[ExI] donor head

spike at rainier66.com spike at rainier66.com
Wed Apr 28 18:04:21 UTC 2021



I heard some news this morning that made my day completely, even before breakfast.


I went out on a stroll and was talking to my neighbor, hell of a nice guy, had a bad episode in the hospital 4 yrs ago, doctors errors, kidneys failed, they managed to work it back up to about 5% function, medics have been keeping him alive (after a fashion) since then with meds and dialysis supplementing his limited remaining kidney, but he has been damn sick since then.  He is low on the transplant priority list because of his age, and he doesn’t grow any younger while he waits and hopes.


This morning he seemed upbeat way more than usual, more than I have seen him in a long time.  Turns out they found a match for his oddball tissue type and he is going to get a kidney as soon as they can get the arrangements made, possibly as soon as Friday.


I have long been a registered organ donor, but it occurred to me about 20 yrs ago that it is in possible conflict with cryonics.  I think the organ people harvest what they want before Alcor even gets a chance.  I am not currently signed up for cryonics.


An idea occurred to me.  If humanity ever advances enough to try to upload a frozen brain, it is highly likely that the early cases would need to be done destructively: we would need to take that brain apart in order to try to create a sim of it.  So that first guy would have only one chance without the benefit of later technology, and even if it works, all else being equal there is no reason to think it better to wake up in 2521 than in 2321.  So the Alcor clients suffer from the politeness paradox: After you, no after you, no I insist, ladies first, no I insist, I am identifying as a man today, after you please…


OK then, someone hasta volunteer to go first.


Possible way out of the politeness paradox in the spirit of organ donation: I would donate my head to Alcor, understanding that the first attempts are likely to fail but may be highly educational for Alcor.  So… I gave my bride my heart (figuratively), I give anything else the Stanford medics can use including my literal heart, then arrange for Alcor to have an experimental head, one which Alcor already knows well because of my writings in this forum.  It would allow Alcor to measure how much of me made the trip across the centuries: does the uploaded brain write stuff like this?  If not, that process didn’t work.  No silly ideas, no spike.  It ain’t really me.


This whole notion isn’t as self-sacrificing as it sounds really.  Currently I am not signed up, so I wouldn’t actually be risking anything volunteering to be an experimental donor head, willing to go first.


In the meantime, nothing can happen today which would turn it into a bad day, after learning that my neighbor is likely to get well soon.


Next time you are tempted to despair over some goofy thing, ask yourself: are your kidneys working?  Mine are too.  Life is good.



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