X-Message-Number: 16326
Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 17:26:23 +0000 ()
From: Louis Epstein <>
Subject: Replies to CryoNet #16201 - #16208

[Playing some catchup today.I fell out of the habit of replying to
Cryonet because I wasn't sure about editing this one down enough
on the issues involved]

On 6 May 2001, CryoNet wrote:

> -----------------------------------------------------
> Message #16201
> From: "Alan Sinclair" <>
> Subject: The UK siuation

[whole text snipped...just wanted to say this matter is
disturbing.The last thing a movement to ensure we last
permanently needs is arrangements that lack security.]

> ----------------------------------------------------
> Message #16204 Date: Sat, 05 May 2001 11:55:19 -0700
> From: Olaf Henny <>
> Subject: Our Problem; - An Outsider's View :)
> On the lighter side of bio- vs. cyber:
> Meat Beings

[As I gather,this is taken from a previously
published work though not here bylined]
> Imagine if you will... the leader of the fifth invader force
> speaking to the commander in chief...
> "They're made out of meat."
> "Meat?"
> "Meat. They're made out of meat."
> "Meat?"
> "There's no doubt about it. We picked several from different
> parts of the planet, took them aboard our recon vessels,
> probed them all the way through. They're completely meat."
> "That's impossible. What about the radio signals? The
> messages to the stars."
> "They use the radio waves to talk, but the signals don't
> come from them. The signals come from machines."
> "So who made the machines? That's who we want to contact."
> "They made the machines. That's what I'm trying to tell
> you. Meat made the machines."
> "That's ridiculous. How can meat make a machine? You're
> asking me to believe in sentient meat."

[remainder snipped.As far as I'm concerned,we should not treat
NON-meat as capable of being,as opposed to falsely appearing,
sentient.A matter of definitions that should not be stretched.
If it doesn't believe in sentient meat,it's obviously not
sentient anyway.What matters to us is intelligence as WE
know it!]

> -------------------------------------
> Message #16205
> Date: Sat, 05 May 2001 12:54:04 -0700 From: Mike Perry <>
> [Louis Epstein's posting:]
> >This [use of cadaver brain tissue in transplants] raises the prospect
> >of mortalists dying so that immortalists may live.Presumably the
> >harvesting of the neurons from the cadaver makes it impossible for
> >the cadaver to be revived by means that may be developed.
> To me it just raises the prospect of people in general dying (since their 
> lives might otherwise be saved if the intact brain could be saved) so 
> others might live.

I presume that the immortalists would not leave instructions
permitting their brains to be cut up for others,while the
mortalists wouldn't care.Therefore,it would be mortalists
who died while immortalists lived.
> [regarding Alcor's neurovitrification project:]
> >I'll say again that this focus on neuros is something that disturbs
> >me about Alcor.It's one thing to offer it as a last resort,but to
> >deliberately prefer the preservation of only something that,fully
> >repaired,CAN NOT live on its own seems nonsensical.
> You are stumbling over semantics here. To "fully repair" a severed head 
> (still a person, just minus the part below the neck) would, of course, mean 
> replacing the part cut away--then it could live on its own. The cloning of 
> mammals gives pretty solid evidence that this should be doable, allowing 
> for only relatively modest improvements in our techniques. (As a very crude 
> approach, an anencephalic twin of you could be created, then receive your 
> transplanted head. Hopefully we would then know how to connect spinal 
> nerves, and so on. But I'm sure that better methods than this will be 
> developed.) I should say too that the emphasis on neuro is not taken 
> lightly but because it presently is seen as the best way to preserve what 
> is really important about a person, the brain or the parts that encode 
> vital information such as memories. This is what could *not* simply be 
> replaced by methods related to cloning.

The body-below-the-neck is not a recognized organ
(or tissue type).
The issues raised are not easily dealt with.
Would it be considered abusive to ensure that a
clone developed in an anencephalic state?
Or accepted that an ordinary clone be brought
to life and maturity,with the intent that its
head then be in turn neuropreserved and replaced
with the original's head?(Or just thrown away,
if the clone was considered to have no rights?)

And growing patchwork parts and putting them all together
would have its own complications.
Best find a way to repair a whole body!

