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Would you like to live forever?

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Faerie
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« on: May 25, 2011, 15:23:29 PM »

My youngest and I got into a discussion about afterlife/living forever last night.  At 14, he has'nt much in the life experience department, and obviously the thought of living forever appeals to him at this point of time. He is in agreement that having to "repeat" a life doesnt sound too good (so much for re-incarnation), but that he would not hesitate to make use of any type of science that the future might hold that would prolong his life indefinately.

I, on the other hand, feel that this would be akin to hell.

What is your personal take on this?  If the science existed, would you opt for eternal life in your current body?
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2011, 15:56:42 PM »

Well, current science precludes living forever because of entropy. One can talk about life extension but only until the universe runs out of usable energy. More pressingly, our stellar region will eventually succumb to a level of entropy beyond which we cannot survive, and any other galaxies may have moved so far away by then due to expansion that they're unreachable. Humanity (if it still exists in one form or the other) dies a slow protracted death until it exhausts it's last bits of energy. (OR chooses to end itself and spare itself the pain).

The only way out here is finding a way to reverse entropy. My hopes for that wouldn't be too good.

Granted that's billionses of years and as far as we're concerned "forever". So lets take that argument and run with it...

I'd like to live as long as I want given the opportunity to "opt out" at any point. I may find reason to wonder and explore for all that 'eternity', and enjoy it. Or I may succumb to being tired of life, bored, or something else I can't anticipate because no-one has lived that long. I mean with that opportunity it makes interstellar travel a possibility, etc. So I mean what wonders you could go explore! Possibly, who knows, finding life out there, alternate worlds... perhaps science discovers even more wonderous things to go and experience/explore: wormhole travel? alcubierre drive, who knows... but I could never find out if I decide to end myself, or by implication, not extend my life. Hence that decision would be a major one I wouldn't take lightly.

Basically I'm pro-choice eternal life. I'd love for humanity to have the tools to make that decision, and see where it flows from there.
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Majin
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« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2011, 16:07:01 PM »

Yes, if I could I would live forever with a body that never ages.

A few reasons comes to mind: There is still alot of things I would like to experience in life, alot of things a would like to achieve, alot of places I would like to see.
I would like to explore other worlds other life, i would like to space travel.
I would like to experience and see all the interesting technology that would exist in the future. I would like to be able to time travel. And I think there is still alot to learn of life and philosophy. And I would never be able to get tired of nature.

Yes the world is depressing sometimes but it gets better the next day.
There is no life for me after I die. I fear death.

And the more athiests that live longer the better the world would be...
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GCG
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« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2011, 16:34:32 PM »

i would love to live forever.  i would hate to have to work forever though.  and, even as you get older, and gain more experience, surely you can only get as qualified, and your mind can only concieve so many concepts.  so you may start off being a rocket scientist, and it kick ass untill your are 864, but then rocket science and it's branches are obsolete, and there isn't a field in which you can adapt or learn sufficiently to make an awesome living.  so you can to find what equates to a basically building novelities and toys, or running an antiques shop, or being a history professor (basic example, but you get the gist).
i allso want to travel space, find aliens, fall asleep watching jupiter's gaint storm in my window.
but with that, goes life enhancing/extending technology.  nanos, consciousness transferral.  how does the synanpses of the human brain deal with such prolonged functioning?  and, how will technology change the human form and mind?  morality will change, cultures will change.  you may eventually find yourself unable to adapt to a new and strange world, and being ostracized for being 'normal' and 'outdated'.
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Mefiante
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« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2011, 17:20:41 PM »

No, not forever, and for two reasons.  First, read Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, especially the third part where Gulliver meets the immortal Struldbruggs.  To them, there is no end of tomorrows — every day there’s another tomorrow — so they never feel any need to do anything today, and hence they never actually do anything at all (apart from being generally miserable as well as senile around the age of 80, the latter of which isn’t really relevant to this discussion).

Second, there isn’t much to live for once you have reached one of two nexus points, namely (a) you understand everything there is to understand (or at least everything that is of even the slightest interest to you), or (b) you come to understand all that is within your capacity to understand, including that there are many interesting things that are simply beyond your ability to grasp and which will forever remain so.  I don’t see that life could be interesting after that.  Forever, as that song says, is a mighty long time.

