X-Message-Number: 11339
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: what is really being discussed on Cryonet
Date: Tue, 2 Mar 1999 23:30:17 +1100 (EST)

To C Platt:
We seem to differ on just what questions are important to cryonics.
Moreover there is still discussion of the kind you want. But it is also
important to know just what is required for our selves to survive: even
with perfect suspended animation, some people in the future are going to
find themselves in situations in which they can get only a poor
suspension. And we naturally want to know just what circumstances might
allow us to be revived (versus those which permanently forbid our
revival). That is critical for anyone frozen with current methods, and
important even for those who get suspended animation --- because 
things don't always go well.

Again, just what do we do in the infinity of time we hope to obtain for
ourselves? Sure, there will always be people who get into trouble, but
the issue is that of just how far cryonics can be carried. Mike Perry 
believes that the basic idea of cryonics will someday allow us to revive
EVERYBODY. I do not. That is the subject we are discussing here. Some
cryonicists believe that if we can, we should revive everyone possible,
as far back into history as possible. And their belief comes directly from
the foundations of their belief in the MORALITY of cryonics. (Yes, I am
saying that morality does not require us to go that far, but I too am
discussing the moral issues in cryonics when I discuss this possibility).

Again, a lot may depend on just how well human brains resemble highly
parallel computers. No one claims that our neurons work like present
silicon chips, but the issue of whether or not Turings Theorem applies
remains alive. To the extent that we may resemble computers, it will
follow that we have similar limits, and if necessary CAN BE REVIVED
IN SIMILAR WAYS. That is, our brains might be USEFULLY read off into
computers. (This is a complex issue, yes?). Just how might those frozen
now be revived? Sure, we want to be suspended by the best possible 
methods, so that our revival becomes as easy as possible. But if we are
NOT frozen by the best possible methods, then just what methods could
be used? Some proposed methods actually destroy the patient's brain ---
but read it off into a computer while doing so. Is this, then, a viable
method for revival, or is the entire computer image of brains somehow
twisted, not enough to allow any real revival?

I do not really know just what you wanted from Cryonet. Clearly you will
not get technical discussions of the latest suspension methods unless 
someone puts them on Cryonet. Many of us are quite willing to support
such research, and have given money towards it in the past, and will do
so in the future. But the notion that we might somehow attain immortality
in the world raises many other questions than the question of just how we
might do so. Every discussion on Cryonet of which I am aware connects to
just that notion. And if you do not see the relevance of such discussions,
I do not envy you.

			Best and long long life to all,

				Thomas Donaldson

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