X-Message-Number: 25220
Date: Sun, 5 Dec 2004 08:04:34 -0500
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: CryoNet #25210 - #25219

Hi everyone!

A bit more for Valera Retyunin:
I don't know whether or not you're signed up for suspension, but 
every cryonics organization I know of does NOT dictate to the patient
either whether he/she be suspended or the means by which he/she is to
be revived. YOU decide such questions in the written arrangement you
make with them. So even if uploading became practical in the near
future (I believe that is HIGHLY unlikely) then this is one more
reason not to fear that your group will decide to upload you.

For Aschwin de Wolf and Coetzee:
When Alcor did its experiments they weren't just "fiddling in a lab".
They had results better than those of the Safar Lab at that time;
I believe that cryonicists have given up that line of experimentation 
first because they still do better, and second because their research
attention has turned to vitrification. If establishment figures now
work on hypothermia without attention to Alcor, it's not because 
Alcor researchers weren't doing good research. It's because Alcor
was a cryonics society, and the Society for Cryobiology, in its
great wisdom about what is possible and the future of mankind, decreed
that public cryonicists could not be members, and did their best to
keep their research from publication. 

If you can get it, reading cryonics literature of that time will
tell much more about what happened than anything I can say.

And for a bit more on uploading:

Unlike Ettinger, I believe that it is possible, but at the same time
much harder than simply reviving someone either frozen or vitrified.
The fundamental problem here is that we don't work at all like any
present computer, and any attempt to produce a creature which DID
work like us, entirely separately from use of any life form and as
if you were doing it entirely independently, is a vast project which
would take up either the attentions of many scientists or the 
attentions of a few for a very long time. Of course, modifying a 
life form to turn it into a human being, or creating a new human
being by means other than those now customary, is far simpler, but
leaves the problem of how to upload you into that new person still

It's far too facile to simply identify humans (or what makes us
essentially human and ourselves) with computers. In the simplest terms
not only have computers been specifically designed for uploading and
transfer of "programs", but evolution failed to produce the proper
hardware for that in our own brains. (We can even make a good guess
as to why: competing creatures hardly benefit by uploading a
competitor's identity!). 

And those who think that we're well along on that path might do well
to study more neuroscience. I've mentioned it before, but there's
a collection of articles in the October 14 issue of NATURE (431(2004)
756-802) which along the way explains our differences from computers
quite explicitly. Neural net computers are only a very primitive first 

          Best wishes and long long life for all,

                  Thomas Donaldson

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