X-Message-Number: 16443
Date: Wed, 6 Jun 2001 03:26:55 +0000 ()
From: Louis Epstein <>
Subject: Replies to CryoNet #16422 - #16431

On 5 Jun 2001, CryoNet wrote:

> ----------------------------------------------------
> Message #16422 Date: Mon, 4 Jun 2001 16:13:16 -0400
> From: Jeffrey Soreff <>
> Subject: choice
> Louis Epstein wrote:
> >I favor very broad limits that are very firmly enforced.
> Actually, the limits you advocate seem exceedingly narrow
> to me.  I haven't seen you pick _any_ modification that
> you approve of, longevity excepted.

I haven't seen a modification proposed yet that
wasn't disturbingly radical.I think I have mentioned
some types that would be reasonable,as strengthening
bones,for example.

> ----------------------------------------------------------
> Message #16423 Date: Mon, 04 Jun 2001 16:12:51 -0500 (CDT)
> From: Eivind Berge <>
> Subject: Re: Cryonet #16417
> Mike Perry wrote:
> > Personally, I live a celibate lifestyle and sex is not so important. 
> > But I support the right to choose here as elsewhere.
> But if everybody chooses to transcend as you envision, my right to choose
> being a normal man with a normal sex life is meaningless. Life as I know it
> consists of playing the zero-sum game of competing with other men over
> women. Now I am very, very bad at it: most of my life has been exclusively
> sexual frustration; but this is the world I prefer, I am only not satisfied

> with my ability to manipulate it to get what I want. I hope that cryonics will
> provide a second chance in which I can fare better, and don't want to wake up
> only to find that women have been supplanted by asexual non-human beings.

I'm reminded of the legendary
TWILIGHT ZONE episode where
Burgess Meredith comes into a
world where at last he has all
the time in the world to read
after all distractions are
destroyed...and then shatters
his glasses.

I'm also very attracted to women,but diffident in approaching
them...and a much-extended life enhances the chance of finally
finding the right one!

> This is why I am not an extropian. I have no desire to explore the universe
> (there are no women out there), and as for superintelligence, I'm an
> anti-intellectual, I think.

There we differ...I'm an intellectual and very
interested in exploring the universe.(But the
"extropian" idea seems too anti-human for me).

> The superintelligence I might become could of course run all kinds of
> simulations, but why would he want to?

Indeed...imitations will always be imitations.
> Mike Perry himself admits that his precedent is religious, and even if his

> super-optimism is justified and everything happens like he hopes, it is nearly
> as unappealing to me as any religious scenario. If, say, Jesus is all he is
> made out to be, I see no reason to worship him. I refuse to be bullied around
> by any deity, and likewise notions that it is somehow a good idea to hasten
> the evolution of a successor race would only detract from my enjoyment of
> life right now.

It's intrinsic to deities that
whether or not we bow down to them,
they're still deities and we have no
say in the matter!

> This said, as an immortalist I too realize that the eternal return problem
> will eventually force me to change into something motivated by something
> entirely different than sex. But first I want to live, as a human, for a
> long time. *I* just want to get laid.

There is more to life than that,even if it's 
definitely an enhancement.

> ----------------------------------------------------
> Message #16425 Date: Sun, 03 Jun 2001 14:46:33 -0400
> From: James Swayze <>
> Subject: SEX and the Single Uploaded Entity--R-Rated
> Poor St. Benny, look at all the fun he and his ilk missed out on. I am
> thoroughly opposed to celibate lifestyles. Mike, I love you buddy, but
> please, GET LAID! ;) Your neglecting that aspect of life may be wrongly
> tainting your views on uploading. I'll be the first to defend a persons
> right to chose such a lifestyle but it's far too cerebral for me. Perhaps
> this is because I am celibate myself right now.

It's everybody's default lifestyle.
But add the right significant other
and people will generally abandon it.