> [on artificial intelligences as persons, and so on:]
> > > In this case:  if we have the technological means to create
> > > full-blown machine intelligence, we should also have a much
> > > greater ability to provide all of the entities involved with
> > > whatever resources they need in order to survive and prosper.
> >
> >But why should such entities be permitted to prosper?
> >
> >I don't see why you fail to see the prospect of AIs as a dire
> >threat to the human ecological niche...and the highest obligation
> >of humanity as the defense of that niche.
> >
> In the future I hope that "we" (meaning sentient beings in general) will be 
> enlightened enough not to accept the grim competitive imperative that seems 
> to be suggested in the above. Suppose somehow another race of beings did 
> get created, call it a-humanity ("a" meaning "not"). Would the highest 
> obligation of a-humanity be to defend *its* ecological niche? Would the 
> highest obligation of humanity and a-humanity then be to fight it out, in 
> grim Darwinian fashion, to see who would prevail? We must rise beyond that, 
> and recognize value in all sentient beings irrespective of origins, meat 
> content, or other such classification.

I don't think so.Were we to create rivals,we would need to get rid of
them.The way to win the fight is to make sure that it never happens
in the first place,by ensuring that we never create any non-human

Of course,I don't see calling machines "a race".
The niche-defense obligation extends to biological
intelligence as well,obviously.

> > > There's no strong need to start declaring broad categories of
> > > entities to be "obviously" unfit for human respect and love.
> >
> >If there is a risk of such existence,there is a need for their
> >containment.
> >
> > > So please, let's give the bots a break.
> >
> >I can't see why we should be so blind.
> I suspect that a bot could be designed that you would find attractive 
> enough to develop a blind spot for. If it seemed just like a human but had 
> non-protoplasmic stuff in it ... ? As a start you could try reading Lester 
> Del Rey's 1938, short science fiction classic, "Helen O'Loy," that explores 
> this very theme.

Sex-bots are an old staple.
But a robot is still a robot,
even if its programming leaves
it expressing desire to be a
"Bicentennial Man".

We need clear drawn lines.
We got rid of slavery,
the beings who can own property
can't be property.

Now why turn property into beings?
> >I don't like the idea of deliberate conversion of healthy biological
> >bodies to something else,and hope this never sees acceptance.
> What I hope is that nobody ever tries to deny me the right to accept
> this option if I want it and it's possible to arrange it.

I would,if in a position to do so,frustrate that hope of yours.
I see such a desire,like a desire to die,as insane.

> >If something can be made to work biologically,it should be.
> >A life form that can not exist independently of civilization
> >supporting it is a risky concept.
> In the future I hope and think we will reach a stage where every individual 
> is self-sustaining and doesn't require civilization with its potential for 
> encroaching on personal freedom. This will hold not in spite of but in 
> great part because of technological innovations that will affect our basic, 
> physical structure (ways of getting around aging and diseases, for 
> instance, with their potential for enforcing dependence). At the same time 
> I see great benefits resulting from interactions with other enlightened 
> individuals, and hope that all of us can form a harmonious whole in which 
> we will all take part.

If technological advantages improve our biology,
they will be self-sustaining.But if they are
in the area of things needing to be manufactured,
provided with manufactured means of sustenance,
and so forth,they create civilization-dependence
just as surely as cryosuspension does.

Just what advances do you see that would enable
survival in a primitive environment to be

> >I know traditional mummification deliberately destroys the brain.
> >But I'm not sure what "Modern Mummification" does.
> >
> >The advantage mummification has is that it's low-maintenance.
> >Preservation is a mummy's "default" state,you don't need to keep
> >it in temperatures not found in nature or risk distintegration
> >in the few-millennia timeframe.
> >
> >And there seems no way to combine the advantages,so that if
> >cooling is lost flesh still won't decay.
> I agree, and wish that chemopreservation could be better researched. The 
> trouble is there is really very little interest in the whole idea of 
> preserving remains of a person for future reanimation. In the small 
> movement (our own) that is devoted to that concept, cryopreservation has 
> assumed a dominant role and there doesn't seem to be enough interest and 
> resources to give other possibilities their due. Too bad.

Even if I die I don't want to rot.
Not sure what the most promising
avenues to investigate here are.

