X-Message-Number: 12087
Date: Thu, 08 Jul 1999 00:10:57 -0700
From: Mike Perry <>
Subject: Future restoration

Thomas R Mazanec,  #12078, writes:

>Do you people think that technological progress in any field
>(especially suspension and revival) will ever flatten out?
>Will we someday, probably millenia from now, be able to
>say that we have gone as far as we can and anyone suspended by
>"crude" methods will NEVER be restored, and so can be buried, cremated,
>or whatever, or will we have to keep such early "corpsicles" on ice
>forever, just in case someday we have a breakthrough?

I think that, long before "millennia from now," we will have the ability to
map solid structures at the atomic level, in 3 dimensions. This would
include frozen humans or human brains. It may require "disassembly" or
tearing down the structure piece by small piece and, if desired, rebuilding
as we go along, as a given part is mapped. From the map it should be
possible to assess the prospects for restoring the original organism. (Or
perhaps some other approach will be used. At least this one seems a
possibility if nothing better can be found.) Hopefully, many or most frozen
humans will be straightforwardly restorable--though we don't know. The
tougher cases will be those for which *some* significant identity-critical
information survives but not enough to restore a "whole" individual--you
must tolerate some amnesia, say, or resort to educated guesswork to fill in
missing information. But I think some significant information is likely to
be present even in the poorer cases of cryonic preservation. I don't see
these as simply being discarded (buried, cremated) but at least their
information will be mapped, then probably used in one form of reconstruction
or another.

It is a philosophical issue whether the map--the information--would be
sufficient for any reanimation or reconstruction or whether you also need
the original remains. With just the information, for example, you could
replace carbon atoms with similar carbon atoms, etc., and obtain the
functioning person in replica form. That would be good enough for me, but
some others have misgivings.

At some point, however, it seems clear that the frozen remains will have
served their purpose and if still around could be discarded, though perhaps
they will be sent instead to a maintenance-free, cold storage center in deep

Mike Perry

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