X-Message-Number: 16482
Date: Sat, 9 Jun 2001 00:19:22 +0000 ()
From: Louis Epstein <>
Subject: Replies to Swank,More,Henny,Madden,Berge,Perry

On 8 Jun 2001, CryoNet wrote:

> ---------------------------------------------------
> Message #16456 Date: Thu, 07 Jun 2001 05:32:13 -0700
> From: American Cryonics Society <>
> Subject: SEX and the Single Uploaded Entity--R-Rated
> So sex after uploading is likely to be better than anything available or
> even physically possible, in the "real" world. Want to have great sex with
> your favorite movie stars? Want to orgasm every 5 minutes 24/7? Why not?
> Want a harem of millions? Just wish for it. You ARE God with a universe
> all your own, in complete control of everything and all the (simulated)
> inhabitants.

But that's just it...it's simulated.
Make-believe.A toy.Not for real.
It doesn't count!

A computer program can't be a person. 

> ----------------------------------------------------
> Message #16459 Date: Thu, 07 Jun 2001 10:00:23 -0700
> From: Max More <>
> Subject: Alzheimer's and memory loss
> You say it is "certain" that Alzheimer's destroys memory. Is that really 
> true? I'd appreciate hearing from someone who really knows the current 
> science in this area. I'm suspicious of the above claim because (a) people 
> with Alzheimer's seem to sometimes recall things and sometimes not; (b) 
> memory is not a single process. It may be that the ability to *retrieve* 
> memories is damaged by Alzheimer's, but perhaps the memories are still 
> there and retrieval abilities could be repaired.

My point also,to the previous poster.
We can't be sure that living with dementia
means losing memories permanently.

In the Times of London recently was word
of a vaccine trial for Alzheimers,being
kept confidential to keep down the number
of volunteers.The tested vaccine was intended
to both keep the disease from progressing,
and from starting in the first place.If
it works,in five years we could be lining
up for our shots...and elder care the world
over could be transformed dramatically.
The lives of those who dehydrate themselves
to get into cryostasis in the meantime 
rather than live with their dementia,of
course,won't be improved at all.

> ----------------------------------------------------
> Message #16460 Date: Thu, 07 Jun 2001 10:13:26 -0700
> From: Max More <>
> Subject: Extropians, sexuality, and space
> >Eivind Berge wrote:
> >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.This is why I am not an extropian. I have no 
> >desire to explore the universe (there are no women out there)..,
> I found the above thoroughly puzzling. Just a couple of points: First, 
> extropians in general are *not* anti-sex. We are pro-self-sculpting.

And my general revulsion toward "self-sculpting" is
a factor in my declaring that I'm not "extropian".
I have a keenly developed sense of robust resistance
to change as a hallmark of survival,and any sign of
revelling in change makes me distance myself from
those who so revel.

It is better to be an island in a river than a 
leaf floating on it.
> ----------------------------------------------------
> Message #16462 Date: Thu, 07 Jun 2001 10:37:21 -0700
> From: Max More <>
> Subject: God as That-Which-Is
> Louis Epstein wrote:
> >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).
> This ontological argument for the existence of God has been thoroughly 
> discredited. For example, read the chapters on The Ontological Argument and 
> The Cosmological Argument in J.L. Mackie's The Miracle of Theism.

People keep telling me that,but they never convince me.

> Unlike you, I do not pretend to know why the universe exists. I aim to live 
> long enough to find out. Perhaps there is a creator, though that raises 
> further questions, since simply adding "Infinitely" to God does not explain 
> anything, it just *sounds* like it settles the issue. We non-theists can 
> just as well say the universe is infinite and so needs no further 
> explanation. That would be preferable by Occam's Razor.

No,there MUST be an explanation,
and "it just is" doesn't qualify.
The universe is not the highest
order of infinity.Occam requires 
that there BE an explanation,
refusal to explain is not an

We do not know,and can debate,
the NATURE of the Infinitely
First Cause.Questioning the
absolute necessity of its
existence,however,is simply

> Furthermore, *if* there are rock-bottom fundamental laws, there could be no 
> answer to "why do those laws exist" since there would be nothing left to 
> explain them in terms of.

At the "rock bottom",you find God.

> Another possibility is that only one set of basic 
> physical laws is possible for some undiscovered reason.


> Or our universe may 
> be just one in an infinite multiverse with diverse physical laws. The 
> infinite multiverse, if it exists, may have no further explanation.

