X-Message-Number: 13177
Date: Tue, 1 Feb 2000 13:40:58 -0500
From: gary tripp <>
Subject: How would nanorepair be synchronised?

Brett wrote:

>Seems many of us are hoping that nanotech will be the technology that
>repairs both the original condition that "kills" us as well as the more
>serious damage of the preservation process itself. As I understand it the
>conventional scenario is that billions of freshly replicated nanobots
>coordinated by nanocomputers will then commence
>the task of repairing the damage to the corpus at the cellular (and perhaps
>more  significantly at the level of memory). To reanimate a particular
>personality won't it be necessary to not just repair the neuronal and
>memory damage but to do it in all (orat least a great many
>areas of the brain and memory) SIMULTANEOUSLY?  

You are referring to a core issue in cryonics but here is another that 
renders this whole question moot:

I'm not an expert like Donaldson and others but I remember attending a
dinner meeting with cryonics expert Mike Darwin about four years 
ago and having my hopes thoroughly dashed. Darwin is a pioneer in cryonics
and I have the very highest regard for his expertise. He appears to
to regard our prospects in current procedures as rather doubtful even 
if future technology has perfect inferential capacity.
You see, the issue is not whether a future technology would be up to the
task but whether current methods of cryopreservation actually preserve
identity from an imformation theoretic perspective. When freezing damage
causes axons to be pulverized and dentritic parts to be scattered is there
any possibility of recovering the original connection map?  Out of the
trillions of such synapsis would the true imformation loss of even a few
billion synapses (i.e. a low loss rate) constitute irretrievable loss of
identity? Note that the preservation of identity may not require perfect
preservation of the connection map; afterall, our connection map is
continuously changing yet we perceive that our identity remains intact.
The real question concerns the perservation of identity in the face of
massive imformation loss.

However, If information is preserved and future technology has the ability
to scan a frozen brain and build a giant database containing all of the 
neuronal connection details about that individual's mind then many
possibilities are available. Perhaps future reanimation procedures would
entail  cloning a cheek cell and then, during the natural neuronal
development of the resulting infant, employ nanotechnology and the
imformation in the database to guide the development of synaptic connections
and their respective LTP values. You would start out again as an infant but
at least you would  be alive and mentally identical. I hear that connections
are naturally guided by a form of "chemical sniffing" and so it would not
take a great effort to mimic this with advanced nanotechnology and thus
direct the proper formation of connections. 

I personally prefer uploading as it seems to me that any technology that
is capable of reanimation is fully capable of permitting us to transcend
the limitations of biology. Instantiated upon the more robust substrate 
that nanotechnology affords, we would regard interplanetary travel in the
same way that we currently regard air travel to other countries. We could
"call up" information instantly just by thinking and perform prodigious
feats of rumination in the wink of an eye. So many possibilities are
available tjat it staggers the imagination.


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