X-Message-Number: 5207
Date:  Fri, 17 Nov 95 20:52:53 
From: Steve Bridge <>
Subject: SCI.CRYONICS Why suspension patients WILL be revived

To CryoNet and sci.cryonics
>From Steve Bridge, Alcor
November 17, 1995

In reply to:  Message #5198 (Newsgroups: sci.cryonics)
              From:  (Brad Templeton)
              Subject: Mind Uploading -> No revival of cryonics patients
              Date: Thu, 16 Nov 1995 21:52:33 GMT
              Message-ID: <>

     I have some significant disagreements with Brad Templeton's
assumptions about cryonics revival.  Brad assumes that if "mind uploading
becomes possible prior to nanotechnology" that people will get so involved
in uploading that they will lose interest in the former version of
humanity that had bodies.  He also assumes that "most of the world" will
be in this condition.  Therefore, there will be little interest in
reviving the suspension patients.  I suspect this scenario is wrong.

     Anyone who thinks that most of the world or even the entire group of
people interested in nanotechnology will suddenly disappear from physical
existence once uploading becomes possible is not considering human nature.
NOTHING will be done by EVERYONE.  Uploading is a choice and many people
will chose it.  Many, maybe even *most* people, will not choose it.

     Perhaps this is hard for people who focus their existence on computer
technology to imagine, but NOT EVERYONE wants to become software!  A lot
of people --even those in love with technology -- like having a physical

     For those who choose a silicon avatar, there many be many variations.
Some will upload and immediately make millions of copies of themselves.
Some may leave one or more physical world versions of themselves in
existence to affect or investigate "real life."  Some may decide to work
on finishing up some concerns (e.g., reviving their lovers, families, and
friends) before they upload.

Brad says:

>Many people wonder if this might create a new breed of humanity, one far
>beyond us in ways we can't understand.   Many people hope for that, but
>they forget that if that happens, the children will come to regard their
>parents -- even their uploaded parents -- as curiosities of the past.

>They'll see little reason to create more of them, or to revive a
>population from the past.  Particularly since that requires work in the
>real world and in real time, which is the only thing that's "hard" in the
>network world.

>The ordinary people who are uploaded might be interested in some people
>from the past and go to upload them.  But only if they care about the
>physical world, and they work to develop the revival technology that
>nobody needs except the cryonics patients.

     This illustrates one of my pet peeves: attributions of future
decision-making to some anonymous, amorphous "them."


     There are only individuals who make decisions, whether they be
individual cryonics leaders or government leaders or family members.  A
group of people willing to challenge conventional wisdom and tradition to
overcome death will not all turn to sheep and ignore their loved ones as
soon as an escape route opens up.  Besides that, there are many people in
cryonics who have a social existence and a sense of responsibility to
those in suspension.  Practically every major decision we cryonics leaders
make requires us to ask the question, "Yes, but how will that affect the
patients?"  Partly this will be because WE may well become patients
ourselves.  Partly this is because we have friends and relatives in
suspension.  And partly because taking responsibility for those who can no
longer help themselves is the RIGHT thing to do.

     Cryonics revival will not be done by "them" in the future.  It will
be done by "us."  If cryonics grows and thousands of people are frozen, it
means hundreds or thousands of activists like many of the people on this
newsgroup.  Activists who have friends and family in suspension and who
suspect they might have to be suspended themselves.

     The first people to be revived will be the last ones who were frozen.
This is true first for technical reasons: the last cryonics patients will
be suspended with better technology by a society which knows the
suspensions will work and so will perform the suspensions under the best
possible conditions -- so the patients incur much less damage and they
will be *easier* to revive.

     But this will also occur for emotional reasons.  If your father was
frozen a year before it was possible to revive him, you and your mother
and all of his friends would be pushing the cryonics company to revive him
as soon as possible -- probably even supplying extra funding for the final
research and revival if that were necessary.  You would want to see your
father again.

     Everyone will not feel that way; but enough will.  I already have
friends who have been in suspension five years.  I want those people to be
alive and making their own choices again, even if I never have to be
suspended myself.  You can be sure that the same feeling exists among the
other friends and relatives of Jerry Leaf, Arlene Fried, Dick Jones, Paul
Genteman, and all of the other patients.  And while I never personally
knew Fred Chamberlain II, Hugh Hixon, Sr., Terry Cannon, or Dora Kent, I
am friends with their relatives.  Friendship means support and commitment
to helping your friends with goals like this -- at least it does in
cryonics.  As revival becomes possible, it is likely that even patients in
suspension for several decades will have living friends and relatives who
want to be with them again.

     And as those last people suspended become the early reanimated, they
will add their OWN voices and energy and money to the push for reviving
their friends and relatives suspended earlier.

>Cryonics assumes the revival technology will be extremely valuable to the
>mainstream world, and that this will pay for it.

     No, actually most of us believe that nanotechnology and other
possible components of future reanimation technology will be developed for
many other reasons that have *nothing* to do with cryonics.  It will be
valuable for production of food, manufacturing, energy production, and
war.  Uses of these technologies for cryonics revival will be a *side

>     Cryonics can't pay for it.

     Who says?  It is likely that cryonics companies will not be able to
pay for the complete development of all repair technologies; but they
won't have to.  Since these techniques will be "side effects" of other
technological development, cryonics will only need to develop the relevant
applications of those techniques.  If today's cryonics companies handle
their investments well, there could be enough money there for reanimation.

>I think cryonics, to work, requires that almost all people be living in
>biological bodies, and that they be dependent on them, so that they work
>to develop repair technology for their own purposes, that as a sideline
>can be used to revive the frozen.

     "Almost all ... in biological bodies" is not required for cryonics to
work ;" merely "enough" -- whatever that number turns out to be.  But I
still think it unlikely that more than 5% of the human race will upload
exclusively for many centuries.  I do not see uploading as a threat to
suspension revival.

Steve Bridge, President
Alcor Life Extension Foundation

(partly speaking for myself and partly articulating Alcor philosophy)

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