X-Message-Number: 16350
Date: Sat, 26 May 2001 15:59:53 +0000 ()
From: Louis Epstein <>
Subject: Replies to CryoNet #16334 - #16343

On 26 May 2001, CryoNet wrote:

> Message #16334 Date: Fri, 25 May 2001 04:54:33 -0400
> From: James Swayze <>
> Subject: Re: Oregon for cryonics
> I live next door to Oregon and can research this but I can tell you right
> now nothing in Oregon legislation is permanent. That particular law is
> under attack currently as is anything else the conservatives don't like.

I'm no conservative,but I hate that legislation too.

To permit the hastening of death is by nature mortalist,
not immortalist.
> On another note, Oregon is on the same San Andreas fault line as
> California as is also Washington though neither are as popularly well
> known to be as is California.

It may be on a related tectonic plate boundary,
but it is NOT on the San Andreas Fault itself,
which enters the ocean at Pacifica,California.

> In conclusion, no, I do not think Oregon is a good candidate for
> cryonics activities and certainly not for storage. The progressive
> attitude that makes Oregon conducive to an enlightened law concerning
> euthanasia, in my opinion, is more a comment on the general prevailing
> 'New age' like sentiments tied closely to environmentalism than it is a
> common sense science based attitude toward alleviation of suffering
> while dying.

May be a broken record,but I don't see anything "enlightened" about
permitting action with the avowed aim of ending a person's life.
It can be an unavoidable consequence of palliative care,perhaps...but
I am horrified at permitting any exception to banning actions with a
deliberate purpose of killing.(On the other two life-and-death issues,
I am completely opposed to capital punishment for any reason,and believe
in abortion on demand.A foetus is NOT a person,but once you are one,
you stay one).

> ----------------------------------------------------------
> Message #16336 Date: Fri, 25 May 2001 11:34:05 -0400 (EDT)
> From: Charles Platt <>
> Subject: Yuri, Olaf, and David
> Olaf Henny (I think) wrote re The Netherlands:
> > I'll assert again...the mindset that welcomes euthanasia
> > is not an immortalist one but a mortalist one.They believe
> > that lives should end.
> I'm not sure that this is correct. I think they believe that unnecessary
> suffering should end. Their views on cryonics remain untested, so far as I
> know.

It was not Olaf who wrote that...I did.
As far as I'm concerned,if you die the
suffering wins...it doesn't end,you do.
There is no victory in surrender. 

A legal environment that sees dying as a right
is less likely to welcome living without it.
> ----------------------------------------------------
> Message #16337 Date: Fri, 25 May 2001 10:14:41 -0400
> From: James Swayze <>
> Subject: A little off topic but what is the beef with Seventh Day Adventists?
> See below comments:
> CryoNet wrote:
> > Message #16332 Date: Fri, 25 May 2001 02:01:37 -0400
> David Pascal reminding us of a Charles Platt quote wrote:
> > One such expatriate is back, and another one is about to ship off.  Mr.
> > Charles Platt, refreshed and chipper from his sabbatical, wrote [sic]
> > "Personally I feel that they might just as well join the Seventh Day
> > Adventists."   And before that -- well, you get the idea.
> Here's the actual quote from Cryonet: "b) Some of them
> (at least a dozen) are opting for the Cryonics Institute. Personally I
> feel that they might just as well join the Seventh Day Adventists, since
> I doubt that many CI patients have much chance of resuscitation.
> Obviously, this is just my opinion, but I hold it strongly, and I deeply
> regret the loss of these Alcor UK members."
> > -- David ("Dem Bones / Dem Bones / Gonna Rise!") Pascal
> >
> David signs off with the suggestion that those wishing to know the
> actual positions of various organizations should go to their links, one
> of which is for Seventh Day Adventists. Doing so may surprise some folks.
> > The case for CI can be found at
> > http://www.cryonics.org, the case for Alcor at http://www.alcor.org, the
> > case for ACS at http://www.acs.org, the case for Kyros by writing Mike

It is "Kryos",isn't it?

