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[P]
Why Cryonics?

By walpurg in Science
Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 04:08:52 AM EST
Tags: Science (all tags)
Science

Human beings are all the same kind of animal and much like many other animals. We exist along with an estimated 5 to 50 million other species which all evolved with survival and reproductive instincts that helped us to avoid danger and threats, and thus to perpetuate ourselves. We human animals are mainly social beings and most of us experience loss when others die, as well as fears of separation or loneliness. Such feelings can be observed in other animals, like elephants, dogs and primates. But unlike these animals and all of the world's other living things, we are the only living creature that knows that it will personally die.


What we are not entirely clear about is what death is. Indeed, our recorded history is bloodied with the disagreements between religions and cultures which hold very different views about what life and death mean. Even today no-one agrees, and so the mystifications about life and death remain and explanations are wanting. However, we do have scientific agreement on how to observe and measure biology in its life and decay, from the minute cellular levels of existence to the total biological system of a healthy body and a dying then dead body. It is true that we do not entirely understand human biology, but we have accepted medical definitions of life and death and we act on them accordingly. However, the accepted definition of death has a history, and this history is one of error and ambiguity resulting from mystifications which are not only religious and philosophical, but legal and medical.

Saving Lives

When our medical technology was crude we understood the event of death to be bodily collapse; if a person could not breathe and their heart did not beat they would be considered dead. Primitive or inadequate medicine could not then help people live, even though the affliction that lead to their collapse may be routinely cured today. Because we have more sophisticated medical technology and theory, the criterion of "brain death" is now used to determine when treatment of the body remains an option. Patients are now revived routinely after laying "dead" on the operating table for hours, while their hearts or other vital organs are repaired or replaced. This is a clear illustration that death is not actually an event; unless a person is blown to pieces, death is usually a slow process of decay which begins once the available medicine has failed. The doctor who declares patients dead because their heart and respiratory system can no longer be made active enough to keep the brain alive is also aware that the still living organs inside the person can be removed, kept alive in cold storage and transplanted to another person who is in a better condition. This same doctor would have declared more patients dead sooner, when in earlier times s/he had more limited technology and understanding. This is also the case in impoverished countries where modern medicine is denied through lack of national resources.

Clearly then, complete death takes longer than the failure of organs that support the survival of the brain. It is true that the brain quickly decays once oxygenated blood stops reaching it in adequate amounts (this is called "ischemia"; the condition suffered by tissues and organs when deprived of inadequate nutrients and oxygen carried in blood), but it is also true that all the others cells in the body continue to function well for hours after (brain) death is officially declared. During this time the brain rots over a few hours after medical resuscitation methods have failed; normally the rest of the body can either be left to decompose in its own way, or the organs can be harvested and preserved for donation. The alternative receives little attention because it is unusual compared to standard practice: the body - with all of the organs and the brain - could be preserved using an experimental medical procedure that prevents decay and final destruction.

There are various modern preservative procedures available and they are collectively known as cryonics (a word coined to describe the philosophy of Robert Ettinger who first proposed the idea in his 1964 book "The Prospect of Immortality"); "cryo" meaning cold. Two of the main methods of cryopreservation that employ the science of cryobiology are liquid nitrogen (where tissues are cooled to -196°C) and vitrification (a form of cryoprotectant which avoids freezing and thus eliminates damaging ice-crystal formation by hardening tissues like glass instead).

The Evidence

This life-saving medical procedure seems like science fiction or a con to many people. This is partly because of popular misconceptions and also partly because people are generally unaware of the important distinction between biological function (the moving, feeding, excreting, normally living cell or body) and biological structure (the physical plans and foundations for life, for example, a cellular wall, neural-network or skeleton). Perhaps this unawareness is because the medical establishment is paternalistic, or because people's general knowledge is not too scientific, or because people are content to accept the proscribed protocols of the culture is which they live concerning things like life and death. Together, function and structure allow for life. Cryonics does not preserve all biological functions - vital functions like brain activity and heart-beat are over when modern medicine pronounces a person dead. But cryonics does preserve structure, and this is what makes it so important as a life-saving procedure. It may seem fanciful that death can be stopped as a result of cryonics, but the practice has scientific support (though many scientists and physicians prejudicially dismiss the idea).

The scientific basis for the cryonics experiment is already established, mainly through the science of cryobiology. Cryobiology is that branch of science that is mainly concerned with the study of biological systems at temperatures lower than the normal physiological temperatures for warm-blooded animals (which is 37 degrees Celsius). Low temperatures can slow chemical reactions and preserve biological materials (cryopreservation), or they can disrupt temperature-dependent chemical pathways and destroy biological materials (cryosurgery). Cryobiology has an ancient history, the first written record of the use of low temperatures in medicine is recorded on Egyptian papyrus from 2,500 BC. Hippocrates endorsed the use of cold (460-377 BC) to control bleeding and swelling. Robert Boyle (1627-91) studied the effects of low temperatures on animals, and James Arnott used cryosurgery on cancer in 1845. In 1949, S. Polge, A. U. Smith and A. S. Parkes cryopreserved sperm, initiating a new era of cryopreservation, and progressive research has continued ever since.

The American National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) funded research on low temperature suspended animation during the space race. (The exploration of space was considered to be too limited by human lifespan, because of the vast distances which must be traversed). Many other animals, typically with simple cell structures, have been frozen, stored and revived, like the nematode worm for example. Many types of human cells, including blood, can already be stored indefinitely at low temperatures. Thousands of human embryos have been stored in liquid nitrogen since 1982 and subsequently developed into normal children after implantation and birth. The longest period between storage and revival of human embryos took place after 21 years of cryopreservation resulting in the birth of a healthy boy. This record was reported on May 25th 2004 in Europe's leading reproductive medical journal "Human Reproduction". Indeed, if you believe that a human embryo is a human being, then cryonics has already succeeded. Stored embryos are humans frozen to the point of non-functioning (medical death) with their structures preserved. They are then later revived (they function again) and continue to live. However, older human beings are more complex and can only be preserved at this point in time.

In the natural world examples of revival following deep freezing exist and are being studied. For example, the common wood frog, Rana sylvatica, spends its winters interned in subzero sleep when temperatures drop below freezing. At this point the frog's metabolism stops to a near halt, so its cells can survive on small amounts of oxygen and energy. The liver then begins to create an antifreeze made of glucose inside the frog's cells that keeps most of the water from solidifying. The frog's animation and brain functions are suspended until spring-time when it revives.

Recently scientists at NASA discovered a species of bacteria that had been frozen in ancient ice for 32,000 years. These simple organisms were revived after this very long cryopreservation. It is clear that long term cryopreservation can be naturally survived, hinting at clues which might be used to improve our medicine.

These natural examples and scientific advances in freezing and reviving life show an increasing body of cryobiological knowledge that could lead to the success of the cryonics experiment, success that will bring a new and healthy life for those people who are cryo-preserved.

Life and ?

Essentially, cryonics is an advanced understanding of what death really is, not an alternative to a funeral. This advanced understanding is in knowing that the current legal definition of death is not the same as actual biological death. In current medical practice, those patients whose circulation of blood and spontaneous respiration have ceased are considered dead. Among these patients are some who are "brought back to life" through a combination of persistent life saving treatment and the patient's willpower and fortitude. But there are others who suffer damage so great to the life-supporting systems of their bodies that there are not enough medical resources or knowledge to save their lives. They are then legally dead, and are left to the natural process of decay because we currently cannot do much more to save them. Except now we can save lives by preventing death, an ability which - amazingly - is ignored, mocked or demonised.

Cryonics is the method by which people can be saved from death by cryopreserving them and keeping them safe. Many people are skeptical of cryonics because they do not see the point in freezing (legally) dead people or they do not think cryopreserved patients will be revived in the future. What skeptics fail to realise is that dead people are not being cryopreserved. "Dead" means that there is no possibility for life, but a cryonics patient is possibly alive, not dead. All science deals in probabilities, and it is possible that a cryonically preserved person is not dead because if this person can be revived, then they are not dead, by definition. Today we know for certain that the preserved patient has not been destroyed by cremation or decay. What is uncertain about cryonics patients is that they may or may not be dead. We do not yet know. But we do know that medical ethics demands that unconscious patients with an uncertain prognosis should be cared for and regarded as viable people until proven otherwise.

Is this uncertainty a problem? There can be no harm done to a person about to die by giving them cryonic treatment, despite the fact that the chances of success are unknown. There are an enormous number of medical procedures currently practiced for which it is well known that have little chance of success in the sense of adequate life quality or even continued survival. Doctors do not wait until the patient is declared legally dead before offering them some last desperate unproven procedure. Why is cryonics regarded any differently? It is true to say that this procedure is experimental with no sure chance of success, but the chance is certainly more than zero. Could it be that people simply do not understand cryonics well enough to make an informed choice? Or worse yet, could the resistance to cryonics be due to unexamined medical prejudice, much like the objection to the introduction of anesthesia in the 19th century? Anesthesia was considered unnatural and even irreligious; today's objections seem to be similar and equally outdated. How many people will die before cryonics is considered to be serious medicine?

Cryonics is a heroic attempt to save lives through stopping death as a result of decay, and storing preserved people in the hope that medicine will continue to improve and help later. Rather than accepting the failure to save a life and allow decay to take place, doctors could immediately begin cryonic procedures to secure as much of the person's structure as possible. Cryonics could be an elective advanced medical procedure for those who have no hope for continued life during the present. Cryonics could give hope for those who have none, offering the chance to live again sometime in the future. Eventually we will all face death and cryonics would make that time less terrifying.

Imagine a situation where you are involved in an accident which renders you comatose and unresponsive. Your body can continue to exist with life-support, but your self is just a memory to others. You cannot act, communicate, think or dream. You have no emotions, no reason, no imagination. But you still live in a basic way and there is a chance that medical science will be able to revive you and help you live well again as a complete person. The chances are unclear and a matter of speculation among your peers and the scientific community because no one can predict the future. Many people are currently in vegetative states like this with uncertain lives ahead.

Either the life-support affords you a chance for a healthy life again at some point in the future, or the machines go off and the living wait for your physical death and decay. Perhaps you think this is fine because you do not want the indignity of lying comatose in a bed, cared for by others. But how is your dignity damaged if you do not know? Such considerations are due to the cultural sensitivities of the living. The comatose and the cryopreserved have no such concerns. Will indignity really matter on the day you wake up and realize you are conscious again? Or perhaps you do not want to use up resources better spent on those with much fuller lives, that the money and energy of your life-support should go to others. This is a generous and selfless view, perhaps too selfless considering that you are losing your whole life. What is the chance of great improvement in a person's life measured against the efforts and expenditure necessarily made in cryonic treatment? Medical resources are not being abused by your decision to have a chance to live again; after all, the Hippocratic oath informs the care of trained staff: "first, do no harm". There is no indignity or waste in life-support and this serves as a fine analogy to cryonics.

Imagine another unpleasant situation where you are dying and a doctor tells you that an experimental procedure may save your life. If it doesn't, you will die, though this is going to happen anyway. There are people who have been put in such a position, subjects of untested medical experiments that could save their lives. Cryonics is one of these experiments, the only difference is that we will not know the outcome and we do not know how long it will take to get that answer. But this doesn't matter to you, you will not be aware of time passing.

