Picking on Irrational Atheists for a Change... Cryonics

Hambydammit
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Picking on Irrational Atheists for a Change... Cryonics

Let's think about this rationally for just a second.  Suppose for a minute that the technology to reverse brain death will one day exist.  This is extraordinarily unlikely because of the way that memories and experiences appear to be stored in the brain, not to mention the insanely complex electrochemical relationships that developed through continuous existence, but let's just give scientists the benefit of the doubt.  Maybe they can figure out some kind of way to examine a frozen human brain and figure out the exact relationship between a hundred billion neurons, and then somehow recreate that relationship, resulting in the reanimation of a brain, presumably with the same memories and personality it had at the time of death.

There's a larger question here.  What makes anyone think they're so special that the world will need them around again?  At the current rate of population growth, we're not too far from ten billion people.  What possible benefit could future scientists gain from reviving some rich fuck from the 21st century who thought he was important enough to get to live twice?  Are we really going to suggest that there's going to be a time when there isn't enough human DNA around to make new people, or that somebody will think to themselves, "Wow... this problem is so terrible... There's only one person who's ever lived who can solve this.  It's Filbert Mackelroy, from the year 2015.  He made enough money investing his dad's money that he was able to afford to freeze himself.  Surely he's our savior!!"

I'm sorry.  Anyone who thinks they're important enough that someone is going to go to the trouble of bringing them back to life in a hundred or a thousand years needs a bit of a humility check, if you ask me.  On the outside chance that we do learn how to reverse brain death, we're going to use it on people who just died.  We're not going to bring Buck Rogers back.  Seriously.  Not gonna happen.  Science fiction.  Save your money. 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Im sure we'll be able to

Im sure we'll be able to construct/re-construct a brain on the genetic and physical level, but on the mental level?... i dunno

Im sure to even attempt such a feat it would require some sort of monitoring device, and even then i would assume it would only be able to record synapsies that do fire. Incase i got my wording wrong... the stupid person version --> The recorder dont know about nothing you aint thought of, or remembered, while not being recorded. >.>

 

Now if that was true, can you imagine the failure rate on this... "Re-brain-ification"? (im going to assume we got cloning down pat at this point)

 

So i'll agree with Hamby, waste of money, go with the tried and true method of downloading conciousness into mechanical hardware ^_^

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Well, first, cryogenics

Well, first, cryogenics (...rather inaptly named) isn't simply 'freezing the brain'; it's suspending the process of decay. This is actually very easy to achieve.

Second, how exactly data is stored in the brain is purely speculation right at the moment. We have no idea how the process of subjective consciousness or memory retention works; until we do, it's something of a stretch to assume it's a medical impossibility to artificially reconstruct a brain with these memories in place.

Thirdly... the technology, presumably, would be meant for private use. If I pay to have myself suspended sign a legal contract to have myself awakened in, say, a century from now, it doesn't really matter what society does or doesn't prefer to do; assuming the company still exists, if the technology emerges, they're legally bound to wake me up.

Now, whether or not this technology would be useful is pretty hard to say (...I can imagine a few practical applications; long-distance space travel, for example), but - like, say, abortion technology - it's just another thing to be used or not used. The financial argument is silly; it's like me saying that space or environmental technology should not be financed because there are starving children in the world.

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- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
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Forgive me, Kevin, but I was

Forgive me, Kevin, but I was expecting you.  I'm going to see if this grows a bit, or if you're the only taker.  I'm trying to decide how interested I am in formulating a detailed rebuttal about the brain.  It's the hardest topic in evo psych, and a real pain in the ass to get right.

 

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 I agree that if a service

 I agree that if a service is paid for, then the agreement should be carried out.  Society and value of the dollar be damned.  The kind of person that would go for such a thing is another thing entirely.  But I don't know that this is a 'should' issue at all.

As for the limits of science, I am very careful to never say never.  We can't do it now doesn't mean we won't be able to.  That's about as technical I can get.  

 

This is an interesting site that deals with a myriad of topics dealing with the future of humanity

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Memories

 

 

    Does this remind anyone of the Twightlight Zone  ?


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 More like an Outer

 More like an Outer Limits.

 

Vanilla Sky, too.