As an aside relevant to reply #1, if there was a systematic way to reverse the trend towards increased universal entropy, time would reverse (to the best of our current scientific knowledge).  This would mean that “you” could be born and die as often as “you” like.  I’m sure there must be sci-fi stories out there that exploit this theme, though I can’t recall any…

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« Last Edit: May 25, 2011, 17:34:41 PM by Mefiante » Logged
Mandarb
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« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2011, 18:40:02 PM »

Not forever, but as long as I want to, my choice when I want to end my existence. Have the time to do anything, learn anything, see humanity reach it's potential, or not. Travel the stars, see what we don't know about physics. I've got probably 50 more years left with any luck, 100 if science progresses as it should. Just imagine what we could be doing in 50 years. Just the possibility of what happens next would give me motivation to keep on living as long as my body keeps.
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2011, 18:51:02 PM »

No, not forever, and for two reasons.  First, read Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, especially the third part where Gulliver meets the immortal Struldbruggs.  To them, there is no end of tomorrows — every day there’s another tomorrow — so they never feel any need to do anything today, and hence they never actually do anything at all


Well even if we extend our lives we still need energy, which means we have to eat, which means we need to make food, somehow. If we don't, we die, so there's no more endless tomorrows, hence we are motivated to atleast do things that ensure our survival. You could conceivably automate things to the point where all your food, drink, and all desires you have are fulfilled through seamless automation. But you've just bought yourself a ticket to the point that earth becomes uninhabitable due to expansion from the sun. Now you have to start working on that interstellar travel problem before that day arrives, otherwise once again, you're dead, no endless tomorrows.

I don't think having the capacity to "live forever" implies immortality. Accidents, black-holes, exploding suns, rogue asteroids, murderers, etc... can still ruin your eternity.

At the end of the day, considering the vastness of our cosmos and the time frame we have to try and explore and pry it apart until everything disappears over our visible/travel-able horizon... I'd say we're going to be in a mad rush of discovery for a while still.... and those who are not interested, will probably sit and veg. And if they so feel, just end it for themselves. More power to them.... But I'm not one of those people.


I don't think though, that our identity as "man" will be quite the same in a million or so years from now, nevermind a billion. I'm quite open to exploring a human hive-mind like idea where we are all neurally interconnected and living as a single organism with boundless experiences and explorations to be had at the whim of a thought. Perhaps that makes you bored quickly. Perhaps it doesn't.

As an aside, check out this for a cool intro to the state-of-the-art in neural interfacing techniques. It's quite breathtaking in opening one up for speculation.

Quote
Second, there isn’t much to live for once you have reached one of two nexus points, namely (a) you understand everything there is to understand (or at least everything that is of even the slightest interest to you), or (b) you come to understand all that is within your capacity to understand, including that there are many interesting things that are simply beyond your ability to grasp and which will forever remain so.


I assume you mean after neural augmentation?

Quote
I don’t see that life could be interesting after that.  Forever, as that song says, is a mighty long time.


Indeed, but I can't help thinking that most old people, however world-weary, are still suddenly a bit miff when those final hours arrive and they think about how much more they could've done, only to find themselves powerless to change the outcome.

I think a person could do many jobs in his life, chase countless dreams we currently write off as just "undoable" etc... if given the opportunity.

I'd also like to work on the assumption that keeping one young includes keeping the brain "supple" and adaptable to change, I'll infer for a moment that the brain becomes more set in it's ways due to aging. I'm very open for correction on this.

Quote
As an aside relevant to reply #1, if there was a systematic way to reverse the trend towards increased universal entropy, time would reverse (to the best of our current scientific knowledge).


Indeed, the only hope is that physics doesn't work the way we think today.
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Rigil Kent
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« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2011, 19:14:55 PM »

I think 400 is a good age. There won't be much after that I need to see.

Mintaka
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Mefiante
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« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2011, 19:27:53 PM »

I was proceeding from the point of departure that “forever” really is forever.  Also, I think you may have missed Swift’s point that, done long enough, mundanity = death in everything but name.  Sure, nobody knows how we’ll progress as a species or how knowledge will develop or what directions it may take.  The best we can do is to relate the question to what we presently know and how we think things might be in the future.  Of course, this raises the strong likelihood that one’s answer to the question posed may be very much dependent on where you find yourself historically.  Speaking allegorically, it would come as no surprise to learn that God committed suicide while in a funk of omni-misery when humdrum trumped hope.

