X-Message-Number: 10339
Date: Fri, 28 Aug 1998 09:55:01 -0700
From: "Joseph J. Strout" <>
Subject: fun and certainty of success

George Smith <> wrote, in message #10330, one of the
most moving messages I've read in the five years I've been part of this
forum.  It was a long post full of good stuff, but I'll try to trigger your
memory with this particularly profound observation:

>DECIDING that life is WORTH living and that therefore cryonics is
>DESIRABLE cannot come solely through fear of DEATH.  What lasts is
>desire for LIFE.

I've been thinking for some time how best to explain cryonics to my sensei,
when we train to face death without fear.  And this is exactly how I see
it: we arrange cryonics not out of fear of death, but out of love for life.

Thanks, George, for expressing an unusually well-balanced and healthy view,
and for expressing it so well.

On probability of success, Jeff Davis (in message #10333) writes:

>we've got 500 MILLION YEARS to get the job done...  It follows
>therefore, that the likelihood of FAILURE is small.  SUCCESS IS A NEAR

I appreciate your optimism as well, but I think when we're making actual
estimates, we have an obligation to make them as reasonable as possible.
And in fact, it's not reasonable to suppose that any cryonics patient will
be around for 500 million years.  Personally, I doubt any of them will last
more than a century or two, before political upheaval, natural disaster,
apathy, or some other cause does them in.

Secondly, NO amount of time can recreate information which has been
destroyed.  I hate to drag up old arguments, but I do believe that
information can be irretrievably destroyed.  We don't know at what exactly
comprises the critical information in the brain, or at exactly what point
this info is lost.  But at some point, I think the necessary information is
gone, and then studying what's left for even 500 million years won't enable
you to fill in the blanks.

This doesn't mean we should despair, but rather that we should continue to
work to improve suspension methods, and develop means of resuscitation as
soon as possible.

Best regards,
-- Joe

|    Joseph J. Strout           Department of Neuroscience, UCSD   |
|                 http://www.strout.net              |

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