[extropy-chat] Cryonics is the only option?

Thomas Thomas at thomasoliver.net
Mon Apr 16 15:55:00 UTC 2007

ben wrote

>[...] What occurs to me is that, as long as your brain is kept alive and can
>communicate with the outside world, you are surviving. The rest of the
>body doesn't matter, it can be regarded as a life-support system for the
>brain, as well as providing transport, sense organs and communication.
I have the impression that patterns I've learned are embodied in 
connections throughout my (including the periferal) nervous system.  I 
think the rest of the body does matter.  

>Given a constant blood supply, a brain can stay alive even if the rest
>of the body is gone, or damaged beyond repair (This doesn't apply, of
>course, if your problem is a damaged brain, but the vast majority of
>cases of death boil down to one simple thing: The brain starves of oxygen).
If you can keep a brain alive and oxygen fed, why not conserve what's 
left of your body as well?  I had friends with undamaged brains who 
would have survived to this day if their spouses had not agreed to "pull 
the plug."  

>So, how about a replacement body? An artificial life-support system. It
>wouldn't at first be anything like a human body, probably more like a
>roomful of equipment, but that could change as more developments are made.
This "throw away and replace" method has evolved to sustain replication. 
 It works well for fruit flies, but not so well for sustaining a complex 
personal identity.  Transhuman, I think, means better brain and body. 
 An artificial body that keeps me imprisoned in a lab would be a step 
backwards.  Dialectic maybe, but I think we'd do better to preserve and 
enhance as much of the human as possible.  I imagine "brains in a 
jar"will eventually want a body and even a used "fixer upper" will seem 
appealing.  So I think your idea has merit.  I'd just prefer to include 
more of me.  -- Thomas

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