X-Message-Number: 12012
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: about nanotechnology (of any kind) and revival
Date: Sat, 26 Jun 1999 23:59:20 +1000 (EST)

Hi everyone!

Contrary to what some cryonicists (who incidentally have PhDs and a good
deal of scientific experience) may claim, I believe it is quite wrong to
believe that current work on nanotechnology will BY ITSELF produce 
means for the kind of long term storage needed for cryonics.

It should not escape anyone who reads about current uses of nanotechnology
that one very prominent aim is that of finding a way to make our computers
smaller. This is a worthy aim, but has no direct relationship to cryonics.
Even that form of nanotechnology which is now called biotechnology has 
generally failed to confront the problem of reviving someone frozen by
current methods. Instead we have lots of possible ways to cure genetic 
faults inherited from our parents, or far more complex kinds of
vaccination to deal with diseases ordinary vaccinations cannot touch.
Even the work by noncryonicists to find ways to revive people after
longer and longer periods without oxygen does not now involve in any
way special nanotechnology. It simply tries to work out what really
happens and then treats that. 

Not only that, but it will clearly not be enough to simply have the
ability to build many very small machines. The problem is that of knowing
just what must be DONE with these very small machines: and it is on this
problem, the critical problem for cryonics, that the only people who fund
such research are cryonicists. If we consider the problem of reviving
those who are now already in suspension this problem stands out: who else
would study the effects of freezing with the many different methods now
used over time to preserve cryonics patients than cryonicists? And without
understanding the effects of such methods in far greater detail than we
now do, our ability to revive such patients remains -- 0 ---. 

Among other reasons, this is a major reason why the research that Saul
Kent is supporting deserves support --- no matter what your opinion about
nanotechnology in any form. Even if we can only make the destruction due
to freezing less in 5 years than it is now, we have helped work on the
problem of revival... regardless of the methods someday used for revival.
Without understanding of the damage, it simply won't be possible to use
ANY technology to revive people. And getting such understanding requires
us to confront the kinds of injury which occur --- not theoretically, but

I am optimistic that this can be done, or I would not have posted this
message. But those who believe we need not work on this end of the problem
of revival are quite wrong, and so far as anyone argues against the need
for such research their opinions become closer to a religion than to a

			Best and long long life to all,

				Thomas Donaldson

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