Place your Bets (was Deep Field)

Matthew Gress (
Mon, 7 Jul 1997 10:41:31 -0500 (CDT)

I am a cryonicist, and I apologize if this is an old, old, conversation,
but nobody seemed too concerned with commenting on it for a couple days.

Several of your thoughts were interesting to me.
You also seemed to have some questions, so ... wrote:
If I had to choose ongoingness of my personal awareness,
I'd choose an uploading and storage of my experiences because
that's more me than my body which seems to curiously change
from year to year.

This is one of the Great ideas, especially if you have no doubts about
getting what you want out of the experience with the Tech available at
the time. I will, no doubt, find an option similar to what is now
thought of as uploading an unavoidable necessity, just not any time real

Freezing my body (or even more whimsically, my head)
seems a rather quaint notion.

To me, it seems like an extreme notion. Indeed, I believe that dying
and being frozen to perserve the physical pattern of my identity is the
second worst thing that can happen to me. The reason I am a suspension
member, is to avoid the worst thing that can happen to me...

Does extropian thinking focus so much on the physically proven and
sound as to consider this the most preferable and viable
solution to achieving "immortality"?

I believe, as a newly realized extropian, that the realm of
thought includes considerably more conservative estimations, and wildly
more imaginative speculations on the possible. The extropian continuum
also manifests a stong "gravitational" gradient for the currently
feasible with an eye toward pushing that to the physically, or even
conceptually possible.

As a mental exercise, I wonder what
discoveries of the essence, the unforseen would radically change
such notions? That which is beyond the horizon where the
fishermen's wives are no longer visible from the shore and you
are going on gut instinct and conviction.

The above is yet another argument for cryonics'
"ambulance to a doctor 100 years in the future." If I am to give
myself a better, or even perhaps a good, chance of seeing one of the
better solutions to continued identity, I need to excercise the
options available to me. Even if I had been alive for 400 years,
I would not cling to the medical traditions of the time of my birth.
Just so with life extension. I would much rather make regular
backups of my pattern (along with streaming real-time backups, if
available) which were likely to survive my physical existence,
rather than provide for being frozen. No such thing is around.
Cryonics, as imperfect as it currently is, happens now.

To subscribe to life extension methods such as cryonics,
I'd have to be more sure of what "life" is. Too many details
missing from this to make an informed decision.

Need more time to think...? How about more than your "natural" lifetime?

To me, it's akin to a kid saying, when I grow up, I want to be
a firefighter, all because s/he likes the trucks and the uniform
and is completely oblivious to the danger and personality type
required for such a job. Maybe that's enough of a notion to
go for it.

Is this saying that a longer life might not be good, or that cryonic
suspension won't be fulfilling? Any cryonicists want to chime in
with their fond yearnings for suspension for its own sake?

For me, cryonics sounds like a better spin on life may get to enjoy it. Gentlemen, place your bets.

Well, you must admit, there is a point there. I feel much
better about paying my $24.58 a month for the chance that I might
actually be around to see and take care of my friends and loved ones,
instead of having a lump sum payment do it alone.

Concerning the inherent assumption that there is another alternative
to a currently understood process for preservation:

Even assuming some chance of existence beyond death without
intervention, I am not interested in a deity that is angry about
my attempts to survive. That kind of god is already steamed about
those antibiotics I took...

Reincarnation can wait until I have some pretty good evidence
that I will be substantially better off...

Concerning the probabilities involved:

Those who wish to be in the control group need do nothing.
You are already signed up!

Since I'll probably be truly dead otherwise,
it's the experimental group for me.