X-Message-Number: 16614
Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2001 01:49:54 +0000 ()
From: Louis Epstein <>
Subject: Replies to CryoNet #16587 - #16599

On 20 Jun 2001, CryoNet wrote:

> Message #16587 Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2001 03:01:21 -0400
> From: James Swayze <>
> The baby in the snow bank is a widely reported very very recent case.
> Her core temp got to 60 degrees F and her extremities were in danger of
> frostbite were saved by careful and slow warming and perhaps other
> methods I don't recall just now.

There have actually been two recent
such cases of note...Erika Nordby in
Canada and a boy in Wisconsin,about
the same age.Both revived after being
frozen,with no vital signs detected.

I just wonder how many similarly 
situated people over the years have
been given up for dead,and buried.

> ----------------------------------------------------
> Message #16589 Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2001 06:09:58 -0700
> From: Kennita Watson <>
> Subject: Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-changes


> Louis Epstein wrote:
> > You do have the same body you had as a small child,which has matured.You
> > have not replaced it,it has continued to develop. An "uploadee" would have
> > left the body.Ceasing to be human.
> I will probably upload eventually, but along the way I expect to:
> - cure my MS and repair the damage it's done

Not dehumanizing...

> - replace my vocal chords with more flexible and pure-toned ones (I
> 	love to sing) -- including a much wider range

With real ones or fakes?

> - set up my musculature and motor cortex so I can dance (another of
> 	my favorite activities) the way I imagine

Not sure just what you mean here.

> - greatly increase my endurance


> - replace all my bones with diamondoid fibers or other synthetics

By genetically engineered biological means,or
just rip and stitch?

> - replace my eyes and visual cortex with ones that can process 
> 	a much wider spectrum
> - replace my ears and auditory cortex with ones that can 
> 	process a much wider spectrum

You think you'd like this?

> - park a nanobot in every cell of my body to check for and repair
> 	damage, flush waste products, etc.
> - upgrade the wiring in my brain to greatly speed up its functioning


> - add a computer interface -- maybe a brain-to-brain interface -- 
> 	and extra memory
> - replace my skin with more durable material, probably with
> 	selectable color and design, that can tolerate a much 
> 	greater temperature range
> I could probably think of more if it weren't 6 AM.  I've got to get 
> 	some sleep soon.  Oh yeah --
> - set myself up so sleeping was no longer required
> - and eating
> - and excreting
> - and breathing
> - and dying
> When in there did I stop being human?

Quite possibly somewhere,depending on how
you do it.

> Like I'd care.  As far as I'm concerned, I'd still be me, which is
> what matters in my book.

If you turned into something not-you
deluded that it was you,you/it wouldn't
really be you.

> ----------------------------------------------------
> Message #16590 Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2001 09:40:40 -0400
> From: "Raphael T. Haftka" <>
> Homosexuality and cryonics
> Mike Darwin's post on homosexuals and cryonics was very instructive. It 
> struck a chord in me, as my wife is quite hostile to cryonics. I noticed 
> though that she and other women I know are fond of male gay men, while 
> being hostile to gay women. Similarly, men appear to be hostile to gay men 
> and not to lesbians. Evolutionary, one would expect the opposite, because 
> you should be glad to have as many homosexuals of the same sex, so as to 
> reduce the competition for members of the opposite sex.
> The only explanation that I can come up with is that in the past, some 
> heterosexuals masqueraded as gays in order to lull their competition into a 
> false sense of security. Is there another possible explanation? Is the 
> hostility purely cultural?

I see a certain commonality of interest
between (heterosexual) people and opposite-sex 
homosexuals...they both have attraction to
that sex,and can understand it,while both
are not interested in the observer's own sex.

I've never understood men attracted to
lesbians,or women attracted to male homosexuals,
but they are out there.

> ----------------------------------------------------
> Message #16591 Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2001 11:41:40 -0400
> From: Deathist Lurker Girl <>
> I feel I can speak for members of the general public who have had *some* 
> scientific education, *some* interest in the future of the human race 
> (and/or its "post-" or "trans-" human legacy).
> Many people can wrap themselves in a cocoon of denial regarding the 
> inevitability of their own deaths (in the absence of an intervention such 
> as cryonic suspension, of course) by avoiding all contact with, and 
> discussion about death.

