Fred Chamberlain, Alcor prez, speaks out about the"life pact" and also risk

From: john grigg (
Date: Sun Apr 23 2000 - 13:30:02 MDT

Message #13604
Date: Thu, 20 Apr 2000 08:18:22 -0600
From: Fred Chamberlain <>
Subject: Brook Norton's comments on Nanotech Repair
Date: 4/20/2000
From: Fred Chamberlain
Re: Brook Norton's comments on Nanotech Repair

Brook says:
"But what if nanotech is unable to patch together all of the
freezing-damaged neurons and instead we find that it's easier to construct
new neurons that mimic the damaged ones? And let's say this is the case for
50% of my brain. Now am I the same person or am I half a copy? "

(my reply)
Interestingly, these are questions we pose in great detail, in Alcor's
"LifePact" self-interview outline, used for making camcorder recordings of
one's memories, ideas and preferences. Each person needs to express his
views of such matters. For myself, the answer is that if such procedures are
commonly used to repair large portions of brains damaged in accidents, in
the future, by the mainstream medical establishment, I would not reject such
repairs to restore me from cryonic suspension.

If I had concerns, I would name persons I respected, who I thought were
unlikely to (all) have died or have been suspended, to make such
determinations on my behalf, in the spirit of delegating decision making
given to medical surrogates today.

What do you do if you wake up and find that everyone, virtually everyone,
has switched from "biobrain" to "hyperbrain"? In that case, you'd better
check your own head to see if you are carrying an identity module yourself.
If this possibility concerns you, then I suggest your only alternative is to
clearly state in a LifePact preference statement that you "wouldn't want
that done to you".

Consider that if such a wish were respected, in the case hypothesized, the
question is then, "Might you wake up as someone whose processes of thought
were only one thousandth of those around you?" Will there be colonies of
such people, better satisfied with their reanimations
if they are a small collective who are at least as they once were? Perhaps!

The bottom line is, if you have preferences, you need to express them in a
concrete way, and see that they are archived as such with your suspension
records. And, if you express strong preferences for modes of reanimation
which are suboptimum, are you going to leave flexibility for judgements on
the parts of others, perhaps others you trust? Or, are you going to say,
"I'd rather never wake up at all if I cannot wake up as I now envision it
being acceptable!"

Boundless Life,

Fred Chamberlain, President/CEO (
Alcor Life Extension Foundation
Non-profit cryonic suspension services since 1972.
7895 E. Acoma Dr., Suite 110, Scottsdale AZ 85260-6916
Phone (602) 922-9013 (800) 367-2228 FAX (602) 922-9027 for general
Message #13605
Date: Thu, 20 Apr 2000 08:21:34 -0600
From: Fred Chamberlain <>
Subject: Brook Norton's "What are the odds?"
From: Fred Chamberlain

(Brook pointed out the small probability of death before old age, saying:
"I feel funny arguing this side of the argument because I promote cryonics
to friends and family and try to get folks to sign up. But I believe harm is
also done in overstating our case. A sense of overzealousness is
communicated when one says "You must sign up now. Don't wait!" when to all
appearances there is no urgency."Brook NortonA couple of thoughts:

(1) If you wait until you find you have a terminal illness, insurance will
be unobtainable, so buy insurance now (I'm sure Rudi Hoffman will endorse
this point of view, right, Rudi?)

(2) Auto insurance is likewise much less than the cost of an acual
accident, particularly if there are large claims of damages for medical or
"loss of life" reasons. The chances of an auto accident are low, but we
still buy insurance. We still wear safety harnesses.

(3) If you find that your light plane is about to crash, however unlikely
that might be, either you have a parachute along, or you don't. If you
don't, jumping out is not much of an option.

Alcor just had a "last minute call" from someone who contacted us about 3
months ago, saying that "It might be months or weeks". Since then, no
action was taken. Now, the person who contemplated suspension is reported
to be unconscious. Informed consent on the part of this person is not
possible, at least at the moment. Should you sign up now? That's an
individual choice, to be sure, but those who cannot overcome procrastination
and sign up while in good health are unlikely to manage to make arrangements
at the last moment either.

A long time ago, someone remarked that knowing about cryonics and not
signing up was, in fact, a "choice". It was a choice not to be suspended if
death caught the person concerned by surprise, or under unfavorable

All of us have different ways of weighing values and priorities. We each
have to choose. Weighing the odds is certainly important.
A cave explorer of the 1950's remarked that he wanted to have about as much
safety in his vertical rope as was necessary to reduce the odds of the rope
breaking, to the odds that he would be hit by a car when crossing the street
after looking carefully. This ushered in the era of climbing on 9/16
manilla, back before nylon ropes were in vogue. Each of us must weight the
odds, and take our chances.

Fred Chamberlain, President/CEO (
Alcor Life Extension Foundation
Non-profit cryonic suspension services since 1972.
7895 E. Acoma Dr., Suite 110, Scottsdale AZ 85260-6916
Phone (602) 922-9013 (800) 367-2228 FAX (602) 922-9027 for general requests
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