It has to have one.
Nothing can exist
without one except God.

> Adding God to "explain" it and then saying God is Infinite (presumably
> that means God "necessarily exists" or "God's essence includes existence"
> -- each version of this has been demolished) accomplishes nothing.

Guess what?
I disagree.

God is the highest order of infinity,
the ultiverse/multiverse/universe is
infinitesimal in comparison.

> >But there has to be an answer to
> >"why are there laws of physics?" that
> >isn't just a ducking of the question.
> As above, no, there does not *have* to be an answer to that question.

Yes,there does.
I think you can guess what I call it.

> I think we would do best to assume there is an answer and keep looking
> for it, but it's possible that there are fundamental laws that cannot be 
> further explained.

No,it isn't.

> >I call that answer God.
> That's not an answer. It's the avoidance of looking for the answer.

You can look all you like,
but call what you're looking
for what it must be.

> Now some words from our sponsors:
> It's time to stop worshipping gods and aim at becoming gods.
> -- Markoff Chaney

Was this guy a Mormon?

(Mormon theology,though they hush it up
these days,says we were created by a
super-powerful alien from the planet
Kolob...and an early leader said,"As
man is,God once was;as God is,man may

However,none of us can become the
Infinitely First Cause!

> It is a matter of course with me, from instinct. I am too inquisitive, too 
> questionable, too exuberant to stand for any gross answer. God is a gross 
> answer, an indelicacy against us thinkers  at bottom a gross prohibition 
> for us: you shall not think!
>           Ecce Homo II 1; cf. On the Geneaology of Morals III 27

WE are finite.
Though we grow the
million millionth power
of a million millionfold,
we will still be finite,
and should remember it.

> ----------------------------------------------------
> Message #16464 Date: Thu, 07 Jun 2001 12:01:57 -0700
> From: Olaf Henny <>
> Subject: I stepped on ice, now I need help
> I am heading here for a slippery slope, since I really have no idea of
> what I am talking about, but I think a switch - on and off - represents
> either 2 bits or 2 bytes of storage (Thomas please enlighten me). 

Aren't on and off the two states of ONE bit?

> If it is bits, then Ralph's MB would require 4 million of them, which
> would, providing, that all my other assumptions are correct, occupy
> about 1.4% of the available space in that cubic micron. 

Looks like 2.8% will be used up!

> >And how stable would these picocomputers be?
>  Ask somebody who knows, but you may have to wait a few decades.   ;)
> >(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!)
> Assuming, that the average PC out there now has 10 GB of storage,
> the storage in 1 mm^3 of Ralph's computer would be the equivalent
> of that of 100,000 contemporary PCs.

A small fraction of the number of such PCs,when you think about it.

> >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?
>  For starters, I would know just about everything you know.  I
> would not have to fish with '1000 terabytes', before I learn from
> you, that it is one petabyte. :)

But my point is,does a human brain without
this enhancement have petabytes of storage
already,or less,or more?
What sort of an increase in capability would
it represent?

(A petabyte is just a millionth of a zettabyte
after all!)

> But I could easily carry around all the information contained in
> the Library of Congress.
> >(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).
> This might well be so.  But I believe, if it was possible to
> connect a couple of dozen dendrites from various centres of your
> brain directly to your computer stack, that would be sufficient,
> since you would probably access the information therein only
> selectively.  GOSH, AM I OUT OF MY LEAGUE - Help!).

I don't know what the capacity of these 
"I/O channels" would be.How fast would
information be wanted or supplied?

> ---------------------------------------------------
> Message #16465 Date: Thu, 7 Jun 2001 22:15:12 +0100
> From: Roy Madden <>
> Subject: Paying for it
> So a germ of an idea was bouncing around in my head. What you need is
> a group of (for arguments sake) 20 people in roughly the same
> situation. They contribute the $100 each towards a group fund which
> goes into an investment account. Within one year they should have
> nearly enough to pay for one suspension, which is much better than
> waiting 15 without cover.

