X-Message-Number: 13093
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2000 11:32:35 EST
Subject: repair time; future conditions

Stasys Adiklis asks how much time might be required for nanotech repair of 
the brain. If he will go to our web site and link to nanotech or Ralph 
Merkle, he will find Ralph's calculations indicating that three years or less 
is likely (and the likely cost very low too).
John Grigg speculates about future economics and fashions, and feels 
fad-following and keep-up-with-the-Joneses are likely to persist, along with 
the superiority of corporate over individual resources.

Maybe not.

If every individual owns a thinking machine linked to a nanofactory (and 
perhaps to his own brain), then, with minor qualifications, you will probably 
be autonomous for most purposes. There will tend to be uniformity as to major 
requirements (few will prefer to be stupid or defenseless), diversity as to 
minor requirements (art and entertainment). Of course, there is likely to 
persist a need for mutual defense against predation, although predation or 
pathology in humans will probably be reduced to near the vanishing point.

We will be different; we are not doomed to retain all our instincts, let 
alone all our habits. For an example of how drastic the changes can become in 
varieties of a species over relatively brief intervals, even without the help 
of new technology, look at dogs. Primitive dogs (and wolves, coyotes etc) 
were relatively vicious and competitive, even though also gregarious and 
social. They fought a lot, and a pecking order was important. In some modern 
pet dogs, bred and trained for amiability and living under comfortable 
conditions, there can be several dogs in the same family with little or no 
friction and little or no evidence of a pecking order. They play, but they 
don't fight--although in many cases they retain the capacity for active 
defense if provoked, and they retain wills of their own. (They train us about 
as much as we train them.)
The analogy, of course, is only partial.

And the usual caveat, especially for newcomers: Don't get turned off cryonics 
just because you are uncomfortable with some of the speculations about the 
future. If you are part of the future, you can help determine its character. 
We can't be sure exactly what we will be or have in the future, but if we 
aren't there we will be and have nothing at all.

Robert Ettinger
Cryonics Institute
Immortalist Society

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