X-Message-Number: 19122
Date: Sun, 19 May 2002 09:41:59 -0400
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: CryoNet #19109 - #19118

Hi everyone!

Some comments:

1. On the issue of whether or not we could be made literally immortal,
   the argument is simple. If we do the math, any means which decreases
   our likelihood of death every year, if it does so fast enough, will
   make some proportion of those now alive literally immortal. The
   faster this decrease occurs, the more people become immortal.

   Those who recently discussed this issue on Cryonet are stuck in a
   trap of only looking at present physics and conditions. First, there
   is no requirement that we take up increasingly large amounts of space.
   We are considering the technology of thousands of years in the future,
   which offers the possibility of growth into other dimensions, means
   to affect changes occurring to ALL of our universe, and so on and
   on. Who can really claim such things are impossible in the literal
   sense? What physics will we have in the year 3002?

   Do I myself really believe that immortality is possible? I will just
   say that the arguments claiming the opposite depend on assumptions
   about the world which very well may turn out not true, after 400
   more years of study.

2. The idea that those who have lived overseas are particularly prone
   to join is very interesting. I myself lived in Australia and have
   now returned to Australia (because I have an Australian wife) and
   travelled a good deal in the far East. I even played a big role in
   setting up cryonics in Australia, one which the recent change of
   policy by Alcor badly ruined (most Australians used to join Alcor,
   but now they join other societies, and some have even resigned
   from Alcor).

   Unfortunately, many leading lights in cryonics HAVEN'T spent much
   time overseas. We need other explanations for them. I suspect that
   in the end we'll find more than one explanation, and perhaps 
   the combination of several increases the likelihood of joining
   even more.

3. Must cryonics have a "product" before it stands any chance of 
   success? An interesting question, which if true would be a great
   pity. The aim of cryonics is to provide a means to defeat DEATH.
   Not just those special kinds of death in which everything is right
   and we can put some patient's brain into suspended animation, but
   ALL KINDS of death. This especially means death under unknown
   circumstances in which it's not at all obvious that the technology
   of the time can repair someone. I do not mean here the PRESENT
   time at all, but the time in which cryonicists try to preserve 

   Do I really believe that we'll go on into the indefinite future
   meeting with medical problems that the doctors of the time do
   not know how to fix? Yes. What will happen is that such problems
   will occur less often, but if you happen to be one of the unlucky
   few, you should still be stored until we can either PROVE you
   cannot be fixed by any future technology, or find a way to fix
   you. It does not even take much imagination to come up with
   such conditions: forgetting accidents with new technology,
   imagine a computer virus which gets into your brain deliberately
   and confuses it endlessly ... so that you become essentially
   "dead". For that matter, accidents happen too, and they too
   (especially if they are dealing with your brain) will do things
   to you we won't immediately know how to fix.

   This is a simple point, really. The only way you could claim differently
   would be to claim that we will make everyone literally immortal. And
   we've been discussing that one, too.

   Yes, our expected lifespan will become much greater, but in that
   one regard our lives will not have changed. And those who ask first
   that we find some way to keep someone alive while in suspension
   ask exactly the wrong question. Maybe many ask that question,
   true, and they will be buried or cremated just like almost
   everyone. That is the pity in it.

		Best wishes and long long life to all,

			Thomas Donaldson

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