X-Message-Number: 2081
From:  (Thomas Donaldson)
Subject: Re: cryonics: #2070-#2078
Date: Wed, 7 Apr 93 18:52:38 PDT


I don't know whether Charles Platt had received my message or not ... though
I guess not. As for either cryonics or immortality in science fiction, he's
probably exactly right: too much trouble, and when it's used it IS usually
used as a central element rather than background.

There is of course an irony here about FTL travel: the most likely way we will
get to the stars is not by FTL but by the combination of great longevity and
some kind of suspension (not necessarily cryonic, but something that would
for medicine serve the same purpose). The suspension would mean that much
smaller ships could do the journey (spending 200 years in a small spaceship
strikes me as VERY unpleasant!); the longevity comes in because it would mean
that when the astronaut(s) returned, their friends would still be there, they
would not return to strangers. And it's also likely to play a very practical
role: after all, a project for which the benefits will only be available 
hundreds of years from now to our descendants, if any, would be awfully hard
to sell to ANYONE. But if everyone expects to live for thousands of years, the
wait starts to look trivial. It's not your descendants, but YOU, who will
learn the results of th.

			Best and long life,


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