'Luthon64
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st0nes
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« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2011, 07:09:06 AM »

I would like to live until I decide I would like to stop living.  This business of dying when you don't want to is typical of the communist regime that rules the universe.
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cyghost
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« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2011, 07:22:06 AM »

I would like to live until I decide I would like to stop living.
+1
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« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2011, 09:30:56 AM »

i actually just finished reading a scifi novel about people living to like a 1000 years, due to nanotechnology, and instead of mad exploration, they are all spending their lives changing their gender/appearance as per fashion, having sex, doing dangerous sports (since the nano's keep them alive), and spending years travelling between stars and planets in stasis, since time means nothing to them.
they allso had no murders or crime, and trade-currency, everything is for free.  nobody works, the machines do everything.

there are two 'tribes' of peoples, who shun the nano's, and is engaged in war and fighting, and have their god/s.

and the tribes who don't live that long, are the ones taking the time to explore the weird phenomena in the universe, risking their lives in trying dangerous things, needed to gather info.

i think that with vastly extended life, comes boredom, apathy, and within the first hundred or so years, you see what you want to see, do what you want to do, and after that spend your time trying to find stuff to keep you interrested.
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Rigil Kent
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« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2011, 10:16:10 AM »

One thing is for sure ... the 30 year odd life expectancy that our many-times-great grandparents "enjoyed" was way too short.

Mintaka
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Hermes
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« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2011, 13:43:18 PM »

My concern about opting to live for ever is that I may end up in the ACVV oue tehuis.
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Brian
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« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2011, 14:31:38 PM »

No
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AcinonyxScepticus
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« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2011, 22:44:22 PM »

This is a very interesting discussion and one I've had a few times with religious people.  My answer is "Hell no" and the reason is along the lines of the Swift example that Mefiante gave and the Sci-Fi story that GCG discussed.

An eternity of Heaven would be hell.  No matter what you get to do in Heaven, no matter how much you love doing it, eventually it will become tedious.  It's a concept that's hard for people who believe in an eternal soul to accept.

The example that I give is a Star Trek: Voyager episode called Quincy (and I happily give them the episode to watch).  In Star Trek, there is a race of beings called the Q who are what we might consider gods; they can materialise and dematerialise anywhere and anywhen in the universe and cause any effect on the physical universe that they want to. They can go back and watch the big bang as often as they like or go read a book in the peace and quiet after the universe has run down.

In this episode one member of the Q seeks asylum with the crew of Voyager and because the Q enjoy the "quaintness" of humans they play along with concepts like asylum because it usually leads to something more interesting down the line.  The Q seeking asylum has to argue the case for why he wants to leave the Q-continuum and become mortal.  He takes the crew into the Q-continuum and they perceive it in a way their human brains can understand; a long, straight, infinitely-long desert road with a run-down fifties garage at the roadside.  On the porch are some people sitting and waiting.

Why don't they go somewhere more interesting?  Well, they have.  They have all (independently) decided to go to both ends of the road on a whim (yeah, I know you can't practically get there, but they did).  Why don't they talk to each other?  They have run out of things to say, they have said everything that could be said and they've all taken on both sides of the discussion.  Why don't they do something?  They've done everything, they have spent hundreds of years as the other person, they've all been the dog on the porch - or even been the porch for a millenium.  There's simply nothing left to do.  And on the infinite timescale they're not even close to a tenth of the way to the end, so they might as well wait.

It's pretty easy to see why Quincy begged to be mortal so that he could one day die.  Even knowing that there was a possibility of death and an end to it all is all he really wanted.

It's funny, but they don't like to talk to me about an eternal Heaven after that.

James
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Faerie
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« Reply #16 on: May 27, 2011, 07:51:37 AM »

An eternity of Heaven would be hell.  No matter what you get to do in Heaven, no matter how much you love doing it, eventually it will become tedious.  It's a concept that's hard for people who believe in an eternal soul to accept.

This sums up in entirety how I feel and perceive eternal life.  I often get the line of "but you'll be spending it with your loved ones and close family!!" - Yeah?  I dont particularly LIKE my close family and my loved ones are my S/O and two kids. This forms the totality of my close relationships with people, so what the hell am I to look forward to actually here again?  To spend time with my crazy dad and woo-bevarked Mom? Huh-uh, no thanks, closing my eyes to eternal sleep with zero conciousness sounds much more appealing to me.
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Rigil Kent
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« Reply #17 on: May 27, 2011, 07:59:37 AM »

It seems the feeling in general is that we don't want to live forever (even in perfect health) because we will eventually run out of things to do. And even the things we enjoy doing today, will become humdrum eventually ( I don't think this is nescesarily true, but nevertheless, lets assume that it is).

