X-Message-Number: 16414
Date: Sun, 3 Jun 2001 12:21:29 EDT
Subject: Coetzee, Morgan questions

In connection with Jan Coetzee's recent remarks, I might remind readers of 
the advantages and disadvantages of prepaying the CI suspension fee in cash, 
as a number of people (including me) have done.

The main advantage is that no one (relative or whatever) can interfere with 
the payment at time of death. It is done. Secondary advantages: You are 
guaranteed against any price increase (except possibly for more advanced 
methods). You are a permanent voting member without paying voting dues. And 
you can still change your mind (on 90 days written notice) and receive a full 
refund, without interest (but no one else can make the request on your 
behalf, and you must be competent at the time). 

The only disadvantage of which I am aware is that you lose the interest or 
dividends that you might earn if you keep the money invested instead. If this 
is important to you, you could use our approved form of Revocable Living 
Trust, under which you keep control and all gains, the assets going to CI 
only upon your death. This is a slightly less certain procedure, since 
anything not actually consummated at time of death is more vulnerable to 
litigation or error.
Mr. Morgan again raised the question of memory retention after freezing, 
which has been discussed many times, and which Thomas Donaldson's 
"Periastron" regularly updates. The bottom line, I believe, is that our 
knowledge of memory is far from complete, but there are hopeful indications.

Audrey Smith's hamsters, after an hour or two at the freezing point, with ice 
crystals in the brain, recovered normal behavior, which would seem to imply 
recovered memories. Many human patients have reportedly recovered after 
ice-cold surgery for aneurysms. Some children have recovered after being 
drowned in cold water for up to about an hour, perhaps more.

The INC and other work with the rat hippocampus has provided encouragement. 

There are not only several types of memory (e.g. memories of sights, sounds, 
smells, emotions, etc.; memories of behavior patterns and motor responses, 
etc) but there are also questions of storage of memories as distinct from 
access to memories; etc., etc. 

I think Thomas has pointed out that, for a while, there were indications that 
some kinds of memory are stored in the connections between neurons; but 
recent evidence of the constant changes in these connections makes that a bit 
more doubtful. 

But it is certainly true that people have recovered memory after cessation of 
brain waves, which was one of Mr. Morgan's questions. 

Incidentally, once when I was young, after anaesthesia, after awakening, my 
first question was not "Where am I?" or "Who am I?" but "What am I?" (I still 
don't know, exactly.)

Robert Ettinger
Cryonics Institute
Immortalist Society

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