Discarnate> Davidov - Depends on your postulates - if the brain gets hooked up to a storage device of some sort...
<Davidov> I mean completely independent, just the the aging process completely halted
<Discarnate> Hugh - True - but PROVE it. Immortalists are proposing the change - on our shoulders it should be to prove it'll be a better world after!
<Utnapishtim11> Given the fact that the first people who have access to this treatment arer likely to be evil satanic americans and wealthy europeans.. how will the rest of the world react?
<Discarnate> Davidov - *grin* Couldn't you consider the changes caused by the formation of memory a form of aging?
<Discarnate> Utnapishtim - Poorly
<Discarnate> Of course.
<Hugh_Bristic> Do you think if there was a pill that added 20 years of healthy life to the average joe/jane people's attitudes would change?
<Utnapishtim11> Discarnate: I don't think I need to justify my right to continue existing
<Davidov> That's what I was implying, Discarnate :D
<Hugh_Bristic> the 20 year pill may already be here.
<Discarnate> Utnapishtim - I disagree - you DO have to, to keep the rest of our lovely species from finding some way to kill you off!
<Discarnate> <-- is a very good straight man, Davidov. *smile*
<Discarnate> Either that, or you haveto find some way to disappear from the human races' "radar"
<Davidov> and happy, too hehe
* Discarnate is easily amused, true
<Discarnate> If not, Utnapishtim, you're gonna be considered a threat, soon or late, and homer saps deals poorly with such.
<Utnapishtim11> Perhaps it is best that we will make nickel and dime progress on aging and life extension creeps up on us
<Davidov> I'm 17, so I got ALOT of time hehe
<Utnapishtim11> Discarnate: Yes... I have been thinking about this
<Discarnate> It will ease the cog diss, and the threat, if it is a gradual change.
<Davidov> Unless HIV becomes airborne, that is
<Discarnate> Davidov - Forget airborne HIV - fear unknown virus 3!
<Discarnate> *wry grin*
<Hugh_Bristic> How do you respond to concerns about overpopulation?
<Utnapishtim11> This was part of the thinking behind my 'wall street' thread
<Davidov> David Brin wrote a short story called "Stones of Significance" and posted it free on the net
<Discarnate> Hugh - There are several, depending on the audience and hte type of concern.
<Davidov> about overpopulation after the Sing
<Utnapishtim11> the need for A) the financial resources to afford the treatment as soon as possibel after ity becoems available and b) the ability to whole myself up soemwhere and ride out the storm
<Discarnate> Space being one. Uploads being another. The death of sexual reproduction being a third.
<Hugh_Bristic> sterilization space exploration uploading. Any others?
<Hugh_Bristic> Damn Dis! You did it again.
<Discarnate> Expansion of livable domains on earth - the sea, the poles, etc.
<Hugh_Bristic> temp solution obviously
<Discarnate> I warned ya earlier, Hugh. *impish grin* Psycho, not psychic
<Davidov> But not in the conventional sense of considering that people would biologically overpopulation, more as the simulations of people would expand in a virtually fractal fashion, and constantly strain the simulation machines
<Davidov> biologically overpopulate *
<Discarnate> The biggest one I've yet to find an answer to is how children born into an immortal society can ever find a way to stop being children.
<Hugh_Bristic> Sterilization creeps people out and the other options peole view as too improbable it seems.
<Discarnate> As they age, they remain younger than t heir parents, with a definite lack of experience from the elder's POV.
<Utnapishtim11> Discarnate: Continuous economic expansion?
<Discarnate> No arguement, Hugh.
<Discarnate> Utnap - no such thing.
<Discarnate> Limited resources, even if we get to space.
<Hugh_Bristic> Been fun, but I have to kick it homies. Catch you on the flip side!
<Discarnate> Ciao, Hugh
<Utnapishtim11> Well.... its a high quality problem.... I hope our children get to tackle it
<BJK> Ok..Take Care Hugh_Bristic
<Davidov> bye Hugh
<Utnapishtim11> Take care Hugh
<celindra> Huge McBristic has left the building!
<BJK> anyone here have a transhumanist related website?
