X-Message-Number: 16449
Date: Wed, 6 Jun 2001 15:02:31 +0000 ()
From: Louis Epstein <>
Subject: Replies to CryoNet #16433 - #16442,Bremont dead

On 6 Jun 2001, CryoNet wrote:

> ----------------------------------------------------
> Message #16433 Date: Tue, 05 Jun 2001 02:14:32 -0700
> From: Kennita Watson <>
> Subject: Re: "Choosing death"
> >From discussion with Louis Epstein:
> > If the deliberate purpose of an action or inaction is
> > to die,the action or inaction can not be rationally condoned.
> > ...
> > People who deliberately seek death deserve only frustration.
> > 
> > I believe in eradicating death, not treating it as a legitimate
> > goal of a thinking person.
> > 
> > We need fanatical,not conditional, opposition to death.
> > 
> This entire discussion seems to me to be being conducted on the basis of 
> a false premise -- that those who are cryopreserved are "choosing to die".
> Au contraire!  Such people are condemned to die, by age, injury, or
> disease, and are choosing cryopreservation as their only current chance
> to live.

The issue is not choosing cryopreservation.

The issue is ACCELERATING cryopreservation
when one is still capable of postponing it.

Remember...the goal of cryonics is not getting
INTO cryopreservation but getting OUT of it.
> Louis seems to be expecting those on death row, whose sentences are to
> be carried out very soon, to pray for a last-minute pardon without even
> knowing that there is anyone to take the case, much less how to pursue
> it.  The cryonicists at least are working on a stay of execution.

No,in the case of those who jump the gun,
they're gambling that if they hurry 
to the electric chair ahead of schedule,
they have a better chance that the juice
won't fry them completely.

> I venture to assert that people with brain cancer or other terminal 
> ailments try everything possible to halt/reverse it, and only when 
> their attempts fail do they consider cryopreservation. 

But by seeking death by dehydration,etc.,
they are attempting to make sure that
their attempts fail.

> If the odds of dying by doing nothing are greater than the odds of
> dying by being cryosuspended, then cryosuspension is the rational choice.

But those who seek to get cryosuspended before
they have to are not just choosing to be
cryosuspended,they are choosing to forego a
portion of their otherwise-guaranteed conscious 

> ----------------------------------------------------
> Message #16434 Date: Tue, 05 Jun 2001 03:07:47 -0700
> From: Kennita Watson <>
> Subject: Irreconcilable differences
> Louis Epstein wrote:
> > In any event, [Venturism] seems to incline toward 
> > atheism, which I consider a ridiculous position.
> Now that that's on the table, can we admit that this is basically 
> a religious argument, and that the differing views of cryonics, 
> euthanasia, uploading, etc. are consequences of that basic
> disagreement?
> Louis, unless I sorely misread the Cryonet audience, it is heavily 
> populated by atheists (I'm an agnostic myself -- see my Web page)
> many of whom who may take umbrage at having their convictions 
> referred to as "ridiculous" (if they don't dismiss the barb out of
> hand).

In my first cryonet message,I made clear that
I noted the high apparent population of atheists,
and that I was not one.

That I consider the existence of an Infinitely
First Cause of existence necessary for there to
be any existence does not mean that my views on
the issues above are "religious".I do not believe
in divinely-ordained churches or scriptures.
I just consider that there has to be a reason
for That-Which-Is,that this reason is by definition
"God",and that "it just is" is no explanation,but
a refusal to explain.(The correct answer to "Why?"
is "God",not "because!").

(Pay close attention to that word "Infinitely"
above...it completely negates the tired old
then-who-created-God riposte).

> ----------------------------------------------------
> Message #16438 Date: Mon, 04 Jun 2001 20:25:45 -0500
> From: david pizer <>
> Subject: One chance only
> Only one chance - this is it. 
> The thing that is so special about working to promote biological
> immortality is not only that this project, when completed, will have been
> the most important thing that humans have ever done in the history of
> humanity.  But what makes biological immortality so very unique is that
> there isn't any other project imaginable, outside of advancing a divine
> purpose - if one exists,  that will ever be as important as it is/was.  So
> this is your one and only chance to work on the most important thing that
> can ever be done.  Once humanity has biological immortality, all other
> projects you might become a part of, if you are still around, take a back
> seat.