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You'll note that I didn't

You'll note that I didn't rule out revival from brain death, but seriously, do any of you guys have even the remotest idea how big a hurdle that is?  Do you know exactly how neurons find their way from one place to another, or how incredibly interconnected the expression of genes are, and how many intensely detailed steps need to take place before a brain starts working?

Just as a start, do you know how axon guides function?  Even though there are only four common families of axon guidance proteins, do you have any concept of how immense would be the task of manually setting up just four families of proteins throughout a brain with a HUNDRED BILLION neurons?  Each one of those guides is responsible for repelling or attracting neurons, and just a slight misfire could result in something really big... like not having a sense of smell.  (See Kallman's syndrome.  It's a problem with one gene (and possibly two others) where a single gene doesn't get switched on properly and suddenly you've got no sense of smell, a small penis, and no interest in women.)  It's all about the lack of one little protein that sends axons off into oblivion to wither and die.  One tiny little mistake -- in a HUNDRED BILLION neurons, and you don't have the same brain anymore.  Do you have any idea of the immensity of the challenge of rewiring a dead brain?

Seriously... that argument we had about space travel?  Deep space travel is stupid easy compared to bringing a frozen brain back to life as the same person.

 

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While I'm at it, do you have

While I'm at it, do you have any idea of the complexity added by gene splicing?  When there are different options encoded in the gene (and there often are) you start getting into a really high number of possible proteins to deal with.  In a freaking fruit fly, there's one gene (Dscam) that contains 95 alternative exons for potential splicing.  That means there are 38,016 different kinds of proteins that can be made from one gene.

Now, in order to get the human brain working again, you've got to get all of the genes working correctly.  You know that there are about 30,000 genes in the human genome, right?  And do you know that there are perhaps 40 or 50% of the genes with alternate exons?  Care to do some math on the odds of getting it right?

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Quote:I've been expecting

Quote:
I've been expecting you

Your overconfidence is your weakness!

Sticking out tongue

 

Hamby, you're throwing out the numbers like it's a gambling machine. We know it isn't; brain development is an emergent process. If we stop getting blocked by religious lunatics, and actually get a chance to dive into embryonic research to get a graps on how developmental genetics works, then we'll have an idea of whether or not the notion of whether we can use some simple emergent process to reactivate a brain is feasible. We already know more or less factually that stem cells can be used to regenerate spinal cord injuries - restoring countless numbers of intricate nueral connections without 'odds' somehow being a barrier.

Perhaps you're right, and it simply isn't possible. Somehow, I'm dubious of that attitude's ability to explore any possibility ('The moon? You know how far away that is? You know how unlikely it is that we could plot a route there and back? Pfft. Get outta town!).

 

I will note, though, that I'm not personally a fan of cryogenics. If it happens to prove feasible, it would be an excellent stop-gap tool for getting us across large distances in space; but I think either genetic alteration or cybernetics are better options.

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"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
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Its technically very

Its technically very unlikely  but not impossible to revive someone BUT

If it ever became possible I hope to the FSM that it was immediately ruled illegal and while I'm normally against the death penalty in this case I would make an exception as a punishment

There could be no greater crime against humanity than to allow immortality


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 Quote:You'll note that I

 

Quote:
You'll note that I didn't rule out revival from brain death, but seriously, do any of you guys have even the remotest idea how big a hurdle that is?  Do you know exactly how neurons find their way from one place to another, or how incredibly interconnected the expression of genes are, and how many intensely detailed steps need to take place before a brain starts working?

 

Man, I don't even know how my car's ignition switch works.  Or refrigeration. Or how to make paper from wood.  I still believe it can be done.  

 

I'm not saying it will be easy, I'm saying it's conceivable that it is possible.  and someone who is trained in such matters will be the one to figure it out.

 

Quote:
If it ever became possible I hope to the FSM that it was immediately ruled illegal and while I'm normally against the death penalty in this case I would make an exception as a punishment

 

There could be no greater crime against humanity than to allow immortality

 

That's a weird thing to say.  I disagree that death is the only thing that gives meaning to a humans life.  I'm going to call 'cultural bias' here.  Whenever there is a major change in the cultural landscape, there is an adaptation, and within a few scant decades the people can't imagine not living that way.

 


 

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When I say there is no

When I say there is no greater crime against humanity than immortality I'm talking how it effects others its pretty useful for the person involved.