<Discarnate> Utnapishtim - Agreed, but I also fear that our children may be forced to tackle it.. Not QUITE the same thing
<Davidov> celindra has spoken!
<Discarnate> Heh. I don't have ANY website, BJ. Sorry!
<BJK> check www.imminst.org/tle for a link exchange
<Discarnate> BJ - that might make a good topic...
<BJK> Discarnate, you must be a very socialy mature person
<Discarnate> *blink* How so, BJ?
<BJK> ahh, you're not spending unsocial free time on needless webpages..
<Discarnate> Potential topic, for a later fireside chat - "What are the downsides to immortality?"
<Discarnate> *lol*
<BJK> ahh, I see..
<BJK> yeh, good idea..
<Discarnate> Oh, I've got my bad habits, BJ - web pages ain't one of 'em, tho'
<BJK> we'll make a t chart
<Utnapishtim11> Discarnate: There is an interesting thread which touches on this just postedon the boards recetly
<Discarnate> *blnk* T chart?
<Davidov> So, inversely, "What are the upsides to Complete Total Oblivion?"
<BJK> pro/cons of physical immortality
<Discarnate> *grin* Good call, BJ!

<BJKlein> oblivion = zero cog.dis.
<Discarnate> Davidov - Understood - but that particular death is not considered realistic.
<BJKlein> what kind of death?
<Discarnate> A better way to put it is, "THe down sides of immortality - or the upside to death"
<Discarnate> Malthusian solution, BJ
<BJKlein> yeh, i'll use that for next chat.
<Discarnate> Heh. Hope I'll be able to make that one... Should be ... interesting.
<Discarnate> BJ - do you know what thread Utnapishtim was referring to - downsides to immortality kinda thing?
<Davidov> I'm sorry, Discarnate, I just meant the end of my mind, not my body.
<Discarnate> 'Tis fine - that makes it even more intriguing, actually Davidov... You'd count Alsheimers as death then, I assume?
<Davidov> Yeah, if it got bad enough
<Discarnate> *nod* Interesting ...
<Discarnate> How would you feel if somehow (say, via uploading) you'd be able to make duplicates of yourself? *curious look*
<Utnapishtim> I wouldn't
<Davidov> The line of being "conscious" and 'non-concious' is very, very wide and grey, though
<Discarnate> *wry grin* You wouldn't feel, Utnapishtim?
<Sumadartsun> it's more a blob than a line, really
<Discarnate> A Hazy Shade of Winter, perhaps?
<Davidov> Exactly, the idea of "self" is very hazy when meshed with physicalism
<Utnapishtim> Discanrate: Deconstructing personal identity is not my bag. I'd rather leave the illusion unravleed, thank you very much :)
<Davidov> ;)
<Utnapishtim> I wouldn't make duplicates
<Discarnate> *grin* Coudln't resist, and good answer.
<Jef> Our social/legal system would need a series upgrade to deal with duplicates
<Discarnate> I have the sneaking suspicion that if/when such a capability exists, I'll be poking at it kinda like a scab...
<Discarnate> Jef - Understatement!
<Davidov> My plan is to make a copy of myself to become superintelligent and then "he" can have me as his pet. ;)
<Discarnate> Hrm... Utnapishtim - did you mean the post by samwel, at http://www.imminst.o...f=66&t=1195&hl=
<Discarnate> ??
<Utnapishtim> yes...
*celindra* The Virians are being quite anti-immortal today.
<Discarnate> Interesting stuff - scanning that and the hcannel...
<Utnapishtim> his scienctific premise is EXTREMYL questionable
<Utnapishtim> but his discussion of the psychological impact of extremely long life spans is interesting
<Discarnate> *wry grin* Understood - and IMO excusable w/r/t his social commentary. I wonder how many poeple he's interviewed...
<Jef> Well, "AthenaGod" is barbecuing here in Santa Barbara. time for me to go...
<Utnapishtim> Enjoy!
<Discarnate> Have a good bbq, Jef!
<Jef> :-)
<Sumadartsun> Davidov: that's an excellent idea actually; gives a new meaning to "self-ownership"
<Utnapishtim> Hmm Gotta see if there is a hamburger in the freezer. This talk of barbecueing
<MrDebt> u guys never sleep.
