RE: Why Cryonics

From: Eugene Leitl (
Date: Mon Feb 21 2000 - 14:41:32 MST

Billy Brown writes:

> I'd go a lot further than this. First off, accidents that destroy the brain
> are fairly rare, so even if you die young your odds of getting a
> halfway-decent suspension are pretty good. It is pretty hard to die in a
> way that prevents your body from arriving at a hospital within an hour or
> less - just don't get yourself killed while you're off camping in the middle
> of nowhere.

Uh, do you you have actual numbers for this brash assertion? Are you
claiming that essentially all patients are suspended after one hour or
less after death has occured (not pronounced)? Don't think so.
> Second, and more important, most people have an excessively narrow view of
> what constitutes an adequate suspension. Remember, if cryonics patients are
> ever revived at all, that means we're positing nanotech advanced enough to
> repair any kind of physical damage. The only thing that matters in that
> situation is whether the information that defines your memories and
> personality can be recovered from your brain tissue.
This sentence is insoncistent. Clearly there is physical damage that
is irrepairable (say, incineration, or a week stored at RT) which
destroys essentially all information about a particular individuum.
> Now, what people tend to overlook is that the problem of deducing the
> original information content of a scrambled brain is isomorphic to the
> problem of deducing the information content of an encrypted message. Given

Another assertion. Based on what?

> modern cryptographic techniques and abundant computing power, that means
> that no non-random form of damage can prevent a successful revival. A

Sure, you're already immortal. Why bothering with a suspension at
all? Future science will reconstruct yourself from trajectories of
atmospheric CO2. Or from a piece of apple pie, whatever is closer at

> completely random encryption is unbreakable, and so is a completely random
> source of damage. However, very few types of physical injury produce truly
> random changes at the molecular level. If the history of cryptography is

Yeah, right.

> any guide, we should expect that even the most subtle kinds of regularity
> can be used to reverse the effects of even the most radical perturbations.
> What does this all mean in English? Basically, that burning your brain

I could comment, but I don't want to offend anybody.

> destroys information, but dropping a rock on it doesn't. Most of the damage
> sources that cryonicists agonize over, like freezing damage and ischemic
> injury, are very regular in nature and hence should be very easy to reverse.
> So, your odds of getting an adequate suspension are very high no matter how
> you end up dying.

I knew cryonics was a religion, but I never saw it demonstrated so clearly.

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