Therefor, infinite boredom is considered worse than death.

A comparatively simple creature, like a cat or a Croton, who is not overly obsessed with the mere entertainment value of life, will presumably not "mind" living forever. But wether such a creature has any concept of death in the first place is, of course, another matter.

I know nothing about souls, but if it is devoid of conciousness, and basically a "mindless creature", then eternity in Heaven may no be as agonising as it appears at first glance.

Mintaka

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AcinonyxScepticus
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« Reply #18 on: May 27, 2011, 10:07:48 AM »

A comparatively simple creature, like a cat or a Croton, who is not overly obsessed with the mere entertainment value of life, will presumably not "mind" living forever.

Smiley

So if god has any decency and wants to ensure that heaven doesn't become a hell, he'd rob us of our highest cognitive abilities and we'd be his assorted pets and pot plants in the afterlife.

We'd have no memory of having higher cognitive abilities so we wouldn't miss them.  We'd be unable to understand our own memories and (in essence) the person that we were would cease to exist - an eternal death.

I could live with that ... so to speak.

James
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Faerie
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« Reply #19 on: May 27, 2011, 10:10:44 AM »

A comparatively simple creature, like a cat or a Croton, who is not overly obsessed with the mere entertainment value of life, will presumably not "mind" living forever.

Smiley

So if god has any decency and wants to ensure that heaven doesn't become a hell, he'd rob us of our highest cognitive abilities and we'd be his assorted pets and pot plants in the afterlife.

We'd have no memory of having higher cognitive abilities so we wouldn't miss them.  We'd be unable to understand our own memories and (in essence) the person that we were would cease to exist - an eternal death.

All that bought to mind the hundreds of mentally retarded people I've seen in my life, mindlessly lolling around in their wheelchairs and dribbling from their chins whilst time just passes them by.....

By gods, thats just depressing....
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« Reply #20 on: May 27, 2011, 10:21:22 AM »

All that bought to mind the hundreds of mentally retarded people I've seen in my life, mindlessly lolling around in their wheelchairs and dribbling from their chins whilst time just passes them by.....

By gods, thats just depressing....

If we are going to be vegetables, then go all the way and be it mentally and physically.  There are trees that seem quite happy to become thousands of years old, and they don't have a particularly exciting time.

@Faerie: Congrats on post 1000.
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Rigil Kent
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« Reply #21 on: May 27, 2011, 11:18:44 AM »

So if god has any decency and wants to ensure that heaven doesn't become a hell, he'd rob us of our highest cognitive abilities and we'd be his assorted pets and pot plants in the afterlife.

Unless heaven has an endless supply of entertainment lined up to occupy and satisfy our hedonistic souls, that would seem the only option, yes. Sad

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« Reply #22 on: May 27, 2011, 12:15:26 PM »

A comparatively simple creature, like a cat

wash your mouth!!!!!
our supreme and divine overlords does not look kindly upon being referred to as 'simple'.  lazy, yes, but not simple.
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Faerie
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« Reply #23 on: May 27, 2011, 12:35:47 PM »

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Rigil Kent
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« Reply #24 on: May 27, 2011, 13:09:58 PM »

A comparatively simple creature, like a cat

wash your mouth!!!!!
our supreme and divine overlords does not look kindly upon being referred to as 'simple'.  lazy, yes, but not simple.

My unreserved apologies to all felines and their admirers. Wink

Mintaka
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« Reply #25 on: May 27, 2011, 14:30:12 PM »

One possible way to get around the inevitable ennui that must surely eventually attend eternal life would be to have a kind of memory reboot and/or erase facility — sort of a selective blue screen of death.  That is, once your memory is saturated and can’t take any more, you get to erase selected bits (or maybe even all of it) so that you can start learning things all over again.

It’s interesting to speculate what would happen to your mind if you did erase certain bits but not also erased the fact of the erasure itself.  You’d probably have far too many of those “Oh, I know that but hell if I can remember” moments.  And then you’d beat yourself up over not being able to dredge the needed memory to the surface, perhaps even knowing that you can’t.

While it would alleviate the tedium of eternity, it’d still be a pointless strategy in all sorts of ways, not least in that it would be a meta-cognitive hell.