(Pascal used the permutated spelling more than once).

> > Darwin at , and the case for Seventh Day Adventists at
> > http://www.adventist.org.
> I don't have a clue why Charles Platt would refer to the Seventh Day
> Adventists in mocking fashion to highlight shortcomings he feels CI has.
> More specifically I don't know why he would choose to prefer to use this
> religious organization over any other as being particularly silly or
> useless for a way of achieving immortality and thus useful for mocking
> CI but I respectfully submit he hasn't a clue what Seventh Day
> Adventists truly are about.
> I used to be one. If I could kid myself into still believing in God I
> would be Seventh Day Adventist over any other religion. Having studied
> some about most other religions and indeed most other Christian based
> religions I still find SDA's as the most practical and logical and
> literal truth following of any religion in existence. This is of course
> assuming the bible had no flaws which now being an atheist I adamantly
> point out that it does at every opportunity.

The attitude that if the church one was raised in is not true,
there is no God at all,is one that seems to lead many to atheism.

My own position,I often call "plain-vanilla theism"...there MUST
be a God,or there could not possibly be anything...all existence
is contingent on the existence of an Infinitely First Cause of
existence.However,there are no exclusively-divinely-inspired
books or organizations.

The reason the Seventh Day Adventists are a popular whipping-boy
for the failures of religious proclamations is that they were
first organized,or are the successors of those first organized,
to spread the belief that the world would end in 1843.(Then when
that didn't happen they said 1844).(This distinguishes them from
the Jehovah's Witnesses,who set many dates,most especially 1914,
and only just gave up setting dates recently).
This track record of eschatological myopia attracts much more
attention than any life-extending practices they possess otherwise.
It may not be fair,but what other religious group would you point
to as a more deserving target of the type of criticism you think
misdirected at the Seventh Day Adventists?

With regard to the whole issue of "End Time Prophecies",
I commend one and all to "A Brief History of the Apocalypse"
at http://www.chrisnelson.net/ .

> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Message #16338 Date: Fri, 25 May 2001 12:04:12 -0500
> From: Steve Jackson <>
> Subject: Re: CryoNet #16321 - #16333
>  Louis Epstein <> wrote . . .
> >I believe the copyright laws are exactly the opposite.
> >You are not allowed to publish letters you receive without
> >the consent of the author,who owns the copyright of the
> >letter.
> >The recipient owns *the physical letter*,and can also
> >prevent its publication,but it is the intellectual
> >property of the sender.Just like buying a manuscript
> >doesn't make you the owner of the copyright.
> Sorry, Louis, but that's simply not the case. Consult a lawyer if you
> don't believe me. If you write someone a letter, you have no recourse
> if they choose to publish it. Copyright law is not relevant here.

This is not what I recall the situation was regarding the
love letters James Hewitt received from the late Princess
of Wales.He was forbidden from publishing them,I think he
claimed a right to but lost his case in court.

Intellectual property IS relevant.A right to publish whatever
is sent to you is certainly not unrestricted.I remember back in
college I looked over the Ogre game rules and came up with a
Mark of Ogre somewhat more powerful than any in the game.I'm
sure if I sent my notes to someone and that person had published
it as a game aid you'd have gone after that person...just as the
government would have gone after you if you'd tried to build a
working model of the referenced device in your back yard.
> ---------------------------------------------------
> Message #16340 From: "Thomas Nord" <>
> Subject:  Attention World: The Secret to Long Life Is in What You Eat! 
> Date: Sat, 26 May 2001 03:10:22 +0200
> http://www.okinawatimes.co.jp/ad/summit/doe/08.html
With regard to Okinawa...does anyone here have
sources there that can confirm whether or not
Gozei Taba is still alive?
(She was mentioned in Summit publicity,and was
still alive as of September 2000.She was born
September 12,1889...the same day as Nellie Bradley,
a woman in England who was alive this spring.
They are the first known persons born the same
day to reach 111.Two Swedish women,Hilda Grahn
and Teresia Lindahl,were the first persons born
the same day to both reach 110...Grahn died two
weeks later.No actual TWINS have both reached a
birthday after their 108th).

