X-Message-Number: 12650
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: some brief comments and a question
Date: Wed, 27 Oct 1999 23:49:36 +1000 (EST)

Hi everyone!

A few comments:

1. About emotions in computers: I would actually agree with Mike Perry
   that the machine that wanders about the house and periodical plugs
   itself in could qualify as having feelings, but at best only at a 
   very low level. A typewriter or a pentium computer with all the
   trimmings, however, DOES NOT. The first was designed to wander about
   and seek out power plugs, with about the insight and feelings of an
   amoeba. The second is a tool and nothing more, and even more advanced
   versions of the second would remain just tools. It's not the processing
   power that matters here, but whether or not (even in a very primitive
   way) the machine/device/creation has been given its very own goals.
   And to assume that because the first variety has its own goals, then
   the second MUST have them too is a big mistake. 

2. I want to thank Saul Kent for his discussion of the policies for 
   shareholders in 21st Century Medicine. And I also agree that it is
   US who have the job of funding research to improve our suspension

   If Saul and Bill are also trying to support an organization to do
   cryonics work, that's important too. It wasn't entirely clear to me
   from what he said that he was doing that. After all, both of them are
   also cryonicists. 

   Everything I know about cryobiology and the structure and functioning
   of our brains suggests to me that we have a good chance of finding
   means to suspend ourselves in the relatively near future. Sure, not 
   everyone: there will remain plenty of cryonicists who we simply can't
   reach in time. And by "ourselves" I mean only our brains. Yet even so
   if we find out how to put ourselves in that situation, then we'll have
   made a big advance.

3. One point Mike Darwin makes is very interesting. I too tend to be a 
   loner, but became involved in cryonics because it was very clear that
   cryonic suspension required SOMEBODY ELSE to suspend me and other
   people to keep me in suspension. 

   OK, everyone: how many of YOU felt that way? What other organizations
   are you members of, not because it's useful to be a member (I was not
   so much a loner that I wouldn't join an organization with clear and
   immediate benefits to me, like a Health Plan) but because you WANTED to
   be a member?

   I'm asking this question particularly because there have been several
   different polls of cryonicists, generally taken by someone who is NOT
   a cryonicist, and so far as I know, NOT ONE OF THEM ever asked that
   question. And it may be a very important question, too. 

			Best wishes and long long life,

				Thomas Donaldson

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