RE: Why Cryonics

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Tue Feb 29 2000 - 03:26:59 MST

Some of the discussion between Eugene and Jim have got me
to thinking...

... Off in the distance, the Japanese vistors furiously begin
to snap photos as the 60 meter, 10,000 ton gears of the Bradbury
Mind slowly begin to rotate, spewing out a cloud of idea dust....
Godzilla was fiction, but this is *real*...

Now, lets assume that nanobot enabled freezing damage repair
is imperfect. But lets assume that they repair process can
produce a *functional* breathing human being (that seems
pretty doable, even if you have to regenerate every neuron).
So the real question is how much of your "mind" is left after
the reanimation process? Presumably there could be states
that lie between complete reanimation (i.e. memories intact)
and clean-slate reanimation (functional w/o memories).

The question becomes, *what* could people do while they
are still alive to assist your reanimated self to be "reborn".
These have a wide range. They include NMR scans of the neural
activity of the brain -- e.g. Doctor says "Think about ice cream",
scan, "Think about love", scan, "Think about snakes", scan, etc.
These images of mental activity could provide "clues" as to how the
nanobots should re-wire things (so your reanimated neural activity
matches your pre-cryo activity). At the non-medical level, there
are presumably many things you could do to provide information to
oneself about who you "were". (Financial records, diaries, etc.)
Now, if you only get partial functional reanimation these "hints"
could prove very useful for recovering or restablishing those
connections that produce a satisfactory reflection of ones former self.

So, lets assume reanimation is imperfect -- What can we do to augment
the process and what are the relative costs and benefits?

And now the $20 question -- how many people would be happy without
any direct "recall" of their former selves, but only a warm and fuzzy
"recognition" (deja vu) feeling, of "yes, that was me"? Or would it be
ok if you "know" your stories because you read about them (in your diary)
but you don't actually "remember" them. Finally, would you be unhappy
if the nanobots can't "recover" things and so they engineer in either
the "memories" or "recognition" based on your pre-suspension recordings.

I think these questions are quite significant, because in the reanimation
era, who you are could quite probably be "synthesized". I believe too
few people are specifying the detailed conditions under which they wish
to be recovered (do these things, but don't do those...).

Anders might want to comment on individuals who undergo similar
disconnects due to mental illness or trauma that could be representative
of the types of losses that might occur during freezing/reanimation.

Who are we anyway???


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