X-Message-Number: 16377
Date: Mon, 28 May 2001 22:03:46 +0000 ()
From: Louis Epstein <>
Subject: Replies to CryoNet #16355 - #16367

On 28 May 2001, CryoNet wrote:

> ----------------------------------------------------
> Message #16355 Date: Sun, 27 May 2001 07:20:22 -0400
> From: Kitty Antonik <>
> Subject: Re: CryoNet #16353 Attacking Vs Judging
> This message is from Paul not Kitty.
> What Ben and others need to learn is that there is a difference between
> "attacking" and "judging", between writing scientific truth and making
> political arguments! Ben and others are indeed on my list of people I
> deem are unworthy of my association, but the reason is because I do not
> tolerate those who betray their own principles and beliefs by not being
> willing to stand up and speak and support the truth wherever they see or
> read it. However, in Ben's case the main reasons were first, that he
> admitted to not even reading my posts about cryopreservation science let
> alone not supporting them,

Makes him a curious choice as successor
at the Institute for Neural Cryobiology,
doesn't it?

> ----------------------------------------------------------
> Message #16356 Date: Sun, 27 May 2001 07:37:38 -0400 (EDT)
> From: Charles Platt <>
> Subject: choice
> it was Louis Epstein who wrote:
> > I think those determined to secure eternal life for themselves
> > are the natural opposites of those determined to secure
> > premature death for themselves.
> This absolutism is very strange to me. All I want is the right to make a
> choice. If I can defy my biological heritage and destiny, defeat death,
> copy my intelligence into a computer, or use any other strategy to achieve
> transcendence, I claim that right. If I find that life is intolerable and
> I wish to end it, because I am in intolerable pain, or am suffering from
> locked-in syndrome, or some other condition that induces fear and misery,
> I claim the right to end my life.
> This is a very consistent attitude.

Different value systems treat different consistencies 
as more important than others.By my standards it is
the preservation of life that is to be consistently
preferred,more importantly than volition;by the
standards Charles extols,it is the person's volition
that is to be consistently preferred,even at the cost
of the person's life.

As far as I am concerned,a wish to die is insane by
definition,and the person who has it needs to be
protected from its consequences.Others don't have
a right to wilfully end your life,and NEITHER DO YOU.
Foolishness must be guarded against.

> ---------------------------------------------------
> Message #16359 Date: Sun, 27 May 2001 11:10:05 -0500
> From: Steve Jackson <>
> Subject: Re: CryoNet #16346 - #16354
> >>  Louis Epstein <> wrote . . .
> >Intellectual property IS relevant.A right to publish whatever
> >is sent to you is certainly not unrestricted
> Red herring, Louis! You can't put someone else's work in the public domain
> by sending it to a third party, or in fact transmit to them any rights you
> did not yourself have . . . and I didn't say you could. We are talking
> about ordinary correspondence.

A specific example of the reach of the new
copyright law that I recall being cited is
that,if you leave a message for a milkman
on your doorstep,you own the copyright of
that note.
About as ordinary as correspondence gets.

> >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...
> Possibly . . . but for violating MY rights, not yours. Note also that
> material intended as creative work may (MAY) have more protection than
> just letters.

Fuzzy definitions.Who decides when prose is
"creative work"?

> >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.
> Irrelevant

Well,there's the analogy.
The right to correspond about something
doesn't entail the right to publish it.
The right to the concept of something
doesn't entail the right to build and operate it.

> but a very cool image :-)  Could that be what they were really
> looking for when they . . . Naaaaah.

I don't think so...but of course the way you've
presented the SS raiders you never know.

"I have to look under that desk."

"Trust me,the kind of Ogre you're looking
for could never fit under a desk."

"I've read Grimm's fairy tales and don't
believe you.Get out of the way so I can 
shine the flashlight!"

"OK,but the kind of Ogre you're looking 
for could never fit under a desk."

"OK,it's not there,now unlock that drawer."

"Trust me,the kind of Ogre you're looking
for could never fit in a drawer."

"My warrant says I get every Ogre on the
premises,now unlock that drawer or I'll
pry it open..."

Of course,if you HAD been building it the case would have been

"Honestly,Officer,this is just game research!
The guy who designed it wasn't on staff,how are
we to determine how much faster it could destroy
Houston than the ones in the last edition without
a playtest?"

But if you'd BUILT it...300 tread points as I recall,I forget
the armament specs...it would have been a matter for the 82nd
Airborne more than the Secret Service.

> To get back to the point - if somebody sends you e-mail absent any sort of
> NDA, you can legally copy it to others or post it to the net without their
> permission. I agree that there are possible moral issues if the content of
> the mail was very personal and the writer was not a public figure or
> confessing to a crime, none of which applies of the kind of mail we were
> discussing. But the issues are moral, not legal. Don't argue with me -
> argue with the courts :-)

I remember the annoyance of seeing a piece
I had only ever emailed to a handful of
people posted on a newsgroup,and later
learning that it was on BBSes coast to
coast.It's made me very reluctant to
share some writings.

> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Message #16362 From: "George Smith" <>
> Subject: Survival through cryonics - My personal plan
> Date: Sun, 27 May 2001 15:01:32 -0700
> (2) If I die, I want to preserve any aspect of my body in any manner
> possible.  Period.

(I feel the same way).
> Since I CANNOT know what will prove to be possible in an indefinite future
> to revive me, NEITHER will I choose to limit what might work through
> assuming any limiting assumptions in the present.
> Therefore my DNA is already stored in liquid nitrogen at the Cryonics
> Institute as well as those of my family members and pets.
> That means that regardless of the degree of damage to my dead body I wish
> to have all of that which is found preserved.
> That means that a "straight freeze" with NO cryoprotectants at all is better
> than no freeze.
> That means ANY form of preservation is better than no preservation.
> That mean SOMETHING saved for the future is better than nothing saved.

But is there any reasonable expectation 
that only fragments of DNA can possibly 
result in the restoration of the deceased
self,as opposed to the creation of a clone
of the body of the deceased?
By what scientific means could more than
that possibly happen?

[If I am dead,I still want my body to
outlast as many other people's bodies
as possible].

> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Message #16364 Date: Sun, 27 May 2001 22:01:18 -0400 (EDT)
> From: Charles Platt <>
> Subject: Reply to Graham Hipkiss
> On Mon, 28 May 2001, Graham  Hipkiss wrote:
> > Maybe, Alcor is the superior because they use stabilising medications
> > which should be advantageous and CI, at present, do not, but they are
> > useless unless you have people around to apply them quickly.
> And, vitrification procedures are not so simple; and since vitrification
> means that the entire patient becomes a solid, brittle object that
> fractures easily under thermal stress, higher-storage temperature is
> desirable, which is not a trivial problem.

Isn't avoiding the brittleness an argument in favor of 
the otherwise-castigated CI policy of slow cooldowns?
I have to wonder what will happen the next time CI moves.
14 whole-bodies were moved INTO the Erfurt-Runkel Building,
when the time comes to again seek larger quarters (the
Ettinger Center?) the project could involve ten times that
many.Keeping them at constant temperature and free of any
mechanical shock that could cause cracking will be a
challenge,I expect.And I do think that it will be far 
enough in the future that means could be found to revive
bodies that there is no doubt of such a move being necessary

> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Message #16366 Date: Mon, 28 May 2001 02:08:13 -0400
> Subject: A Prolix Reply
> From: 
> Charles Platt wrote:
> >>CI was warned repeatedly (by myself and others) that its procedures
> were a) probably poisoning the cells that were reached by the highly
> toxic solution while b) probably leaving other cells completely
> unprotected, so that they would be decimated by freezing damage. <<
> And those cells 'decimated' by freezing damage, students.  Does
> freezing really 'decimate' cells - reduce them to ash, dust, pure
> non-being?  -- Yes, David?" 

It is possible,to be fair,that Charles
Platt was using "decimated" in its
comparatively wimpy classical Roman
meaning..."reduce by one tenth".
And I expect that there are some
tissues where such cell loss would
have significant adverse medical effects.
> ----------------------------------------------------
> Message #16367 Date: Sun, 27 May 2001 23:52:28 -0700
> From: Mike Perry <>
> Subject: Response to Epstein #16350.
> >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.
> To me a severed head is simply a kind of amputee (one needing special 
> support, to be sure, but so what?). A person without a leg or arm is still 
> a whole person, ditto with a severed head. Maybe only a few today would 
> agree--but that doesn't make the others right.

Certainly it's possible for a small minority to be right 
about something when conventional wisdom is wrong.But
I'm not saying this is such a case...and indeed,the
lack of sustainability is a serious factor.

> > > >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.
> They are not persons either in my view.

Yet they differ from persons in having the same sort
of lack of sustainable independent existence as
applies to severed heads.

At the present time,there IS a biological system
(a pregnant woman) that can keep an embryo alive
until it can achieve personhood.There is no 
heart-lung-etc. machine that can keep a severed
head going...cut off the attached body,and it's

> >So a "pinhead" is not a person to you...is a brain
> >by itself a person to you?
> >
> >How about a cerebrum by itself?
> I recognize the possibility of gray areas between person and non-person; 
> it's not always a simple matter to judge. Zygotes, blastulas, and 
> anencephalic clones seem to me to be so clearly on the nonperson side that 
> there is no reason to think otherwise. A whole, intact brain is clearly a 
> person, on the other hand, an amputee like the severed head. A cerebrum 
> also would qualify as a person, I think, because memories are stored there.

Have there been any cryonics cases where just a brain was preserved,
besides Luna Wilson?
> A pinhead--I'm inclined to be lenient in cases of mental defects, as long 
> as you clearly have sentience, especially if it includes human properties 
> such as some ability to communicate linguistically.

I've seen "pinhead" used as a colloquial term used for those
born with anencephaly,not sure what others the term is applied

> And all sentient beings 
> have some value as such, in my view, so this means you would tender respect 
> toward even severely impaired humans who still were marginally sentient.

Perhaps medical fixes for their impairments
will be developed in due course.
> Even someone who is permanently comatose (by today's standards) should be 
> considered human if their identity-critical information survives in the 
> dormant brain (much as in the case of a well-enough preserved cryopatient).