I am not a libertarian, every action you make effects others including breathing


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mrjonno wrote:When I say

mrjonno wrote:

When I say there is no greater crime against humanity than immortality I'm talking how it effects others its pretty useful for the person involved.

I am not a libertarian, every action you make effects others including breathing

This is precisely the reason why I don't like cryonics but DO like the idea of being effectively immortal. I am of the opinion that the humans we have are worth more than the humans we'll get. The most intellectually productive periods in our lives are from ages 22 to 70, with drastic reductions in range for more rudimentary sciences (like mathematics). Imagine what we could accomplish if we spent all our lives in prime health until finally succumbing to disease or accident. Also, longer lived populations tend to see a reduction in birth rates. Of course this is just correlation and not causation, long lifespan is more likely the result of late life reproduction. Still, in species where we have artificially extended the life span by breeding the longest lived members we see net increases in strength (which contributes to labor ability), intelligence (measured in memory span), and reduced susceptibility to disease. Basically, with a longer lifespan you get more individual manpower for your resources.

Now, is cryonic technology feasible? Probably. In the end the mechanism will probably be similar to that used to make us immortal anyway. We would probably give people some gene therapy (to avert the usual systemic suspects of decay) and then suspend people in a fluid containing nanoscopic machines which would maintain their bodies at the lowest possible metabolic rate. It would probably be more like hibernation, and wouldn't last forever. You could probably get a few hundred years extra out of it until something went horribly wrong. Cryonic malpractice insurance would be at a premium, as well as suspension insurance. I'm betting it would be expensive and practically worthless except for special cases such as space travel and (in chrona) incurable disease.

Of the two relatively equivalent technologies, cryonics and managed senescence, we get our choice of:

  • rich people who can afford to be maintained for centuries by their estate and then wake up at some point with no idea what has changed and drain resources to catch up just as much as a newborn would
  • lower-middle class and up people who can afford just the gene therapy, continue working and contributing to society
  • what we have now - just a lot of people making babies, and some living off of the government, with no net gain from that sector.

Every time we make a baby we gamble some of our resources. They generally live off of their family for the first part of their life, but that person may turn out as just another parasite. With any effective immortality technology we're getting a guarantee, because of the cost, that the person does something. Because of this, it should be treated in a manner similar to the way cosmetic surgery is treated. You don't need to live X number of extra years, but if people are willing to pay you enough for whatever it is you do then Santa-speed to ya.


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Bunk is bunk and as I have

Bunk is bunk and as I have said in other threads the word "atheist" should go beyond describing just  lack of belief in god(s), but all superstitions and psuedo science.

Things like pantheism and cryonics and people who claim that Star Trec transporters are possible, to me belong in the same boat as any theist claim.

 

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Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:

Seriously... that argument we had about space travel?  Deep space travel is stupid easy compared to bringing a frozen brain back to life as the same person.

What do you mean? All it takes is nanomachines to hold all proteins in place (that's trivial) while the body is filled with antifreeze, just like a car, and the entire mess dropped down and held at a temperature of -20K until you wish to revive your corpsicle. Then you just have to induce a superconducting electromagnetic field in the entire mess, flash it with microwave radiation, do an Inuit seal dance, and initiate the liquid goo phase. After that, the only thing left is to hold a funeral for the corpse you just unthawed.

[Note: Yes, I'm aware -20K is nonsense. My momma didn't raise no dummies. Well, she did, but I wasn't one of 'em.]

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nigelTheBold wrote:

nigelTheBold wrote:

Hambydammit wrote:

Seriously... that argument we had about space travel?  Deep space travel is stupid easy compared to bringing a frozen brain back to life as the same person.

What do you mean? All it takes is nanomachines to hold all proteins in place (that's trivial) while the body is filled with antifreeze, just like a car, and the entire mess dropped down and held at a temperature of -20K until you wish to revive your corpsicle. Then you just have to induce a superconducting electromagnetic field in the entire mess, flash it with microwave radiation, do an Inuit seal dance, and initiate the liquid goo phase. After that, the only thing left is to hold a funeral for the corpse you just unthawed.

[Note: Yes, I'm aware -20K is nonsense. My momma didn't raise no dummies. Well, she did, but I wasn't one of 'em.]

