Re: Who Should Live?

Brian D Williams (
Wed, 17 Mar 1999 08:24:29 -0800 (PST)

From: "J. R. Molloy" <>

>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 idolatry, 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.

Cryonics is between individuals and the companies involved, no public resources are "drained". In fact the spinoffs from cryonics research including such things as organ freezing will save hundred's of thousand's of people per year.

>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.

You have the same fears, based on the same lack of knowledge, as the general populace when it comes to cloning. Cloning only produces a biologically very similar organism, (not an exact duplicate) no memories are involved. The clone of a genius will not necessarily be a genius, in fact not even likely.

>Furthermore, cryonics seems entropic in that it denies that life
>may create even more talented and gifted people.

We don't seek to deny the creation of others, just the preservation of ourselves.

> 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.

We are not doing this for the world, but for ourselves. I don't think any of us hoping to be revived would mind having our intelligence increased by future tech. In fact I expect it.

>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.

Cryonics is not life denying, in fact I think it's the most life affirming, positive outlook of the future there is.

Member, Extropy Institute