X-Message-Number: 10757
Date: Thu, 12 Nov 1998 06:12:12 -0500
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: CryoNet #10745 - #10756

Hi everyone!

First, this is a quasi-apology to Bob Ettinger. I mean "quasi" here
because I still think that the job of working out how to revive 
a suspension patient is simply NOT going to be trivial, regardless
of the level of scientific background we may reach. But it is an 
apology because I did misquote Bob, and apologize for that.

And second, this gets us into the issue raised by Scott Badger and
others. I would say that you will be revived by CRYONICISTS (though
that name may not stick the basic idea of storing someone until means
can be found to fix them seems to me the essential point to cryonics).
Why? Because we are NOT going to get the kind of complete control of
the universe in which no one will ever get injured or damaged
except in ways we know how to repair at the time. Yes, human beings
are finite, but when we talk of injuries and damage we're talking of
what the universe might do to us, and that is far larger than 
us. And so once established, cryonics isn't going to go away. 
Moreover, if you expect someday to be suspended (or stored by whatever
means) then it's very much to your interest to see that those who
are revived are not mistreated. To do otherwise is to ultimately put
yourself at risk.

Cryonics should not be seen as a make-do which we adopt until we
learn how to reverse aging. It is a general strategy required if you
want to live indefinitely long. For instance, some have worked out
estimates of how long we'd live if we died only from accidents (they
weren't immortalists, nor did they consider possible advances in 
technology of repair, but their basic point still holds). They figured
that we'd live for about 600 years. And what is 600 years compared to
immortality? Accidents remain interesting here because they change
with technology itself: no one in the 18th Century died of an overdose
of radiation, nor of electric shock, for instance. And if we all 
come to expect to live indefinitely, I promise that we'll feel that
a life of only 600 years is a terrible curtailment of our possibilities.

Finally, to Tom Mazanec: No, Drexler's molecular nanotechnology simply
isn't the same as other forms. According to NANOSYSTEMS, it involves
the construction of machines with parts the size of molecules. (To
me it remains an open question whether or not we'd find a strong 
limit on just how large and involved such a machine can be: after all,
if only one fault will bring the whole machine down, the bigger and
more complex it becomes the more likely such a fault will be --- even
if a fault in any given component is very unlikely). Biotechnology,
with which I'm quite familiar, uses a very high level of redundancy
to avoid this problem completely: the basic idea is to have lots of
small machines in a liquid, all working together. 

If you mean that ultimately however we do our nanotechnology we'll 
have means to attain the same EFFECT as Drexler's molecular
nanotechnology, I would agree. But there are lots of different ways to
fly. We may well find that each method has its own optimal sphere in
which it works better than others (biplanes are still used to spray
crops, for instance). 

			Best and long long life to all,

				Thomas Donaldson

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