X-Message-Number: 3352
From:  (David Stodolsky)
Subject: CRYONICS: Re: Brain scanning, reply to David Stodolsky
Date: Tue, 25 Oct 94 22:31:40 +0100 (MET)

In Message: #3345 - Brain scanning, reply to David Stodolsky
> From: Brian Wowk <> writes:
> > Unfortunately, I don't have Merkle's paper on hand, but I recall that
> > the first step in the procedure was to "fix" the brain and embed it
> > in a plastic cube, prior to processing. Since the fixation required
> > does not need to consider revival of the brain, it is a significantly
> > easier problem then that faced in cryonics. It completely eliminates
> > potential freezing damage. 
>         Yes, by trading freezing damage for autolysis (fixing takes 
> time) and fixation damge, both of which are much worse than freezing 
> damage.

DING, DING: Bullshit detector indicates sudden lose of interest
as conclusion approaches that another method could be shown 
superior to cryonic suspension, even only in theory :-).

Optimization for structure preservation, disregarding viability of
cells, can not be less effective than optimization for both. Of course,
current fixation methods are not optimized for either, but more likely
optimized to minimize cost of preserving gross structure. Let's say your 
above statement *is* true. Then we do the normal cryonic suspension, 
but stop just above freezing temperature. Can the brain stay at this
temperature long enough to be process through the microscopes?

If yes, vastly increased cost yields vastly improved chances of eventual

>         By the way, Ralph Merkle, to my knowledge, has never proposed
> brain fixation as an alternative to cryonics.  Perhaps you are confusing
> Ralph's paper with one in Medical Hypotheses several years earlier,

I don't know which paper I read, but the objective was to encode brain
structure at resolution adequate to recover memory. 

Looks like the information theoretical death argument is only valid when
used to support cryonic suspension :-).

Discussion of X-ray holography placed in suspension until realization
strikes that any approach to avoiding information theoretical death,
even one of only theoretical interest, tends to increase credibility
of all such approaches :-)


David S. Stodolsky, PhD               Internet: 
Peder Lykkes Vej 8, 4. tv.      (C)         Tel.: + 45 32 97 66 74
DK-2300 Copenhagen S, Denmark                Fax: + 45 32 84 08 28

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