[extropy-chat] cryonicist's nightmare

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Tue Sep 5 09:40:17 UTC 2006

On Tue, Sep 05, 2006 at 08:07:18AM +0100, John wrote:
> >Remote places. Very remote places. You will notice no one builds
> >even data centers in Alaska. There is a reason for that.
> Hence the bit about the tanks being low maintenance by comparison to a lot 
> of other things. People don't build there because of the transit costs of 

Are you familiar with permafrost building codes? Transport costs (helicopter)?
Costs of maintaining a permanently manned polar station on a moving ice shield?
These costs are at least two orders of magnitude higher than, say, operating
a facility in Scottsdale. Or Michigan.


"Polar expeditions are the most costly adventures in the world, exceeded only by space travel and deep sea submerging. The main reason is cost of transportation; namely air flights. In addition, the ruggedness of the Arctic Ocean requires expensive customized heavy duty materials and high performance gear. The sled alone is hand made of Kevlar and charges at least 4500 USD (2200 USD for the lighter South Pole version).

Iljusin at Patriot HillThe logistic cost of Antarctica is around 140 000 USD per 1-2 person expedition and 250 000 USD for 3-6 (the cost is per payload). The charge includes roundtrip flight to the continent in a large heavy duty plane (Iljusin, Hercules, DC3), a few days stay at Patriot Hills Base Camp, and flight out from the SP in a Twin Otter or Cessna. The 15 minute flight out to the coast starting point (Hercules Inlet) comes extra with 7000 USD for Twin Otter (max 6 pers). Add cost for food, gear, insurance and travel to PA.

Interestingly enough, it comes cheaper to join an ANI guided South Pole expedition. The charge is around 45 000 USD per person; all air transportation, food, gas, gear, 1-3 air food drops and guide included. The reason for this prize discrepancy is another typical ANI mystery."

What if your LN transport lapses, because of snowstorm?

> moving around in the remote location. If you don't need to move much around, 
> just dump something and leave it, it's nowhere near as bad.

LN is a cheap industrial chemical. In most places. In Alaska, LN is suddenly
becoming very expensive. LN in Antarctica is prohibitively expensive. Making
LN in Antarctica is even more ludicrous. The boiloff rate difference between 
Arizona and Antarctica is negligible.

Summary: it's a remarkably stupid idea. It is usually a very
good strategy to drop stupid ideas, once having been pointed
out their shortcomings. 
> Data centers need reasonably regular maintenance and upgrading.

A cryonics facility is not a kurgan mound.
> >You aren't talking about launching stuff into space, are you?
> That was about the idea that you could build atmospheric conditioners to 
> condense CO2 out of the air in some of the coldest areas of world. It'd use 

Dry ice is much too warm.

> up lots of storage space and cost a lot, but the mica dust in space idea 
> costs a crazy amount. Putting a dewar in orbit is in no way unacceptably 

Agreed. Cryonics is crazy enough on earth. Cryonics in space is beyond
crazy, it's insane.

> risky - it's been refined to an artform. By the time we get round to 
> reanimating people, launching things that size into space may no longer be 

If you can build large cheap rockets, you can build even larger, cheaper
dewars. If you build beanstalks, you don't have to freeze people -- you'll
start nanoreconstructing people.

> prohibitively expensive. And I suspect we will reach that stage prior to 

We don't freeze, we vitrify. Vitrification is likely to give you a
viable (say, 10%) organ retransplant within less than a decade. 
Calling it frozen burger is uninformed.

> reanimating what amounts to an already diseased frozen burger.

LN is cheaper than milk. Launching a kg into LEO (at unacceptable failure
rate, mark) costs several k$/kg: 
Your costs will be far higher, because your parking orbit has to be several Mm up.

A neuro costs $50/annum LN boiloff -- at a very low risk of
catastrophic failure. 


"Premium rates are highly dependant on the complexity of the satellite and may be as high as 20% of the sum insured for the launch and first year in-orbit period. The yearly in-orbit rate is in the area of 1.5 up to 3.5% and will not only be a reflection of the technical health status of the satellite but also of the coverage required and the amount of margins, deductibles, redundancies etc."

At 20%, what do you think the odds are? Pretty close
to playing russian roulette, I'd hazard. Not a good
sell to risk-averse clientele, I'm afraid.
> >nevermind that with the costs you could buy diamond-studded
> >platinum dewars.
> Diamond is an excellent thermal conductor, you wouldn't want that on your 
> dewar. Sequins, maybe.

You could build excellent dewars from isotopically pure diamond.
(You'd have to engineer the neck bridge properly). 
The insulation is done by vacuum and IR barriers.

(Comebacks sound better, when they at least make some sense
in some domain).
> >That's Just Not The Problem. The bulk of costs are elsewhere.
> Agreed. Although, if you could get them into space the remaining storage 
> cost would be virtually zero. You'd have to offset the launch capital 

In theory, in some remote future. In a future remote enough where
nanoreconstruction is possible. It's about the same as paleolithic
futurists plotting trading routes for chert and flint for 2006 A.D. 
By the time you're there it's Just No Longer Relevant.

> Just a thought, not really all that serious since cryonics is really only a 
> fail safe for me.

Your odd calculations are askew. With an overwhelming probability,
you'll die just fine, so cryonics will be your only option. And
given how little progress the meek logicistics and politics have
shown in the last half century, you might well have to fight the
same issues half a century from now. Assuming, you have half a 
century, of course. So how's your CR going? Nutrition? Excercise? 
At least, metformin much?

Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
ICBM: 48.07100, 11.36820            http://www.ativel.com
8B29F6BE: 099D 78BA 2FD3 B014 B08A  7779 75B0 2443 8B29 F6BE
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