I know you're being sardonic but really it really is a lot easier than most things we've done lacking the prior knowledge. Inventing speakers, microphones, and the television put together was harder than what it will take to make the first few mecha-antibodies. And like I said, we can get pretty much the same effect if we just crank that metabolism way down and let the organism do a lot of the work on its own.

Brian37 wrote:

Bunk is bunk and as I have said in other threads the word "atheist" should go beyond describing just  lack of belief in god(s), but all superstitions and psuedo science.

Things like pantheism and cryonics and people who claim that Star Trec transporters are possible, to me belong in the same boat as any theist claim.

That's pretty hasty. We're definitely not there yet, but it's not that hard to put someone into hibernation. Freezy-dead-guy suspension is definitely out. And transporters? Honestly, I don't see the point when we'll have decent virtual reality soon enough anyway.

Don't tell me you're against cybernetic implants too, 'cause we're already doing that to monkeys.


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inspectormustard wrote:I

inspectormustard wrote:

I know you're being sardonic but really it really is a lot easier than most things we've done lacking the prior knowledge. Inventing speakers, microphones, and the television put together was harder than what it will take to make the first few mecha-antibodies. And like I said, we can get pretty much the same effect if we just crank that metabolism way down and let the organism do a lot of the work on its own.

I do realize it's  possible. I'm not as pessimistic as Hamby, but I'm definitely not going to be optimistic about it. I do like the idea of cranking down the metabolism (squirrels do it, so why can't we?), which is not nearly as difficult as true cryogenics.

But as you pointed out earler, what's the real point? Except for interstellar travel, there's little real use for cryogenics. We might have Disney's brain on ice (and he is hot for Funicello), but what good would it really do? All our training, all our knowledge, is time-dependent. In my case, computers will be completely different in just a few years, let alone in a few centuries. Our knowledge of everything is going to change over the next few decades; and then after the next few decades after that; and so on. We're not nearly at the end of our learning adventure.

I'd say we don't even know what it is we don't know. We don't even have an idea how much we don't know.

So not only would we be a fish out of water, but we'd be a fish out of water on a planet where the oceans have a different salt content, and would be poisonous to us anyway, and we'd be stuck making up bad analogies about how much we were out of place.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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To be clear, I am not

To be clear, I am not talking about hibernation.  I'm talking about bringing a dead brain back to life.  Impossible.  For the sake of propriety, I'm perfectly willing to admit that I don't know with certainty that we will never revive a brain dead person.  I'm also perfectly willing to admit that I don't know for certain that there is no god.  I hold both statements at the same level of probability, so if it's ok with everyone, from now on, I'm going to be using the colloquial definition of "certain" when I say that I'm certain that bringing brain dead people back to life is impossible.

Quote:
But as you pointed out earler, what's the real point? Except for interstellar travel, there's little real use for cryogenics. We might have Disney's brain on ice (and he is hot for Funicello), but what good would it really do? All our training, all our knowledge, is time-dependent. In my case, computers will be completely different in just a few years, let alone in a few centuries. Our knowledge of everything is going to change over the next few decades; and then after the next few decades after that; and so on. We're not nearly at the end of our learning adventure.

Nigel, you've hit on something that apparently has been glossed over in this thread, and is actually a much stronger point than the sheer scientific cliff that must be scaled if such a thing is even to be remotely possible.  Supposing for half a second that I'm wrong, and we figure out how to bring a dead brain back to life as the same person, who in their right mind would suppose that we'd have any reason to bring Walt Disney, or Kevin Brown, or anyone else back from the dead?  The moment that technology becomes available, there will be tens of thousands of people clamoring for their moms and dads and housepets to be brought back from the dead.  The times will be significantly different.  Technology, culture, art, fashion, and all of that stuff will be as different from today as today is different from several hundred years ago.

Yeah, maybe it would be an interesting science project for some university to bring Buck Rogers back, but as far as a cryonics industry where rich people today are actually hoping that they'll get to live a second life far in the future?  Science fiction, kiddos.  Science fiction.

