X-Message-Number: 6374
From:  (Thomas Donaldson)
Subject: Brains in bottles
Date: Sat, 22 Jun 1996 13:15:11 -0700 (PDT)

Hi again!

About brains in bottles:

This notion is a furphy. Looked at from one angle, we are all brains in bottles
right now (the name for such bottles is "skull", and if we look at their 
anatomy they are closed off almost entirely). The difference is that we have
many nerve pathways to the outside by which we can influence the world and
receive information back. 

Furthermore, the intention is not to bring someone back as a helpless cell
culture but as a full person. This will happen if and only we find a way to
provide cryopreserved brains with BODIES (and of course the means to control
them and senses to see how to control them). If we attain the complete control
of biology which we will someday attain, then growing a new body for your 
brain would be trivial: just use one of the womb devices I discussed in my
last posting. Given that we can cryopreserve that brain, we have no reason
to bring that brain back until we can do this ... and if you are that brain,
the same point holds.

>From time to time some people (not all cryonicists) suggest that we might
place ourselves "by computer transference of the information" into a 
"nonbiological" container, presumably some kind of computer. While this is
a matter which involves much more discussion than I feel like giving just
now, I will point out that biotechnology and biology are currently far ahead
(in terms of possible ways to make transferences) of any version of EXISTING
computer technology. "computer transference of the information" and all the
various phrases used to describe it, when examined, become very fuzzy 
indeed. My own belief is that with time we will see a convergence, in which
it will no longer be possible to say that something is living because it does
or does not use one particular class of chemistries --- or NONliving because
it does not.

			Best and long long life,

				Thomas Donaldson

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