X-Message-Number: 10979
Date: Sun, 27 Dec 1998 21:06:16 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Re: CryoNet #10956 and #10957

The human physical body is composed of cells.  In a very real sense, I would 
suggest cells could 
be seen as pre-programmed machines.

In message #10956 Thomas Donaldson suggests that a future robot built to serve 
you would 
inevitably develop its own interests at odds with yours.

When cells do this, we call it disease.

I suspect that as time passes we will not only control disease of the body but 
diseases as well.

Despite my growing tendency to become cynical regarding the human herd (see my 

syllogism), our technology seems to be becoming smarter and easier to control 

I feel the error in our projections come when we take humans AS THEY ARE TODAY 
and try to see 
them in a future context.  Square pegs into round holes, et al.

(As an aside I find the entire "Star Trek" series as an example of this acute 

Even now, many of us are changing due to machine-human interface and surgical 

I also feel that it would be incredibly useful to review Professor Ettinger's 
prophetic book MAN 

INTO SUPERMAN in regard to these discussions.  Especially now that it is online 
via the cryonics 
institute website at www.cryonics.org


Additionally, in the same message mentioned above, Thomas Donaldson spoke of the
failure of 

people now to "crawl back into the womb" (referencing a hedonistic tendency in 

I would submit that few seem to have yet crawled OUT of the womb in so far as 
being open to what 
is OUT there.

I still suspect that the Oort Cloud is nothing more than the sides of our 
playpen. (This idea 
first suggested to me by my wife Ruth).

In Message #10957, Timur Rozenfeld was discussing the concept of self-esteem.

There were several points I wanted to bring up though these are, again, covered 
in detail in 
psychotherapist Albert Ellis' detailed book IS OBJECTIVISM A RELIGION?

I feel these ideas are appropriate because there is evidence that some of these 
are formative in 

the some opinions I read in the cryonet, and I believe these ideas to be in 
error.  Consequently 

these ideas color the thinking and consideration of many legitimate cryonet 

Timor Rosenfeld suggests in reference to goals that "because one selects a 
standard, it is 
hardly 'arbitrary'". 

To choose life over death as a goal would seem to indicate one's standard is 
"life" and 

therefore not arbitrary.  Yet ask any one who continues to reject cryonics for 
themselves if 
their standard for goals is life over death and they will usually say yes.

When I proposed to an Objectivist study group a few years ago that signing up 
for cryonics was a 

rational outcome of their stated standard of life, I discovered the SAME 
ARGUMENTS given by 
anyone else rejecting cryonics.

This wasn't a scientific sample.

Neither did their "reasoning" make sense to me.

Still doesn't.

HOW one defines "life" or any other chosen goal still seems arbitrary to me.  

I note this each time I drive by a local cemetary.

Timor continued, "There is much more to write
>on this subject and I think we are getting way off the topic of cryonics."

I disagree.  If it is important to understand how to increase the acceptance of 
cryonics to 

insure its success as we pass through this Dark Age, we need to understand why 
people who 
otherwise seem sane can't understand the no-brainer of choosing cryonics.

Timor continued:
>Just as you want us to be open to the facts that self-acceptance is all and
>that machines will be able to do everything that humans can do, I invite you
>to be open to the possibility that self-esteem is a vital component to human

(I agree that self-esteem is currently a culturally self-imposed "requirement" 
for happiness in 

exactly the same way it was once "necessary" to confess to a Catholic priest to 
be happy in 

Europe in the Dark Ages.  The alternative seems unthinkable as it is not a 
standard part of the 
culture.  Yet it is attainable anyway).

(and I won't get into a debate of what that entails), that
>happiness is not determined by some arbitrary whims, and that perhaps
>machines may not be able to do everything we humans can. 

As HUMANS are machines, I have a real problem imagining OTHER machines NOT doing
a better job 

sooner or later.  I find human capabilities singularly unimpressive in this 

If you agree to
>accept the *possibility*, then I withdraw my remarks on your tone and humbly

First, thanks for the friendly gesture.  No apology required anyway.  In fact 
the whole point I 

am making is in regard to getting past the belief that one's identified posture 
"defending", etc.

Just as the author of many of these thoughts (Nathaniel Brandon) changed his 
mind regarding many 

elements in Ayn Rand's philosophy, so too have I rejected many of the 
reifications and semantic 

illusions upon which the highly destructive meme of "self-esteem" is based upon.

If you cease to identify with your experiences (actions, emotions, thoughts, 
etc.), then this 

enables the free and emotionally unfettered use of and understanding of same in 

To put it another way, if you're uptight about something it's hard to think 
clearly about it.
If you aren't uptight, it is easier to think clearly about it.

Identification of self with "x" is inevitable FILLED with contradictions.

Treating any process as a "thing" results in the same outcome.

I am not what I do.

I am not what I feel.

I am not that I think.

The experiencer is not the experience.

The "experiencer" upon careful examination seems to be an active process 
involving recursive 
memory and not a "thing" or "self" (or "soul" if you prefer) at all.

I personally think the "experiencer" is a mental illusion and can be very 
successfully lived 
WITHOUT.  In fact FAR more successfully! 

For further excursions in this realm, I urge a careful re-read of the thought 

proposed by Professor Ettinger in THE PROSPECT OF IMMORTALITY, chapter 8, "The 
Problem of 
Identity (pp 129-143), also available on line at the CI website.

WHAT you believe "YOU" to BE seems pretty important if you are looking at life 
extension and 
beating death.  On that I suspect we all agree.

-George Smith

My Cryonics Syllogism:

Signing up for cryonics is a no-brainer.
Most humans don't sign up for cryonics.

Therefore most humans are no-brainers   ...(and not therefore suitable for 

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