 

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i keep thinking about how

i keep thinking about how this would be much more interesting if we were talking about bringing back someone from say 6,000 years ago - or perhaps earlier - when their would be so much to learn from them.

what are the contracts that these preserved people are signing anyway?  are they being preserved indefinitely, being preserved until the funds they left run out, or have they already paid, in advance, for the technology that that not yet exist to bring them back?

this shit isn't cheap.  i'd much rather live on by spending the money getting a library or something built with my name etched in stone on all four sides or perhaps some sort of voluptuous marble statue of fictitious me in the lobby.


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Quote:i keep thinking about

Quote:
i keep thinking about how this would be much more interesting if we were talking about bringing back someone from say 6,000 years ago - or perhaps earlier - when their would be so much to learn from them.

Right.  In trying to keep the fiction out of the science, I think it's really important to notice that most countries have a lifespan of a few centuries or so at most.  Furthermore, while the boundaries and names sometimes stay the same, I think it's safe to say that modern day Germany is an entirely different place than Nazi Germany, and that's just a little under a century.  Take America as an example.  A hundred years ago, we were an industrial powerhouse, leading the western world in the production of goods.  Today, we're a service industry nightmare that outsources and imports most of our produced goods.  We're a deeply religious nation today, and a hundred years ago, we were much less so.  If you listen to the doomsayers, the U.S. has a very limited future as a world power.  China's nipping at our heels, and India is nipping at theirs.

All of this change has occurred in two or three generations.  Looking at how much the world has changed in the last 2000 years, is it even remotely reasonable to assume that two thousand years from now, there will still be solvent companies dutifully monitoring the cryonic tubes of some dead guys who had a lot of money back when the United States was still a great Imperialist Capitalist nation?  Back when the Catholic church was preaching against abortion and birth control?  Back when New York City was above water?  When there was still a state named Florida?  A country by the name of The Netherlands?  When there were great monsters of things called whales...

That's just two thousand years.  Imagine how much the world will have changed in 6000, if there's still humanity around.  Add another 6000 years of pollution, population growth, greenhouse gas emission, and big weapons that make enormous booms!

And yet, Super-Cryonics, Inc, is still going to be around, with men in white coats, keeping some dead guy frozen in case anyone ever wants to wake him up.

Right.

 

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I probably phrased that

I probably phrased that wrong.  Assuming there is a year 8008, we will probably be able to find out all that we would need to know about the year 2008.  However, if we were talking about someone from 4,000 BCE or maybe either further back (dinosaur cryognics?) their would actually be a benefit to bringing that person back.  i don't see the value to humanity of preserving someone from today because we have much more efficient preservation methods - video,  photography, etc.


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Ah.  I get what you're

Ah.  I get what you're saying.  Yes, there would certainly be more benefit to getting older humans than current ones.

Quote:
Assuming there is a year 8008, we will probably be able to find out all that we would need to know about the year 2008.

I don't see this as a given.  In fact, I think it's probably unlikely.  Six thousand years is a LONG time, and I think the possibility for major catastrophe is pretty high when you add in both natural and man-made disasters.  Consider that if scientists are right, Yellowstone Park could blow up very soon... the whole damn park, not just a regular sized volcano.  We've got a huge fault off the coast of Oregon and Washington that could drown half of Japan if it pops.  Meteor strike is a remote, but real possibility.  If the global warming scenario is accurate, the landmass of the earth could be significantly smaller.  Nuclear war is always an option.  We can't forget the bacteria and viruses.  We've been taking a LOT of antibiotics recently.  We're due for a giant pandemic.  In other words, there are a LOT of ways we could have a drastically altered civilization.  After all, the Romans and the Greeks both had really advanced civilizations, and then there was the Dark Ages.

I'm not suggesting that all data about us will be gone, but I imagine people thought the Library of Alexandria would last for a lot longer than it did.  I suspect there will be a lot more extrapolation and a lot less direct evidence than you might think.  Just my guess, of course, but my point about cryonics stands.  Even if it's the best of all scenarios, and we've got a continuous historical record, what would make anyone think that the cryonics companies would still be around, and what makes anyone think that anyone would care about the bodies if the cryonics companies weren't around?  Who in their right mind would think that some benevolent group would start up a new cryonics company just to preserve the contract of the old, defunct company, out of some sense of loyalty to a dead person in a tube?

