[ExI] Essential Upload Data (was: Subject: Boltzmann brains)

John Clark johnkclark at gmail.com
Fri May 15 13:17:36 UTC 2020

On Thu, May 14, 2020 at 6:02 PM Re Rose via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

*> John, it sort of feels like you're missing my points. 1) By "magic" I
> did not mean impossible, I meant that we don't have technology to do the
> things you proposed.*

Well of course we don't. Cryonics is a unproven technology and will remain
that way until the day it becomes obsolete. The only way to prove it works
is to bring a person back from being frozen, and if we have the ability to
repair all that damage then we can certainly turn a sick person into a
healthy person and so we won't need Cryonics anymore.

> *> Nanotech to repair tissue fracture is just an idea, we don't have the
> technology, and we don;t know if and when it will emerge. *

We know that Nanotech needs no new scientific principles to work and we
know that nature has developed a crude version of it called "life".

> > *I do not plan to reply on the apprarance of a technology that may
> never exist.*

If you're going to bet on Cryonics then you've got no choice but to rely
on, not new science but, new technology. We need smaller fingers.

> > *I think forms of nanotech repair are clearly possible, but there will
> most likely be limits in the prescision of placement of the atoms. And
> repairs of fractures in, for example, the spinal cord will require good
> precision.*

To have any hope of bringing somebody back we don't need good precision we
need extraordinarily superb precision, and if repair technology is not good
enough to fix a displacement caused by a simple fracture then it doesn't
have a chance of repairing the other far more complex forms of damage
caused by even the best freezing technology that exist today. Forget
cracking, the important thing is to do everything you can to avoid chaotic
turbulence when the tissue freezes because if that happens then very small
changes in initial conditions could lead to huge changes in outcome and so
you'll never figure out where things were before they were frozen, and ASC
is the best method I know of to avoid turbulence at the micro scale.

> *Cheap it may be, but I believe storage at higher temps - as high as
> feasible for cryopreservation - is what I think has better chances of
> reanimation. No need for refrigeration, an enclosure can be designed with
> liquid nitrogen that has a natural temperature gradient. The cooling will
> still be passive, the same amount of LN2 will be required, but the vessel
> will be much larger.*

It's simple and cheap to store a brain at -196C, you just put it in a big
thermos and pore in some liquid nitrogen, but to evenly store it at -135C
would be complex and expensive, you'd need all sorts of fans and heat
exchangers and sensors and a computer network to manage it all, and that is
a lot of places where a catastrophic failure could occur. I don't
understand why you're so worried about fractures, things would be solid so
there is no way the transition from -135C to -196C could be as a chaotic
flow, it would be a simple displacement and thus be easy to figure out
where things are suposed to go. To bring somebody back you're going to have
to do a lot of things more complex than that.

> *By what technology can ASC be used to replace a human brain?*

The information that ASC preserves can be used to replace a human brain in
a number of different ways. Electronics would be the most obvious method,
another possibility would be Drexler's atomic scale mechanical computers.
You could even go old school and make another biological brain if you could
find a reason for making use of such obsolete technology.  I can't think of

>* I still prefer cryopreservation of original tissue*

The atoms in your brain get recycled every few months and if you've seen
one carbon atom you've seen them all, so exactly what is so original about
that "original tissue"?

*> 4) I don't think my atoms differ from your atoms. I don;t even think the
> atoms are important. I think my system and the information in the
> arrangement of my system is of surpeme importance,*

I most certainly agree, in fact preserving that information is the only
thing that is important.

