X-Message-Number: 4450
From:  (Thomas Donaldson)
Subject: Re: CryoNet #4442 - #4448
Date: Thu, 25 May 1995 11:40:28 -0700 (PDT)

To Ivan Bozzonetti:

It's not at all clear that uploading will be needed for cryonic suspension. 
In the first place, the notion of uploading the position and shape of every 
molecule was stated by Ralph Merkle as something which could be done, not as
something which would be necessary. In the second place, even though we don't
yet have a full handle on it, the purpose of cryonic suspension is to 
preserve the ESSENTIAL features of our brain. Many cell structures can be 
destroyed without even touching those essential features, which include such
things as memory and consciousness. (For instance, mitochondria are unlikely
to play a role in memory preservation at LN temperatures).

The main feature of our brains which must be preserved is their small-scale
connectivity. Right now there is some dispute about this on cryonet, but it
does give us a goal way short of total uploading. Vitrification, which some
cryonicists are working on, will probably preserve this brain feature very
well. It is still unknown to what degree we can preserve that connectivity 
without vitrification. Restoring it may require a good deal of AI to do the
detective work required (for instance, synapses stick together while the
actual connections may not. We may be able to work out just which neurons
a given neuron attached to be looking at other chemicals involved: there are
as many as 150 different types of neuron in our brain, and each one will
have its own chemical signature).

If you insist on uploading, you may as well give up. It's very unlikely that
uploading at the scale required will become available within your lifespan ...
unless, that it, we all learn how to increase our natural lifespan a good
deal before then. Not only that, but current proposals for uploading (you
might read Merkle's stuff) involve the total destruction of the brain in
the course of working out its small-scale structure. This is not a procedure
you could apply to yourself before suspension.

Finally, as I hope you understand by now, most people who make arrangements for
suspension do so not in the belief that they will certainly be revived but 
from the belief that their chance of revival is a great deal better with 
cryonics than with any other method. And it IS quite arrogant of anyone living
now to make solid claims about what future medical science can or cannot do.

			Long long life,

				Thomas Donaldson

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