Well,what some here are proposing
to either seek preferentially or
uncomplainingly settle for is not
BIOLOGICAL immortality,but some form
of INFORMATIONAL immortality.

I don't want to be the plays of
Aeschylus or Epic of Gilgamesh...I
want to stay a real person,

> The very first thing to be done for one who wants to be a part of this
> unique project is to get personally signed up, at this time.  Only then,
> should you go out and try to help others.  You should not be taken
> seriously as a supporter of biological immortality, if you are not at least
> signed up for cryonics suspension. 

Your impression of the fundamentalness
of cryonics to immortalism is not shared
by everyone out to not age.How many of
Saul Kent's customers at LEF are signed-up
cryonicists, do you think?

All strategies need to be evaluated.
After all,it's generally anticipated that
by the time cryonics patients can be
successfully thawed,those who haven't been
frozen in the first place can be kept alive
even more easily in the face of whatever
got those patients frozen.

> I would also think it was acting irresponsibly if someone was advocating
> biological immortality and was not, at the very least, signed up for
> suspension, since often actions are counted more than words.

Clearly,a Venturist-cryonicist
would think that,but not everyone
out to become immortal is one.

> ----------------------------------------------------
> Message #16440 Date: Tue, 05 Jun 2001 22:09:17 -0700
> From: Mike Perry <>
> Subject: Re: Cryonets #16417, 16425, 16428
> At 09:00 AM 6/5/2001 +0000, you wrote:
> >From: Eivind Berge <>
> >
> >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.
> Well, I suppose you could create a partner for yourself; that ought to be 
> possible, though you might have to wait till space is available or move off 
> planet...

Are you anticipating a future of
great overcrowding,then?

(Of course,this can be a consequence
of overindulging in sex...)

> >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! ;)
> Well, James, I appreciate your sentiments, and also I do feel for you in 
> your own immense frustration and general state of being different than 
> you'd like to be, but you have to realize, I just don't see it the way you 
> and most others do. Also, though it may be nit-picking, I think the orgasm 
> is really felt in the brain, and the fact that you haven't been feeling it 
> is due to lack of stimulation in the right areas rather than the nerve 
> locus itself being somewhere else. (Somebody more knowledgeable about the 
> brain may wish to comment.)

Well,whatever drives the imput channel
for that part of the brain is disconnected,
it would seem.If there's no way of stimulating
the part of the brain without that input-driver,
the necessary equipment for the desired result
can't be said to be functional.
> ...
> [What follows is from Louis Epstein's posting, #16428, with me leading off:]
> > > As one case in point, the clock started out as an imitation sundial and
> > > was arguably inferior but now has far surpassed its "original." The
> > > same could be said of many other inventions.
> >
> >Such as...?
> Printing from movable type (imitation handwritten text), the horseless 
> carriage, the electric light (imitation lamps and candles), photography 
> (imitation of the painter's art, and not in color at first), movies 
> (imitation of live performance), to take a few more cases. For some of 
> these it's not true that the invention has totally overwhelmed its 
> prototype; people still watch Shakespeare's plays, for instance, but you 
> don't have the special effects on stage that you have in the movies either.

In a lot of these cases it's a matter
of being a substitute where the genuine
article is not available or convenient.
A CD-player is more compact than a symphony
orchestra,but it doesn't replace it in
its function.In other cases,it's a different
means of achieving the function not really
aimed at imitating the older EXCEPT in
> >...
> > > The Society for Venturism, which endorses and promotes cryonics,
> > > is legally recognized as a religious organization in the U.S.
> >
> >I've heard of it,hence my statement that I wasn't
> >a Venturist in my first Cryonet posting.
> >
> > > (see the website http://www.venturist.org, especially "About Us").
> >
> >In any event,it seems to incline toward atheism,
> >which I consider a ridiculous position.
> You have the right to your opinions. The Venturist organization is not 
> officially atheistic but its members generally are. In my book I develop
> my own views which amount to "atheism with a concept of divinity"--not
> the usual variety of atheism but not professing belief in a sentient God
> either (and not agnostic either).

