joeyh at

My reasoning on living forever has long been that there are exactly two possibilities:

  • At some point your mind stops changing at all, or are stuck in some form of loop forever.
  • Your mind keeps changing forever, and so must eventually completely diverge from the person you started out as.

Both are existentally terrifying, so I'm glad it's only a thought experient. Apparenlty this is called Apeirophobia and afflicts the reliigous more viscerally.

I'd happily take a thousand years to think it over some more. ;)

Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠), Christopher Allan Webber, FLWNQWUD likes this.

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Each divergence so far has been making me a better person, according to the person I became. I don't see any reason to worry more over the 1000-year span than I do over the hopeful 100-year span.

Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠) at 2016-09-03T09:49:55Z

Egan has a great discussion of this toward the end of Schild's Ladder:


“How do you carry something from here to there, and keep it the same? You move it step by step, keeping it parallel in the only way that makes sense. You climb Schild's ladder.”

Tchicaya didn't ask if the prescription could be extended beyond physics; as an answer to his fears, it was only a metaphor. But it was a metaphor filled with hope. Even as he changed, he could watch himself closely, and judge whether he was skewing the arrow of his self.

Maybe. Small errors add up. But also, I never said it wasn't a phobia. ;)

joeyh at 2016-09-03T23:04:55Z

Christopher Allan Webber likes this. there's also the possibility that your core self remains somewhat static while your experiential memories change

der.hans at 2016-09-05T16:54:35Z

Claes Wallin (at those times when has issues) likes this.