> I most often got authoritative responses assuring me that due to the passage
> "the former things are past", that surely something far better or pure
> cerebral enlightenment would replace the base and animalistic sexual
> behavior of mere mortals. I stayed unconvinced. Here's to being ANIMALS!!
> To me there is nothing enlightened about going totally cerebral and giving
> up on sex. I know many eastern religions tend to fob this point of view off
> on followers but to me it's merely a control device. You can be cerebral and
> still enjoy one of the greatest delights humans have ever evolved, the
> ability to engage in sex simply for pleasure. Sex it's self is enlightening!

If it's enlightening,is it simply for pleasure?

I tend to be wary of those who exalt sex to
a "need" rather than a desire that can be
fulfilled or not.But on the other hand I 
reject the thesis that enlightenment comes
from celibacy.

The pleasure aspect is a bribe biologically
built into us to make sure we reproduce.
> I am all for enhancing the biological and in fact I have a cybernetic device
> within me already and will be first in line for more enhancements but some
> things may need to stay biological.

[a number of interesting points snipped]

> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Message #16429 Date: Tue, 5 Jun 2001 00:11:48 -0400
> From: "Stephen W. Bridge" <>
> Subject: CryoNet #16412 - #16418
> Anyone wanting to read a series of good, short introductions to cryonics
> should go to my list of Cryonics sites at the Open Directory Project.
> http://dmoz.org/Science/Biology/Cryobiology/Cryonics
> While there, click on the sub-category "Introductions."
> The list of cryonics sites is extensive these days, I'm glad to say.

I've noted your area on dmoz.
I found the Society for Cryobiology site there,
and posted a query on their message board as to
whether they still discriminated against those
interested in cryonics.Four months later I got
a response likening cryonics to religion...when
I had likened preemptive opposition to cryonics
to "creation scientists'' preemptive opposition
to evolution.

Like dmoz,I think cryonics falls securely within
the bounds of cryobiology.Why don't they?
> ----------------------------------------------------
> Message #16431 Date: Tue, 05 Jun 2001 00:32:14 -0700
> From: Mike Perry <>
> Subject: Re: CryoNet #16418
> >From: Louis Epstein <>
> >
> > > From: Olaf Henny <>
> > >
> > > A former client of mine who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer s
> > > was quoted to me by a mutual friend: "For all intents and
> > > purposes my life is over"  -   Two years later he was dead.
> > >
> > > Would you, Louis consider ending your life, while you are still
> > > in control of your faculties, in order to be cryo-preserved with
> > > a slim chance to live thousands of years with sound mind and body
> > > instead of watching your mind fading out with ever dimming awarenes?
> >
> >No...I would prefer to keep functioning as best I could for as long as
> >possible to increase the chance that a way of restoring me to full
> >function could be found.A gamble,but so's everything.
> Another question: would you advocate the use of force if necessary to 
> prevent an alzheimer's patient who wanted it from being suspended prior to 
> the loss of his mental faculties? In his view, *not* to be suspended is
> the suicidal act, since (he thinks) it is unlikely a cure will be found in
> time to save him. Whereas, with cryonics, at least he has a chance and, he 
> thinks, a better chance of surviving in good mental shape than with the 
> alternative.

I think that it is safer to be
unfrozen to be frozen,for the time
being.And easier to repair the unfrozen
than the frozen.

> > > ----------------------------------------------------
> > >
> > > Message #16411 Date: Sun, 03 Jun 2001 00:57:11 -0700
> > > From: Mike Perry <>
> > > Subject: Re: CryoNet #s 16400, 16402
> > >
> > > >I don't think even the most ardent cryonicist would see time 
> > > >in suspension as offering attractive quality of life,compared 
> > > >to what could be spent with breath and a pulse.
> > >
> > > Oh yeah? Suppose someone has a brain tumor. In a short time, by all
> > > appearances, it will squeeze his gray matter out his eye sockets, or
> > > otherwise transform it to goo. All he wants is to be suspended *now*, 
> > > while still in his right mind.
> >
> >There has to be a better way of containing the tumor...limiting its 
> >growth,killing its cells,or what have you.Has much been done with 
> >low-temperature needles,as has been done in other tumor operations?
> >(Freeze the tumor,let the person live!)
> Look, there are simply cases you can't deal with. If you could, people 
> would not die of brain tumors. But you know very well they do. Cryosurgery 
> is sometimes used with brain tumors, but it too doesn't always work.

