[extropy-chat] cryonicist living life in reverse

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Fri Mar 2 02:39:15 UTC 2007

On 3/2/07, spike <spike66 at comcast.net> wrote:

> Slight variation on a theme that has been making the rounds.  {8-]
> After reading Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five, I want to live life in
> reverse, as a cryonaut from Tralfamador:
> You start out frozen solid, but then you thaw.  You are still dead of
> course, so you get that unpleasantness out of the way right up front.
> Then you wake up alive in an old age home which really sucks at first
> because you are sick and frail, but your hearing and vision steadily
> improve, aches and pains go away and you are feeling better every day.
> Eventually you get kicked out for being too healthy.
> You enjoy your retirement and regularly give back your pension checks,
> which actually increase in buying power over time because of deflation.
> Then you start work with a big party where they take away your gold watch
> on your first day.
> You work 40 years until you're too young to work.   You go to college,
> hang with the lads, drink excessively, party, you're generally
> promiscuous.
> Any consequences of this dissipated lifestyle disappear as if by magic.
> You go to high school to prepare for the past, then primary school, you
> become a kid, you play, and you have fewer and fewer responsibilities,
> then
> none at all.  Your parents take care of everything.  They look marvelously
> healthy and sturdy these days.
> Then you become a baby, and then you are born.
> You spend your last 9 months floating peacefully in calm luxury, in
> spa-like conditions - central heating, room service on tap, and then...
> You finish off as an orgasm.

I probably shouldn't spoil a good story with philosophy, but there is no
difference between living your life forward and living your life in reverse,
provided that each expereince is exactly the same at each moment in each
case, e.g. you don't remember being 40 when you are 20. It is like imagining
that you swap places with George Bush: if you remember being you when you
are him then something interesting has happened, but if you instantaneously
swap over his body and mind for your body and mind, then no-one will notice
any difference, and in fact it could have happened while you read the last

Stathis Papaioannou
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