I have sometimes described myself as
a "strongly theistic secular humanist",
and others as a "plain-vanilla theist".
I don't consider God particularly "personal"
but consider the existence of the Infinitely
First Cause (aka God) to be the necessary
precondition for the existence of anything
at all.

A church that is broad enough to permit
its members to be atheist is broad to the
point of theological uselessness.

> ...
> >Venturism from my reading has appeared to be
> >a sort of L-Ron-Hubbard-of-cryonics...seeking
> >the guise of a religion for material advantage
> >without a sincere belief in something beyond
> >the believer's ability to shape.
> It isn't exactly that, though in one respect we do seek a material 
> advantage in providing support to cryonicists who want to avoid autopsy for 
> religious reasons. Based on the Venturist perspective, however, there is 
> certainly grounds for belief in something beyond the believer's ability to 
> shape. If you want a happy immortality, you have to respect things like the 
> laws of physics, as well as how people (including the advanced beings we'll 
> hopefully become) interact and will continue to interact, which are not 
> just arbitrary. The Venturist organization, on the other hand, is intended 
> to be something of an umbrella for groups with more specific or specialized 
> attitudes or beliefs, rather than a "mother church."

But there has to be an answer to
"why are there laws of physics?" that
isn't just a ducking of the question.
I call that answer God.

In declining medical procedures for
religious reasons one becomes a strange
bedfellow of Jehovah's Witnesses and
Christian Scientists,which can be less
than productive.

> >(The things that really matter matter because they can never change.
> >Ultimate truth exists completely independent of belief in it.I have
> >no appreciation for subjectivism).
> I am not a relativist either.
> >In seeking to be a religion but not a religion,so that its believers 
> >can believe whatever else they like,it falls down and simply isn't one
> >that I can see as such.
> Adherents can't just believe whatever they like, though a rigid list of 
> dogmas is not enforced.

I said "whatever ELSE they like",meaning 
that certain core beliefs about cryonics 
were all that united the Venturists.

> >I'm secular in my outlook,but strongly theistic,and consider there to be
> >rules all ought to follow.A religion should say the same.
> Well, perhaps you'd like to read the essay under "about us" at the website. 
> We say that moral principles should be tested and validated by their 
> consequences. This is different from the position that one's principles 
> derive from infallible scripture or revelation, but the principles 
> nonetheless are there and far from "do-it-yourself" or "do what thou wilt 
> shall be the whole of the law".

There are underlying principles
that are there whether or not we
acknowledge them,and that we are
responsible for discovering and
adhering to.

The line from the Kasidah quoted
by Joseph Wheless in "Is It God's
Word?" (a 1920s Bible debunk) is
"Do Good,for Good is Good to do;
 Spurn bribe of Heaven and threat of Hell."

And these underlying principles have
the same ultimate source as the laws
of physics.

> > > Generally the idea of associating cryonics with cemeteries has proved 
> > > to be a "can of worms" (more literally and in more ways than I care
> > > to think) and has been avoided since the days of Chatsworth.
> >
> >What has seriously been done with it?I think the concept of faith-based 
> >obligation to keep bodies from decaying at all costs is something that 
> >could have its uses.Of course,it's the opposite of what some religions
> >teach...but there's always the Egyptian precedent to improve upon.
> Cryonic Interment, Inc. kept frozen bodies in a crypt in a cemetery for 
> awhile. They were "out of sight, out of mind" and ultimately all were 
> thawed and lost, with much legal recrimination. But associating ourselves 
> with cemeteries would bring us under cemetery rules and regulations, which 
> weren't intended to apply to bodies or parts stored in liquid nitrogen.

Well,the commercial-cemetery model
is not exactly the same as the
churchyard-cemetery model,and it
sounds like Cryonic Interment didn't
even have their own land.But what
are the main problems with the

Just how many people have been
thawed and lost over the years,
from various failed organizations?
What was the most recent instance?