Well,the attitude toward death that
leads people to be determined to avoid
it can also be characterized as being
obsessed with it,even if it's "denial"
about the "inevitability".
Accepting death as inevitable,as I
was observing to Mike Perry,is held
up in our mortalist society as a sign
of maturity...but to me,when you have
accepted mortality as inevitable you
have already begun to die.

That everybody dies is only proven
for those born before 1887...and
there may yet be a falsifying data
point out there.

I must say that in my careful
tracking of the oldest living persons
(as well as the oldest persons ever)
I am acutely aware of the frailty these
persons have.The leaderboard of life
has frequent turnover as the baton is
passed on.But while there is life,
there is hope for any...from those
who can barely speak or move to
Fred Hale(born 1890) who has 20/30
vision after a cataract operation
last year(almost unknown in this
usually-near-blind age bracket)
and was doing pushups before a
recent bout with pneumonia).

> I have not yet encountered anyone who, when diagnosed as "terminal" for 
> medical puposes (i.e. given a prognosis of 0-6 months of estimated 
> remaining life), has related that he or she has heard of "people being 
> frozen after they die" and inquired after information about that 
> procedure.  If I did, I would definitely provide that person with contact 
> information for all cryonics companies currently in operation.

Well,of course the cryonics companies
don't consider it to be "after they
die"...the lure is that you might get
awakened some day(well,some century).
> Could the system of cryopreservation be decentralized so that more of these 
> "last minute" cases could be accomodated?  I believe so, but it would take 
> a great deal of mutual respect, trust, and communication between the 
> cryonics and non-cryonics ("deathist") communities.
> I would urge signed-up cryonicists who are tempted to think in an "elitist" 
> fashion to remember that being signed up is only a first step to a 
> successful suspension.  The manner and circumstances of your deanimation 
> will be of the utmost importance.  If one lives in a planned community of 
> fellow cryonicists and never ventures away from home, this might be a moot 
> point; but I believe the majority of you like to have travel and 
> "adventure" in your lives

I must say I'm baffled by that
guy whose demise in the African
desert was reported here...I'm
more a stay-in-my-coccoon-and-read
type.Though I travel sometimes.

> There is a saying attributed to (a man whom I believe to be a
> mythological character) one Jesus of Nazareth, who replied 
> to his disciples as they complained about a "copycat" miracle-worker,

I think there was a man,but
there was a lot of mythology
woven about him.(I wouldn't
be surprised if the real man
was conceived in wedlock,
horrifying as that claim might
be to his worshippers).
> I read the bible, as well as other religious works, because although I 
> consider them largely fictional, such works are not incapable of conveying 
> wisdom. 


> ----------------------------------------------------
> Message #16592 Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2001 14:41:27 -0400
> From: <>
> Reproduction is only one of the reasons why evolution came up with
> sex.  (See the popular accounts by Matt Ridley for example.)

Whatever it may be used for,
that's still why it exists.
> dan
> ------------------------------------
> Message #16595 From: 
> Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2001 17:00:28 EDT
> In a message dated 6/19/01 Louis Epstein writes in 14 point bold print 
> (please stop doing this):

For the record,I compose my messages
in Pine 3.94 using the connected Pico
editor.I have no control over what
font other mail-reading programs
render what I write,and am certainly
not setting any particular font or
type size.
> >  I'll say again that I read through years of Cryonet archives...I am
> >  aware of Mgdarwin's homosexuality and of his status as the tortured
> >  genius of the field,there at the edge of cryopreservations for more
> >  of his life than probably anyone.
> Tortured genius? Hmm that's a new one. It used to be Evil Genius. Well, at 
> least the genius part is sticking ;-).

Well,I don't know what "evil" you've
done,but you seem riven by angst at
the failings in the field,and to have
made great personal emotional investment
in it with sacrifice as a result.

> >  But the nihilist worldview of biology here expressed is part of
> >  the same despair that led him to abjure "freezing corpses" a few
> >  years ago.We need a more hopeful vision of being able to create a
> >  best order where there was none,to drive immortalism.
> This doesn't express my position at all. The two words quoted above were 
> taken out of context. If you've read Cryonics: Reaching for Tomorrow or "Why 
> We Are Cryonicists" (both published by Alcor; the former written in part by 
> me and the latter in toto) you have a pretty good idea of how much of a 
> "nihilist" I am.

I think you're missing my point...

> There is a big difference between nihilism and frustration and despair over 
> specific deficient practices and deep problems with a discipline. (More on 
> nihilism below.)

