X-Message-Number: 19918
From: "Peter C. McCluskey" <>
Subject: Re: Probabilties 
Date: Mon, 26 Aug 2002 08:57:26 -0700 (PDT)

  (Ralph C. Merkle) writes:
>Message #19891

>Finally, there is the risk that technologies that are feasible in principle 
>are never developed and applied in practice. This risk seems negligible. 
>Development of nanotechnology and its medical applications in a period of 
>decades seems overwhelmingly likely. Mechanisms that might prevent such 
>development seem limited to civilization-destroying catastrophes -- which 
>at present appear to have a low probability.  The risk that such 
>technologies (which would be inexpensive) would be available but not 
>applied correlates almost exactly with the risk of premature rewarming, 
>dealt with above. Why bother keeping someone in liquid nitrogen if you can 
>revive them at some reasonable cost?

 One possible reason for keeping people suspended is the high probability
of a reliable salary for those who maintain the liquid nitrogen. It is
hard to design an institution to remain stable while the necessary
technology is being developed without also creating resistence to
changes that would render some of their business obsolete.
 Another possibility is that people might argue forever over whether the
proposed methods of revival are optimal, or whether further research will
enable recovery of the last 2% of the memories or verify that the "soul"
is not damaged during revival.
 Development of general purpose medical nanotechnology doesn't automatically
imply that the specific needs of suspendees can be met inexpensively.
There's still some risk that the information needed to evaluate the
effectiveness of proposed revival methods might depend on extensive
animal experiments which might be time consuming or limited by ethical
 So I'd say that the risk that the basic technology will become available
but never applied to cryonics is a significant fraction of the total risk.
Peter McCluskey          | Free Jon Johansen!
http://www.rahul.net/pcm | 

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