In any event,you should try to be
as un-dead as you can,and being frozen
should be a last resort,not a tactical
maneuver for the sick.

> > > As it turns out, there was an escape hatch in that Thomas could
> > > have chosen to stop intake of food and fluids and die by dehydration.
> >
> >I happen to think that this should also be prohibited.
> >If the deliberate purpose of an action or inaction is
> >to die,the action or inaction can not be rationally condoned.
> In this case, the deliberate purpose was not to die but to escape death, 
> albeit by an unusual route.

You don't escape something by inviting it.
Subjecting the body to insults that could
be postponed is not preserving your life.

> > > Several Alcor patients have done that, but it is an ordeal, even with
> > > pain killers. One such person took over 10 days to die and looked like
> > > a concentration camp victim.
> >
> >People who deliberately seek death deserve only frustration.
> They were seeking life, not death. That's what cryonics is all about.
> A way of prolonging your life when other approaches look hopeless.

Hastening freezing damage is not taking
your life out of danger.

> > > Another brain cancer case I know of, whose immune system had been
> > > weakened by immunosuppressants, managed to deliberately infect himself
> > > with pneumonia so he could be suspended before his mind was gone.
> >
> >And you think he shouldn't have been prevented
> >from doing this?
> You better believe it. It's possible that some other available
> way of hastening his clinical death would have been better.

That's just it...clinical death is something
to be staved off at all costs,at all times.

> But the main point is he hastened his clinical death so he could be
> frozen with his brain in as good a shape as possible, *to maximize the
> chance of eventually being restored to good health*. His motive was
> far from "suicidal" in any normal sense.

The assumption being that his brain could be restored
from freezing more easily than it could be restored from
tumor damage.But when you're dealing with unknown future
technologies,how can you assume that??

So far,freezing damage has been more irreparable than
anything people have had to get frozen because of.

> This, of course, sidesteps the issue of whether people should have 
> the right to terminate their lives (induce clinical death) without any 
> intent of actually saving their lives--but I'll pass on this for now.
> (I think you know my position anyway.)

And I think I've made mine quite
clear also!

> >It sounds demented to me.
> Think again. This is cryonics we're talking about.

Cryonics is not demented...
getting suspended before it can
no longer be avoided is what's

> >I believe in eradicating death,not treating it as a legitimate
> >goal of a thinking person.
> Again, you're missing the point of cryonics, which is to extend life not to 
> end life.

No,I'm not.
Just pointing out that the situation in which
there is no other way is a last resort,not a
tactical maneuver.
> >We need fanatical,not conditional,opposition to death.
> The problem with fanaticism is its low margin for error. You (by 
> appearances) want to fight death, and you want to force everybody else to 
> do what you "know" is best in this regard. But future events could prove 
> you quite wrong. If cryonics turns out to work (and there are some 
> world-class scientists who think it probably will, like encryption expert 
> Ralph Merkle) it will mean that billions of lives could have been saved if 
> only the practice had been more widespread. It will also mean that those 
> people who chose to hasten their *clinical* death so their brains would be 
> in good shape when frozen were, after all, making a rational choice which 
> *should not* have been frustrated by a well-meaning outsider.

But there again,you're assuming that the
means of repair that are found will be more
able to repair frozen-ness than other brain
injuries.I'm sure that brain tumor therapies
will be found that work much better on the
unfrozen than on the frozen.

(I think I mentioned that Kim Walker reputedly
died of a brain tumor...which her character in
her best-known film had joked about?...I have
not been able to confirm that).