> ----------------------------------------------------
> Message #16441 Date: Tue, 05 Jun 2001 23:13:38 -0700
> From: American Cryonics Society <>
> While TransTime was founded by ACS members, and did serve as our only
> service provider, they have not served us in that capacity for several
> years now. ACS' patients which were stored at TransTime have all been
> moved to other facilities.
> Edgar Swank, President
> =+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=

So besides CI,Alcor,ACS,and Kryos,
are there any other active providers?
(Cryocare being both dormant and not
a conventional provider)

> ----------------------------------------------------
> Message #16442 Date: Tue, 05 Jun 2001 23:51:59 -0700
> From: Olaf Henny <>
> Subject: Brain, Interfacing, 1000 Terabytes and Sex
> From: Louis Epstein <>
> >Someone,I think on Cryonet,said there were ways theoretically designed
> >to place a terabyte-RAM computer in the size of a grain of salt.While
> >emphatically uninterested in seeking that as a new body type,and 
> >completely disbelieving that my identity could be validly possessed 
> >by such an object,I wonder what potential they could have as 
> >data-compressed brain enhancements....could there be usable interfaces?
> I did indeed say something like that awhile back.  This was based
> on an estimate by Ralph Merkle, that with mature molecular
> positioning capabilities we could build a computer with one MB
> memory complete with power supply and circuitry in the space of
> one cubic micron.  That would make it 10^15 bytes or *1000*
> terabytes in a cubic mm or the equivalent of a grain of salt.

How far are we from these
"mature molecular positioning
abilities" needed for this
(isn't a cubic mm a little coarse
for salt?)
And how stable would these 
picocomputers be?

(Would be hell to have a crash that
destroyed your own memories going on
in your head.Redundancy and backup
would be needed very much!)
> The Aussi sniffer contains a switch of  1.5 nm  i.e. assuming
> that the 1.5 nm holds true in all three dimensions, you could
> stick almost 300 million of them into a cubic micron.  Of course
> no circuitry and no power supply.  But it shows how close we
> already are in achieving some of the dimensions required for our
> grain size super computer.
> As far as interfacing is concerned, I have alluded to a TV report
> in Cryonet #11162.
> Human brains can directly communicate with computers.
> There was a report on TV about 6 months ago, about NASA experiments
> in this field, where a lady through thought processes alone by way of
> sensors attached to strategic parts of her scull, communicated with
> computers, directing them to simulate a landing of an aircraft on a
> screen in front of her.  What made this experiment especially significant
> in my mind was, that this lady did not direct the image on the screen,
> but the movement of heavy equipment equivalent of the mechanisms involved
> in landing a heavy aircraft.  It was the movement of that gear, which
> resulted in the (successful) outcome of the virtual landing. 
> Actually, according to the report, she directed strictly through
> mental process the computer, which moved the heavy machinery
> mock-up as required to land a large aircraft.
> So to Louis:
> Like it or not, if this augmentation was available to me, I would
> take it.  The direct access to such an enormous knowledge base,
> completely under my control, would give me colossal power by
> today s standards.

What would be the functional equivalent
of bytes to brains?Is there any real
estimate of the "storage capacity" or
"gigaflops" of a human brain?

Without this,how can you tell how
much of an improvement these petabyte
salt grains would offer?

(I assume you'd get something like
a dozen,thinking of a triplicate
SMP cluster of four...but the
interface system might crowd your
brain more than the salt-grain
supercomputers would).

> -----------------
> *****************

Marie Bremont died today(June 6th 2001).
She was born April 25th 1886,and since
last November had been the world's oldest
documented person,a mantle that now apparently
passes to Maud Davis Farris Luse of Michigan,
who was born January 21st 1887.

The children of the 1880s are now making their
last stand,carrying the flag of survival into
the territory claimed by mortality.One by one
they fall,leaving the vanguard to those of us
born afterward.One day their lifespans may
seem brief to us,but at present they sit atop
the leaderboard of life.

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