The Future

It is true that the preservative process of cryonics causes some damage. It is also true that the longer a non-functioning (legally dead) person is left unaided, the more decayed a person's structure will become, the more their chances of being healed go down. But so long as the cryonic procedure goes well and the chambers (known as dewars and cryostats, essentially big thermos bottles designed to keep liquid nitrogen cold) containing the cryopreserved body remain attended to, the patient will persist. It is also true that there is continuing improvement in preservation methods compared to previous decades since 1964. This shows no sign of abating, so progress in medicine is likely.

Cryonicists hope that the cryonics medical experiment will not be a failure, that sometime in the future humanity will have enough scientific knowledge (and the wish) to repair preservation damage to a patient's structure as well as the damage that prevented functioning in the patient in the first place. Many cryonicists have faith in the fact that our medical understanding and technology will continue to progress to the point which they can be revived.

Some cryonicists expect that in the future, miniature surgical robots will make treatment of individual cells within the body possible. The advent of this nanotechnology shows the importance of the organisation of the cellular level and our ability to manipulate it. The criterion of "information death" will then determine the limits of medical treatment. This criterion for death is measured by the loss of bodily structure (otherwise understood as information), which has an important impact on selfhood (or self-consciousness or personality, whatever you want to call it). By this I am referring to the consequences of the disintegration of interconnections of cells in the brain and the impact this has on a person's ability to think, feel and act. It is likely that this criterion of "information death" will be the new medical definition of death in this century, so preservation of the body by freezing is a good idea. This is because cryonics would retain the structure (information), which can then be used to help a patient function again.

Other cryonicists hope for even greater things from the future. Some are of a transhumanist bent, believing that technological advances will be so great as to allow us to control physical reality at a fundamental level, enabling an evolutionary leap into an ageless and disease-less universe. Other cryonicists are religious and do not believe that there is any conflict between cryonics and their doctrines. Indeed, some see cryonics as the fulfillment of certain religious prescriptions; for example, when Jesus Christ says "heal the sick... raise the dead" in the Biblical book of Matthew 8:10.

But all cryonicists have their own outlooks on life. Cryonics is not a fringe cult that preys on human fear of death. It is a heroic medical experiment which aims to save lives by preventing death and decay.

Closing Thoughts

It is true that cryonics has revolutionary potential. If it becomes accepted, there will be fewer people who are legally dead. Medical, religious and legal practices will change and people will have to think more about their personal beliefs (e.g. would the last rites be appropriate? what happens to a person's will? how do hospitals logistically deal with this new procedure? and so on). Regardless of the changes, most people want to live longer. This is shown by the fact that most people try to stay healthy and accept medical treatment when it is needed. This implies that most people would want to be cryonically saved if only it was a widely available and understood option, just as most people have brain or heart surgery under anesthesia so as to save their lives today. There are also questions about what would happen if we could revive preserved patients, like: how would they fit into the future world? what would it be like to lose consciousness in a hospital bed and then to wake-up in the future? is this really the original patient waking up? what about the patients loved ones? These are questions that cryonicists often discuss, and usually with great hope and excitement.

I personally feel that cryonics gives me and my loved ones a better chance of living again than any other current option. I hope to partake in the greatest experiment of all time - a measure which will benefit myself and others regardless of whether I am revived, because all scientific experiments are useful. For example, experiments like this can help us to understand how to store organs for transplant. It is this very problem that lead me to research cryonics, because before then I was a potential organ donor. I realise now that I prefer to keep my organs for myself once I am legally dead. (Instead of donating I now support an "opt-out" system of organ donation whereby dead people are automatically considered donors - unless they have stipulated otherwise - so as to increase the supply of healthy organs to those in need of them. Supporting stem cell research also improves the chances of saving lives and giving those lives a greater quality and duration than today's medicine currently has.)

In addition to cryonics I have an interest in life-extension methods through medicines, a good diet and regular exercise. Cryonics is part of my ethics - how I intend to live - and a chance to live well in the future and be part of a progressive movement which seeks an end to the horror of aging, sickness and death.

What cryonicists need to do now is to convince the medical establishment that this procedure is worth the effort. Every living being wants to live and, in civilised nations, human beings have the right to life. To not provide cryonic treatment could be seen as a violation of that political right and of the natural instincts that have kept our species alive for 200,000 years.

Cryonics already exists as a medical procedure; there are over 120 people who are cryopreserved and over 1000 more who have signed the legal documents to ensure they receive the same treatment, and there yet more who are not in a financial, legal or geographical position to take advantage of this life-saving medicine. This is a situation which strikes me as absurd and disgusting. While people unnecessarily die in fear, the hospitals, the law and public opinion lag behind the strides taken by cryonicists. Cryonics is a new life saving technology available today. Letting people die when they could be saved is unreasonable and injust. If physicians are serious about saving lives, and if patients really do want to live, then they should cooperate with cryonics organizations.

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Poll
Under what circumstances would you arrange cryonics treatment?
o Never 32%
o If I was diagnosed as terminally ill 3%
o On my death-bed 3%
o If the price of treatment became cheaper 3%
o If current methods improve 7%
o If it became available outside the U.S.A. 3%
o If patients are being routinely revived 33%
o I already have a contract arranged with a known cryonics provider 11%

Votes: 53
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o "ischemia"
o "The Prospect of Immortality"
o liquid nitrogen
o vitrificat ion
o "Human Reproduction"
o Rana sylvatica
o frozen in ancient ice for 32,000 years
o anesthesia in the 19th century
o dewars and cryostats
o nanotechno logy
o "opt-out" system of organ donation
o stem cell research
o Alcor
o The Cryonics Institute
o BenBest.com
o American cryonicists
o Canadian cryonicists
o A history of cryonics
o Cryonet
o The Immortality Institute
o Also by walpurg


Display: Sort:
Why Cryonics? | 138 comments (114 topical, 24 editorial, 0 hidden)
-1, specieist (2.44 / 9) (#4)
by fourseven on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 02:37:47 PM EST

"But unlike these animals and all of the world's other living things, we are the only living creature that knows that it will personally die."

how do you know? ever been a dog or a monkey? maybe they know and are really chill about it, unlike the neurotic "pinnacle of evolution" with its overgrown brains and cancerous approach to life... what a selfish idea, to freeze your expired ass in hope to live some more.. geez, pass on the magic, die already and help fertilize the dirt.

yet another specieist rebuttel (none / 1) (#6)
by walpurg on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 03:59:30 PM EST

see <http://noumenal.net/blogs/exiles_more.php?id=515_0_5_0_M> for an explanation. Death anxiety is the sole concern of humans, as shown by legitimate and respected experimental psychology.

[ Parent ]
Except... (3.00 / 3) (#8)
by Znork on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 04:53:31 PM EST

... as far as I can tell it does not state that death anxiety is the sole concern of humans, it states that death anxiety is the concern of those exposed to death by example.

Humans of course would tend to suffer more from it due to our extended lives and highly evolved communication methods making the death of people just like ourselves an inseparable experience we are exposed to every day.

Never expose a child to the realities of death, and you'll get a human without any death anxiety.

And put a slaughterhouse in the middle of a barn and I'll betcha you'll get a barn full of cows stressed to madness in fear of death.

[ Parent ]

basically (3.00 / 2) (#11)
by walpurg on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 06:20:53 PM EST

Other animals do not have a death concept. See my article "The Evolution of Death Understanding." In C. Tandy (Ed.), Death and Anti-Death (Vol. 1, pp. 171-188). Palo Alto, CA: Ria University Press. (ISBN 0974347205). I am not, obviously, arguing that animals do not want to live. But they have no semiotics of selfhood or its end.

[ Parent ]
Elephants care. (2.50 / 2) (#30)
by Russell Dovey on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 10:45:08 PM EST

A recent documentary with David Attenborough, entertainingly hiding cameras in fake, mobile piles of dung, showed the almost spiritual behaviour of elephants when they find dead elephants. They are, at minimum, aware that elephant corpses are creepy for a specific reason.

You should see the doco in any case, it's a fascinating insight into a species with language, culture and tribalism that isn't human, but seems amazingly aware of itself and the world around it.

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
[ Parent ]

Interesting... (none / 0) (#34)
by Znork on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 02:37:15 AM EST

I'll have to read the article some time. I wouldn't challenge your conclusion to any serious extent, but it would be interesting to know wether it is because of an inherent inability to develop an understanding of the concept or simply a result of a limited exposure and the lack of communicative abilities.

Apart from the gruesome horror and abject cruelty it might be possible to devise some experiment to see if it's possible to teach animals a more complex concept of death, just as it's possible to teach them them other concepts that are foreign to their natural environment.

[ Parent ]

wrong (none / 1) (#44)
by SocratesGhost on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 01:21:58 PM EST

Koko (the sign language speaking gorilla) understands death.

After her kitten died, she understood that the "sleep" was permanent. she didn't know the word for death--she only could describe it as "sleep". She described her own state of mind by saying "Cry, sad, frown." (that's a quote).

She also knows that it happens to apes, and she also knows that she is an ape. To my knowledge, they have never asked, "Koko, are you going to die?" but I think the inference is clear.

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
loss (none / 1) (#54)
by walpurg on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 08:44:27 AM EST

Sorry, but the inference doesn't satisfy me. I'm aware that primates feel loss and sadness when another dies, but they do not seem to have a sense of self and time like we do resulting in a concept of death.

[ Parent ]
Excellent point (2.50 / 2) (#10)
by jd on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 06:19:05 PM EST

There is strong evidence of self-awareness (the ability to be aware of the self as distinct from the rest of the world) in many primates and cetaceans.

Chimpanzees hold wakes and sophisticated mourning rituals, when a significant member of the chimpanzee family dies.

I've seen hamsters actively mourn when one of a close-knit group falls ill or dies.

For that matter, intelligence is unlikely to be human, either. Several species birds have a demonstrated ability to manufacture complex tools (not merely use objects that are to hand, but actually create something that wasn't originally there). Others have a demonstrated ability to process (not copy, but actually interpret and act on) speech, with the ability to understand grammatical constructs, the difference between nouns and verbs, etc.

On this basis, the only logical conclusion is that intelligence - per se - exists not in the higher brain areas, but some of the very early primal ones. The more sophisticated parts of the brain seem to allow the basic design to be extended to what we know, but too many species have the essential basics to believe that it has evolved in each, seperately. The simplest idea is that it evolved very early on and simply got refined.

On that basis, arguing one species over another is futile. It shows a lack of understanding of the evidence.

Elsewhere, I've noted the practical difficulties in cryogenics, but understanding of the dynamics of the brain is also important, as it is the person you are wanting to preserve, so knowing what a person actually is is rather important.

In closing, I don't think this approach is practical at this time. It is too hard, and the techniques used are probably flawed at the most fundamental of levels. It's not something you can fix, it's something that requires the techniques used be utterly thrown away and replaced from first principles.

If you want to live forever, at present the best bet is to have a 5.25" memory wafer etched at a density of about 9nm. Download an electronic representation of your DNA, the circuit wiring and the electrical state of your entire brain. (Surface voltages don't count.)

that would seem to be much more practical, given today's technology.

[ Parent ]

this is a minor point in the article (none / 1) (#13)
by walpurg on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 06:24:05 PM EST

"There is strong evidence of self-awareness (the ability to be aware of the self as distinct from the rest of the world) in many primates and cetaceans. "Chimpanzees hold wakes and sophisticated mourning rituals, when a significant member of the chimpanzee family dies." Please provide citations for these claims, I'm *very* interested to read about them! From what I know, only humans engage in ritual or have a concept of self that entails the end of that self. Anyway, I've nothing against people cryonically treating the animals they care about.

