X-Message-Number: 5215
Newsgroups: sci.cryonics
From:  (Will Ware)
Subject: Re: Mind Uploading -> No revival of cryonics patients
Message-ID: <>

References: <46q9ef$> 
<> <>
Date: Sat, 18 Nov 1995 22:25:18 GMT

Brad Templeton () wrote:
: I wonder if mind uploading would reduce the likelihood of revival of
: cryonics patients.
: Imagine that mind uploading becomes possible prior to nanotechnology.

I think it's extremely unlikely that nanotechnology will take more than
50 years to arrive in essentially the complete form, where vast economies
of scale production are achieved because highly general assemblers can
build copies of themselves with minimal supervision. I think this is quite
likely to arrive in no more than 20 or 30 years. I just attended a
conference on nanotechnology in Palo Alto. There are substantial advances
being made in nanometer-scale microscopy, including manipulation. Also
there were perhaps a dozen people (myself included) working on design and
simulation software. I would not be shocked to see full-blown nanotech in
ten years.

Mind uploading seems to me likely to take much longer. Wasn't there a
brain science fad just four or five years ago? As I recall, the gist of
the discussion was, well, we've made some progress but the problem is
really pretty intractable and don't expect to see the Golden Age of
Brain Science any time in the next century.

If it's possible to upload minds without profound insight into how they
work, using some blind dumb scanning technology, maybe such pessimism is
unfounded. It may be that Edison knew very little about acoustics when he
invented the phonograph.

: This makes nano far less valuable for most of the world, particularly
: body repair.  Oh, nano-based bodies would be very *nice* for manipulating
: the world, but they would not be necessary, the way that biological bodies
: need nano.

Uploaded people would have a powerful interest in nanotech. They'll want
their uploaded minds to run on cheap, powerful computers. Nanotech is not
specifically a biology-oriented technology. It will have a big impact on
production of all kinds of goods, and one of the early areas where it will
probably be thoroughly exploited is in computer manufacture.

: ...new breed of humanity... [incomprehensible to present-day mortals]
: 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.

All children go thru such a phase, I think, regardless of the technology
around. As children age, they begin to better appreciate the depth of
the problems and choices their parents face, and they come to have more
respect for their decisions and actions. Hopefully, our uploaded children
with their nearly-eternal lifetimes will have plenty of time to consider
such things.

: If we could instantiate an ape mind in silicon, we would of course do it
: a few times to see what it was like.  Particularly ape minds from the
: past.  But would we do it thousands of times?  Might they view it that way?
: 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.

It's probably a reasonable bet that in such a future, cryonic revival
technology is essentially a throw-away, like ballpoint pens today.
(Imagine the Founding Fathers travelling thru time to the present day,
wondering whether they'll be able to procure a quill pen without up-to-date
currency. Somebody would just hand them a pen.)

If it's not a case of "cryonic revival, too cheap to meter", then the
question of whether anybody would bother to revive *all* suspendees is
an important one. Even if it's cheap, there could be social or political
reasons that it wouldn't happen (the future equivalent of the NAFTA
debate, say, with revived suspendees creating a "whooshing" sound as
they pop up out of the ice).

Presumably, though, as long as there was a sufficiently-well-funded group
that stuck to its charter during the intervening years, revival could be
reasonably guaranteed. Albert Einstein said he had witnessed only two
miracles in his life, compound interest and <something else I forgot>.
If such a group can operate over decades or centuries, and is financially
clever, they can probably amass a pretty substantial fortune. The question
of how to insure continuous adherence to the initial charter is an
interesting one.
Will Ware <> web <http://world.std.com/~wware/>
PGP fingerprint   45A8 722C D149 10CC   F0CF 48FB 93BF 7289


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