 

 

 

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I would have thought by 8008

I would have thought by 8008 human beings are unlikely to even biologically have much in common with modern man. Not via evolution of course  but its quite a reasonable guess that will be something very different due to technology by this time


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massive earthquake on the

massive earthquake on the west coast - we still have museums on the east.  yellowstone explodes - they've got history books in europe.  only two people left on the pollution-ridden planet post-rapture - they've probably got bigger concerns.

i agree with you hamby.  sure, some catastrophe might make bringing back one or two people mildly useful - hell, whoever events the technology to do so might borrow a frozen body just to prove his/her methods but cryonics as a commercialized industry is plain stupidity on behalf of the deceased and marketing brilliance on behalf of the company.  btw - i have room in my freezer if anyone is interested.  it has an ice maker and everything.


Brian37
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shelleymtjoy wrote:i keep

shelleymtjoy wrote:

i keep thinking about how this would be much more interesting if we were talking about bringing back someone from say 6,000 years ago - or perhaps earlier - when their would be so much to learn from them.

what are the contracts that these preserved people are signing anyway?  are they being preserved indefinitely, being preserved until the funds they left run out, or have they already paid, in advance, for the technology that that not yet exist to bring them back?

this shit isn't cheap.  i'd much rather live on by spending the money getting a library or something built with my name etched in stone on all four sides or perhaps some sort of voluptuous marble statue of fictitious me in the lobby.

I don't want to be frozen or live forever. I just want a monument to my penis. Shit, if religion can have a dick measuring contest, why cant I join in? Oh yea, I'd need an electron microscope to find it. Never mind.

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The Doomed Soul
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Brian37 wrote:I don't want

Brian37 wrote:

I don't want to be frozen or live forever. I just want a monument to my penis. Shit, if religion can have a dick measuring contest, why cant I join in? Oh yea, I'd need an electron microscope to find it. Never mind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Quote:Nigel, you've hit on

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Nigel, you've hit on something that apparently has been glossed over in this thread, and is actually a much stronger point than the sheer scientific cliff that must be scaled if such a thing is even to be remotely possible.  Supposing for half a second that I'm wrong, and we figure out how to bring a dead brain back to life as the same person, who in their right mind would suppose that we'd have any reason to bring Walt Disney, or Kevin Brown, or anyone else back from the dead?  The moment that technology becomes available, there will be tens of thousands of people clamoring for their moms and dads and housepets to be brought back from the dead.  The times will be significantly different.  Technology, culture, art, fashion, and all of that stuff will be as different from today as today is different from several hundred years ago.

...?

I already mentioned this. And I mentioned a practical application (See: Long-distance space travel).

Guess you missed that.

 

In any case, as I was saying (and as Mustard has mentioned), Cryonics isn't about freezing people or reviving dead brains, and I'm not a fan regardless. I'd prefer to simply have my body turned into something with synthetic longevity or (if it's ever possibly) have my brain downloaded into VR (or some compromise, which may be easier to imagine).

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"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
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inspectormustard
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Kevin R Brown wrote:In any

Kevin R Brown wrote:

In any case, as I was saying (and as Mustard has mentioned), Cryonics isn't about freezing people or reviving dead brains, and I'm not a fan regardless. I'd prefer to simply have my body turned into something with synthetic longevity or (if it's ever possibly) have my brain downloaded into VR (or some compromise, which may be easier to imagine).

Thanks. There is still hope for a real version of the prosthetic brain project. How it works is, once we have a complete understanding of the inner workings and function of all the various kinds of neurons, we begin slowly adding and replacing the natural neurons with faster and more sturdy artificial ones. As long as there really is no such thing as a soul everything should work out swimmingly, heheh. Then we would be free to remove, plug in, or do whatever with our brains.

I really doubt, as mentioned in previous posts, that we'll ever be able to download a consciousness. Still, it's an interesting thing to think about that maybe one day people will have as their final will to have their artificial brains plugged into some kind of super network of minds.


BobSpence
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I agree, Kevin, the crucial

I agree, Kevin, the crucial technology here would be the ability to read out the detailed state of the brain, so there was some chance of capturing the memories and other aspects of the individual consciousness. It is unlikely in the extreme that these traces would survive cryonics, and if you could successfully record them, then re-establishing that consciousness in a restored organic brain into the same state may not the best or preferred option.

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