X-Message-Number: 5270
Date: Sun, 26 Nov 1995 19:46:04 -0800
From: John K Clark <>
Subject: SCI.CRYONICS Uploading


To my surprise I find that I agree with much of what Thomas Donaldson says. 
In  #5254  (Thomas Donaldson) on Fri, 24 Nov 1995 Wrote:

                >not all materials provided equally good substrates either  
                >for computing or for brains. 

Yes, that's certainly true.

                >It seems to me that "engineering" difficulties, when we    

                >become really serious, count at least as much as other

I don't think It's as serious as violating the laws of logic or physics, 
but I agree with you that engineering considerations are very important.

                >speed of computation is and will be a major important factor
                >if we really want to use computers for more than intellectual

True beyond the slightest doubt. A faster computer is not just swifter, 
it's better. A monkey banging on a keyboard can produce the complete works of 
Shakespeare if you give him ENOUGH TIME, but it would be ridiculous to say 
that the monkey was as good a writer as Shakespeare and The Bard merely 

                >I personally believe that the reason our nerve impulses are
                                >so "slow" is not because of any physical limit, 

OK, let's talk engineering. Electronics is inherently fast because it's  
electrical signals are sent by fast light electrons. The brain also uses   

electrical signals, but it doesn't use electrons, it uses ions to send signals,
the most important are chlorine and potassium.  A chlorine ion is 65 thousand  
times as heavy as an electron, a potassium ion is even heavier, if you want 
to talk about gap junctions, the ions they use are millions of times more  
massive than electrons. There is no way to get around it, acording to the 
fundamental laws of physics, something that has a large mass will be slow, 
very, very, slow. 

I agree with you that the great strength biology has over present day  
electronics is in the ability of one neuron to make thousands of connections  
of various strengths with other neurons. However, I see absolutely nothing in  
the fundamental laws of physics that prevents nano machines from doing the  
same thing, or better.

                >but simply because they do their job well enough as it is
And suppose that's true, so what? Even if I understand exactly why an egg is 
rotten I still don't want to eat it. "Good enough" is not good enough for me.  

                >Mr. Clark still shows the arrogance I have come to expect of  
                >those who believe in Nanotechnology. 

Yes, but you almost make that sound like a bad thing. Face it, most people  
believe we're arrogant fools, and the truth is there half right. All of us on  
this list think that it may be possible to cheat death, what could possibly 
be more arrogant that that?

                                           John K Clark       

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