[ Parent ]
Various references (2.50 / 2) (#18)
by jd on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 07:10:22 PM EST

There are a bunch of others, but I will have to dig for those URLs. Will get back on that one. There's one that documents a funeral procession of Chimpanzees in a zoo. The eldest had died and been placed by the keeper in the inside room. The Chimpanzees lined up and walked past in a matter startlingly close to many primitive funeral rituals.

[ Parent ]

one primate to another (none / 1) (#19)
by walpurg on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 07:15:27 PM EST

excellent, thanks for this.

[ Parent ]
OK, I have to ask (none / 1) (#70)
by Sgt York on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 02:06:20 PM EST

I've seen hamsters actively mourn when one of a close-knit group falls ill or dies.

How, exactly, do hamsters mourn?

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.
[ Parent ]

i dunno. but it bet its cute ^^ (3.00 / 3) (#80)
by Cloud Cuckoo on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 07:44:12 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Brain is not a black box (none / 0) (#106)
by paranoid on Mon Mar 28, 2005 at 03:59:33 AM EST

The brain is not a general purpose computer, where everything is hidden in software. There are evolved modules of the brain that are responsible for most functions. Self-awareness is one of them and is localised in several relatively small parts. The most important one is prefrontal cortex (responsible for self-awareness, perception of emotions, attention and focus. Hamsters simply don't have the necessary parts of the brain to be self-conscious. Everything that you see is just antropomorphising animals - cute, but wrong.

[ Parent ]
self-awareness (none / 0) (#115)
by walpurg on Mon Mar 28, 2005 at 03:27:23 PM EST

is much more than just a part of the brain - it is bodily. See http://www.imprint.co.uk/sheet.htm

[ Parent ]
Again.. (none / 0) (#135)
by Kurt9 on Fri Apr 08, 2005 at 06:59:32 PM EST

Again, if you are into death, I respect that choice. Likewise, I expect you to show the same respect for my right to choose and indefinitely youthful lifespan.

[ Parent ]
Why cryonics? (2.66 / 15) (#7)
by Back Spaced on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 04:52:42 PM EST

Because you're obscenely egocentric and flatly terrified or your own non-existance, while simultaneously too modern and "skeptical" to take advantage of the solace of religion. And what future generation wouldn't want you around forever?

Nevermind that death is appropriate, in that it makes room for the next generation, and in that sense necessary for the species to evolve. Still, death is something for poor. Not the elite, such as yourself, with the money to freeze your body. And don't tell me that everyone has the opportunity to live forever - could you imagine the population problem then?

Oh, wait... in your fantasy world, we'll probably have warp drive by then. Your cryonic pioneers will unfurl banners on distant worlds, and make love with the green, three-breasted amazon princesses of an alien race.

If I were a member of a future generation, I would advocate using your rich, egotistical frozen ass as fertilizer, in the hope that it might at least produce something worthwhile.

Bluto: My advice to you is to start drinking heavily.
Otter: Better listen to him, Flounder. He's pre-med.

be nice (none / 1) (#14)
by walpurg on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 06:33:38 PM EST

"Because you're obscenely egocentric..." Ad hominem argument is only fair if you actually know me (& I know you). Otherwise you're just casting aspersions. "Nevermind that death is appropriate, in that it makes room for the next generation," Who is anyone to say there is or isn't room? Room can be made by keeping people alive and not reproducing or by re-distributing resources in a fair way so that 10 billion rather than just 6 billion can live. If you want to die, fine, your choice. Sort of. "and in that sense necessary for the species to evolve." Evolution is currently along cultural, technological lines for our species. We'll evolve quicker and better doing it ourselves. That means staying alive much long to understand more. "Still, death is something for poor. Not the elite, such as yourself, with the money to freeze your body." I am not rich. Life insurance is enough for a suspension contract (which is about as much as an expensive funeral). "And don't tell me that everyone has the opportunity to live forever - could you imagine the population problem then?" Not everyone wants to live forever. Cryonics is likely to be a minority option for some time. "Oh, wait... in your fantasy world, we'll probably have warp drive by then. Your cryonic pioneers will unfurl banners on distant worlds, and make love with the green, three-breasted amazon princesses of an alien race." Space travel is just as scientifically possible as cryonics. You, and no-one else, can definately say it will never happen. "If I were a member of a future generation, I would advocate using your rich, egotistical frozen ass as fertilizer, in the hope that it might at least produce something worthwhile." Clearly, life-saving medicine offends you and makes you angry, but I don't understand why.

[ Parent ]
be nice (HTML edit) (3.00 / 3) (#15)
by walpurg on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 06:34:49 PM EST

"Because you're obscenely egocentric..."

Ad hominem argument is only fair if you actually know me (& I know you). Otherwise you're just casting aspersions.

"Nevermind that death is appropriate, in that it makes room for the next generation,"

Who is anyone to say there is or isn't room? Room can be made by keeping people alive and not reproducing or by re-distributing resources in a fair way so that 10 billion rather than just 6 billion can live. If you want to die, fine, your choice. Sort of.

"and in that sense necessary for the species to evolve."

Evolution is currently along cultural, technological lines for our species. We'll evolve quicker and better doing it ourselves. That means staying alive much long to understand more.

"Still, death is something for poor. Not the elite, such as yourself, with the money to freeze your body."

I am not rich. Life insurance is enough for a suspension contract (which is about as much as an expensive funeral).

"And don't tell me that everyone has the opportunity to live forever - could you imagine the population problem then?"

Not everyone wants to live forever. Cryonics is likely to be a minority option for some time.

"Oh, wait... in your fantasy world, we'll probably have warp drive by then. Your cryonic pioneers will unfurl banners on distant worlds, and make love with the green, three-breasted amazon princesses of an alien race."

Space travel is just as scientifically possible as cryonics. You, and no-one else, can definately say it will never happen.

"If I were a member of a future generation, I would advocate using your rich, egotistical frozen ass as fertilizer, in the hope that it might at least produce something worthwhile."

Clearly, life-saving medicine offends you and makes you angry, but I don't understand why.



[ Parent ]

Yes, you heard me, selfish. (2.00 / 5) (#24)
by Back Spaced on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 07:47:19 PM EST

I have some pet peeves, and one of them is things that reek of huxterism - pseudoscience, scientology... cryogenics. Things that derive their existance from selling false hopes. Take, for example, cryogenics. What do you think that the % chance is that you, after freezing your body/head/whatever, will be revived? 0.25%? 1% More? Less? But still pretty small, right? So what's the harm? Indeed.

Now, how about instead of pouring that money down the pipe dream of some burned-out hippie cult in Arizona, you take those thousands of dollars it would take to freeze your body and give it to a charity that does some actual good in the world, say, Doctors Without Borders. What do you think that the chance of your donation actually resulting in the preseveration/restoration of life would be then? A lot higher than the chances with cryogenics, that's for sure.

Listen. I'm going to die. So are you. Get over it. Instead of wasting your money selfishly chasing fantasies of eternal life, why don't you use it on something that is guaranteed to benefit your fellow man?

Bluto: My advice to you is to start drinking heavily.
Otter: Better listen to him, Flounder. He's pre-med.
[ Parent ]

Fuck you (none / 1) (#42)
by CodeWright on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 12:56:07 PM EST

I can burn my money if I want.

--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
Hell yeah. (2.00 / 6) (#46)
by Back Spaced on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 02:19:18 PM EST

You can burn it. You can even spend it all on a solid gold dildo, and spend the rest of your life shoving it up your ass. And either way, it would still be pretty fucking selfish, wouldn't it? You do have the right to be selfish, just like I have the right to be an asshole. But don't get pissed off when someone points it out.

Bluto: My advice to you is to start drinking heavily.
Otter: Better listen to him, Flounder. He's pre-med.
[ Parent ]

I don't care... (3.00 / 2) (#50)
by CodeWright on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 07:10:03 PM EST

...about being selfish (duh).

But don't pretend like you were not only being an asshole -- you were presuming to force your oppressive mandatory charitability onto others.

For that, I would burn all my money by buying a solid gold dildo and providing a living wage to a small Burmese family to spend the rest of your life shoving it up your ass.

--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
Yes! (1.50 / 4) (#52)
by Back Spaced on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 10:09:28 PM EST

By posting to Kuro5hin, I overcoming your will and forcing my oppressive, mandatory charity upon you. Now give me your credit card number, dickshit, or I shall mock you a third time.

Bluto: My advice to you is to start drinking heavily.
Otter: Better listen to him, Flounder. He's pre-med.
[ Parent ]

Okay... (none / 1) (#53)
by CodeWright on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 10:19:17 PM EST

...I'll give you my credit card number.

But only if you promise to go buy that golden dildo and hire that Burmese family to shove it up your ass for eternity.

I can't be bothered.

--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
in extremis (3.00 / 2) (#55)
by walpurg on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 08:52:59 AM EST

You have failed to grasp the essential point. cryonics is a life-saving treatment. Calling it selfish is like calling CPR or a triple heart bypass selfish. What is selfish about saving lives with the latest medical tech.? Sure, everyone can't have it, but does that mean no-one can?

[ Parent ]
CPR selfish... erhm. (2.33 / 3) (#60)
by vhold on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 11:53:11 AM EST

You think it's fair to say cryonics save lives in the same way CPR does?

I think the essential truth you have failed to grasp when you put those two things together in terms of being selfish together is cost.  I think it's safe to say it would be selfish to receive 16 liver transplants to keep you alive given the current state of organ donations.  Heck, if we did freeze everybody that died, we'd actually be sacrificing other more-alive people because there'd be even fewer transplantable organs.

But my main point is CPR costs virtually nothing and gives everything in terms of life saving, cryonics on the other hand, is nothing but cost that gives nothing until some unknown point in time.  How many lives could have been saved with all those resources that went into saving the life of one?  That's about as selfish as you can get.

[ Parent ]

I'm in favor of cryonics (none / 1) (#61)
by wurp on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 12:13:07 PM EST

but I agree with your argument here.  Cost analysis is important.

I think the total cost of cryonics is about $100k for head-only.  I really think from a practical long-term view, head-only is likely to be as likely to work as full body.

So now you've analyzed the cost; the question is benefit.  I open myself for ridicule here, but I think that if the freezing procedure really preserves the important information about what makes you you, and if the tissue is maintained properly, then there is a 90%+ chance that you would be revived.  I see no reason that it wouldn't be medically possible at some point in the future.

I personally think that the cost/benefit compares favorably to that of a heart transplant.
---
Buy my stuff
[ Parent ]

cost (none / 1) (#63)
by walpurg on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 12:23:57 PM EST

C.I. offers full body freezing and membership for $30,000.

[ Parent ]
Isn't there also a pre-freezing monthly fee? (none / 0) (#67)
by wurp on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 12:54:05 PM EST

I didn't want to lowball the estimate, so I doubled the Alcor rate, assuming you would pay extra on a monthly basis pre-freezing to help pay for the team waiting to come "process" you.
---
Buy my stuff
[ Parent ]
30,000? I'll do it for half that. (none / 1) (#79)
by Cloud Cuckoo on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 07:40:20 AM EST



[ Parent ]
shellfish (none / 1) (#62)
by walpurg on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 12:23:06 PM EST

If everyone did cryonics? That's not what I'm advocating.

Selfish? How can paying your own money to be part of an experiment that could save many lives be selfish?

[ Parent ]

I hate to be so glib.. (2.00 / 2) (#71)
by vhold on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 02:25:51 PM EST

Well certainly everybody should receive available CPR right?  Seeing as how it's a life saving medical treatment.  Since cyronics is just as much of a life saving treatment, wouldn't it be just as inhumane to deny it as it would be to deny CPR?  

