X-Message-Number: 19889
From: "Brook Norton" <>
Subject: reply to "guess in, guess out", cryonics spreadsheet
Date: Sat, 24 Aug 2002 06:10:10 -0700

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In Message #19884,  (who is this?) says
Guesswork in; guesswork out.
Brook Norton wrote:
>The spreadsheet
>allows you to input, for example, in 25 years there is a 5% chance the 
>technology will be here, in 50 years a 25% chance , in 75 years a 50% 
>chance, in 100 years a 75% chance and in 150 years a 90% chance 
>("given" mankind does not destroy itself, which accounted for 
>So you see in this example, even in 25 years there is some chance that 
>you can be recovered. The spreadsheet calculates, based on your 
>inputs, the odds that you will still be frozen in 25, 50, 75, 100, 200 
>years (or whatever time intervals you choose).
Regarding "Guesswork in; guesswork out."... This is true to a degree.
The less sure I am of the inputs, the less sure I am of the output.
And the inputs have a wide margin for error, and so the outputs do too.
But does that make it a meaningless exercise?
Getting involved in cryonics is a fairly big deal.  You have to decide
on a cryonics provider, make arrangements, follow up on insurance
payments, deal with the social effects of having others (family and
friends especially, and often professional associates) know you favor
cryonics.  Why bother unless you think there is a reasonable chance of
I think that (with an extremely high certainty), given mankind does not
destroy itself, the required nanotechnology will be available for
cryonic recovery within 300 years.  Probably far sooner, but with
EXTREMELY high certainty it will happen within 300 years.  This is
information I can use.
Is there a 50/50 chance the cryonics facility will burn to the ground
each year?  Certainly not. It is reasonable to believe with an EXTREMELY
high certainty that the odds of a fire are far better than 50/50 each
year.  This is information I can use.
So the spreadsheet gives you a rational framework to examine your own
beliefs.  It gives you a way to compare the issues that affect a
successful recovery and identify the particularly risky areas; areas you
may want to devote part of your life to improving.  It is instructive to
put in very optimistic inputs and then very pessimistic inputs to see
the range of probabilities of recovery.
So the spreadsheet is a tool to help improve our estimate of cryonics
success from an very uncertain estimate to an uncertain estimate.  We
must use the information at hand to make real life decisions and this is
a tool to help, in spite of its inherent limitations.
Email me at  if you would like a copy of this
user friendly spreadsheet.


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