> *and I am not sure that can be copied, by nanotech or any other methods.
> Maybe it can. I am saying I do not know for sure*

When it comes to Cryonics there is a lot we don't know for sure, so we just
do the best we can, and currently as proven by a electron microscope, the
best way to preserve brain information for the long term is ASC. Is it good
enough to bring somebody back if we had Nanotech?  I hope so but I'm not

> *> Each neuron in a working brain has between 10-10,000 dendrites, each
> dendrite has between 10-10,000 dendritic spines, a large percentage of
> which are dynamically remodelling. The connetions of each neuron (and there
> are 1000 types of neurons in the human brain) travel all over the brain,
> informing neurons near and far, in networks the pathways and correlations
> of which we do not know. Thats where the information lies.*

I know that's where the information lies, and the best way to preserve that
information with the least amount of distortion is through ASC. We know
that for a fact because it produces the best Electron Microscope pictures.
And dendritic spines are absolutely ENORMOUS compared to atoms, and the
very definition of Nanotechnology is the control of matter at the atomic
level. If Nanotechnology is impossible then Cryonics doesn't have a
snowball's chance in hell of ever working, but I don't see how that could
be the case. I mean
how do you think all those dendritic spines came into existence in the
first place? Through nature's own crude form of nanotechnology that's how.
And what random mutation and natural selection can do a intelligent
designer, aka people and computers, can do better.

* > And I didn;t even mention the chemical (neurontransmitter, ionic
> concentrations) information.*

That's just more atoms in various positions.

*> Recovery of a system like this is a daunting task. *

It certainly is! That's why we can't do it right now.

> *> Save your original brain. *

OK let's save it as best we can. ASC would save your brain, not with zero
distortion, but with the least amount of distortion currently known. The
best we can do is the best we can do so let's just hope it's good enough.

>  *I say ASC is complete brain desctruction. The information may or may
> not be saved - we don;t yet know where the information is,*

I agree, the information may or may not be saved, maybe chaotic motion sets
in during freezing and even ASC can't preserve enough vital information to
bring you back, but if ASC isn't good enough then Alcor's current method
certainly isn't good enough either because we know for a fact from electron
microscope pictures that ASC does a better job at preserving information
with less distortion.

> > *YOu can have raw data, like back in 2000 when we had the human genome.
> remember that? There were coffee table bvooks with the sequence printed
> out. But the sequence alone - raw data - was meaningless. We are still
> learning, 20 years later, how to interpret it. By no means can that data be
> used to reconstruct a human *unless* you have tons of other information.*

If you want to preserve the information on what makes you be you then ASC
is the way to go. And you don't have to understand all the intricacies of
the human genome to xerox a coffee table book containing it, a child could
do it. And you don't have to have deep thoughts or a poetic soul to spell
check a book of poetry, you just need to know how to spell.

*8) YES I WOULD CARE!! That's my whole point! A copy is not and can never
> be you because "you" are a whole being, an agent - not fully described by
> information in your brain alone. A copy is a copy and when placed in
> another body, you are not in it.*

I'm sorry Rose but that objection just makes no sense. Atoms are constantly
shifting into and out of your body but that makes no difference because
atoms don't have our names scratched on them. And unless you were
specifically told you'd have no way of even knowing if any additional
copies of you had been made. In fact in this context I don't even know what
"original" and "copy" mean. Are you the original Rose or was that the Rose
of one year ago? What about the Rose of 2 years ago, or 3, they all have
different atoms and some have longer memories than others.

> *> If someone makes a copy of you while you sleep (or at any time earlier)
> and puts it in another body, and then kills you - you are dead.*

What if I gave you proof that is exactly what happened to you last night,
would you now feel dead? What if I gave you proof that happened every time
you went to sleep since you were born? Suppose every hour your body was
destroyed and instantly replaced by an exact copy, now let's do the
replacement every minute and then every second and then every nanosecond.
Through it all you notice nothing unusual and just go on and live your

> > *You will have no access to the mind of the copy.*

If you are the copy then you have the exact same access to her past
memories that she has, both will remember being Rose yesterday, but the two
of you will have different futures, you will have diverged because from the
instant of copying onward the 2 individuals will be in different places and
be seeing different things and be forming different memories.

John K Clark
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