> > > >Well,I guess I don't know the history well enough.What organizations
> > > >have offered brain-only preservation in the past?
> > >
> > > Officially, it hasn't been "offered" in the sense of "advertised,"
> > > but  it's done on a contingency basis, depending on circumstances.
> > > Besides Alcor, I think both ACS and Trans Time have done brain-only's.
> >
> >They're functionally one now,aren't they?TTime being a provider to ACS?
> No. That was years ago.

Then has TTime stopped preserving
people?Who does do that end of the
service for ACS now?

> >As noted,I find it hard to consider a frozen brain realistically a person.
> >There are many preserved brains in anatomy departments...are they people
> >too?
> They could be. Depends on how well the memory areas are preserved, and so 
> on, something we just don't know yet. But imagine what it would mean if 
> even chemopreserved brains could be restored to being the people who once 
> possessed them--provided you haven't sliced and diced them to oblivion.

I tend to regard the possibility
as vanishingly small.

> > > >As far as transporting patients into the future goes...James Bedford
> > > >has already been taken 34 years from his clinical death.I don't know
> > > >how much better 2001's treatment of lung cancer's is from 1967's,but
> > > >revival of frozen bodies is not much less beyond us now than it was
> > > >then,I expect!
> > >

> > > On the other hand, in 1901 I bet most people would have considered powered
> > > flight about "as far beyond us" as it was in 1867, just after the Civil
> > > War. For what it's worth, I don't expect to see revival of frozen bodies
> > > in 2003 either, but progress can surprise you.
> >
> >I think it will take more like another 34 years than another 2,and quite
> >probably more than that.(Hmmm...where would Moore's Law take us by 2035?
> >I'll be 74 that year...)
> Probably it will indeed take much more than 2 years. I don't have a good 
> estimate for you on Moore's Law, except that if you double something every 
> 18 months (1.5 years) for 34 years you get about a 6.7 million-fold 
> increase. (I'll be 88 in 2035--argh!)

now what could computers 6.7 million
times as powerful as today's do?
And will they still fit within the
laws of physics?

(can't have electronic pathways
smaller than electrons,for example)

> > > >I've been told the earliest-born cryonically suspended person was born
> > > >around 1888...that could mean that the cryonicists might soon hang an
> > > >asterisk on who the oldest living person is,depending on definition.
> > > >I am presently aware of five living people documented or very likely
> > > >to be documented as born before 1888.
> > >
> > > As far as I know, James Bedford is the earliest born (of those still
> > > frozen), his DOB being April 20, 1893.
> >
> >The 1888 was an estimate I got from
> >Robert Ettinger.(When was his mother born?)
> About 1899, according to info I have (maybe Bob can get a more accurate 
> figure).

Well,I'm more interested in just when the
earliest born frozen cryonics patient was
born.SO FAR,there are still older unfrozen

(There's a woman apparently born 1888,
with a GRANDDAUGHTER older than Robert
Ettinger.The granddaughter had thought she
was older,but apparently she became a mother
even younger than first thought).

> >...anything that dehumanizes a brain is bad for it.
> >Enhancement has to be within a biological context.
> At this point, we can hardly rule out that some nonbiological construct 
> will function better than natural brain tissue and thus lead to benefits 
> for the person using it.

I am inclined to rule out that any benefit can compensate
for the loss of biological character.

> > > >A freshly printed book is not as old as the first writing of its words.
> > >
> > > The book itself, to me, is not just the printing,
> > > and it *is* as old as "the first writing."
> >
> >Don't kid yourself that any copy you pick up
> >IS the original manuscript!!
> Of course not. The original manuscript is not the book either. The book is 
> a body of information only. But you could say it is as old as when first 
> assembled or written down.

But the identity of the original is not equally possessed by
all copies thereof...their identity is as copies.

On Monday,Austrian mathematician Leopold Vietoris
turned 110 years old.My list of supercentenarians
is now 222 strong,32 last known alive and likely
living.Another man will turn 110 next month.
One in Florida turns 112 this month.

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