[extropy-chat] Cryonics is the only option?

John Grigg desertpaths2003 at yahoo.com
Mon Apr 16 10:28:13 UTC 2007

I comment: discussion from John Grigg

Brett Paatsch <bpaatsch at bigpond.net.au> wrote:    > From: Eugen Leitl 
> 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.

  I comment:
  Will this statement still hold true a century from now?  Two centuries from now?  Five centuries from now?  A millennia from now?  Two millennia from now?  Our current technology would seem nearly "impossible" to scientists from a century or even half century in the past.  At least it would if it were described to them and they were expected to justify how it would actually successfully work.  When you are floating in a liquid nitrogen dewar, you can afford to wait a *long time* if necessary.  
And cryonics is nuts anyway. Creative nuts but nuts.

  I comment:
  I view cryonics as a lottery ticket to the future.  But the odds of cryonics working over the long haul is FAR greater than the odds of anyone ever winning at the lottery.  And the payoff would be far greater.
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.

  I comment:
  You are placing limits on cryonic reanimation based on present-day science and the limited technologies it has so far produced.  Your comment strikes at the heart of so many classic cryonics discussions as to whether the damage of ischemia and freezing can be limited enough that the bulk of your identity/information is not lost.  Centuries from now they may dredge up the comments in your post and laugh at it in a TransVision 2207 A.D. Conference because the technology WAS developed to actually bring back the frozen original, rather than simply make a facsimile copy.     

  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.

  I comment:
  I thought with the advent of mature nanotech (let's say around 2100 at the latest) and A.I. that the cost of reanimating/recreating a cryonaut would be very affordable, even to the point of being much less expensive in resources as compared to even doing an open heart surgery operation in our present day.    
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?

  I comment:
  Considering that the investment to bring them back will not be very large, they will not have to be "Abraham Lincoln" caliber men and women to be considered worthy of being brought back. lol  I think a future society of at least fairly enlightened people and machines would want to bring back most if not all cryonauts simply as part of the ethical imperative to cherish human life.  
You might point at conversations you've recorded on the internet but
some of those may mark you as too dangerous to reanimate.

  I comment:
  Well, the people/machines of the future could always put "crime inhibitors" into our violent and scheming little minds to keep us well behaved.  Or they could put any potential trouble makers on a well-guarded and isolated island or space colony.
Robert might be brought back only for a horsewhippin each Ramadan :-)

  I comment:
  Or he might be brought back to fight as a grunt against the hostile invading armies of rogue A.I. or reptilian alien monsters who are the current big threat!  "Mr. Bradbury, we will now carry out our very experimental procedure on you to turn you into a living utility fog of fighting fury."  "Let's not discuss the myriad ways this process could go horribly wrong..."  : (  
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

  I comment:
  I must painfully admit I fit that description! lol  But you have folks like Anders, Max, Natasha, Robert, Brent, Eliezer, Damien, etc. who for various reasons would be worth bringing back.  Please remember, the people of the future will most likely want to "show off" and reanimating cryonauts would be a great way to do it with the whole world/space watching!  
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.

  I comment:
  I bet if it was within their power that they actually would work to reanimate them.  And that they would do this even if these men were not famous.  Family history is something people often find very addictive and when family history meets reanimation technology, it will only increase on its grip on people.
  I am a strong believer in the march of technological progress and that as the decades, centuries and millennia go by, all these technical concerns of yours will be successfully overcome.  But I will say that those who think they will be brought by the 21st or even 22nd Century may find themselves in the wrong.  It may take much longer than even that.  
  I do realize that the information/matter must be available for the A.I. and nano machines to have something to actually work with.  I once knew a fellow who was convinced that even a SEVERELY damaged/ischemic brain with massive/near total information loss could experience a full restoration via future super technologies. lol  Now perhaps a millennia from now "time scanners" would allow views of this brain which could lead to a reanimation.  But even then this would really just be an excellent recreation of the deceased person.  I think to deal with this problem successfully we would need a full-fledged time machine! lol
  Most of us hold our lives dearly and I think this is the way it should be.  We hope through cryonics or restricted calorie diet or a singularity that we will make it to the distant shore of incredible nanotech prosperity and indefinite lifespan.  But at least some of us realize this just may not happen for us as individuals.  But time will tell in the end.  I don't see Ray Kurzweil going down without a fight! :  )
  Today is my 40th birthday (how did I ever get so dang old??) and it seems like only yesterday I was in my early twenties.  I have suffered enough from the vicissitudes of life (and my own bad decisions, lol) to already question whether I would really want to live for centuries or even millennia.  I realize the society I would live in at that point would be so much greater/fun/enlightened than our own but still I wonder how much pain I would bear there (and how much pain others would).  I would say for not only my own sake but those who have come before me by decades or even centuries, I hope there is an afterlife.  I have a feeling most of us will find out in the end, with or without cryonics.   
  John Grigg
Brett Paatsch 

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