No, that makes no sense, because of cost, and that's why I responded initially.  Making it impossible to criticize cyronics as selfish without calling CPR selfish made no sense along the same lines.

CPR is practically the ultimate expression of one person returning life to another.

I admit this is a bit of a stretch myself, but cyronics is potentially the ultimate reverse.  It seems the companies are recommending preserving just the head, and I believe those are the costs you've cited?  (given this current fact, I somewhat take back my earlier statement about donating organs)

Where are the new bodies going to come from?  Almost anyway you imagine it, the resources required to produce a suitable body will meet or exceed what it takes to create a new person.  

Who in the world pays for that anyways?  These people are being paid to be preserved, not to have new bodies grown.  I guess it's all based on the assumption that future societies will have all these annoying heads they'll charitably give new bodies to.  That makes it even more selfish.

All it means for something to be selfish is that it exhibits a concern for ones self over others.  I'm sure we're all fairly selfish, I wouldn't go too overboard exploding logic in order to find a way you're not.

[ Parent ]

sell fish (none / 1) (#94)
by walpurg on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 08:04:09 PM EST

"No, that makes no sense, because of cost, and that's why I responded initially."

Life insurance should cover it. Medical treatment is expensive, so make arrangements or you lose out.

"Where are the new bodies going to come from?  Almost anyway you imagine it, the resources required to produce a suitable body will meet or exceed what it takes to create a new person."

May be the resource use would be negligable, who knows?

"Who in the world pays for that anyways?"

Either a charitable society, or funds held in trust (which many cryonicists have arranged).

"I guess it's all based on the assumption that future societies will have all these annoying heads they'll charitably give new bodies to.  That makes it even more selfish."

Since when was being the recipient of charity a selfish thing? If a hospital offered to replace all the limbs you had accidentally lost with artifical replacements, would you feel selfish and turn it down?

"All it means for something to be selfish is that it exhibits a concern for ones self over others."

That simple is it? :)

"I'm sure we're all fairly selfish, I wouldn't go too overboard exploding logic in order to find a way you're not."

Does that mean I'm bad because I'm a bit more selfish then you, but you're good because you're less selfish?


[ Parent ]

Who is to say? History, that's who. (2.00 / 2) (#32)
by D Jade on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 11:10:56 PM EST

Think about it. If every single person in the entire span of human civilisation did not die, we would not survive. Simple.

Death is essential. Without it, there is no life. I mean, if I wasn't ever going to die, what would I do with my time? Why would I need to pursue goals, work, socialise or anything else for that matter? It's not like I have to worry about death or old age or anything like that, so there's no reason for me to do today what I can put off till tomorrow, or the next day or the day after that.

Why not spend all of the resources and money thrown into Cryonics into say, solving the real issues this world faces? Like starvation, poverty and sanitation...

Oh that's right, you already have all of these things. Silly me. Who would have thought that doing something for humanity would be worth more than living till age 500? I mean seriously, the amount of money that one spends freezing themselves could increase the life expectancy of thousands by providing a few essential services that we take for granted.

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

The real issues (none / 1) (#45)
by dke on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 01:33:00 PM EST

Starvation, poverty and sanitation actually help death ;-) And, it's like you said.. death is essential.
Nothing is ever easy
[ Parent ]
And to further respond.... (1.50 / 2) (#33)
by D Jade on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 11:30:48 PM EST

Who is anyone to say there is or isn't room? Room can be made by keeping people alive and not reproducing or by re-distributing resources in a fair way so that 10 billion rather than just 6 billion can live. If you want to die, fine, your choice. Sort of.

So your frozen body will be revived by taking away freedoms that you enjoy from future generations? Who are you to tell someone they cannot have children? Then we talk about

Evolution is currently along cultural, technological lines for our species. We'll evolve quicker and better doing it ourselves. That means staying alive much long to understand more.

Hmmm so the fact that, on average, each new generation is 10cm taller than the last is a cultural thing. Hmm that's interesting. So you're saying that the little 5 foot nothing knights from the dark ages chose to be that tall because of their cultural background? Yeah, good point.

How will staying alive longer allow you to understand more? I'm sorry, but I don't know too many 90 year olds that have the proficiency in calculus that I do. Nor do I know many 40 year olds that can operate a computer like I can. Hmmm staying alive longer does increase understanding. Documenting what you've learnt so that future generations can build on it does.

I am not rich. Life insurance is enough for a suspension contract (which is about as much as an expensive funeral).

So you are not rich compared to say a rich American, yet your life insurance premiums probably cost the salary of an entire village in any developing country. No sir, you are not rich. Hate to break it to you, but in context of the entire human civilisation, western = rich

Not everyone wants to live forever. Cryonics is likely to be a minority option for some time.

Why is it a minority? Um probably because it's not proven to work. I think you'll find that once it's proven to work, everyone will opt to be frozen. I mean, like you said, it's the cost of an expensive funeral. So instead of funerals, people would have popsicle parties.

Space travel is just as scientifically possible as cryonics. You, and no-one else, can definately say it will never happen.

No we can't. But space travel has some proven merit. It's a reality already. I think you missed the point of his statement.

Clearly, life-saving medicine offends you and makes you angry, but I don't understand why.

Life saving medicine offends no one as a rule. But you are not talking about saving lives, you are talking of extending them. This is not life saving medicine. A person who has lived a full life does not need it saved. Life saving medicine allows, say, children with leukemia to sometimes survive and enjoy some quality of life (hopefully). You're talking about people who have already enjoyed a quality life.

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

frozen brain (1.00 / 3) (#56)
by walpurg on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 09:01:19 AM EST

"So your frozen body will be revived by taking away freedoms that you enjoy from future generations?" How does my revival make for the oppression of future generations? Please explain. "Who are you to tell someone they cannot have children?" I'm not telling anyone not to have kids, but I won't be having them. 2 kids could make 4 kids and 4 kids could make 8 kids who could make 16 etc. If you're concerned about overpopulation, then don't reproduce. Rather than having kids and creating more people, i'd like to those currently in existence to have a chance to save themselves. "Hmmm so the fact that, on average, each new generation is 10cm taller than the last is a cultural thing. Hmm that's interesting. So you're saying that the little 5 foot nothing knights from the dark ages chose to be that tall because of their cultural background? Yeah, good point." That is a matter of diet. You're reiterating an urban myth. "How will staying alive longer allow you to understand more? I'm sorry, but I don't know too many 90 year olds that have the proficiency in calculus that I do. Nor do I know many 40 year olds that can operate a computer like I can." That is because they're aging. Long life is not a matter of growing extremely decrepit, but prolonging youth. That is the expected end of cryonics for many people. "So you are not rich compared to say a rich American, yet your life insurance premiums probably cost the salary of an entire village in any developing country. No sir, you are not rich. Hate to break it to you, but in context of the entire human civilisation, western = rich" Of course (apart from the peoplel iving on the street and in poverty). But just because I live in the West, does it mean I shouldn't have my life saved at a hospital using the means I see fit? Cryonics and economic equality are not mutually exclusive. "I think you'll find that once it's proven to work, everyone will opt to be frozen." Your evaluation is simplistic, but I agree that the numbers would go up. "Life saving medicine offends no one as a rule. But you are not talking about saving lives, you are talking of extending them." Of course. Saving a life is extending it. "A person who has lived a full life does not need it saved." So it is up to you what a full life is!? When a person should die!? "Life saving medicine allows, say, children with leukemia to sometimes survive and enjoy some quality of life (hopefully)." If this is your position, then cryonics should be fine for kids, right?

[ Parent ]
frozen brain (html edit) (3.00 / 2) (#57)
by walpurg on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 09:01:48 AM EST

"So your frozen body will be revived by taking away freedoms that you enjoy from future generations?"

How does my revival make for the oppression of future generations? Please explain.

"Who are you to tell someone they cannot have children?"

I'm not telling anyone not to have kids, but I won't be having them. 2 kids could make 4 kids and 4 kids could make 8 kids who could make 16 etc. If you're concerned about overpopulation, then don't reproduce. Rather than having kids and creating more people, i'd like to those currently in existence to have a chance to save themselves.

"Hmmm so the fact that, on average, each new generation is 10cm taller than the last is a cultural thing. Hmm that's interesting. So you're saying that the little 5 foot nothing knights from the dark ages chose to be that tall because of their cultural background? Yeah, good point."

That is a matter of diet. You're reiterating an urban myth.

"How will staying alive longer allow you to understand more? I'm sorry, but I don't know too many 90 year olds that have the proficiency in calculus that I do. Nor do I know many 40 year olds that can operate a computer like I can."

That is because they're aging. Long life is not a matter of growing extremely decrepit, but prolonging youth. That is the expected end of cryonics for many people.

"So you are not rich compared to say a rich American, yet your life insurance premiums probably cost the salary of an entire village in any developing country. No sir, you are not rich. Hate to break it to you, but in context of the entire human civilisation, western = rich"

Of course (apart from the peoplel iving on the street and in poverty). But just because I live in the West, does it mean I shouldn't have my life saved at a hospital using the means I see fit? Cryonics and economic equality are not mutually exclusive.

"I think you'll find that once it's proven to work, everyone will opt to be frozen."

Your evaluation is simplistic, but I agree that the numbers would go up.

"Life saving medicine offends no one as a rule. But you are not talking about saving lives, you are talking of extending them."

Of course. Saving a life is extending it.

"A person who has lived a full life does not need it saved."

So it is up to you what a full life is!? When a person should die!?

"Life saving medicine allows, say, children with leukemia to sometimes survive and enjoy some quality of life (hopefully)."

If this is your position, then cryonics should be fine for kids, right?


[ Parent ]

You said it yourself bro (none / 0) (#123)
by D Jade on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 01:08:51 AM EST

Room can be made by keeping people alive and not reproducing or by re-distributing resources in a fair way so that 10 billion rather than just 6 billion can live.

So you are saying that room can be made by taking away peoples' right to reproduce. Um, taking away a "god-given" right; that is oppression.

I'm not telling anyone not to have kids

But you are!

2 kids could make 4 kids and 4 kids could make 8 kids who could make 16 etc. If you're concerned about overpopulation, then don't reproduce.

I'm not concerned by overpopulation through reproduction. Your supposition is that in order to make room for popsicles like yourself in the future, we should stop people from reproduction. You're not talking about a choice, and you're not talking about overpopulation. You're talking about making room for popsicles. This isn't a concern about overpopulation, it's a concern for yourself.

That is a matter of diet. You're reiterating an urban myth.

Actually, it's not an urban myth. You can see it when you look at younger generations. You can see it in architecture and clothing from the middle ages. It's all around you. Maybe it is a product of diet. It's also a product of modern medicine, economy and so on. This is what is called evolution my friend. Just because we're not growing extra fingers, does not mean that we are not evolving intellectually, and this is not a product of culture, it is a product of human civilisation as a whole.

Long life is not a matter of growing extremely decrepit, but prolonging youth.

So you're talking about cell oxidisation then? In other words, the Human version of Rust. Now if you've already aged, how will you reverse that? I mean, you can't reverse the effects that rust has had on my '76 Datsun can you? Oh that's right. You're not going to stop reproduction, are you? You're going to let the poor people knock each other up and then harvest their stem cells to replicate your own bodily cells... Silly me, I should have realised.

Cryonics and economic equality are not mutually exclusive.

Oh golly. I didn't realised. Little starving children that live in rubbish tips in ethiopia can be frozen too! Wow, you've thought of everything. Of course you have the right to life-saving medicine, just as every other human should. You're not talking about life-saving medicine though.

