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

John Parsons bullwinklemouth at yahoo.ca
Tue Jun 22 00:28:47 PDT 2010

--- On Tue, 6/22/10, silky <michaelslists at gmail.com> wrote:

> I personally can't quite come to terms with the idea that
> there would
> be 2 of me thinking what I'm thinking right now. 

This is even tougher to imagine from a societal perspective. Unlike cloning, in which only the genetics are identical (e.g. identical twins), this discussion is speculating on a copied entity where the consciousness, personality, etc. is also identical (at least at the time of the copy). Also, if one copy is possible, what's to stop multiple simultaneous copies? Leaving aside the negative implications of over-population for a moment, how would multiple copies be organized socially (e.g. human rights, voting, reproductive rights, etc.)?

Of course, there *is* the issue of overpopulation, and it might be awkward denying reproductive rights to average folk so a privileged individual can over-populate themselves for whatever reason.

The whole concept of wanting to cheat or deny death can already come across as somewhat narcissistic, even without the complication of extra copies. Better to stick to one consciousness at a time, methinks.

A lot of seniors that I have known over the years are a lot more comfortable with the idea of death, and I suggest that wanting to live forever is more of a middle-aged man's dream. Of course, this could be a side effect of more closely facing what is now an inevitable consequence, but the market of would-be Lazaruses (Lazari?) may be smaller than expected, despite having the capability. All this pre-supposes that the future will be a better place/time than today. As a senior myself, I no longer have that particular conviction.

I agree with Ken that "replacing the planks" seems a more feasible approach to uber-longevity, but by the same token, the human race (and it's attendant societies) stays alive and renews itself; through the death of individual cells.

As for cryonics, I fail to see the incentive for future generations to revive today's icicles. There would be a phase where it would be done to prove-in the technology, but being a strictly front-loaded business, there's no additional profit to be made by thawing the majority, especially if they were mostly over-privileged, narcissistic, selfish, misguided malcontents? ;-D


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