> ----------------------------------------------------
> Message #16342 Date: Fri, 25 May 2001 19:44:04 -0700
> From: Olaf Henny <>
> Subject: Meat Beings & Cryonics in the EU
> Louis Epstein wrote:
> >> My choice would be Holland.  It has good access from all
> >> directions and, more importantly, it has not only quietly
> >> condoned euthanasia for decades, but has recently legalized it
> >> for its citizens.  I am not sure if citizens from other EU
> >> countries can obtain the same privilege after establishing
> >> residency there.
> >I'll assert again...the mindset that welcomes euthanasia
> >is not an immortalist one but a mortalist one. They believe
> >that lives should end.A marriage-of-convenience with
> >cryonics is risky,just as the notion of piggybacking on
> >right-to-lifers' desire to preserve embryos to advance
> >cryosuspension research is.
> That is not how I view the mind set in Holland.
> The tenor in their legislations, be it in terms of sexual or
> drug policies, has always seemed to me one of tolerance toward
> the choice of the individual.  That is something cryonics
> absolutely requires during its early pre-mainstream phase.

Tolerance toward self-destructiveness(which is what I see in
their sexual,drug,and euthanasia policies) is not necessarily
encouragement to single-minded avoidance of destruction.

There's something pro-entropy in the belief that all can do
whatever they please whatever the consequences...and the
passive acceptance of decay is not the mindset that leads
to devising means to refute long-held beliefs that decay
can not possibly be avoided.Every mindset has its own
heresies...look at the abhorrence worshippers of diversity
have toward diversity of opinion on the value of diversity.
I think those determined to secure eternal life for themselves
are the natural opposites of those determined to secure 
premature death for themselves.

> ----------------------------------------------------
> Message #16343 Date: Fri, 25 May 2001 21:02:38 -0700
> From: Mike Perry <>
> Subject: Re: Epstein's posting #16326
> > > 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.
> Maybe so. But even mortalists dying are still people dying. To me that is 
> not good, and it also doesn't mean they really wanted it that way. They 
> would have preferred continued life in a state of health, and might well 
> have chosen a preservation option but for various tragically mistaken 
> inhibitions. I'm not saying I would deny the right to make a misguided 
> choice--but I don't have to like it either.

I'm not saying anyone's death should be liked or applauded.
And as I note below I DO at times deny the right to make a choice
I see as mistaken.(Same above with my comments on the euthanasia
issue...I consider a wish to die as insane,and not to be gratified).

I do see a significant degree of freedom in whether or not to
seek medical care,but can not concede a right to seek deliberate
foreshortening of one's life.(A consequence of care with other
aims as primary,yes,but not the avowed goal of any procedure).
> > > [regarding Alcor's neurovitrification project:]
> > >
> > > 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. [snip]
> >
> >The body-below-the-neck is not a recognized organ (or tissue type).
> So what? It just *is*, by reasonable criteria, another appendage like the 
> nose, only bigger and more complex. It isn't "you"--that part is in the 
> head. (All right, I overlook some issues here, like whether a significant 
> part of a pianist's identity is in her hands and so on, but I think I can 
> defend this position.)

A severed head being a person,certainly,
is a position that few have taken or would
argue.It's certainly not a self-sustaining
biological entity.

It's hard to ascribe identity to a portion
of a self.

> >The issues raised are not easily dealt with.
> >Would it be considered abusive to ensure that a
> >clone developed in an anencephalic state?
> An anencephalic clone is no person. So it ought not to be considered 
> "abusive" -- you aren't abusing anybody.

Again,there will be people arguing this.Look at the
anti-abortionists proclaiming zygotes and blastulas
to be citizens with civil rights...they certainly
have no differentiated organs at all.

So a "pinhead" is not a person to you...is a brain
by itself a person to you?

How about a cerebrum by itself?

> >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?)
> Very different issue. Put a brain in there and you now have states of 
> consciousness and personhood. You then have to consider the civil rights
> of the person you have created.

