Re: Where to look for the answers for ourselves

From: Michael LaTorra (
Date: Thu Apr 27 2000 - 11:00:07 MDT

In a conversation about self-delusion and real possibilities, I (Mike)
> That being said, I must confess that we, too, can fool ourselves into
> believing that uploading, or resuscitation from cryonic storage, or the
> singularity, etc. will happen soon enough for us all.

Spike Jones replied:
I dont understand. Resuscitation from cryonic storage stage has
no time limit that I know of, and the tech to freeze and store is with
us already.

In principle, the time limit for storage in liquid nitrogen is virtually
unlimited (meaning in the range of millions of years before quantum flux has
any discernible effects). But I am not so sure that current suspension
techniques provide adequate protection against cellular damage due to ice
formation. The photomicrographs I've seen look pretty bad in that respect.
My guess is that techniques will improve over time such that the last
generation of "corpsicles" will probably be the first to be resuscitated
because they will have suffered the least post-animation cryonic stress.
That makes Dr. Beford (#1 suspension) last in line for resuscitation, with
our cohort coming along only a little before him. (That's not really so bad
in my opinion. Based on my best guess about future history, I'd really
rather thaw out around 2250 than sooner, because I expect human society to
have passed through its tumultuous "adolescence" by then.)
  An even bigger problem is the "peasants with pitchforks" scenario (another
reason I'd hope to be reanimated later). Unless we can make cryonics
acceptable (non-objectionable) to society at large, we leave ourselves (now
and in stasis) vulnerable to the kind of violence recently visited upon WTO
delegates in Seattle. This is where we all need to work now at spreading the
good word about our ideas. (Disseminate those memes!)

Spike Jones:
The singularity, on the other hand, is likely going to happen
all too soon. {8-| I havent decided if that is a good thing or a bad
thing. {8-|

Vernor Vinge agrees with you on both counts. I reserve judgment. I am
waiting to see a proof-of-concept AI before I get too excited. When I was a
senior in high school (waaay back in 1970) I wrote a paper about the coming
of AI. At the time, I believed all the "AI is just around the corner" hype I
read. Needless to say, it didn't happen. Once burned, twice shy.

> (But there could still be hope! After all, Tipler could be right and we'll
> all be resurrected as immortal emulations at the Omega Point.

Spike Jones:
Tipler's notion is completely additive: if other immortality bids fail,
his idea might still somehow come thru for us. I estimate cryonics
gives you about a 10% chance of resurrection, Tipler adds another
1% or so, Singularity deciding it likes you: 5%, nanotech/uploading
about 20%, all other notions including traditional religion, negligible.
So the good news is we have better than a one in three chance of
indefinite survival, and yes I acknowledge the possiblity I am fooling
myself. {8^D spike

Those are not really such bad odds -- whether you are fooling yourself or
not! IMHO, it really boils down to a version of Pascal's Wager (i.e., I
paraphrase: "If God does not exist and I believe in him, I lose nothing; if
God exists and I do not believe in him, I lose the chance for eternal life.
Ergo, believing is the best bet." This presumes, of course, that God
requires your belief before he'll resurrect you.) By this reasoning, our
best gaming strategy is to pursue any and every chance at life extension
and/or immortality that does not exact unacceptable costs in the present.
(Unfortunately for some, the price of a cryonics contract is still
unacceptably high right now.)
  Regarding a Tiplerian resurrection/emulation, Anders Sandberg has pointed
out that, short of Tipler's Omega Point, a similar resurrection/emulation
could be possible via AI superobjects (Jupiter/neutron star size/density AI
brains) albeit for a less than universal coverage of the deceased. (How do
we get on the resurrection/emulation waiting list? Maybe this Extropians
list is IT!)
  At this point in time, I'd rate Anders' idea as the more likely of the

Mike LaTorra

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:09:53 MDT