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

Jebadiah Moore jebdm at jebdm.net
Tue Jun 22 01:21:15 PDT 2010

On Tue, Jun 22, 2010 at 2:28 AM, John Parsons <bullwinklemouth at yahoo.ca>wrote:

> --- 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.)?

Can't imagine why copies are bad.  Copies possess the thing that makes
humans human (the consciousness), so of course they should have full rights.
 Reproduction would be a non-issue, unless you've got some quite-advanced
robotics, or figured out a way to "download" into cloned bodies.

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.

Overpopulation presumably *wouldn't* be an issue, given that the copies live
in computers.  I mean, there's the fuel required to power those, but that
seems negligible.  Maybe there's an issue if most are using robotic bodies
full-time.  But hey, if they're robots, they can live on the Moon or
something, right?

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.

Each person will have one consciousness.. each copy is separate.  Don't see
what's narcissistic about not wanting to die.

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.

Comfort with death seems like it's almost universally a coping
mechanism--you see it mostly in the old, the terminally ill, and the
depressed.  And there's a difference between accepting it and preferring it.

All this doesn't presuppose the future will be better than today, just that
it will be better than oblivion.  (Of course, once oblivion hits it doesn't
matter, but in the mean time I'd like to avoid it.)

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.

Sure.  That's a legitimate argument--that having around a bunch of really
old people might be bad for society.  Certainly, it would be different.  I'd
guess that it'd be better--instead of accumulating that wisdom and then
dumping it off on people who don't listen, we'd have a lot more wise and
able people around.  There might be some problems overcoming -ism's,

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

I'm guessing that there's a contact involved saying they have to thaw you
once they can.  Besides that: morality, the desire to study and interact
with people from the past, they get to stop paying for upkeep, etc.  One
small problem is that once the revival tech is discovered, there is not much
business left in cryonics--moving people to specialized hospitals, perhaps.
 But really not an issue, just a cash-out point.  Furthermore, I'd say the
types that go for cryonics now are probably very hire-able, on average.

Still don't see how wanting to stay alive is selfish.  If the tech goes
through they clearly weren't misguided, and as for being "malcontents", I
suppose you mean with regard to the whole "live 100 years then oblivion"
thing?  Seems like a pretty good thing to be malcontent about.

Jebadiah Moore

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