I am reminded of burial societies,
and of building societies(the UK
equivalent of savings and loan
associations,which may have begun
similarly).These began as batches
of people who got together to pool
expenses for their funerals and
for building themselves houses,and
though some disbanded once all the
founders had what they wanted to
pay for,some became large perpetual

I think this model has been tried for
cryonics societies and has not been a
success.Others may know more.
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Message #16466 Date: Thu, 07 Jun 2001 18:36:28 -0500 (CDT)
> From: Eivind Berge <>
> Subject: Atheism
> Olaf Henny wrote: 
> > [Louis Epstein:]
> > >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!
> >
> > Spoken like a true religionist. From an atheist's point of view, the
> > deities only exist in the mind of the deists. By not sharing this
> > conviction, we have *absolute* say in this matter.
> We can never disprove the existence of deities. A religious belief in
> the nonexistence of God is almost as irrational as other religions. And
> agnostics seem to me to be just doubting theists, ready to bow down
> and worship if the evidence should be sufficient. I don't know if there
> is a God, but I know that I won't let him control my values or actions
> (as far as I can prevent it) regardless of whether he exists. I consider
> this atheism.

However,you can NOT prevent your
absolute obligation to conform your
values to God's!!

How controlled-by-God your actions
are is entirely God's decision.

> Louis Epstein wrote:
> > 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" 
> So, there is no way to derive any morality from this concept of divinity
> you so adamantly believe in -- no way to infer any clue about how we
> ought to conduct our lives; you are in effect just as atheistic as my
> above stated position?

I most certainly did not say that.
God is the source of objective morality,
which is out there for us to discover
and observe,a responsibility binding on
us all whether or not we make the effort.

However,it is not possible to distill
spiritual truth into a material text;
what we must know inwardly is not a
matter for written words.Good and evil
are not so simple that a printed page
can tell you all you need to know.

Likewise,no organization is particularly
directed by the Divine,and no claim that
one particular organization is an exception
to this rule is credible.

> ----------------------------------------------------
> Message #16468 Date: Thu, 07 Jun 2001 22:54:00 -0700
> From: Mike Perry <>
> Subject: Re: CryoNet #16444 - #16455
> >From: Deathist Lurker Girl <>
> >
> >So that means I can't be taken seriously?
> Depends on circumstances. I remember some years ago, someone was in
> the position of trying to convince others to sign up with a cryonics 
> organization, yet was not signed up himself (either with that or any
> other group). For me that's a turnoff.

Well,consider this...
does everyone who sells Rolls-Royces
for a living have the quarter-million
dollars handy it takes to buy one these

Was this person in a position of
saving up for cryonics himself?

(Not that Alcor and CI should start
with commissioned salesmen...)

> >From: Louis Epstein <>
> >
> >On 6 Jun 2001, CryoNet wrote:
> >
> >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.
> You really misunderstand here. All you're trying to do is get to the 
> future, say 100 years from now, with your mind and memories intact. Which 
> course of action has the best chance of accomplishing that, letting 
> Alzheimer's disease take its toll, then what's left of you being frozen,
> or getting cryopreserved early in the course of the illness, when you're
> still mentally intact?

See the above discussion with
Max More about whether this is
really true.

Someone electing to refuse nutrition
when diagnosed with Alzheimer's 
so as to get frozen as quickly as 
possible is I think acting in a 
fashion one might credit to the
disease,not in reasonable avoidance
of it!

> There is a fair amount of evidence, though no conclusive 
> proof yet, that good cryopreservation does preserve identity-critical 
> structures that would be lost in such a case as this, if the disease runs 
> its course. With these structures intact, there is further evidence that 
> the mind can be restored to function someday, when technology has advanced. 
> So can you see how it's a rational choice to choose cryopreservation when 
> you're still in good shape, before a disease robs you of your identity?

No.I think that the damage done to the structures
by cryopreservation,for which no means of reversal
is known,is greater than the damage done by the
disease,for which reversal may be found in the
much nearer term.

> >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.
> And they could well be right, in this special circumstance. They certainly 
> should have the right to choose.

We disagree.(It certainly doesn't work
on death row).
> > > 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.
> Not at all.

I stipulate that brain tumors do not
grow at liquid-nitrogen temperatures.
Be that as it may,rendering oneself
unable to fight is not winning a

> > > 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 lives.
> Only a tiny portion, in return for the chance of a much greater amount of 
> consciousness. Like being willing to bet a dollar on something you think 
> will pay off in millions, and having some evidence to back you up. If 
> you're down to your last dollar, with no significant prospect of earning 
> more, is this such an irrational choice?

Do you think poor people are
wise to buy lottery tickets?

(I know Johnnie Ely,the New York
Millennium Millions winner of 12/31/1999,
got $27 million after-tax lump sum for
one of his tickets.But as a short order
cook on twenty-something thousand dollars
a year,his hundred dollars of tickets in
that drawing and usual forty-dollar-a-week
habit didn't seem prudent to me).