Of course permafrost burial is
proposed for lower-maintenance cooling,
but I'm not sure how effectively it
alone retards decay.
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Message #16207 Sat, 5 May 2001 15:18:26 -0700 (PDT)
> From: Doug Skrecky <>
> Subject: some interesting obituaries
>      I was reading some obituaries recently, and felt they served as an
>  interesting reminder that nobody lives forever. To my mind, it seems like
>  only yesterday, that the Ed Sullivan show, and Bonanza were entertaining
>  audiences in black & white, and that Elvis Presley was still the reigning
>  king of rock and roll. Here are some dates.
>  Fred Astaire      1899-1987
>  Lucille Ball      1911-1989
>  Ingrid Bergman    1915-1982
>  Bill Bixby        1934-1993
>  Sonny Bono        1935-1998
>  Lloyd Bridges     1913-1998
>  Yul Brynner       1920-1985
>  George Burns      1986-1996
>  Richard Burton    1925-1984
>  John Candy        1950-1994
>  Agatha Christie   1890-1976
>  Bing Crosby       1903-1977
>  Bette Davis       1908-1989
>  Sammy Davis Jr    1925-1990
>  John Denver       1943-1997
>  Marlene Dietrich  1901-1992
>  James Fixx        1932-1984
>  Henry Fonda       1905-1982
>  Eva Gabor         1919-1995
>  Greta Garbo       1905-1990
>  Ava Gardner       1922-1990
>  Lillian Gish      1893-1993
>  Jackie Gleason    1916-1987
>  Princess Grace    1929-1982
>  Cary Grant        1904-1986
>  Lorne Green       1915-1987
>  Rita Hayworth     1918-1987
>  Audrey Hepburn    1929-1993
>  Burt Lancaster    1913-1994
>  John Lennon       1940-1980
>  Margaux Hemingway 1955-1996
>  Michael Landon    1936-1991
>  Dean Martin       1917-1995
>  Roddy McDowall    1928-1998
>  Steve McQueen     1930-1980
>  Fred McMurray     1908-1991
>  Audrey Meadows    1922-1996
>  Robert Mitchum    1917-1997
>  Liz Montgomery    1933-1995
>  David Niven       1910-1983
>  Vincent Price     1911-1993
>  Elvis Presley     1935-1977
>  Telly Savalas     1922-1994
>  Frank Sinatra     1915-1998
>  Gene Siskel       1946-1999
>  Red Skelton       1913-1997
>  James Stewart     1908-1997
>  Ed Sullivan       1901-1974
>  Mother Teresa     1910-1997
>  Danny Thomas      1912-1991
>  John Wayne        1907-1979

This is the big stumbling block that made me put off
responding to this Cryonet posting for weeks.

Something of interest to me,but many short lines
and thus hard for me to respond with enough text
(especially considering the other ongoing dialogues)
to have as many lines of new vs. quoted text as 
necessary to qualify for queueing.And no particular
rationale for the names and lifespans listed,so I
didn't feel I could edit any of them out except for
the still-living Mike Darwin.(Nor could I reformat
it in fewer lines without changing the presentation).

As I've mentioned before,my particular area of
study is the extreme aged...there are people born 
before everyone on the above list who are still

I have occasionally compiled lists that seem more
purposeful than the above one...either concentric
sets of lives(one short-lived person at the center,
and a sequence of others each born before and died
after the previous one) whether linked or from any
field of endeavor,or short lives fitting,without
overlapping with each other,within one long life
(it is easy to fit four notables' non-overlapping
lives within one very-long-lived person's life)
or my oft-distributed lists of persons documented
to have lived over the age of 110.

Recent activity on my supercentenarians' list has
included completing the documentation of Myrtle
Burkmier Dorsey(an Ohioan who lived from November
1885 to June 2000) and some other confirmations of
survival.Obviously immortalists consider the
setters of longevity records as people to surpass,
whether interested in emulating their lifestyles 
or treating them as beneficiaries of genetic dumb
luck to be potentially analyzed to benefit others.
(I have helped put some supercentenarians and studies
in touch with each other).