...but what I'm referring to is your
despair over deficient practices being
analogous to your feeling that biology
is a blind crapshoot with no concept
or hope of progress inherent in its
nature.One hopelessness allied to

> >  If we're going to make ourselves last indefinitely,its being impossible
> >  before can't be seen as making it impossible for the future.
> I don't think many people here have said that is impossible, and I certainly 
> have not. If you are asking for a Panglossian philosophy that says "we are 
> all living the best of all possible worlds" let's be happy, then I'd suggest 
> you read Voltaire's CANDIDE. This is an easily accessible little book and 
> people shouldn't be put off by its author's reputation as a "great 
> philosopher." 

I read it many years ago,actually.
(More recently saw the much-sanitized
Broadway version).But I'm not saying
this is the best of all possible worlds,
only that it can become better and better
(which a "blind crapshoot" would not).

> >  > Right now, wings have the edge: birds live longer, better lives than
> >  > mammals, including man, although we are closing the gap, albeit at
> >  > enormous destabilizing impact on the rest of the biosphere.
> >  
> >  What longevity records for birds are you aware of?
> >  (The human record remains 122,on a proven basis,though the
> >  110+ age category continues to grow).
> Lifespan can be looked at in absolute terms or in relative terms. 

> Metabolically birds beat us hollow. A canary has well over the metabolic rate
> of a mouse and can live for 15 years (mice live for 2) . The largest raptors 
> such as the Eagles appear to have lifespans of 120 years or greater.

Hmmm.I'll have to look into this.
Not sure how closely bird longevity
has been studied.I know tortoises
can outlast us.But the metabolism
there is rather different.

> Humans may well close the life span and life quality gap, and I would agree 

> we are getting close now, but not with as much finesse as animals like whales
> or birds.

Well,we're certainly more

> Yes, we are surviving till 115 or so, but not in youth or even good 
> health. And yes, I obviously think we have the possibility of changing this. 
> But, until it is done we can't be sure. 

The 30 people I've recorded as
reaching age 115 were all born 
after 1864,all but one after 1873.
> With literally one or two exceptions almost all heterosexuals in key
> positions in cryonics today (and in the past) have been childless or 
> single. In cases where they did reproduce it was usually after their period 
> of activism or after their children were grown and this was and is the 
> exception rather than the rule. 

I am 40 and childless and single.
I am not particularly interested
in remaining so,but temperament
makes my remaining so likely...like
Groucho's not wanting to join a club
that would have him for a member,
the kind of woman who could lure me
out of my shell could surely find
someone more to her liking than me.
> The percentage of single or childless heterosexuals in activist positions in 
> cryonics was and probably still is truly staggering. Let me assure you these 
> people were not celibate! 

But what about Mike Perry?

> Normally, I wouldn't even address arguments like yours, but in this case
> it raises an interesting point I've thought about for a long time: most
> people heavily involved in cryonics are not only childless, they are
> actively childless; they don't want children.

I'm aware of,but don't see the
sense of,the "childfree" types....
what the hey,let's build them a
ghetto so they'll die and we can
divvy up their stuff.(The cryonicists
among them excepted,perhaps).
> And, speaking of masturbation: WHAT A WASTE! What a terrible, miscreant and 
> illogical use of sex and sexual organs! I wonder why most primates spend so 
> much of their time doing it? And not just in zoos, either. 

Well,it's efficient exercise
of the relevant organs that
doesn't involve unwanted interactions...

> >  > Homosexuality is no more or less aberrant than the first feathers or the
> >  > first wings or the first human born without a brain or one born with
> >  > a tail. It's all the same to the universe. It's a blind crapshoot and
> >  > whatever works, works.
> >  
> >  Again...my view of the universe is more idealistic than that...I
> >  believe in the possibility of perfectability,and see that as
> >  part of immortalism.
> You are mistaken in assuming the two points of view expressed above are 

> mutually exclusive. Up until the evolution of humans the only way for life to
> progress has been through blind selection. It can be argued that the general 
> direction life has proceeded in, culminating in humans capable of reason and 
> thoughtful (planned and reasoned) control of their internal and external 

> environments, is teleological. It can just as easily be argued the other way.

> In any case, here we are, and while the Universe may not have intended it, we
> get to accelerate the design and validation process enormously. 

But more to my point,we get to
redesign the environments more
than ourselves,unlike any previous
species.We're more advanced in
being less likely to become
obsolete...not more likely!!

