[FoRK] Extreme Life Extension: Investing in Cryonics for the Long, Long Term

silky michaelslists at gmail.com
Mon Jun 21 22:48:22 PDT 2010

[note: this is the email Ken was talking about; it went to me instead
of the list, a few people are reporting this issue when responding to
my posts, a valid reason is unknown as yet ..., I've indented the
message so I can reply, but consider the indentation an original
message not yet seen by the list ]

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ken Ganshirt @ Yahoo <ken_ganshirt at yahoo.ca>
Date: Tue, Jun 22, 2010 at 3:06 PM
Subject: Re: [FoRK] Extreme Life Extension: Investing in Cryonics for
the  Long, Long Term
To: michaelslists at gmail.com
--- On Mon, 6/21/10, silky <michaelslists at gmail.com> wrote:
> > > Replacing the planks looks a helluva lot more promising to me.
> >
> > Replacing body parts with machine parts is probably pretty promising,
> > agreed. But doing the same thing to the brain is pretty interesting. I
> > don't know what the research in that area is. Maybe there are
> > interesting things happening there; it would be interesting to learn
> > about.
> When I said "replacing the planks looks a helluva lot more promising", I wasn't talking about replacing body parts with machine parts.
> I was talking about the body's natural continuous process of replacing its own cells.
> I have no specific technical knowledge of the field but I understand it this way: Our body constantly replaces its own cells with new copies. The blueprint to make the copies comes
> from the patterns in our genes. As far as I know, this applies to all the cells in our body. I am not aware that any subcategory of cell, e.g. brain cells, is exempt from this constant
> replacement process.
> As far as I know, none of the cells that are currently me are the cells that I was born with.

Yes, I'm under this impression as well.

> But over time the copies degrade because the genetic information that is controlling the creation of the copies is constantly degrading as we age. As I understand it, I think that is the
> essence of "aging": each generation of replacement cells is a little worse than its predecessors.

I saw a paper on arvix.org that suggest "aging" was the result of
mis-healing of cells (I can't find it right now, maybe someone else
has a copy, I'll try and track it down).

> There are many things that gene therapy is trying to accomplish. I'm pretty sure one of them is to figure out a way to stop the degradation of the genetic blueprint itself so the
> replacement copies remain as good when we are chronologically older as they are when we are young.
> That's what I meant about the body's analogy to the Ship of Theseus (replacing the planks == replacing the individual cells). (Am I still Me when all my cells have been replaced?)  8-)

Yes, you're still you (as far as I'm concerned). Because, I suppose,
there is never more than 1 of you.

I thought, though, you were talking about somehow replacing neurons
with death-proof machine variants, or some sort of similar protocol.
(I.e. nanotechology?) But I suppose for that to be permanent, you need
to stop aging. I wonder whether it's more efficient to try and solve
our aging problem, or put us into computers. Depends which has the
best energy conversion ratio, I suppose.

> Caveats:
>   Perhaps it's not gene therapy but some other field of genetics that is working on this problem.
>   Perhaps I still do have all the cells I started with.
>   Perhaps I'm talking straight out of my ass. ;-)
> I stand - cheerfully - to be corrected, in terminology and concept, by someone who actually understands the work being done in the field(s).
>          ...ken...



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