Your evaluation is simplistic, but I agree that the numbers would go up.

Just like your evaluations of my comments and your outlook on cryonics. I mean, you say that EVERYONE accross the world can be frozen and have their life saved. Bah... I say that's a crock of BS amigo.

Of course. Saving a life is extending it.

Now who's being simplistic? Saving a life is repairing the body after it's been crushed in an auto-accident or removing cancer from a patient, or curing a young child of leukemia. Stopping a 90 year old's body from rusting away is not saving life. They've already lived. Maybe you should get out and live more while you have the oppurtunity.

So it is up to you what a full life is!? When a person should die!?

No actually, it's up to God, or nature to decide, and the decision is that, like it or not, every life must end. If this was not nature's intention, evolution's intention, then Jesus would still be alive, as would the apostles, as would every single person EVER born.

My position is that cryonics is fundamentally opposed to nature. That it goes against every principle our society is based upon and that it will stifle evolution and only help to further create the divide between us (the west) and them (the people who make your Nike shoes so affordable).

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

You care so much! (none / 0) (#124)
by topynate on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 12:29:53 PM EST

I guess you must, to justify such perversions of logic as ascribing intent to evolution - which is also doing precisely what's best for us all, eliminating inequality and creating harmony between us citizens of Earth.

I suppose that cryonics is a very good example of the gulf between 'us' and 'them'. I personally have no intention of jumping to the other side, however. There is no way that preventing people from being resurrected will put 'us' and 'them' on the same footing while people have the same desire to get ahead at all costs that many do at the moment. Who are you to tell people they shouldn't do that, anyway? Who the fuck are you to tell me that I can't run my own life? If I want to eliminate inequality, I'll make an effort, but I won't impose my will on others. I don't buy that there's a universal social contract which I have the right to demand others live up to.

I want you to tell me how cryonics is different to spending money on myself in some other way, and thus denying it to the starving masses. If I live longer, is it your thesis that I extend the amount of time in which I exploit those poorer than me? Don't even go near that 'evolution wants us to die' stuff, it makes me sick it's so stupid.




"...identifying authors with their works is a feckless game. Simply to go by their books, Agatha Christie is a mass murderess, while William Buckley is a practicing Christian." --Gore Vidal
[ Parent ]

history (none / 0) (#130)
by walpurg on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 11:30:46 AM EST

Your constant distortions of my argument make it clear that you are a waste of time.

[ Parent ]
Sign me up (2.00 / 4) (#41)
by CodeWright on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 12:43:07 PM EST

I wasn't sure about cryonics until I learnt that through cryonics I would someday be able to make love to the green, three-breasted amazon princesses of an alien race.

--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
the "species" (none / 1) (#69)
by khallow on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:55:17 PM EST

Nevermind that death is appropriate, in that it makes room for the next generation, and in that sense necessary for the species to evolve. Still, death is something for poor. Not the elite, such as yourself, with the money to freeze your body. And don't tell me that everyone has the opportunity to live forever - could you imagine the population problem then?

Everyone should have the opportunity to live a life as long as they wish. I can imagine the "population problem", but I don't see an actual problem.

And it makes no sense economically to throw away humans. You spend 60-70 years educating and training a human, then you throw it away because it gets old and broken? That's what currently happens. It's much better to fix the aging problem, then you can have a working human for centuries or millenia.

Finally, why should I be interested in "the species" particularly since the breeding program seems to be pretty screwed up?

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

go read a book or something (3.00 / 2) (#83)
by jbridge21 on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 11:17:08 AM EST

Because you're obscenely egocentric and flatly terrified or your own non-existance

Dude, fear of death is id, not ego.

[ Parent ]

If you are not into it.... (none / 0) (#134)
by Kurt9 on Fri Apr 08, 2005 at 06:57:29 PM EST

If you are not interested in cryonics, by all means don't sign up for it. But whats it to you if I or someone else chooses to sigh up for it? Cryonics and life extension are a personal choice, nothing more. If you choose to live the conventional life cycle and die, that is your choice and I respect that. You should show the same respect for those of us who choose different as you would want us to show to you.

[ Parent ]
Why indeed? (topical repost, sorry) (2.00 / 6) (#21)
by schrotie on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 07:31:08 PM EST

There is a nonzero chance for almost every patient about to die - or even declared dead - that he'll miraculously recover. That's no fantasy, such things happen. Rarely though. According to your argument one could only ever declare death, when the corpse starts smelling (and forget about organ donation). There is a nonzero chance that I can be mostly reconstructed from my DNA alone (plus maybe from a few simple recorded answers to a few simple questions), some time in the future - why should one waste resources on such an inferior method as Cryonics? There is a nonzero chance that people in the future will be able to time-travel back and save me from dying - why not just drop them a note?

Foreseeing is difficult, especially when the future is concerned. Cryonics might or might not work out and science has nothing to say about that. Modern science is rather weird in some places, but its mostly bearable. The science of nonzero chances is a completely different beast and science fiction authors have had a lot of fun with it. It's not how science works, though. Science has developed a sheer lust for parapsychology lately. Every once again some scientist will test diviners or other people supposedly endowed with supernatural gifts. Trouble is not that science is too dogmatic, trouble is that the esoteric crowd fails to deliver again and again. Until it is proven that the (currently biologically devastating) Cryonic methods don't kill their victims for good, or until vastly better methods are developed, Cryonics remain religion. And your text gives a good example of classical, unbalanced, repetitious, rhetoric pamphlets commonly found in religions. Thanks for the exercise now please clear the moderation queue.

wow (none / 1) (#66)
by walpurg on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 12:41:01 PM EST

Cryonics isn't science - tell me something new.

Are all of your beliefs scientifically validated? I doubt it. But if so, and you believe you hold nothing to be true except that which is currently scientifically acceptable, then fine, but you'll be the first person I've ever met to do so. In which case, I would ask you to consider problems of scientific method and inference.

[ Parent ]

Gotcha? (none / 1) (#73)
by schrotie on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 08:51:13 PM EST

What kind of convoluted argument is this supposed to be? You were trying to make a point and now you are running for cover in belief? What a sad discussion.

You were the one bragging about scientific progress and how it will revive all those frozen carcasses eventually. I was saying, well science might progress to prove that Cryonics is worse than rotting and those corpses on the rocks are not recoverable. I was pointing out that Cryonics is based on belief rather than evidence (as you were suggesting with your unbalanced article). Hm, you just admitted that, right? I mean the thing about belief?

Hard to argue about belief. Ok, look, your body, especially the brain, is the most complex thing in the known universe. It is not even cursory understood how that thing works, it's a miracle. It's an electrochemical (chemical, got that?) miracle to be precise. One thing is rather probable though: if you drown that miracle with a high pressure injection of anti freezer that does not however reach every part of said miracle, and if you than deepfreeze the miracle in a way that lets ice crystals build in some remoter parts (we are talking about a rather massive miracle, you cannot freeze it fast enough) that were not drowned in anti freezer. Well if you do all that, it's not unplausible that you destroyed the miracle for good.

And considering our current biological knowledge and the pace of progress it might take centuries until unfreezing becomes an option (it might also only take decades, but who knows?). Plenty of time for new dark ages, extermination of humanity or buildup of massive dislike for our barbaric generation that commited more unspeakable crimes against humanity than any other generation ... might well be that nobody really wants to meld the sons of Hitler and Stalin, us guys who ruined the climate and the ecosystem. Or they might just meld you up to exercise their technologically advanced methods of punishment. Lol. That's a funny believe. I'll believe that, anybody with me?

But hey, believe what you please. As long as you don't bomb the shit out of foreign people with a funny accent or blow yourself up in populated areas just to make a point ...

[ Parent ]

belief bad? (none / 1) (#96)
by walpurg on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 08:16:06 PM EST

"What a sad discussion."

Then why are you bothering? Are you just here to make me feel lowly? More stupid then you? or to open my eyes?

"You were the one bragging about scientific progress and how it will revive all those frozen carcasses eventually."

No, I said it is possible, which you agree with. And yes, scientific progress is quite impressive.

"I was pointing out that Cryonics is based on belief rather than evidence (as you were suggesting with your unbalanced article). Hm, you just admitted that, right? I mean the thing about belief?"

Cryonics involves some belief in scientific progress, yes. Without osme optimism about the future of human culture, there's no point in trying. Cryonics also has evidence in its favour (the fact that living things can be frozen for a long time and be revived). And my article in "unbalanced" because I was expecting you, dear reader, to prove the criticism.

"Ok, look, your body, especially the brain, is the most complex thing in the known universe."

Really? More complex than the physics of the Sun? More complex than the global eco-system? I'll admit it is complex, but cut the hubris. The brain is also highly redundant, as I expect you're aware.

"It is not even cursory understood how that thing works, it's a miracle."

I wouldn't call it a miracle.

"Well if you do all that, it's not unplausible that you destroyed the miracle for good."

Indeed, lets just hope enough is recoverable to help revival and a good life, and that preservation technology improves (though it will only do that through more funding of research and more subjects to try it on).

"That's a funny believe. I'll believe that, anybody with me?"

Sure, it is possible. What's your point? That cryonics is bad because if the people doing it get revived, if might be by evil dictators?

"But hey, believe what you please. As long as you don't bomb the shit out of foreign people with a funny accent or blow yourself up in populated areas just to make a point ..."

Yes, unlike other belief-systems (patriotism, religion, spiritualities, philosophies, cultures, etc), cryonicists have never committed a murder, as far as I know, nevermind a war.

[ Parent ]

K5 user of the year (2.00 / 2) (#99)
by schrotie on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 07:38:07 AM EST

Hello again Walpurg, I nominate you K5 user of the year. I truly admire your composure and politeness and I apologize for my rudeness. There is no irony here. You are a shining example.

And my article in "unbalanced" because I was expecting you, dear reader, to prove the criticism.
Accepted, but you should have made it clear that you are only presenting your rather biased opinion and you are not at all trying to be objective. And should have made the category Op-Ed rather than Science.
Really? More complex than the physics of the Sun? More complex than the global eco-system?
Yes indeed, much more complex than the known physics of the sun. You'll find the highest informational density in random noise, e.g. in a gas. Yet you can describe a gas pretty well with two variables. Size and apparent ongoing action does not necessarily imply structural complexity of the underlying system.
The earth ecosystem is a difficult thing. It might be more complex, but too little is known about it. Note, not every complex behavior one observes must be caused by a complex structure. Pure random noise is extremely complex, yet its generation can be done with a very simple function. For what is known, the earth ecosystem is not something that reacts consistently to stimuli. It does react, its reactions are complex, but it is not known what reactions are random and which are indicating structural properties. It is true that much is known about small ecosystems but little is actually known about how those relate.
The brain is a very different case. It can easily be demonstrated how consistent it can be. Much is known about some substructures and their linkage. Lots of non-random effects and linkages are known. Basically everything seems to be linked. The longest logical distance between neurons is a few synapses. Every neuron is linked to other neurons by dozens or hundreds of tangled chemical pathways and by tens of thousands of electrochemical wires. Complexity can be observed on all levels. The ion-canals show complex properties, the whole neuron metabolism is very complex and influences the whole system, other cells which are probably responsible for neuron nutrition also seem to affect the information processing. Complexity is known to exist on intermediate processing levels (e.g. processing of visual information in the optical cortex) and on the highest levels (integration of the whole system in consciousness). All levels are at least partly linked to each other, information is flowing in all directions, thus speaking of "levels" makes little sense actually.
It is no hubris, it is something that is commonly said to remind people what they are talking about. Nothing is simple about the brain. Google for most complex known universe. Note that "brain" is not part of the search.
I wouldn't call it a miracle.
That's because you did not study it.