> >  From my perspective,it seems that those who demand homosexuality be
> >  treated as if equal to heterosexuality are using it to define people
> >  with the condition,regardless of attributes
> >  I would consider more important.
> I don't demand equal treatment except under the law.

Well,the interpretation of that can
extend to things I think inappropriate.
There should,I believe,be certain advantages
to one's sexual relationships being heterosexual
ones because these are more useful to the species.

> Reproduction can be accomplished with far greater efficiency using modern 
> technology than by having sex. It could also be regulated better: a lot of 
> the reproduction I see going on is deeply offensive to me :-).

Well,if they start mass-producing
clones of Jesse Helms and Robert
Mugabe and Mullah Mohammed Omar,
I think "modern technology" will
have set reproduction back.

> Mike Darwin
> ----------------------------------------------------
> Message #16597 Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2001 18:20:23 -0400
> From: Jeffrey Soreff <>
> Louis Epstein wrote:
> >I am as you might guess partial to the view that it's something
> >that could be weeded out.
> >Again...my view of the universe is more idealistic than that...I
> >believe in the possibility of perfectability,and see that as
> >part of immortalism.
> The attempt to "perfect" humans, to "weed out" traits undesirable to the
> weeder, has a rather consistent history.  It has been tried (undoubtedly
> amongst other places) in France, in Russia, and in Germany.
> Whether in the hands of Robespierre, of Lenin and Stalin, or of Hitler,
> it has consistently led to the _opposite_ of immortalism; it has led
> to bloodbaths.  The _point_ of immortalism is to hang on to the people
> we have now, to as many of them as we can.  This is diametrically
> opposed to programs of "weeding out" traits, which reliably turn
> into programs for "weeding out" _people_.

I'm certainly familiar with that
slippery-slope attitude,which
equates any eugenic motivation
whatsoever with a desire for
death camps in every town.

But no,my interest is clear,
strictly in weeding out TRAITS.
And it doesn't extend to sterilizing
anyone mentally competent to refuse.

> OK, never mind about the Nazis, who, if they has succeeded, would have
> ensured that neither you nor I would be here.  Consider _just_ that a
> substantial fraction of society considers immortalism to be a character
> flaw, and would cheerfully stamp it out.  Doesn't _that_, at least,
> give you pause, make you consider that eliminating traits over the
> objections of the people bearing them might have some drawbacks???

I doubt immortalism is in genes.

But yes,certainly interests can be
abused.I remember a line in Spider
Robinson's CALLAHAN'S LADY,about
the operator of a bisexual bordello:
"Lady Sally tolerates monosexuals,
but doesn't understand them"...and
can imagine a future government that
doesn't so tolerate telling a cryonics
organization that those in suspension
must be modified..."they come out bi,
or it's bye-bye"...and no,this idea
doesn't thrill me.

> ----------------------------------------------------------- 
> Message #16599 From: "George Smith" <>
> Subject: Let the lemmings leap. (Can't stop them anyway).
> Olaf Henny wrote quite correctly in message 16585,
> "Most who consider cryonics on a casual basis see it as follows: 
> "At age 75 I will finally succumb to cancer.  They will freeze me
> and, if lucky, thaw me out after 100 years.  Then I will live
> another 5 years as a stranger in a strange land and at subjective
> age 80 I will die of a failing heart.  So what's the point?"
> Olaf, you are right.  There may be a FEW people who will understand that
> maybe, just maybe, things could be radically better in the future.
> So I would ONLY gain 5 more YEARS of life?  60 more MONTHS?  1800 more DAYS!
> 43,200 more HOURS! 2,592,000 more MINUTES?
> Then I WANT it.  period.

Would people really be thawed
if they had conditions with a
very short life expectancy in
the time of thawing under its
> I honestly DO believe that 6 billion lemmings CAN be wrong, and ARE wrong.
> Future generations will look back at our present day pro-death perspectives
> and shake their heads in disbelief.
> "How could they have all been so STUPID?" will probably be the final
> pronouncement of judgement by the future on our age, this the last
> generation of mortals.
I don't know when we the living
will be "outnumbering the dead",
but most of history's scientists,
and most of its nonagenarians,are
alive today.

Population doesn't break down so
neatly,though...Adam Petty,born
in the 1980s,is dead,while others,
born in the 1880s,are still alive.

> ----------------------------<

Most recent noted dead person:
Stanley Mosk,Attorney-General
and then Supreme Court Justice
in California,dating back to
before I was born.

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