Re: Who Should Live?

J. R. Molloy (
Tue, 16 Mar 1999 11:48:40 -0800

Randall Randall has asked,
>These people that you are speaking of must be unfamiliar with the idea
>of automation, no? I mean, the only reason that people now look after
>frozen cadavers themselves is that there aren't enough people signing
>up to make it worth automating. BTW, calling them "cadavers" sorta
>begs the question, and betrays the assumption that these people are
>really dead, rather than revivable.

Sure, someday someone may automate cryonics. That doesn't automate reviving the dead though.

Anyway, IMHO, the world can "ill afford" to lose people who help to prevent the world making cryonic mistakes, people who can point out the flaws in cryonic ideology or idolotry, so that extropians don't waste even more resources on it. Instead of trying to revive the dead, I think it better to find ways to raise the living to the level of Stephen Hawking, Spider Robinson, Doug Engelbart, Robert M. Pirsig, Neal Stephenson, Douglass Hofstadter, Martin Gardner, Arthur C. Clarke, Steven Jay Gould, and James Randi, for example. In addition, I think that cryonics drains resources that could better go into finding cures for fatal disease and terminal conditions. Frankly, I think the world can "ill afford" to lose extropic cognitive dissidents, and I don't think living extropians should squander the resources of their world on the dead, even if the dead have convinced some people that they believe in extropy.

I think a more extropian program would clone terminally ill ultra-talented and gifted people (that the world can "ill afford" to lose), because a younger version of a deceased genius could pick up where the old one left off, and do so much more quickly, given the advantages provided by more recent technology and intelligence augmentation. Furthermore, cryonics seems entropic in that it denies that life may create even more talented and gifted people. Scientists capable of reviving dead genius could create even greater genius, and consequently would have no reason to perform resurrections. After all, it makes no sense to rebuild a 1950 machine, when you can create a better and more powerful new one to replace and surpass the old one in 2050. Cryonics can only hope to revive talented and gifted people, but transhuman extropy seeks to surpass, exceed, augment, and transcend what has gone before, no matter how talented and gifted.

The extropian world can ill afford to believe that it cannot produce greater talents and gifts than it already has. Cryonics contains the seed of its own demise, namely, entropic conceit.


--J. R.