<Discarnate> MrDebt - that's an illusion brought on by much caffiene and cogitation.
<Davidov> Oh, thanks. Or you consider it a "self-imposed oppression" if that's even possible
<Davidov> I'm pretty sure it's Godel - at least in English
<Utnapishtim> Discarnate An earlier point of your got me thinking....
<Sumadartsun> Gerdel's Incermpleteness Theorem
<Discarnate> Uh oh!
<Discarnate> <-- runs for cover1
<Discarnate> *IMPISH
<Discarnate> grin*
<Utnapishtim> Given that most peoples ability to plan for the long term is limited
<Discarnate> *nod*?
<Utnapishtim> a majority of the population would probably not identify with the goals of anti-aging research life span extension
<Utnapishtim> in a directly personal way
<Utnapishtim> other than the vanity aspect
<Discarnate> That's one aspect that I believe is more likely true than not.
<Davidov> They probably wouldn't, for the majority, actively prohibit, then, either.
<Utnapishtim> So the question becomes How badly does the average person want his parents to remain alive
<Discarnate> And the answer to that, Utnapishtim, is a horribly conflicted mass of social/religio/politico/economic goals
<Utnapishtim> I know.... :)
* BJK afks
<Discarnate> Davidov - depends n what the search for immortality costs the general populace "right now"
<Discarnate> Or, at most, in their scope of planning, be that a day or a year or a decade or a child's growth.
<Discarnate> Utnapishtim - There's more, here, too...
<Discarnate> There's also the parent's goal for the child, the goal of grandchild for grandparent, etc - all the social interactions could be brought to bear on either side of this dilemma
<Davidov> Yah, lots of traditions will be readily questioned
<Discarnate> Don't forget non-blood relations.
<Discarnate> Questioned, hell. Try 'raped', or 'disintegrated'
<Discarnate> *lol*
<Discarnate> They'll be reforged into utterly different forms, IMO
<Davidov> I'm sure marriage would definitely not be taken literally with immortality.. hehe
<Discarnate> Davidov - Don't be. *shrug*
<Guest> hello
<Guest> how late am I?
<Discarnate> Howdy, Guest! Welcome to our chaotic little discussion.
<Davidov> klsjdfka chaos hoakdjfakn
<Discarnate> Moderately,..
<Guest> i will have to go soon but I wanted to stop in
<Guest> this is Kip
<Discarnate> Davidov - people are ... odd, at best. Also, perhaps a person's word ('unto death') may become the core of the long-term persona
<Sumadartsun> as time goes to infinity, the probability of divorce will tend to unity
<Utnapishtim> I think that won't be as rapid a process as people think I think obsolete social institutions and assumptions would hang around for a long time past their sell by date and cause plenty of pain for everyone involved
<Discarnate> Kip - try typing /nick Kip
<Discarnate> There ya go. *smile*
<Davidov> Why, Sumadartsun?
<Sumadartsun> because of quantum fluctuations if nothing else
<Discarnate> Utnapishtim - agreed, and that pain will be the 'forge fire' (for lack of a better term) for the hcange in usage
<Discarnate> That begs the question of how quantum fluctuation affects marriage. *grin*
<Davidov> After machine intelligence becomes the mainstay, immortality probably won't even be a major philosophical issue. Shoot, I gotta go. See you laterz
<Sumadartsun> quantum fluctuations can happen in many ways; some will cause divorce
<Discarnate> Later, Davidov
<Sumadartsun> bye
<Davidov> you too, Dis
<Utnapishtim> If Ever I have the misfortune to be involved in divorce proceedings I will bloame it on quantum fluctuations
<Davidov> *bows*
<Discarnate> Sumadatsun - also, don't forget that they can also reinforce marriage, then.
<Utnapishtim> Just to see the judges face
<Discarnate> *lol*
<Sumadartsun> Discarnate, that's true
<Discarnate> Not to mention hearing your lawyer's jaw bouncing off their attache case, Utnapishtim! *lol*
<Sumadartsun> wait long enough, and you'll turn out to be married to anyone, I guess
<Discarnate> Suma - Not a given.