Sure, it is possible. What's your point? That cryonics is bad because if the people doing it get revived, if might be by evil dictators?
My point is that Cryonics relies on a rather large set of assumptions that are merely based on belief.



[ Parent ]

atheist (none / 1) (#102)
by walpurg on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 11:20:44 AM EST

`And should have made the category Op-Ed rather than Science.`

Ok. That is due to my own ignorance, being new to the forum.

`Yes indeed, much more complex than the known physics of the sun.`

Thanks for the info. - noted.

W: `I wouldn't call it a miracle.`

S: `That's because you did not study it.`

Right, but I have studied theology, so I wouldn`t call the brain a miracle.

`My point is that Cryonics relies on a rather large set of assumptions that are merely based on belief.`

Fine. But these assumptions (so far) are acceptable to me.

[ Parent ]

oops, sorry (none / 0) (#108)
by schrotie on Mon Mar 28, 2005 at 04:23:49 AM EST

Right, but I have studied theology, so I wouldn`t call the brain a miracle.
Hm, so you are the specialist here. But isn't the Lords creation a miracle (no rhetoric but real question)?

[ Parent ]
scientists and god (none / 0) (#113)
by walpurg on Mon Mar 28, 2005 at 01:06:05 PM EST

Only if you believe in the Lord's creation - which I don't. Do you? (serious question).

(BTW, I appreciate your discoursive tone.)

[ Parent ]

nope (none / 0) (#116)
by schrotie on Tue Mar 29, 2005 at 07:40:57 AM EST

No, I'm an atheist, and the miracle is only rhetoric.

[ Parent ]
Not understood??? (none / 0) (#104)
by paranoid on Mon Mar 28, 2005 at 03:45:59 AM EST

Ok, look, your body, especially the brain, is the most complex thing in the known universe. It is not even cursory understood how that thing works, it's a miracle.

I am sorry, but please speak for yourself. If you only know what you learned about the brain in school, then it's no surprise that you have no idea. I have a 1998 book by Rita Carter, a renowned British medical journalist, called Mapping the Mind, which provides tons of information about the brain that is already known to neurobiologists (and in case you are going to ask, no, it's not the only book about the brain that I read). There are no miracles at all, there are just some things that we don't know yet because we didn't spend enough time yet and because the resolution of brain scanning is not sufficient yet.

We know A LOT about the brain. For example, neurobiologists know quite precisely where your self-awareness is in the brain and have a rough idea of how it works. We have a general idea about pretty much everything in the brain. The only thing we still lack is sufficient detalisation of that knowledge - it takes time and effort.

So the truth is that you simply are ignorant, but arrogant and self-assured. You don't understand well enough the subject that you are talking about, don't read enough books (a guess), but are still trying to put down other people, people such as walpurg, who clearly (to an outside observer) know more than you in this particular field.

P.S. Babbling about how "everything seems to be linked" is just idiocy. Physical connections do not matter, it's the functional links that are important. Every atom in the Universe is linked to every other one via gravity. So what?

[ Parent ]

Correction (none / 0) (#105)
by paranoid on Mon Mar 28, 2005 at 03:47:48 AM EST

I have a 1998 book by Rita Carter

It should have said "I have ... on my table right now". Obviously, that's not the only book that I have. :)

[ Parent ]

Arrogant asshole??? (none / 0) (#107)
by schrotie on Mon Mar 28, 2005 at 04:20:06 AM EST

Lol. Yes I am indeed arrogant, and probably an asshole as well. But I do know what I'm talking about here. I have been studying biology with a specialization in neurophysiology, behavioral physiology and computer simulations of nervous systems for 13 years. I am currently working at the group for theoretical biology and cybernetic systems at the university of Bielefeld.

Scientists don't like admitting how little they actually know. The better part of scientific work is selling one's ideas to others. Selling "Ugh, actually we know very little, but please keep pouring millions into our research" is a bit tough, so nobody does it.

As I said, believe what you like.

[ Parent ]

If you are a neuroscientist (none / 0) (#119)
by Cryoguy on Tue Mar 29, 2005 at 03:43:40 PM EST

then check this out

http://www.alcor.org/Library/html/braincryopreservation1.html

and this

http://www.alcor.org/Library/html/cambridge.html

Cryonicists have made a good scientific case that they are preserving brain structure with little or no ice injury (vitrification).  Your assertion that they have no evidence is patently false. There are now published papers supporting both the preservation and repair sides of the problem.

http://www.alcor.org/sciencerefs.html

I think any neuroscientist that looks at these data would be forced to concede the likelihood that substantial parts, if not the entirety, of encoded memories and personality are being preserved.  At minimum, you must concede that there is no evidence of definitive destruction of memory encoding in these micrographs (excluding "simplified protocol" micrographs).

---Cryoguy  

[ Parent ]

Natural born skeptic (none / 0) (#120)
by schrotie on Tue Mar 29, 2005 at 05:12:26 PM EST

This is better than I thought (the stuff about the dogs). Had I known this earlier I would probably have been a little less loud in the discussion. I am not really convinced though. The problem I still have is that it is not really known, how much of a personality is chemical and how much is defined by the "wiring". Even if the neural structure (axons, dendrites and synapses) are preserved perfectly, it is simply not known if and how the according person can be revived. It might even be that human self conscience cannot be suspended. I don't say it can't, but if it can be suspended all kinds of weird consequences arise. So maybe it can indeed not be suspended for reasons that are covered by a theory of information that we do not have yet. Altogether the implied uncertainties are still so high that I would say Cryonics are based mostly on belief.

That said, when I went out smoking a cigarette and thinking about my newly gained knowledge I was considering if it would make sense for to get a contract with a Cryonics company :-) Trouble is over the years I have forced myself to accept death as a welcome liberator rather than a thread. So no deal.

[ Parent ]

Young idealists and cryonics (none / 0) (#121)
by Cryoguy on Tue Mar 29, 2005 at 06:29:57 PM EST

Your perspective is understandable.  Contrary to the stereotype of cryonics being for rich old egotists, most people sign up for cryonics when they are young and still unadjusted (if that's the right term) to a limited lifespan.  Rather than selfish, they are more like idealists that see cryonics as something that could remake medicine so that terminal illness no longer existed-- for anyone.  

Eric Drexler (himself a young man at the time)wrote about cryonics in the book that first popularized nanotechnology 20 years ago

http://www.foresight.org/EOC/EOC_Chapter_9.html

He compared cryonics to surgical anesthesia, which amazingly took decades to be accepted, and without which surgery is a nightmare.  In Drexer's words, "Perhaps the time has come to awaken from the final medical nightmare."

All cryonicists ask is a fair hearing, and recognition that more thought goes into the process than just some hippies in the Arizona desert.  Thank you.

---Cryoguy

[ Parent ]

Yes... (2.33 / 9) (#23)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 07:40:38 PM EST

But can I freeze my penis until medical science advances enough to make it the 19" long appendage it deserves to be? Or am I better off just waiting it out, and going with the alternative genetically altered spooge that tastes like whip cream, possibly with cocaine-like addictive properties?

That's what we really want to know.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.

The problem to solve is *how cold?* (2.40 / 5) (#35)
by SaintPort on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 06:08:24 AM EST

Even tree frogs die when they thaw from being too cold. The ice crystal damage is too severe.

So, just pump me full of sugar alcohol and put me in the fridge.

this comment contains 99% post K5 material... sorry :)

http://tampatrib.com/nationworldnews/MGB5A8BDV2E.html

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

Sabanation (3.00 / 2) (#86)
by benow on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 05:28:17 PM EST

Hmm, there may be a solution to this. Saw a discovery short on a japanese chef/inventor using magnets to prevent crystal formation for long term sushi preservation. Same could apply to human organs. Video is currently available on Daily Planet site... it was the Mar 23, 2005 show.

[ Parent ]
Lab space is at a premium (1.00 / 2) (#43)
by BottleRocket on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 01:06:31 PM EST

No room, no funding for walpurg popsicle.

$ . . . . . $ . . . . . $ . . . . . $
. ₩ . . . . . ¥ . . . . . € . . . . . § . . . . . £
. . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . *
$ . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $
Yes I do download [child pornography], but I don't keep it any longer than I need to, so it can yield insight as to how to find more. --MDC
$ . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $
. . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . *
. ₩ . . . . . ¥ . . . . . € . . . . . § . . . . . £
$ . . . . . $ . . . . . $ . . . . . $
$B R Σ III$

I just noticed this sentence. (2.00 / 2) (#47)
by Back Spaced on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 02:28:47 PM EST

At the end of the page referenced by following your first link, I discovered this piece of rhetorical gold:

Meals with curry dishes might therefore be a good idea for cryonics patients anticipating near-term deanimation.

Hell yeah. I know what I'm having for dinner.

Bluto: My advice to you is to start drinking heavily.
Otter: Better listen to him, Flounder. He's pre-med.

Religion is overrated. (none / 1) (#48)
by Sen on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 05:05:06 PM EST

And cryonics, even if it may not be true is far better than the religious alternatives. +1FP.

but (none / 1) (#58)
by shokk on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 10:00:58 AM EST

since cryonics takes such a large amount of resources to support over the long-term, at this point it is a question of what you have to offer society that they cannot get from another new fresh human being. Cryonics misses the point that you are eventually going to shake off this mortal coil, whether now or preserved so that you die 20 years after an eventual thawing, but die you will. There are enough people in this world as it is - who are you to deny the newer, better, younger ones their place because of your selfish needs? You are just a bubble in a boiling pot and eventually you will burst and return to what you were before you percolated.
"Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart, he dreams himself your master."
[ Parent ]
bubbling (3.00 / 2) (#64)
by walpurg on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 12:29:54 PM EST

"since cryonics takes such a large amount of resources to support over the long-term,"

Since when? The current storage and liquid nitro. isn't "large".

"at this point it is a question of what you have to offer society that they cannot get from another new fresh human being."

So, you can only justafiably live if you offer society something? What do you offer now?

"Cryonics misses the point that you are eventually going to shake off this mortal coil, whether now or preserved so that you die 20 years after an eventual thawing, but die you will."

Would you rather die next week or in 50 years? I'd rather live as long as possible. Are you likely to refuse any medical help that will save your life? Only if you consider your life not worth living.

"There are enough people in this world as it is -"

Who says?

"who are you to deny the newer, better, younger ones their place because of your selfish needs?"

See my rebuttle of selfishness in threads below.

[ Parent ]

Fantastic article (none / 1) (#59)
by wurp on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 11:24:57 AM EST

By which I mean wonderful, not like a fantasy...

Your analogy of cryonics to life support methods used in preparation for a transplant or en route to the hospital is spot on.  I'm amazed that so many people are reacting with ridicule, just as you pointed out in your article.

I think the issue is that you associated with nanotech, and you talked about technological possibilities that are 50 years or a century away.  I mean, no one wants to seem like they're living in a fantasy-land, willing to mindlessly accept any bone thrown to them that supports egocentric fantasies.  After all, with nutcases like this guy supporting nanotech, who's going to buy into it?

What people consistently fail to recognize, decade after decade, is that science really does advance.  Fundamental breakthroughs happen.  There is every reason to believe that anything that is physically possible and comprehensible to man, man will do.