> >...I consider the existence of an Infinitely First Cause of existence 
> >necessary for there to be any existence...
> >(Pay close attention to that word "Infinitely" above...it completely 
> >negates the tired old then-who-created-God riposte).
> Well, someone could raise the issue of whether any cause could really be 
> "first." But to me the existence of a First Cause does not carry the 
> necessary implication that the First Cause is a sentient being. To me the 
> multiverse, the totality of all universes, makes the best candidate for a 
> First Cause. Everything comes from it and it is always there.

That's ducking the question.
"It just is" is NOT an explanation,
but a refusal to explain.

If "it is always there",the IFC/God
is WHY it is always there,
and there HAS to be a why.
"Sentient being" or not,
"None of the Above" is not
a candidate.

> Yet as a whole it is also mindless, as far as we know. You could call this
> God, which would make you a pantheist of sorts, but to me it's the wrong
> choice of terminology. Traditionally God was held to be a personal being
> with consciousness and ability to communicate and understand.

I am disinclined to believe that God 
communicates with language-as-we-know-it.

> I don't think that kind of being exists, which is why I consider myself
> an atheist, though "with a concept of divinity" because I think "we are
> becoming God." This in turn is happening through our efforts to become
> immortal and bring about the highest happiness all around. Some may protest
> that we are hardly doing all that (though a few like cryonicists are making
> a start by trying to become immortal) but I see our constructive efforts
> gaining momentum as time passes and more scientific progress is made.

We are increasing our capabilities,
and may we ever continue to do so.
But we are still finite and will
remain finite.And can never become
the Infinitely First Cause of

(Strong-Anthropists notwithstanding).

> Naturally, I hope that 
> good will prevail in all this, but it's all up to us.

But that we exist,and that "good" exists,
is God's doing.

> >..
> > > 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 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?
> No, but I foresee restrictions on the creation of new sentient life forms, 
> to forestall possible overcrowding. (Maybe I shouldn't have inserted that 
> thought here; it seems to have confused several readers.)

Surely those who believe in
such "creation" will have what
they regard as sentient life
forms existing in Olaf's salt-
crystals,with plenty of room for
us real people to drop them in
our tea when they get in the way?

("Oh,that was a city of incredibly
evolved post-transhuman uploadees?
Silly me,I thought it was sugar...")

> >..> 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.
> There's more than just that. Cryonics is a means to an end. Venturists 
> believe they ought to be immortal, and ought to form a harmonious 
> community, to work for what is good and right, forever. Quite a lot, really.

OK...a "Supervitalist" church that I could conceive of as
sponsoring cryonics would agree with that sort of thing,
but also cultivate a dogmatic hostility toward death that
the right-to-die attitude is completely opposed to.

> > > 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
> >regulations?
> The regulations pertain to how "dead bodies" are stored, such as in graves, 
> in mausoleums, etc., and how they are prepared, usually by embalming. (Or 
> you can go the cremation route.) Ours are not embalmed, are stored above 
> ground, and are not hermetically sealed, which already breaks the rules. I 
> don't have all these rules at my fingertips, and can look into this further 
> if you want, but you can see how there would be problems.

How is the sealing of dewars/cryostats different
from that in a mausoleum/crypt?
Couldn't a cryonics facility potentially save
on insulation by being underground,though a
mausoleum usually isn't underground?
Seems to me that preparation for cryostasis
should qualify as a form of embalming,after
all,it preserves the bodies even more effectively
with proper maintenance!!

> --------------------------------------
> >From: James Swayze <>
> >Subject: All in the brain? Hmmm what about...
> >
> >Mike Perry wrote:
> >
> > > >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.
> >
> >Are you saying that should you be reanimated one future day with a new and 
> >body, vigorous, youthful, healthy, fertile
> why fertile?

He's just emphasizing the full
functionality and lack of flaws,
I suppose...

> >  and for sake of argument genetically enhanced for beauty and 
> > attractiveness (just stacking the deck here for argument sake-not
> >suggesting it would be necessary) and then along comes a sweet looking 
> >extropian gal that says she's just gotta have you--you will turn her 
> >down? And let's add to this scenario that uploading is not yet an option.
> I don't feel a *need* for the attentions you are referring to, so why 
> should I have such a need in the future?

It isn't a need,I'm sure.
But can you not see the
possibility of a desire?

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