X-Message-Number: 13656
Date: Fri, 28 Apr 2000 08:15:36 -0400
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: CryoNet #13647 - #13654

To Bozzonetti:

If your aim is to find a way to read off the state of a HEALTHY 
brain, then you will indeed be able to use your method (assuming
that you and others can actually implement it) to work out something
about how brains work.

Brains aren't simple, however, and you could spend several lives
simply working on how brains work. If you've read the existing work
using MRI you will begin to notice the kinds of things that happen.
Moreover, unless your method actually tells you the chemistry of
what happens in neurons, you will still need to do extra research
(tons of it!) to really work out what happens. Otherwise you simply
have a series of signals from different brain areas.

For cryonics, of course, we often deal not with a fully healthy 
brain but with a damaged or badly damaged one. It will be a very
long time before our methods are good enough that some people will
want to be suspended while still healthy (and of course that begs
the question of just how we advance our methods to that state). Yes,
you would be able to find out about the damaged brain (probably
damaged so much that it does not work at all --- so that the changes
seen with MRI simply become irrelevant because there won't be any).
Your problem is to work out from the information you have about the
DAMAGED brain just what its state was BEFORE damage.

MPI is used RIGHT NOW to learn more about brains. A more precise
method would tell us even more. But it will hardly be sufficient,
especially when the brain is damaged.

Incidentally, the problem of how brains work is one which must be
solved in detail not only for repair into a biological form but
even for producing a computer form. It is one thing to be able 
to store the STATE of a brain in a computer, a much harder thing
is to know how it should work. Even if you believe we will someday
be revived in computer form, you should be interested in how brains
work. Without that information, ANY KIND of revival, especially for
those suspended with present or previous methods, becomes quite
impossible without a very thorough understanding of how brains
work. If, however, we devise some form of suspended animation which
verifiably revives a correctly working brain, that understanding
ceases to be so important --- for those suspended by that method.
(But then there will always be problem cases... not to mention the
possibility that in the end, even for suspended animation we still
need to work out how brains work in more detail than anyone knows
at present).

			Best and long long life,

				Thomas Donaldson

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