But of course we've yet to prove that
cryopatients' brains in fact do have
information preserved in them.

> >[snip]
> > > 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.
> To me the whole concept of "species" is of no deep significance. Or put 
> another way, I see all sentient beings as fundamentally one species, which 
> will, I think and hope, become progressively more unified and harmonious as 
> we get beyond our biological limitations, the chief of which is death.

I am hopeful of,and see an overriding duty to,
conserving the monopoly H. sapiens sapiens has
on sentience in its biosphere,while not about
to engage in wars of extermination with any
other sentient species we may discover we 
coexist with but had nothing to do with creating.
> >Every species needs to view itself as the final culmination of
> >evolution...or it will become extinct.
> I hope to see the human species, meaning the biological entity we presently 
> call homo sapiens, become extinct within a century or so.

I want to see it last longer than any species in the
history of life has ever lasted.

> Of course we, the individuals, will (I strongly hope) live on and on
> instead, having outgrown this earlier phase of our lives much as a
> baby outgrows the crib and diapers. And I'm not saying we should
> repudiate the past either--far from it. But we do want to go on to
> better things.

I see this impulse as self-destructive.
You do not build upon your foundations by
tearing them out,but by strengthening 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
> > > >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).
> Again, we're all one species and need to break down the barriers that 
> divide us, which would involve some considerable appreciation of others' 
> diversity. I see value in differentiating, so long as there is mutual love 
> and respect, which is what we really need to cultivate and enhance to 
> survive. If we can conquer death, I would hope we can do this too.

We are asking for barriers if we permit unneccessary
diversity.The development of opposed consciousnesses
has been a bane of human existence.Every war there
ever was has been caused by division.The "I am a ---
while you are a ____" mentality is bad for all.

Diversity is a fact of life to be accomodated...not
a positive good to be celebrated.Regrettably those 
who see a need to stop being moved to violence by
difference forget that differences are for OVERCOMING.
We need to make them LESS important to us,not more.
We need to grow by increasing the things we share,
not the things that divide us.

> >[snip]

> > > 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.
> What I think is that sufficiently enlightened beings will not have 
> interests that conflict so much as to lead to violence. I don't think we 
> should just create some artificial plague of locusts; what we do must be 
> very carefully managed, for reasonable, enlightened aims of betterment.

I think that sufficiently enlightened beings will not
sow the seeds of their own destruction by deliberately
causing the emergence of entities capable of supplanting

Can we really be sure of the results of such efforts...
with the presence of Yudkowskians among us who would
WANT our creations to get out of control and take
control of us??

> >[snip]
> > > If it expresses desire it is a being, regardless of its origin or 
> > > composition.
> >
> >A program made to print "I WANT _____" is a "being"?
> Sorry, I misunderstood you here. To "express desire" I was thinking implied 
> to "have desire," but you could look at it differently. If a computer types 
> "I want a bike" it doesn't necessarily want a bike.

I would rephrase that that it necessarily
doesn't...because being artificial,it is
impossible for its desires to be real.

> >[snip]
> >
> >Not the same thing...it's not creation of outside-the-species
> >entities then treated as intelligences.
> Once again, I don't recognize the importance of the "species." It's the 
> individual that counts. "Species" is just a convenient term to apply to
> a set of individuals that have some particular thing in common. Its 
> application in biology is meaningful now, but will, I think, lose its 
> importance as we progress and become more than human.

I am very suspicious of the concept of "more than human".
It may have meaning as "human,and ALSO superhuman"...but
the nonhuman must be necessarily seen as subhuman,and the
survival of humanity rests on holding to that position.

> > > >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.
> Ah, what does it mean to be human? Probably different things to different 
> people, as the old saying goes. To me, being human is something that has 
> its strong points, but weak points too, and ultimately, some unacceptable 
> limitations. So I want to become more than human. In a sense, then, you 
> could say that I seek to "destroy" my humanity, but only because I want to 
> develop into something higher, like a child wanting someday to be no longer 
> a child. On the material plane, I think this will very likely involve 
> abandoning the protoplasmic body I am now expressed in. Properly handled, 
> it will be no catastrophe but quite the contrary.

Again,a tree can grow,but it must never be torn out
by the roots.To become something divorced from your
origin is to cease to exist...a death as thorough
as any other.A computer programmed to ape my thinking
is not me...especially if it does not share my
conviction that a computer programmed to ape my
thinking is not me!!

And the abandonment of humanity would be a catastrophe,
even MORE so because there would be those thinking it
not to be so.
> >[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??
> Maybe. There is also the Cryonics Society of Canada, which Ben Best once 
> told me was interested in this idea. How about it?

I can't answer there.

> ------------------------------------------

Meanwhile,in the world outside Cryonet,people
are dying.Yesterday,Victor Kiam of Remington.
Today,Congressman Moakley(like Kiam,aged 74)
and--I learned by happening to watch a 
satellite feed--a Pennsylvania legislator,
Italo Cappabianca,aged 64.(Twice Kim Walker's
age,and she was twice Michael Cuccione's,
to pick up on examples I cited recently).


It's gotta end.

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