But if it turns out to be the only way of generating whole bodies
such as those the neuropreserved person had in life?

The whole area of rights-of-clones has no particular
law dedicated to it.And whichever path it takes has
advantages and disadvantages.

> >And growing patchwork parts and putting them all together
> >would have its own complications.
> >
> >Best find a way to repair a whole body!
> I think replacing it would be better yet. I have curvature of the spine, 
> and my shoulders are too narrow. Why not just make a whole new skeletal 
> frame, and you might as well make other parts new too.

I am viscerally opposed to ever having a "former body".
I think any nanorepair technology that could be created
could correct a body's problems throughout.
I am sure that there could be means of applying materials
science to biological entities that would enhance them
as such,rather than replace them.

> > > [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.
> > > >
> It sounds like you're saying that the highest aim of human existence is
> the preservation of the species. To me it's the individual that counts.

There are distinct aims for the individual and for the species.
But no individual should be permitted to engage in betrayal of
the niche-position of the species.

Every species needs to view itself as the final culmination of
evolution...or it will become extinct.

> >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
> >intelligence!
> Why stop at that? Let's create as few intelligent beings as possible, 
> beyond what are already here. And since most of them now here are 
> mortalists, maybe they'll just die off too, leaving only a "skeleton crew." 

No...a species needs to reproduce into many environments to ensure its
survival.(And also guard itself against ever differentiating into more
than one species,of course).

Ray Bradbury had a quote on this a few years ago,I don't recall it
exactly,but it referred to something inborn in us with an urge to
"create so many towns on so many worlds that NOTHING can ever kill
man"...it would be a shame if woolly-eyed "posthumanism" were 
the seed of our destruction instead.

> But where do you stop? Isn't anybody else, besides yourself, a potential 
> rival? Needless to say, I see things in a very different light. I don't 
> think we should play rabbit, but creating other beings, and not necessarily 
> all made of meat, is nothing to shun in principle.

I think it is.
We don't...or shouldn't...ever want to be replaced.
There's no cause for mortalism for a species any
more than there is for an individual.

> >Of course,I don't see calling machines "a race".
> >The niche-defense obligation extends to biological
> >intelligence as well,obviously.
> I'm sure a flock of machines could be designed that would function much as 
> a species, capable of self-replication, looking out for its own interests, 
> trying to preserve its ecological niche, and so on. In effect it would be 
> just as much a "race" as a biological counterpart.

Perhaps it could,but it certainly shouldn't.
And it certainly shouldn't be viewed as being
entitled to its interests wherever they may
conflict with ours.

> >[snip]
> > >
> > > 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".

> If it expresses desire it is a being, regardless of its origin or composition.

A program made to print "I WANT _____" is a "being"?

The issues are simply not as simple
as you're painting them here.
(In other ways,I see them as
simpler than you do,of course).

> >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?
> People do that all the time. Farms (property) produce food. People eat it, 
> they reproduce.

Not the same thing...it's not creation of outside-the-species
entities then treated as intelligences.

> > > >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.
> Well, naturally I disagree with your position and would, if in a position 
> to do so, frustrate your attempts to deny me what I feel is my right to 
> choose, and something not by any stretch of imagination insane.

I see it as self-destructive,and self-destructiveness as insane.
Turning yourself into something non-human destroys your humanity,
while trying to unduly stretch the definition of humanity is
a destruction of humanity itself.

> >Just what advances do you see that would enable
> >survival in a primitive environment to be enhanced?
> Nanotechnology and AI, mainly. Powerful tools, very good if used with care.

AI is a product of civilization,
in a "primitive environment" it
would not exist.Nanotechnology may
or may not produce things that can
survive without technological support.
> >[snip]
> >Even if I die I don't want to rot.
> Me either.
> A combination of chemopreservation and permafrost might be better than 
> either by itself. But this is an area that hasn't gotten the attention it 
> deserves.

Maybe John Grigg can tell us if
anyone in Alaska would want to
work on this??

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