'Luthon64
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« Reply #26 on: May 27, 2011, 14:52:41 PM »

Unless heaven has an endless supply of entertainment lined up to occupy and satisfy our hedonistic souls
I don't see how that's possible.  There can't be infinte pieces of entertainment, so even if the pieces of entertainment can number (\infty - 1) then there will come a time when the entertainment will run out and need to be repeated.

An interesting perspective is found in The Library of Babel (there is an English audio file of the short story floating around the internet somewhere but I can't find it anymore). Here's a part of it that I remember (not quoted):

In this story, our narrator describes his universe, it consists of bookshelves arranged in a hexagonal shape to close-off a room.  Each room snugly fits against another room in a repeating hexagonal pattern, layer upon layer upwards to infinity and downwards to infinity.  Each room leads up or down to other levels but also to the adjacent rooms and librarians move freely among them. 

On the shelves of these rooms are books, each and every book appears unique.  They all consist of the letters of the alphabet and punctuation arranged seemingly at random.  One book might open with the line "KLSDFK!,,L JSFKLJSF LKJ,KLJ .,OIDF-KJ" while another might consist of nothing but the letter "P" repeated to the end.  No two books have ever been found which are the same, but rumours among the librarians spread that some have been found in nearby rooms that contain short stories with many spelling errors.  The librarians have speculated that any idea ever expressed (including this one) is written down somewhere in the library, and the librarians spend their entire lives in search of these rumoured treasures.  There is also, conceivably, the idea that there is a book that catalogues the location of all other books, and because it is conceivably possible to write such a master catalogue, it must exist. But perversely, there might be thousands of duplicate master catalogues which contain errors, leading the librarian in the wrong direction.  Nobody, near this librarian's location or one who was met in this librarian's lifetime has ever found a master catalogue, or even found a partial catalogue.

But they know there is an end to the books.

The books contain 400 pages.  There are 60 characters across each page and 90 lines down the page.  There is a finite number of positions that can be filled with characters.  The characters which can appear in a position are limited to 26 alphabetical characters, 10 numerical digits and 15 punctuation marks.  There are only so many ways these can be arranged to be unique.

Because they know the library is infinite and because they know there are finitely many books, they know the books must be repeated.  As boring as it may be, there are an infinite number of exact copies of the book which starts with the line "KLSDFK!,,L JSFKLJSF LKJ,KLJ .,OIDF-KJ".

So, even in Heaven, if there's a way to express an interesting idea, a novel piece of entertainment that can be written in a book (of any length, not just 400 pages).  There are finitely-many books like that.  Even if they make the screenplay of the book, and the stage adaptation of the book, and the 3D experience of the book, and the theme park of the book, there are still finitely-many of these pieces of entertainment.  Even if it happens to be a huge number, it is still a number.  Even if the pieces of entertainment number (\infty - 1), there will be repetition, there will be a loss of novelty, there will be boredom.

James
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« Reply #27 on: May 27, 2011, 15:06:47 PM »

I'm told they make you spend the first two years (and remember, each day is as 10,000 years) learning to play the harp.  I'm bored already, just thinking about it.
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Rigil Kent
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« Reply #28 on: May 27, 2011, 15:36:11 PM »

 Even if the pieces of entertainment number (\infty - 1), there will be repetition, there will be a loss of novelty, there will be boredom.

Fair enough. I suppose it would be too much to hope that there will be anybody really and truly interested in calculating that circumference/radius thingy.

Just a small niggle, though. If I'm not mistaken (\infty - 1) = \infty

Mintaka
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« Reply #29 on: May 27, 2011, 16:08:56 PM »

Just a small niggle, though. If I'm not mistaken (\infty - 1) = \infty

Sure, that's 100% correct for all practical applications of infinity.  But the former is a "smaller" infinity than the latter and yet equal.  In order to understand the basic maths of infinity we'd have to talk about Hilbert's Hotel and to differentiate "smaller" and "larger" infinities we'd have to look at Aleph numbers.

Here's a way to look at it; think of a number to represent infinity.  This is infinity of the first kind, the one we use all the time.  If you could write that number down in decimal notation (say 9 999 999 999 was found to be infinity), would that be the largest number?  No, you could write an infinite number of 9's in a row (in our example, you could write nine million, nine hundred and ninety-nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine of the digit 9 in a row, which is obviously a bigger number).  This is the second kind of infinity.  Now is an infinite number of 9s the largest number?  No, you could put an infinite number of 9s after the decimal point to make a "bigger" infinity.  That would be a third kind of infinity.