Imagine talking to someone 150 years ago about heavier than air flying machines, ridden by thousands of people every day.  They would give you the same rhetoric you're seeing here.  What a fantasy land you live in.  People travelling at the speed of sound as a normal mode of transportation?  Imagine talking to someone 100 years ago about reviving people who've been dead for hours.  Or transplanting the heart of a dead man into the living.  Imagine talking to someone 50 years ago about casually chatting from the US to Sweden, or seeing instantly something put up for sale by someone across the world.  The vast majority would mock you, and smugly assume they were being tough-minded and down-to-earth.

The down-to-earth position is that we will continue advancing until anything that is conceivable as something that could possibly be done cheaply, can be done cheaply.  And then that we will advance beyond that (since our conception of reality will improve).

I guess what I'm saying is, thanks for the article.  And advice for future writers wanting to promote cryonics: avoid talking about nanotech.  Avoid associating with anyone who proposes that advances more than 15 years away could actually happen.  Well, avoid those things if you want to be taken seriously by most people.
---
Buy my stuff

thanks (none / 1) (#65)
by walpurg on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 12:35:18 PM EST

Most of the comments are either dismissive because cryonics isn't science (well, neither are many other beliefs) and because cryonics is perceived as selfish. I'm sorry to think that I didn't get my point across, but upon re-reading, I see I am clear. I dont' claim that cryonics is scientifically "proven" and I show how cryonics can be a good for all. Shame.

[ Parent ]
The joke is contemporary Cryonics (2.50 / 2) (#82)
by schrotie on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 07:57:16 AM EST

What people consistently fail to recognize, decade after decade, is that science really does advance. Fundamental breakthroughs happen.
You probably underestimate the K5 crowd. I assume that few people here doubt that Cryonics will work some time in the future. I don't doubt that very much. I do indeed believe that humans will become posthuman in the far future. We will transform the patterns of information that we are into other media (todays guess would be silicon, but that's probably wrong) and travel with the speed of light since we are only information that can be encoded in light. Greg Egan has written a lot on that and I believe it. Chances are slim that anybody can refute that belief. The same goes for Cryonics.

Jules Verne wrote about a voyage to the moon. 100 years before it happened. He was a great visionary. As is almost always the case with such visionaries he took the technology of his time and extrapolated. His moon voyagers would be shot to the moon in a cannon. Try that and you either won't get very far or you'll be dead. Probably both.

Contemporary Cryonics are very likely the attempt to shoot people to the moon with a cannon. Too little is known about it to evaluate the involved probabilities. But it is used anyway, by a small devoted crowd of technoists. Resources are spend on it. A lot of money is taken from the heirs of the technoists. It is like a religious sect. It is based almost completely on beliefs. The followers are devoted and of a well defined subculture. A lot of money is earned by the sect leaders.

Don't get me wrong. I do believe Cryonics will work a couple of decades or centuries from now. I just don't believe today's time travelers will ever get anywhere. I even believe their chances of being revived are larger than some weird sect being married by aliens who will destroy the rest of us next Tuesday. I still believe their chances are so vague that selling Cryonics and/or spreading that belief is very immoral.

[ Parent ]

why (2.50 / 2) (#87)
by walpurg on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 06:22:34 PM EST

is Cryonics immoral?

[ Parent ]
It's not immoral if you believe it (none / 1) (#95)
by schrotie on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 08:11:58 PM EST

If you believe in Cryonics it is obviously not immoral. But take the perspective of a non believer for the sake of the argument: those frozen people are never going to be revived. So Cryonics companies sell very expensive services to the most desperate of people, to people about to die. And that money is spend on something that will not work out as the moribunds expect. That is indeed very immoral.

Thus the ethic evaluation completely depends on your personal beliefs. It is not universally immoral, but most people should view it very sceptically, since few people actually believe in Cryonics. Now morale is not subject to majority decisions. I personally belief there is no universal morale and every person has to have his own.

I believe you that you believe in Cryonics. So you are acting with the best intentions which is good enough for me :-) Still you do wrong from my perspective, though your guilt is very minor since you act out of ignorance rather than evilly. I also believe that most people making a living from Cryonics are idealists, but the area looks like it's bound to attract sinister folks.

[ Parent ]

wrong (3.00 / 2) (#101)
by walpurg on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 11:13:34 AM EST

``So Cryonics companies sell very expensive services to the most desperate of people, to people about to die.``

Rubbish, this almost never happens. Not only is the legal process lengthy, but sign-ups on death beds are risky - they can fall through, endangering the patient, and they are bad publicity, making cryonics orgs. look like they`re preying on the desperate. Check the links to see policies on late sign-up. Infact, some sign-ups have been given to severly disabled people for free.


[ Parent ]

Heres my biased view. (none / 1) (#68)
by cosmicv on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:42:40 PM EST

Im one of the few hundred people subscribed for cryonic preservation with Alcor here in the US.

I didnt arrive there lightly, but after a decade of thought and research.

The best quote Ive ever heard on the subject was:

"Cryonics is an experiment, and the control group isnt doing to well."

Naturally, everyone has to make the call for themselves, but to those interested, I suggest researching the current state of the science of vitrification (the process used to prevent freezing damage) and see how well its being done.

If that is true... (none / 1) (#76)
by JohnLamar on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 03:45:37 AM EST

...good luck, seriously.

I once read that it makes sense to 'freeze' yourself because you have two options, to do it or not do it.

If you do it and it works, you live.

If you do it and it fails, you die.

If you don't do it, you die...

You chances are better. If you were completely frozen, and you couldn't dream or think - total suspension - it would be worth it. You would literally be a time traveller. If you lucid when you went in, you'd have a real crazy trip...

Really, could you imagine "waking up" two thousand years from now? I doubt it. Forget if it's a good idea or has a point, think of your options. Allowing people to do this at any time would really expand our abilites as a species. Imagine unfreezing a wise counselor or negotiator to settle the disputes of the ages...

Start with inmates, that's how America got started.
The worst thing you've ever seen
[ Parent ]

ha! pascal's wager for the 21st century. (none / 1) (#77)
by Cloud Cuckoo on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 07:30:47 AM EST



[ Parent ]
oh get off it. (2.00 / 2) (#78)
by Cloud Cuckoo on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 07:32:22 AM EST

the only people frozen are going to be rich scumbags .Decent people would consider it arrogant to cheat death.

[ Parent ]
death a moral imperative? (none / 1) (#90)
by walpurg on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 07:50:15 PM EST

What is indecent about cheating death?

[ Parent ]
Actually your mistaken (none / 0) (#109)
by cosmicv on Mon Mar 28, 2005 at 09:55:15 AM EST

Cryonic is expensive when you factor in insurance. The cost for a neuro-suspension was (before Janurary) around 50 thousand dollars. Term insurance for that is about 10 bucks a month, hardly withing the realm of only the rich.

The actual user dues are a few hunred bucks a years, also which is equivilant to candy bar money.

As for cheating death, the normal lifespan of a human without technology is around 35... so any years you are spending over that is "cheating" nature - and Ill take more of it please.

Ultimately, people have a hard time with cryonics simply because its new and noone like to be first. Its safer to follow the crowd most the time, but certainly not in this case.

[ Parent ]

Actually I meant inexpensive with insurance (none / 0) (#110)
by cosmicv on Mon Mar 28, 2005 at 09:56:54 AM EST

Good god, how does one edit ones comments?

[ Parent ]
I dont think its going to take that long. (none / 0) (#111)
by cosmicv on Mon Mar 28, 2005 at 10:04:28 AM EST

If you dig into the science, you might find that two thousand years is WAY outside the range of what will be needed to revive someone out of cryo-sleep.

Technology genererally is progressing exponentially - which roughly means that the subjective progression of technology will be something more akin to the next 100 years of progress seeming like 20 thousand years of progress.

A good article that goes over some of the basics is here:

http://www.kurzweilai.net/meme/frame.html?main=/articles/art0134.html

[ Parent ]

Current World Population = 6.5 Billion (1.00 / 3) (#72)
by shambles on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 04:51:08 PM EST

Predicted population in 2030 = 9.3 Billion

Why is anybody going to waste money reanimating people who've already had a chance at life?

So unless you're going to;
a. make a truly fantastic amount of money, (and keep lawyers on retainer honest enough not to just spend your money and keep you a popsicle)
b. die tragically young,
c. make a brilliant scientific breakthrough,
d. make amazing, beautiful art,
e. run faster/jump higher/throw further than anybody else (for the next 50 years - not many world records last that long),

I wouldn't bother, your corpse will be left to get a bad case of freeze burn. Unless it is unceremoniously dumped for somebody more deserving.


People are more important than Truth - Edgar Malroy
money (none / 1) (#91)
by walpurg on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 07:52:26 PM EST

Indeed, why waste money on keeping people alive who are in vegitative states? Why waste money on curing people of disease or injury? Perhaps the future will not want to waste its money, perhaps not.

[ Parent ]
utilitarianism (none / 0) (#112)
by Norkakn on Mon Mar 28, 2005 at 11:12:01 AM EST

with utilitarian thinking one balances the interests of the individual, the needs of the individual, and the needs of society.  If someone is in a vegitative state (and have been for a while, i.e. not coming out or if they do, they won't be much better), then they won't be contributing much to society and they would be living in an existance that many would choose death other.  All of this is dependant on money/ doctors being limited resources (whether this is the case or if it is a matter of distribution is debatable), and within that framework, it makes a lot more sense to give preventative care to 100 25 year olds to lower their rates of adult onset diabetes than to replace the hip of an 80 year old.  In the US, we have the money to do both, but we only are willing to pay (as a country) for the latter.

So, not a direct response, but close enough.

[ Parent ]

worth (none / 0) (#114)
by walpurg on Mon Mar 28, 2005 at 01:18:19 PM EST

Are individuals only worthy of life if they serve society in a useful way? I find this objectionable.

[ Parent ]
could be the one!! (none / 0) (#117)
by txnhockey on Tue Mar 29, 2005 at 12:21:29 PM EST

yes but the future will want to know what the past was like so they would re-animate some people. You could be one !!! .. not likely ... i do agrre that unless you had some meaning to society during that time then you would problably not be chossen to be reanimated :| so it would depend

[ Parent ]
human value (none / 0) (#122)
by walpurg on Tue Mar 29, 2005 at 10:04:17 PM EST

I suppose they might just leave you alone until someone in some further future decided you were "worth it".

[ Parent ]
well... (none / 0) (#125)
by Norkakn on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 06:58:57 PM EST

one could look at it more of if society has a very lmited set of resources, how should it decide how to use them?

[ Parent ]
Society's resources?!? (none / 0) (#126)
by Cryoguy on Thu Mar 31, 2005 at 03:34:33 PM EST

I didn't realize that cryonics was being proposed as a government program.  If not, then why should cryonics be treated any differently than church going, lap dances, or drinking beer.  (Case of beer per week = cost of cryonics.)

The most pertinent comparison may be people who spend tens of thousands of dollars running all over the country trying experimental cancer treatments to no avail, let's say... for their dying child. (Yes, there are cryopreserved children.)  Now imagine telling them this:

* You are contributing to over-population you bunch of selfish bastards.

* You should spend that money on starving children who could really benefit from the help.

* It's up to God, or nature to decide, and the decision is that, like it or not, every life must end.

* My position is that cancer treatment is fundamentally opposed to nature. That it goes against every principle our society is based upon and that it will stifle evolution and only help to further create the divide between us (the west) and them (the people who make your Nike shoes so affordable).

I could go on, but surely the double standard and hypocrisy is crystal clear.

