[extropy-chat] Cryonics is the only option?

Brett Paatsch bpaatsch at bigpond.net.au
Mon Apr 16 05:28:00 UTC 2007

> From: Eugen Leitl <eugen at leitl.org>
> Subject: Re: [extropy-chat] Cryonics is the only option?

> Gradual/incremental in vivo uploading is quite a way off,

You can say that again. But you can't say how far off until you
can say how its possible to do it even in principle. And I don't
think you as a chemist can do that either.

>  since requiring
> medical devices assembled by NC-chemistry, aka machine-phase.

Do you know of anyone that is not also a believer in cryonics that thinks
machine-phase chemistry is (a) credible at all thermodynamically, and
(b) can construct a cell even in principle?

Cell grow from the inside out, not the outside in. I think the fatal flaw
in the whole nano-medicine thing is that you can't assemble the components
of a cell -  lipids, proteins, *ions* placed to drive ion pumps, from the
outside at any temperature no matter how cold. Cells being made of
biological stuff only behave as cells within the engineering constraints
of their biological stuff. ie. Temperature matters. Temperature affects
the properties of the materials.

> Working
> at below -150 C has definite advantages, since you can work with sections
> of cryogenic water glass, imaging from the surface down 
> abrasively/ablatively,
> and process data with macroscale equipment which doesn't have to be in 
> situ.

It matters not unless you can put the structure you resolve or a functional
emulation of the structure you resolve back together again.

In cryonics the emulation of the structure one would want to resolve is
the structure of ones own brain. Can't do that. Thermodynamics and
the requirement to work from outside in won't allow it.

And cryonics is nuts anyway. Creative nuts but nuts.

Theoretically, and in my view far more importantly, practically, we all
only know each other through the evidence of our senses recorded in
our brains now. We are all the makers of our own matrices quite
naturally as we model the world including others in our brains as part
of life. But we cannot remake ourselves once we are dissembled any
more than we made ourselves before we were born.

The whole cryonic idea at its best can only amount to producing a
*likeness* of someone that is missed to a degree of detail that at best
satisfies the person who is doing the emulating. Its there sentimentality
and degree of discrimination which will inevitably be the determinant
of any emulation as the to-be-emulation has no say in it.

A reanimated Eugen or Robert would be more like a photograph
a sentimental momento made to someone elses specifications than an
actual Eugen or Robert.  The actual Eugen and Robert were not
designed in the first place, genes interacted with environments to
produce once-onlys.  Nature was able to do it precisely because
she didn't give a damn what she made - anything that sort of worked
was going to be fine. You and Robert on the other hand do care.
You want to remake not just any old person that pops up - but

Your task is harder than natures as you are trying to
steer towards an outcome using materials that cannot be steered.

Actually its even harder than that. You and Robert know you can't
do a biological recreation of your brains with biological stuff so
you say you prefer an emulation. Get the information that is you
onto a non-biological substrate and you have more engineering
degrees of freedom to work with.

But *you* can't do any comparisons of the accuracy of your
emulations of organic-substrate Eugen vs inorganic-substrate
Eugen unless you actually have an actual organic-substrate
Eugen to do the comparisons against. Obviously you can't
do the comparisons as you can't be the subject and the object.
And the person that wants to remake Eugen doesn't have an
organic-Eugen to work with to get the one-copy only structures
unless they start before you go through cryonics and your
one-of-a-kind accidental structure is lost.

Someone is going to have to be extremely wealthy and extremely
fond of Eugen or Robert to want to go to the trouble and
expense of recreating Eugens and Roberts.

A moral question comes up? What have you done objectively
in your lives to justify that sort of committment? This isn't
personal. What has any transhumanist or frequenter of these
lists done to deserve the investment that would be required
of someone in the futures part to recreate you?

You might point at conversations you've recorded on the internet but
some of those may mark you as too dangerous to reanimate.

Robert might be brought back only for a horsewhippin each Ramadan :-)

I suspect that the sort of folk that hang out on these lists might be the
sort that don't get anything done. They ain't villains and they ain't heros.
They are the emminantly forgettable, not too good, not too bad, that
history forgets as soon as the generations increment a couple of times.
Remembered by their friends and the lives they touch but not much

How hard would current day Eugen or Robert work to reanimate
there 17th paternal grandfather or their 16th? Unless they did
something with their lives to earn fame or notoriety you probably
don't even know the names of those ancestors.

Brett Paatsch 

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