I hope that more clearly explains the statement "it's a smaller kind of infinity".  It's all weird set theory that I don't even pretend to understand completely and I may be wrong (and am open to correction) in the interpretation of Aleph numbers, but that's the way I think of the concept.

James
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« Reply #30 on: May 27, 2011, 16:23:14 PM »

Just a small niggle, though. If I'm not mistaken (\infty - 1) = \infty
Um, not quite.  Strictly speaking, the symbol “∞” has no precise mathematical meaning and is a catch-all for magnitudes that may grow beyond any finite limit without regard for their type.  Therefore, expressions involving “∞”, such as “(∞ – 1)”, are too loose to have any significance beyond indicating that something’s bigger than can be expressed with any finite quantity.  The technically correct expression would be “אo = אo – 1” because אo is the cardinality of all sets of countably infinite things — i.e., those that can be put into one-to-one correspondence with the natural numbers (1, 2, 3, 4, …).

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« Reply #31 on: May 27, 2011, 16:49:20 PM »

Thanks Mefiante for the clarification.  That's a much better way to put it.

 Smiley
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« Reply #32 on: May 27, 2011, 17:02:37 PM »

De nada, though I’d’ve left well enough alone had I been aware of your reply before posting.  3G is especially slow today. Angry

'Luthon64
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« Reply #33 on: May 30, 2011, 15:10:37 PM »

My mother of 94 died on Saturday Cry. When you compare her size to what she used to be I cannot help but wonder what became of the rest of her that just seemed to disappear into thin air! The atom theory doesn't seem to make sense but I know it's the way it is!
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« Reply #34 on: May 30, 2011, 15:13:45 PM »

My mother of 94 died on Saturday Cry.

I'm so sorry!!! Moms are special.
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« Reply #35 on: May 30, 2011, 15:27:28 PM »

jeeslike brian, that was a good innings!  alas, nobody lives forever.  still doesnt make it less sad.
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« Reply #36 on: May 30, 2011, 15:31:12 PM »

Thanx Faerie & GCG...yes they are special: I always feel that when a mother dies, the world is a little worse off: all one hope for is that her offspring honour her memory and live up to her expectations.
Incidentally, she wished to be cremated and in Windhoek where she died, it apparently takes 5 months to be cremated! My sister lives on a farm outside the city and I said we have a lot of wood there! Is it bad of me to think that?
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« Reply #37 on: May 30, 2011, 15:35:50 PM »

My sister lives on a farm outside the city and I said we have a lot of wood there! Is it bad of me to think that?

Does it make you FEEL bad?  Who cares what others think? It all comes down on how you feel about it.

I, for one, would prefer the cheaper option every time.
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« Reply #38 on: May 30, 2011, 15:40:40 PM »

I guess it's my xtian upbringing (My mother was a Calvinist disciplinarian while my Dad was an Atheist and when he died my sister, also an atheist, placed a piece of firewood on his chest in the coffin and said: "Dad I guess where you're going to you may need that!")
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« Reply #39 on: May 30, 2011, 15:45:24 PM »

unfortunately cremation is not as easy as building a bonfire.  it's actually not the most awesome job in the world to cremate people.  just take my word for it.  the result of the insane heat is not a neat pile of ash.  some extra work is needed.
personally, i would like a sky burial, or feed me to the lions.  or dump my ass in the ocean.  or if there is simply no other way, cremation.  coffins are the most claustrophic shit ever invented.  the idea of spending my years-after in a box in the ground, shudder.
i did cremate my dead bearded dragon once.  it was very emotional.  it gives great closure.  i buried my most beloved cat in the garden, and i still feel like a dog for leaving him behind when i moved.
cremation is the way to go.  cant imagine why it would to take so friggin long to do it though.
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« Reply #40 on: June 10, 2011, 14:19:24 PM »

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« Reply #41 on: June 10, 2011, 14:24:09 PM »

unfortunately cremation is not as easy as building a bonfire.
Tell me about it.  We wanted to cremate my mother-in-law, but the crap we got from the council was unbelievable.  Apparently they've got a bylaw that says you've got to wait for the old cow to die first.  Friggin' beaurocrats.
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« Reply #42 on: June 10, 2011, 15:08:17 PM »

Tell me about it.  We wanted to cremate my mother-in-law, but the crap we got from the council was unbelievable.  Apparently they've got a bylaw that says you've got to wait for the old cow to die first.  Friggin' beaurocrats.

That's where the Barney Bernato style burial at sea comes in so handy.
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