By the way, just how does Westerners choosing to buy cryonics instead of beer further divide have and have-nots... unless you think cryonics is something worth having?

Note: This post is mostly aimed at D Jade.  

[ Parent ]

Doing the Math (none / 0) (#128)
by clambake on Fri Apr 01, 2005 at 04:19:56 AM EST

Current World Population = 6.5 Billion
Predicted population in 2030 = 9.3 Billion

Theoretical maximium sutstainable carrying capacity of the Earth assuming full utilization of currently possible or available technology to harvest energy from the sun = 60 Trillion

[ Parent ]

The Overpopulation Myth (none / 0) (#133)
by Zetetic on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 08:15:01 AM EST

From MSNBC and Newsweek:

"Across the globe, people are having fewer and fewer children. Fertility rates have dropped by half since 1972, from six children per woman to 2.9. And demographers say they're still falling, faster than ever. The world's population will continue to grow--from today's 6.4 billion to around 9 billion in 2050. But after that, it will go sharply into decline. Indeed, a phenomenon that we're destined to learn much more about--depopulation--has already begun in a number of countries. Welcome to the New Demography. It will change everything about our world, from the absolute size and power of nations to global economic growth to the quality of our lives.

"This revolutionary transformation will be led not so much by developed nations as by the developing ones. Most of us are familiar with demographic trends in Europe, where birthrates have been declining for years. To reproduce itself, a society's women must each bear 2.1 children. Europe's fertility rates fall far short of that, according to the 2002 U.N. population report. France and Ireland, at 1.8, top Europe's childbearing charts. Italy and Spain, at 1.2, bring up the rear. In between are countries such as Germany, whose fertility rate of 1.4 is exactly Europe's average. What does that mean? If the U.N. figures are right, Germany could shed nearly a fifth of its 82.5 million people over the next 40 years--roughly the equivalent of all of east Germany, a loss of population not seen in Europe since the Thirty Years' War.

"And so it is across the Continent. Bulgaria will shrink by 38 percent, Romania by 27 percent, Estonia by 25 percent. "Parts of Eastern Europe, already sparsely populated, will just empty out," predicts Reiner Klingholz, director of the Berlin Institute for Population and Development. Russia is already losing close to 750,000 people yearly. (President Vladimir Putin calls it a "national crisis.") So is Western Europe, and that figure could grow to as much as 3 million a year by midcentury, if not more.

"The surprise is how closely the less-developed world is following the same trajectory. In Asia it's well known that Japan will soon tip into population loss, if it hasn't already. With a fertility rate of 1.3 children per woman, the country stands to shed a quarter of its 127 million people over the next four decades, according to U.N. projections. But while the graying of Japan (average age: 42.3 years) has long been a staple of news headlines, what to make of China, whose fertility rate has declined from 5.8 in 1970 to 1.8 today, according to the U.N.? Chinese census data put the figure even lower, at 1.3. Coupled with increasing life spans, that means China's population will age as quickly in one generation as Europe's has over the past 100 years, reports the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. With an expected median age of 44 in 2015, China will be older on average than the United States. By 2019 or soon after, its population will peak at 1.5 billion, then enter a steep decline. By midcentury, China could well lose 20 to 30 percent of its population every generation."

URL:

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/6040427/site/newsweek/

[ Parent ]

As a cryonicist myself.... (none / 1) (#74)
by cryon on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 12:06:11 AM EST

....it never fails to stun me to see so many people vehemently bash cryonics. I really think that cryonics will always be under attack until such time as a critical mass of people are brought up as youngsters with cryonics posed as a viable option to death.
HTGS75OBEY21IRTYG54564ACCEPT64AUTHORITY41V KKJWQKHD23CONSUME78GJHGYTMNQYRTY74SLEEP38H TYTR32CONFORM12GNIYIPWG64VOTER4APATHY42JLQ TYFGB64MONEY3IS4YOUR7GOD62MGTSB21CONFORM34 SDF53MARRY6AND2REPRODUCE534TYWHJZKJ34OBEY6

do no harm (none / 1) (#93)
by walpurg on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 07:55:28 PM EST

Cryonics doesn't need majorities, only for hospitals to take it seriously (i.e. the wishes of those people involved seriously) to go about doing a few easy procedures for the patient while a cryonics team gets to them to complete the procedure properly.

[ Parent ]
What happens when frozen? (none / 0) (#75)
by BelDion on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 03:21:56 AM EST

I was thinking about cryonics myself a few weeks ago after reading an interesting piece in a little zine called 'The Void' (ed- anybody?).

The question I was left wondering about was what is going to happen to you after you've been vitrified. Perhaps all function will cease, you'll be completely knocked out, and they wake you up in the 25th century to hang with Buck. On the other hand, what if you spend all of those centuries barely aware of your surroundings? Barely might be small, but it's still something. Now granted, from the physiological point of view, when you're that frosty, very little bodily action should occur. Heck, from the chemical p.o.v., in liquid nitrogen, very little of just about anything, bodily, chemical, or otherwise will occur right? Well, as near to nothing as makes no difference here, or does it? What if you have just enough activity to be 'barely' aware? It's only what, 200 below zero (C); pretty cold, but no B-E condensate. So who knows? Not me, but I can tell you one thing; I can almost just about nearly imagine being frozen solid and 'barely' aware for centuries. Doesn't seem very nice at all.

Oh, and don't even get me started on the possible 'higher' consciousness business. No really, because I just don't want to think about it! I'm a dogmatic agnostic; I don't know... and neither do you! (No offence to anyone that does know (ed- what is the answer^H^H^H^H^H^H question?))

the same (none / 1) (#88)
by walpurg on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 06:23:48 PM EST

could be asked of what it would be like to rot in a grave?

[ Parent ]
back in the day (2.33 / 3) (#81)
by Cloud Cuckoo on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 07:52:03 AM EST

people found immortality in their children, in poetry, music, good works, etc etc. But FUCK THAT! Bring on my pneumatic skeleton and laser eyes.

If I lived in the future I'd work in a cryonics lab for the sole purpose of decking every son-of-a-bitch yuppie right as they wake up.

fuck that? (none / 1) (#89)
by walpurg on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 07:41:42 PM EST

"people found immortality in their children, in poetry, music, good works, etc etc."

Yes, Otto Rank called these "immortality systems" and Ernest Becker called them "hero systems". Unlike any other animal, we have developed cultures of meaning which provide us with explanations in the face of the realisation that oneself, and we all, are going to die; perhaps this very day. The scientific evidence for the death-denying origins of culture is provided by Terror Management Theory (TMT). See T. Pyszczynski, S. Solomon, and J. Greenburg, In the Wake of 9/11: The Psychology of Terror.) or <http://noumenal.net/blogs/exiles_more.php?id=515_0_5_0_M> for more on this if you're actually interested.

In my view, cryonics is a better immortality system because it might work (assuming that I am correct in holding to a materialist perspective on reality).

[ Parent ]

the immortality is metaphorical (none / 1) (#98)
by Cloud Cuckoo on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 12:44:42 AM EST

those things i mentioned are designed to make life meangful so death is a non-issue. I think you missed my point.  

[ Parent ]
on target (none / 1) (#100)
by walpurg on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 11:09:14 AM EST

Read Becker or Rank and you`ll understand the point better. Yes, these systems make life meaningful - as does cryonics for some people. The difference between the metaphors and cryonics is tat cryonics might result in long-life, whereas immortality systems are just illusions that help comfort.

[ Parent ]
i think the problem here (none / 1) (#103)
by Cloud Cuckoo on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 11:58:43 AM EST

is that music and poetry is enough for me.

[ Parent ]
Cryopreservation for Terri Schiavo (none / 1) (#84)
by stas on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 01:04:01 PM EST

subj?


yes (none / 1) (#97)
by walpurg on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 08:17:39 PM EST

it would make a good, topical tie-in, but personally I think she should remain connected to her life-support, (only because it isn't clear that she'd prefer the alternative) which will keep her alive for many years. Only in extremis should she receive cryonic treatment.

[ Parent ]
Cryogenic Temperature VS Viagara (1.33 / 3) (#85)
by Cubics Rube on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 04:12:41 PM EST

Scenario: You know you're gonna die soon, so you down a whole bottle of Viagara and are frozen. Do you sleep forever with a REAL stiffy or what?

preservation (none / 1) (#92)
by walpurg on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 07:53:20 PM EST

During cryonics procedure most of your blood is washed out and replaced with preservative.

[ Parent ]
Good Article (none / 0) (#118)
by ukdavros on Tue Mar 29, 2005 at 02:18:12 PM EST

Hi Great article, I do however think your wasting your time replying to Sceptics. If people do not see the potential of the future then they are just short sighted. The Poll has a high percentage of people saying they would sign up if people were already being revived, Great, but what do you do in the mean time. Die I guess. Yes I am signed up, and if it doesnt work I wont know anything about it, but while there is a chance, however slim I think it is worth taking. No I am not rich and many people I know arnt rich, we all have life insurance policies. I suppose you could say its abit like the lotto, if you dont by a ticket you have no chance of winning. Its what you believe in at the end of the day. Which is why I cant understand religeous wars, I a religeon or belief truly think they are following the right religion/belief why care what anybody else believes, They will surely have the last laugh. Regards Mark
http://www.mark-walker.uk.com/ http://www.cryonics.uk.com/ http://www.brits-in-ireland.com/
thanks (none / 0) (#131)
by walpurg on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 10:22:12 AM EST

for your support.

I've checked out cryonics UK. You might want to look at other cryonics pages (see the link) to see what you're lacking. The link to "Nanoaging" is ill-advised. Jon has a very poor reputation among cryonicists right now (see the "Cryonet" forum), not least because Ben Best (CEO of CI) has heavily criticised him.

Try to revise your website and your links for a more professional look. checking your spelling before posting is also a good idea.

[ Parent ]

Freezebortion Now! (none / 0) (#127)
by clambake on Fri Apr 01, 2005 at 04:12:46 AM EST

End the Abortion debate forever.  Don't want a kid?  Don't want it now?  Just freeze it until the day that our technology becomes good enough to BOTH revive the child AND fix any genetic damages caused by the 40,000 year-long freezing procedure.  All the benifits of an Abortion but without the Hell fire and Brimstone drawbacks.

Millions of 16 year old Chirstian Virgins girls, with the full support of thier parents, are already massing in front of the Freezebortion centers to show thier support and pledge to have the embryos implanted into themselves so that they can have Babies For God, and raise the little tykes in the kind, loving, faith-based environment that they so richly deserve.

Act NOW!

Nothing new (none / 0) (#129)
by Cryoguy on Fri Apr 01, 2005 at 04:52:42 PM EST

This is already an issue with all those frozen embryos left over from IVF procedures, in case you haven't heard.

Of course this has nothing to do with cryonics since cryonics is advertised as "brain preservation".  You can't "cryonicize" something with no brain.

[ Parent ]

How do you know this? (none / 0) (#136)
by thankyougustad on Sat Apr 09, 2005 at 07:07:35 PM EST

But unlike these animals and all of the world's other living things, we are the only living creature that knows that it will personally die.
Who told you that?

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

Oh wait. . . (none / 0) (#137)
by thankyougustad on Sat Apr 09, 2005 at 07:12:08 PM EST

I see someone already asked the same question down below. Nevermind this. . .

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
cure for death? [nt] (none / 0) (#138)
by neozeed on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 01:05:29 AM EST


-----------------------
Unless you're alive you can't play. And if you don't play, you don't get to be alive.

Why Cryonics? | 138 comments (114 topical, 24 editorial, 0 hidden)
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