<Sumadartsun> why not?
<Discarnate> If it were a limited number of particles in a limited space, and they have the potential to bond - yep, you're right. But we have nigh infinite particles, each of which interface with differnt physical beings (often many -> one), which kinda screws that kind of analysis.
<Discarnate> Also we're not talking a binary set - bind or not bind, marry or not marry. There's also friendship, flings, hatred, apathy, etc - it's a nigh-infinitely divisible gray scale.
<Sumadartsun> well, yes; wait long enough and you'll be apathetic to anyone, too
<Utnapishtim> Sumadartsun: I disagree
<Discarnate> *wry grin* You're assuming several things. You're assuming apathy hits before hatred grows murderous, you're assuming that THEY are immortal, too, etc.
<Sumadartsun> unless the Heat Death overtakes you and so on
<Discarnate> Ever hear of 'le cafard' - the bug?
<Utnapishtim> I think that thwe sexual connection will run out of gas eventually
<Sumadartsun> but if you find a way around that, anything will happen given enough time
<Utnapishtim> but I think there is no expiry date on affection
<Sumadartsun> Utnapishtim: I meant because of quantum fluctuations, not because the relationship got boring
<Sumadartsun> sorry for making that unclear :D
<Discarnate> Utnapishtim - definitely a possible, perhaps even probable, truth,
<Utnapishtim> There'l be lots of, 'lets try beign apart for a decade or so and see how we feel then' type arrangements I imagine
<Discarnate> I still can't get my head about how quantum flux can affect a relationship.
<Sumadartsun> your brain could randomly quantum bitflip
<Sumadartsun> that's the sort of thing that happens in 10^10^100 years
<Sumadartsun> or more, I don't know
<Utnapishtim> Couldn't you back to the saved game if that occurred?
<Utnapishtim> honey it was a bitflip I'm sorry
<Discarnate> True - but the bits affecting marriage are multiplex and selfreinforcing.
<Discarnate> That is - I no longer like 'haircolor', but I still like 'nose', 'eye color', 'humor', etc - therefore, haircolor's still acceptable.
<Utnapishtim> These problems are of such incredibly high quality that I can't even conceive of them at this poinht in time
<Discarnate> And over time, haircolor becomes a reminder of the other positives
<Discarnate> And thus becomes liked again.
<Discarnate> (or so I'd take it)
<Sumadartsun> Utnapishtim: in principle, yes; but what if the saved game also bitflips?
<Sumadartsun> Discarnate, same argument: what if all variables flip at once?
<Discarnate> Then what's to say that only marriage variables will flip simul? *wry grin* It's easier to postulate that everything flips, and all of a sudden your heartbeat's screwed, and you die.
<Sumadartsun> yes, that's more probable
<Discarnate> Is it POSSIBLE that only marriage bits flip? I don't know - have t ask someone like Anders who knows better how memory's stored than I.
<Utnapishtim> I don't expect to be immortal anyway. Just to live a ludicrously long time
<Discarnate> But I think the probability is low to t he point of nonexistance.
<Sumadartsun> of course, after enough time, you'll bitflip back into existence
<Discarnate> You're playing with numbers so far below my cognizance, Sumadartsun, I don't even know where to begin to reply further than I have. *wry chcukle*
<Sumadartsun> yes, I wasn't trying to imply that quantum fluctuations were a practical problem for people's relationships
<Discarnate> *blink* Um, OK... then I missed yer point, utterly...
<Utnapishtim> I think this outlines how utterly inconceivable extremely long time periods are
<Discarnate> *nod*
<MichaelA> the Kcnalp time; the longest possible unit of time measure
<Sumadartsun> actually, come to think of it, the marriage would no longer apply after you first bitflipped out of existence
<Discarnate> I guess that depends on your postulates, Sumadartsun
<Utnapishtim> hey michael
<MichaelA> greets
<Sumadartsun> this not for any practical reason, but just to point out that people who say things like "I will love you forever" are making a very controversial statement about physics
<Sumadartsun> hi Michael;
<MichaelA> heh
<MichaelA> excellent quote
<Sumadartsun> did you go to that accelerating party thingy?
<MichaelA> yeah

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