Becoming Immortal? (was: The Promise of Cryonics (was Re: ethical problem?))

=?iso-8859-1?Q?Karsten_B=E4nder?= (
Sat, 24 Apr 1999 22:00:20 +0200

Well, this is indeed a very desirable future, yet, I think that it is impossible to to become immortal in the classic way. The human body cells - at least some of them - aren't made for perpetual function. Life can be extended to an age of about 120 years, with the average lifespan ranging somewhere around the nineties, but then, eventually, some important cells will simply stop replicating. All you can do then is to hope that they will still be working, though at a slowly decaying rate. But the maximum age of your actual body will be reached at some time. Blood cells and other important parts of your body well stop to replicate, causing malfunction and finally death, at least of your physical body.

It might, however, be possible to clone your body with a "blank" brain to an age of around 18 and then transmit all that which makes up your immortal "soul" (your experience, wisdom etc.) into this blank brain. This would also reapir problems caused by diseases such as Alzheimer, which do not affect the cells, but the communication ability of the brain cells. And hey - this new body need not have the same genetic "bugs" as your last one.

I'm not a medic, but as I did understand from various conversations, the cells which make up your veins (among others) will be affected by this aging problem. This means that you could not simply transplant your brain as the aging of the brain is largely caused by the gradual malfunction of the arterial system. I do also understand that it would be nearly impossible to repair this by nanobots an genetic engineering.

Or perhaps the "soul" would be uploaded into a psychometric device which allows you to exist outside of the physical body - transcending into another state of living, and then download into a new body if you want - much in the way as discussed before.



> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> []On Behalf Of Jeff Davis
> Sent: Wednesday, April 21, 1999 10:39 AM
> To:
> Subject: The Promise of Cryonics (was Re: ethical problem?)
> Mike and spike exchanged comments thusly:
> >> Michael S. Lorrey wrote: Failing to do [cryonics] is insuring that
> >> you WILL have a funeral, which is kind of a morbid type of laziness.
> >> Now, making up invitations to your own suspension celebration ahead of
> >> time I think indicates you may need to talk to someone...
> >
> >Why is that, Mike? In some cases, the person might know the date of
> suspension, such as
> >sufferers of cancer or especially emphysema. That might be a cool thing:
> invite all the local
> >extropians and cryonicists in for a last big party, then get on with the
> old LN2 bath. spike
> >
> Mike says, " may need to talk to someone..." implying... well, just
> as HE leaves it to you, I'll do the same. Then spike says, "...a last big
> party,..." meaning, well, a LAST party.
> Cryonics is one of my two (at the moment) great passions.
> Humanity is in transition. Looking back, We seem to be in the
> final chapter in the mortalist paradigm, and looking forward, the preface
> to post-humanity. We among all the humans that ever lived, or ever will
> live, enjoy the singular opportunity to personally experience BOTH ways of
> life. Life within the context of the mortalist paradigm,... AND
> transhumanity, with its eagerly anticipated (speaking personally )
> enhancements, among them an indefinitely extended youthful and healthy
> life. Those who went before have passed into oblivion, and those who come
> later, can only know of life before the great change, as a chapter in
> history. Only WE get to experience fully both of these. Thus, of all
> transhumans, we will be unique. We will be "the old ones."
> Right now, as we near the end of the old way, our thinking
> (our memetic
> inventory) is dominated by old-paradigm concepts: wealth, poverty,
> ruthless competition, war, disease, aging, and death. How could it be
> otherwise? So, permit me offer you a memetic parable for the new
> paradigm.
> [...]