X-Message-Number: 1088
Date: 31 Jul 92 23:58:56 EDT
From: Charles Platt <>

To: Kevin Brown 
Just this once, I can't agree with Steve Harris. His 
dismissal of the problem of fidelity to a frozen spouse is 
too easy. So long as we are in any sense human (i.e. so long 
as we retain all of our brains in some form, biological or 
electronic or whatever), I believe those old animal impulses 
for courtship and mating will survive; and I believe monogamy 
will survive with them. 
Steve says, see how much the family has changed already. But 
it hasn't, in fundamental terms! People still pair-bond, and 
they still sue for divorce over adultery. Twenty-five years 
ago, I knew dozens of people who believed that monogamy was 
dead. These people are now all married! Conservatism rules! 
The only polygamists and polyandrists are in tiny tight-knit 
groups way off the main stream. (I know; I used to read the 
magazines they produce.) 
I agree that if we look really far ahead, we should be able 
to download ourselves and edit silicon analogs of our brains. 
Maybe then we can excise jealousy with the same precision as 
we would remove a bug from a computer program. But I am not 
going to live my life right now on the absolute assumption 
that this will be possible. Therefore, if my spouse dies and 
is frozen, I will still be in a dilemma when it comes to 
getting reattached to someone else--especially if that person 
also decides to sign up. (And I do not accept Steve's 
suggestion that she would forgo her chance at immortality 
just because my previously wife is frozen.) 
I prefer Keith Henson's answer to the problem: when you come 
back, if your former wife and your second wife are both 
revived, just ask the scientists of tomorrow to run off an 
extra copy of yourself, so each of them has you to herself. 
But--this solves only their problem, not yours! Each copy of 
you would still be attracted to both women. But each of you 
would only be able to have one of them. The result, in fact, 
might be even more emotionally complicated and impossible to 
resolve, especially if both your revived selves preferred one 
woman over the other. 
The more I think about situations like this, the more I tend 
to believe that such things will be outlawed long before they 
are possible--and will be outlawed not by some fascist 
regime, but by popular demand of people at large, who have 
enough trouble grappling with personal problems as it is. 

Rate This Message: http://www.cryonet.org/cgi-bin/rate.cgi?msg=1088