JOIN Hello...

From: Perry E. Metzger (
Date: Thu Apr 17 2003 - 16:16:07 MDT

Well, since it seems to be practice to mention that one has joined
this list, "Hello!"

I'm a dilettante with a strong interest in the sort of issues
discussed in Extropian/Transhuman circles. Unfortunately, I'm not as
well informed as I'd like to be -- I know too little about far too
many things. One of my big goals for the future is to learn a lot more.

To make this message more useful to readers, I'll mention several
neat articles I've read in the last few days:

   Treatment with adult stem cells has cured mice suffering with a
   form of multiple sclerosis, say Italian researchers. Almost a third
   of the mice recovered completely from paralysis of their back legs,
   and the rest all showed substantial improvement.

   WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two teams of scientists reported on
   Wednesday they found a genetic mutation that causes children to die
   of old age, and said their research offered both a way to find a
   cure and insights into normal aging.

   Is there a copy of you reading this article? [...] The simplest
   and most popular cosmological model today predicts that you have a
   twin in a galaxy about 10^(10^28) meters from here. This distance
   is so large that it is beyond astronomical, but that does not make
   your doppelganger any less real. The estimate is derived from
   elementary probability and does not even assume speculative modern
   physics, merely that space is infinite (or at least sufficiently
   large) in size and almost uniformly filled with matter, as
   observations indicate.

This last article is the latest output from Max Tegmark, this time in
the form of an informative lay article in SciAm summarizing what we
know at the moment on the notion of parallel worlds. It covers both
that which we're reasonably sure about and that which we aren't. I
think Max's "Is `The Theory of Everything' Merely the Ultimate
Ensemble Theory?" paper, which I first read some time ago, is one of
the bigger mind-twisters out there, but the fact that an infinite
universe implies infinite numbers of me (shades of Borges' "Library of
Babel" only with Hubble volumes instead of print volumes) was
something I hadn't heard about before now, never mind how obvious it
is in retrospect, and is still pretty damn mint-twisting.

Perry E. Metzger

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