On the other hand,an unpleasant recent reminder of
mortality not being conquered yet...I was rather sure
that the recent reports of the death of actress Kim
Walker were a hoax.The reports floated just before
the release anniversary of her best-known film,and
the attributed cause was one her character had joked
about in that film.But when I (giving up hope of 
getting others to do it) called the Screen Actors'
Guild,they confirmed that she was indeed listed as
deceased,and looking under "Kimberly" rather than
"Kim" I at last located her in the Social Security
death files.

She was born in 1968,and died in March at 32.
(Reputedly of a brain tumor,I have not confirmed
that).Years younger than I am.It just feels wrong
when someone dies so young,who ought to be able to
be around to reap the benefits of untold future

(Most people on my short-lives-in-one-long-life
lists died younger,though).
> ----------------------------------------------------
> Message #16208 Date: Sat, 05 May 2001 16:46:35 -0400
> From: James Swayze <>
> Subject: Homes for orphaned cephalons and other stuff
> > CryoNet - Sat 5 May 2001
> Regarding orphaned cephalons:
> >
> > >   In the first phase of Project Future Bound, our surgeons will perform
> > > cephalic isolation, 


> > In other words,this is strictly a project for improving neurosuspension;
> > cutting people's heads off expeditiously is seen as a centerpiece of their
> > care.
> >
> > I'll say again that this focus on neuros is something that disturbs
> > me about Alcor.It's one thing to offer it as a last resort,but to
> > deliberately prefer the preservation of only something that,fully
> > repaired,CAN NOT live on its own seems nonsensical.
> You needn't focus so much on the machine prospect. I believe most of us
> feel that the first method to be tried will be the cloning of a new body
> without expression of the higher brain. Nothing of the brain that
> involves consciousness would be allowed to grow. All that would be is just
> enough to sustain basic biological functions.

But this very warping of the clone would likely have certain
ethicists up in arms.And whatever choice is made in such
matters has negative consequences.

(See answer to Mike Perry above...and the AI complications
mentioned below.If a computer program can be considered a
potential citizen,a clone certainly can be,unless one has
anti-meat dementia!)

> Robot bodies need not be a part of the solution.

Nor was I specifically addressing that.
A fully repaired severed head was what
I was pointing out couldn't survive...

>  It was also said by Yudkowsky himself that his Sysop AI would not let
> us abuse our simulations as they would be considered just as much an
> individual and deserving of rights as we ourselves.

A clear pitfall of treating AI as eligible for citizenship.
> > > If you do conquer me, shall I be allowed to conduct historical
> > > recreations?
> >
> > Leaving aside the slanted terminology...
> >
> > In a word, no.  Not with real people, anyway.  High-accuracy Giant Lookup
> > Table zombies are fine, as are imagined brains that don't have a fine
> > enough granular resolution to qualify as citizens.  But you can't just go
> > around messing with real people's lives!  Not to answer questions about
> > World War II; not for any reason!  Get this:  I care about you and your
> > rights, but I care just as much about the rights of any sentient being you
> > ever create.  I don't think you have the right to abuse a sentient being
> > just because you created it.  As far as I'm concerned, Lee Corbin and Lee
> > Corbin's hapless Churchill thinkalike are both my fellow sentients, and
> > each has just as much claim on my compassion.  Your desire to answer
> > questions about WWII does not permit you to create suffering to find out.
> >
> Logically then the Sysop AI would likely not allow the creation of
> backup copies who would be considered as "having high enough granular
> resolution to be citizens" simply for the purpose of being fodder for
> danger that threatens the immortality of the original. Furthermore, the
> Sysop AI and even society at large might consider having backup copies
> parked on some rock OFF-LINE as unusually cruel. None of us would allow
> someone shutting us down for an indeterminate interval of time. 

There is no useful way to treat AI as citizens.
They are NOT "real people" or even really
"intelligent" under any legal definition
that we should bother entertaining.
Nor is their suffering (remember,Yudkowsky
is whining about a program running in a
computer,here!) real suffering.
Anything run on a computer is a simulation
not to be confused with (deep breath)

[Last message I sent to Cryonet had Robert Ettinger's name in the
subject line but I forgot to include the relevant text I intended
to write.It's just that I haven't seen him posting to Cryonet
lately,even in the face of Leitl's savage words.I was wondering
if he's away from his computer...or otherwise ill?]

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