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

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Tue Jun 22 06:20:00 PDT 2010

On Mon, Jun 21, 2010 at 10:33:42PM -0700, Ken Ganshirt @ Yahoo wrote:

>  Isn't that already what the human body does normally? And

The human body is not a highly available, distributed
system which degrades gracefully. 

>  isn't that what gene therapy is at least partly about? To

For a healthy volunteer a gene therapy has a good chance
of killing you. Or at least, be the opposite to live-prolonging
treatment. Consider what it takes to reliably transfect
the bulk of cells within an adult with a vector, without 
serious side effects. You might skim a cytokine storm
as a response to a viral vector, but the accuracy of
the insertion will be left to be desired. Chances are,
your genome will be in a worse shape afterwards. 

>  help the body keep on doing it accurately instead of the

That's just the problem, there's runaway degradation
as errors cumulate over time.

>  replacement bits slowly degrading over time?
>  On balance, given the probability of some medical
>  researchers giving us [back?] the ability to grow back our
>  tail when it gets chopped off versus someone figuring out

Added qualifier: within is what is left of your natural
biological lifespan. But go ahead, knock yourself out:
do *both*. Live long and prosper, and hedge your chances.

>  how to successfully thaw us out way far in the future *AND*

Why would you want to thaw anyone out? Even seen what 
devitrification does to a nice chunk of tissue glass?
Just process it as it is.

>  have the attendant required ability waiting to fix whatever
>  was so badly broken that it killed us, I'll put my money on

Ah, you're of the "resurrect in the flesh" persuasion. Sure,
if you wait long enough it could be done. But trust me, chances
are it won't be air you're breathing when you wake up.

>  growing back our tails so we stay alive and healthy rather
>  than having to die, get frozen, get thawed, get fixed and
>  get reinserted successfully back into society. 

Why do you expect to be successfully reintegrated into something
completely incomprehensible?  
>  (I can't believe I just wrote that one sentence... Good
>  thing you'all are smart enough to figure it out cuz I'm way
>  too lazy to chop it apart.)
>  Replacing the planks looks a helluva lot more promising to
>  me.

Well, chances are that Dr. James Bedford, who was cryopreserved
in 1967 will be eventually coming back. So what were his chances
of replacing the planks, in 1967?

What are *your* chances of replacing the planks, today? Or
within those few decades which are left of our biological lifetime?
You better start replacing those planks while there's still
more than a ramshackls structures left of your nice, tidy ship.

Sure, live healthily, and support http://www.sens.org/

But, a piece of advice. Don't forget about hedging your options.
Those backup plans have a nasty tendency to become your primary.

Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
ICBM: 48.07100, 11.36820 http://www.ativel.com http://postbiota.org
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