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

John Parsons bullwinklemouth at yahoo.ca
Wed Jun 23 00:29:27 PDT 2010

--- On Tue, 6/22/10, Eugen Leitl <eugen at leitl.org> wrote:

> What is the problem with copies? There's no law against
> identical twins, is it. Only in this case, you get
> an adult identical twin, and have to split up your
> belongings.

And from Jeb:

>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.

Fine, you guys can have your multiple simultaneous copies, but then we're no longer talking about prolonging an individual life, we're talking about reproduction, and that will have a different impact on the host society than mere longevity.

At its core, human reproduction is a form of competition. This concept of asexual reproduction, is absent the validating influence of perceived fitness to a mate, and the eugenic implications in this form of "competition" should be obvious.

(Not that I think eugenics is necessarily a bad thing, but we should be open about it) ;-)

> How perfectly boring.  

Presumably this service will cost something, and not everyone will be able to afford it (at least not multiple copies). That makes it elitist reproduction based on means or entitlement, rather than a more valid measure of fitness. Don't expect everyone in society to embrace that concept.

> > Better to stick to one consciousness at a time,
> methinks.
> Make me.

[Yes, yes, I'm sure your copies will be able to beat my copies] ;-)

> > A lot of seniors that I have known over the years are
> a 
> > lot more comfortable with the idea of death, and I
> suggest 
> If they're so comfortable, why don't they commit suicide?
> It's the altruistic thing to do.

Who said anything about altruism? There's a difference between "accepting" and "eagerly anticipating". (On that note, nobody defends suicide bombers as altruistic.) ;-)

> If the future sucks, it's because we made it so. It should
> be our duty to fix what we screwed up.

It *should* have been our duty (I suggest it was) to keep it from getting screwed up in the first place. By analogy, does this mean you want Wall Street to fix the monetary crisis? ;-)

> It's remarkable how people who know about the industry the
> least are the most vocal.

Sorry if my attempt at light conversation was too flippant or insulting to practitioners of cryonics... I'm sure they are serious and earnest people, and would honor any contracts made. The remark probably reflected more to my general aversion of paying up front for contractors.

You have swayed me into thinking that cryonics is a more valid approach in the near term (like for me, for instance), for a longer life, over "replacing planks". However, while it indeed seems rational to want to live longer, I still submit that it can also be rational to not want to live forever.


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