X-Message-Number: 10961
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 01:08:57 -0700
From: Mike Perry <>
Subject: Neuro, Eloi-dom, Christmas Cheer 

Thomas Nord, #10948, says:

> unfortunately with the
> neurosuspension-stuff too as certainly doesnt seem to be any good PR > >
for us, as long as the Cryonics Institute can do a better thing for less >

With due respects to CI, I don't find whole body necessarily a "better
thing" than neuro, because the important thing is how well the brain is
preserved, not various extremities that should be replaceable by cloning or
something like it. Neuro does disturb some people, but generally, I think,
for much the wrong reasons. If people could accept neuro this would mean
they *could* be frozen more cheaply and in greater numbers, though it would
of course require an organization willing to offer this option, with pricing
suitably scaled down from their own whole-body rates. Some organizations do
offer it, at such lower rates; I would like to see more. The fears that it
would create a bad public reaction I think are exaggerated and overly
influential, especially when you consider that human life is at stake, and
also, the experience of organizations that do offer the option. 

Chris Fideli, #10952, says:
>Still, I wonder if some of our aversion to Eloi-dom, aside from >pragmatism,
>is some residual disgust at the total inversion of the values of modern
>civilization that this kind of hedonism suggests.

Yes indeed; I think you have hit an important nail on the head. In any case,
I think there are reasonable arguments that "hedonic stasis"--an endless,
pleasurable paralysis reminiscent of Larry Niven's "wirehead" scenarios,
would not be the most desirable state to be in. It would, I think, prove too
limiting in the end, along with other forms of weakness and dependency or in
short, Eloi-dom. Sufficient progress should elevate one, eventually, to a
"better" state than anything one can sense with, say, a fixed brain size and
complexity--at least it seems so to me. Our notions of "better" or "worse"
too, will presumably evolve along with ourselves, if we can develop into
more-than-humans. What this will mean is not easy to second-guess, but I
will conjecture that, just based on a selection principle, advanced
immortals will favor some form of individualism and personal growth rather
than pleasurable incapacitation and stagnation. To say they will "favor"
something, does not mean just "intellectually, derivatively, as a means to
an end," but if it seems appropriate, "on a deep emotional level, as an end
in itself." For they (hopefully including we) should be able to carefully
modify their own emotional makeup accordingly.

Finally, I was a bit surprised at Jim Yount's negative reaction in #10955.
While Doug Skrecky's reposting of the PC 12 Days of Christmas didn't relate
to cryonics, and its value in other ways might be limited too,  I did find
it amusing, and it didn't seem inappropriate. Amusement in small doses is
something we can use here from time to time--it may even help us live longer
in better health, thus helping our chances overall.  

>Cryonics is not a political movement.  It is for anyone who wants to be
>frozen.  People of all political persuasions are welcome.  Let's keep it
>that way.

People of all political persuasions should be welcome. But, for just about
anything you say, there is someone somewhere so over-sensitized that they
will be violently turned off. You have to run some risk of this if you are
going to have any kind of open discussion. Again in my judgment, a little
spoofing of the sort presented, at this time of year, is not out of place here.

Long life,

Mike Perry

Rate This Message: http://www.cryonet.org/cgi-bin/rate.cgi?msg=10961