X-Message-Number: 12260
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: more comments to Bob Ettinger and John de Rivaz
Date: Sun, 15 Aug 1999 22:27:52 +1000 (EST)

Hi again!

My comments in this Cryonet already answer some of the claims made by Bob
Ettinger and John de Rivaz. Basically I believe Greg Fahy knows what he's
doing, and he'll be working with Pichugin on brain slices, too. While 
that work is only preliminary, we must start somewhere in
freezing/otherwise suspending brains. (I personally think that the visual
cortex would be a better choice --- it's not even clear that our
hippocampus MUST be preserved to preserve our memories, though if not
we'll certainly have to be provided with another hippocampus. But in any
case, we must start somewhere).

Basically, given funding, we're much closer to attaining the minimum level
of preservation needed than many people on Cryonet think. My idea of the
minimum level is that we learn how to preserve and revive BRAINS.
Everything else will someday be replaceable, by one means or another ---
and probably by several means.

The kicker is the one about FUNDING. If cryonicists don't come up with
the needed funding, few others will provide it for years, until cryonics
eventually becomes much bigger. Nor does the ability to preserve organs
imply the ability to preserve brains.

Those who disagree with this assessment do have excuses. The major fact is
that 21st Century Medicine plans to patent its procedures, and therefore
has not really revealed them in any detail to any public. Thus it's
possible to feel skeptical. As someone who's read a lot on brains and
on cryopreservation, I stand by my judgement, but there's no single paper
or book to which I could refer anyone (as yet). INC at present remains
relatively inactive, and basically all the money it raised was donated to
the Pichugin brain slice project, plus some extra from Saul Kent and Bill
Faloon. Saul Kent, apparently, is also setting up a separate organization
for research specifically into cryonics --- perhaps a substitute for INC. 

And frankly if the cryonics community (yes, Saul Kent belongs to it too,
though I wouldn't like our progress to depend so much on just a few
donors) fails to raise the required money, then we may not see good
suspensions for many years.

Finally, as for those now in suspension, I believe that they do have a 
chance at revival. But actually achieving that chance will take much more
work than that now in progress on future suspensions. We still need to 
know LOTS more details about how brains are put together (chemical
anatomy, not just physical anatomy). And it is here that some form of
nanotechnology will become needed: the kinds of modifications to a 
damaged brain needed for revival will involve working on those nanoscales.
I will add, though, that we have no reason to believe that only the
Drexler kind of nanotechnology will solve this problem, or solve it first.
There are several other kinds at various stages of development, with
biotechnology currently well ahead. (And don't forget DNA computers: 
biotechnology gets into everything).

And because of the work needed, I very much doubt that such revivals will
come until late in the 21st Century, at a minimum. That's an assessment
based not only on technology but on such things as the current growth
rate of cryonics. They may even come later. After all, we have a wide
spectrum of damage to deal with, not just one kind, and it doesn't seem
likely that a single method will fix all kinds.

			Best and long long life to all,

				Thomas Donaldson

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