[extropy-chat] cryonicist's nightmare

Robert Bradbury robert.bradbury at gmail.com
Mon Sep 4 13:56:03 UTC 2006

On 9/4/06, BillK <pharos at gmail.com> wrote:

> But the French couple's journey into the future ended prematurely
> when, 22 years after his mother's body was put into cold storage,
> their son discovered the freezer unit had broken down and they had
> started to thaw.

He should *never* have done this.  While thawing and refreezing will cause
more damage to the cells it is completely unclear whether it disrupts the
ultrastructure sufficiently that recovery would be impossible.  Mind you it
might shift you from the "nanomedical cellular recovery" queue to the
"complete mind upload" queue -- but there are significant probabilities that
*all* cryonic suspendees will end up in that queue anyway!

IMO there is a gross lack of understanding within the cryonics community of
the impact of rapid sigularity era technologies on the choices that they
should be specifying *before* they are suspended.

For that matter, the DNA from the sperm was probably still viable and in a
few years could have been sequenced and reconstructed.  But if the point is
having sperm for current era treatments then yes it would be sad.  (Though
its not as if it would be tremendously difficult to get more anonymous donor

This is another point that worries me about cryonics companies. If
> they did get a freezer failure there would be a very strong temptation
> to just refreeze the bodies, keep quiet about it and carry on taking
> the maintenance fees. After all, nobody is going to find out until
> long after the present company employees have died themselves.

As pointed out above, refreezing the bodies is the correct thing to do.  But
I presume most of the Cryonics company employees are signed up for
reanimation -- so in theory they would be around for civil suits once they
come back.  Its an untested area -- whether one can sue (or jail) someone
who has "come back from the dead".

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