X-Message-Number: 22788
Date: Fri, 7 Nov 2003 11:12:58 -0800
Subject: Mummification
From: Peter Merel <>

Hi Ian,

Cryonicists are gamblers. We're betting that science and civilization 
and the cryonics orgs will last long enough to develop a technology to 
revive us. We have some ideas about what that technology might be - 
molecular nanotechnology is the most popular expectation, but simple 
protein engineering might be enough.

Or some other technology - we have a ten millenia window of opportunity 
because cosmic ray damage is expected to scrub the information stored 
in vitrified brains after ten millenia.

Now we sign up knowing there's a risk we might die suddenly and not get 
suspended in the first place. Or that the cryonics orgs will suffer 
business reversals and legal upheavals that would cause them to thaw 
the brains and destroy the information therein. Then we'd lose the bet. 
And that's the game - if you don't bet you can't win.

People interested in mummification, on the other hand, are not 
gamblers. They're mystics. They believe that by some kind of 
sympathetic magic a ritual embalming procedure involving pulling their 
brains out through their noses will give them access to some kind of 
supernatural afterlife.

And they might be right. And so might the christians hoping to get into 
heaven. And I might flap my arms and fly to the moon. But none of those 
things seem like something a gambler can assess in terms of money and 
odds. So we cryonicists are about as likely to consider mummification 
as the physicists are to consider the flat-earth theory.

And that's as sensitively as I can put it :-)

Peter Merel.

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