X-Message-Number: 5223
Date: Sun, 19 Nov 1995 21:40:51 -0500
Subject: misc.

A) Do insurance companies pay up? (Randy Smith, #5201):

Cryonics Institute has had no problems so far with insurance companies payng
off. And I'm not sure why Mr. Smith thinks they might not. The insurance
company wants all the business it can get, and (barring suspicion of murder
or suicide or fraud of some kind) pays off on a death certificate. The fact
that a cryonics patient might be revived one day is totally irrelevant and
does not affect the actuarial tables. The only way cryonics affects insurance
companies is that it brings in more business.

B) Revival of cryonics patients in a future world of uploaded people (several
recent posts):

Steve Bridge (#5207) and Steve Harris (#5211) said most of it very well. I
just want to reiterate or emphasize three points, mainly for the benefit of

First, we are not asking for charity; our own funds (growing to any necessary
extent through the investments of the cryonics organization) will pay for
revival, rejuvenation, and rehabilitation. Of course calamities are
imaginable, including the evolution of rotten societies that do not recognize
contracts and have destroyed family ties, but we take whatever risks are
necessary, while working to minimize them.

Second, it  only takes ONE friendly superman, among the future hordes,  to
revive ALL the cryonics patients. EVERY future citizen (at some point) will
have his own super-duper self-improving (and if necessary self-reproducing)
machine for both thought and fabrication--perhaps an external machine
command-linked to his own brain, in effect an augmentation of his own brain,
to get around the revolt-of-the-machines problem. Given time, cost is

Third, it is NOT established that uploading will EVER be possible, even in
principle. Until we understand the biology of the self circuit or subjective
circuit, until we have resolved the philosophical problems of self and
continuity and duplication and survival criteria, until we understand the
nature of objective and subjective time, the question remains open.

One note on Steve Harris' posting: He seems to misunderstand what I mean by
"self circuit" or "subjective circuit." It isn't necessarily anything that
answers philosophical questions; it is just a particular part or aspect of
the brain or its functions--that part or aspect that permits or gives rise to
FEELING, the subjective condition. It mystifies me why some people find fault
with this. We DO have feeling, it IS the sine-qua-non of life as we know it,
and it MUST have some basis in the anatomy/physiology of the brain. 

On second thought, I recall that I do understand why some people are bothered
by this, viz., it allows the possibility of intelligence without real life,
or meat chauvinism. But these very people usually pride themselves on their
open-mindedness. (Confucious say, man with hole in head have open mind.) Yet
they seem so committed to the politically correct mind-set (I would be happy
to see my sister marry a machine) that they refuse to recognize the
POSSIBILITY that there might indeed be intelligent "robots," systems capable
of goal-directed data processing but without any inner life or qualia.

C)  David Stodolsky (#5206):

First, It isn't clear at all to me that these responses (what different kinds
of people worry about in connection with death) are useful. We need responses
to a different set of questions. 

Second, even if the responses gave a clue, would that clue really have value
or applicability? We already  know, for example, that certain categories of
people (Libertarians, computer people, scientists...) are more likely than
average to make good cryonics prospects. That does NOT mean that we can rev
up progress by advertising in Libertarian or computer or science journals,
because the absolute numbers are still so small. We still have to use the
shotgun and free publicity, combined with one-to-one effort in special cases.

The Cryonics Institute has some hopes for the effectiveness of our funeral
director centered campaign, soon to come. We'll share results. 

Robert Ettinger
Cryonics Institute
Immortalist Society

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