X-Message-Number: 16302
From: "George Smith" <>
References: <>
Subject: Time travel and cryonics
Date: Sat, 19 May 2001 13:19:29 -0700


The Surgeon General of Memes has determined that the following may be viewed
as off topic if not read to completion.

I read the article on time travel from the link on Cryonet and was amused to
note that whereas I had been privately informed by a well meaning Cryonet
subscriber that the reported capability of actually slowing or stopping the
speed of light was not actually what was going on, other scientists seem to
think it is.  Which just goes to show you that it isn't really necessary to
obtain advanced degrees in a hard science field to be ignorant OR sometimes
even those of us who are experts in our fields need to remember that what we
hold to be absolute bedrock truth today may just be shown to be in error
tomorrow.  Entropy be damned!  History marches on!

(1) In any case arguments about why time travel "can't" happen due to our
current beliefs about reality (modern physics theory) will matter not a whit
if someone DOES it.

Doesn't this sound similar to the arguments against cryonics we sometimes
hear and read?

(2) I think it is absolutely fascinating that an approach to testing the
feasibility of time travel has moved from (1950s) "Balderdash!" to (1980s)
"maybe rotating black holes with space travel" to (1990s) "maybe neutron
stars which are formed into gargantuan rotating cylinders" to (2001) "looped
light moving at slow speed".

Doesn't this sound similar to the progression of ideas regarding the
evolution of cryonics "testing", i.e.: (1960s) "some unknown form of future
technology might enable repair of frozen bodies" to (1986) "molecular
nanotechnology could repair frozen bodies" to (1990s to present) "possible
suspended animation technologies being tested"?

(3) Impact to the human world perspective.

Any of the following would completely turn on its head our current world
view:  successful time travel, successful cryonics or simply widespread
defeat of aging (such that "old" people grow "young" and "aging" is cured
and gone just as with smallpox, polio, etc.).

I recognize that taking any of these ideas seriously can be a challenge to
the "comfort zone" of most people's coping with future shock (thank you,
Alvin Toffler!) but I find them fascinating enticements to a future which
will undoubedtly be MORE different than any of use can even imagine.


George Smith

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