the "Ben Franklin" situation...

john grigg (
Sat, 20 Nov 1999 13:55:13 PST

From: "Anders Sandberg" <>
> > > Which brings up an interesting presentation/education question: when
> > > the newly reanimated suspendee asks "OK, what happened while I was
> > > away?", how do you answer it? To make a concrete example, if we
> > > reanimate Bejamin Franklin after his successful experiment in early
> > > cryonics, how do we explain the current situation and what led up to
> > > it so he can understand it?

Ben Franklin was a very intelligent and inquisitive man who were he somehow brought to our present era would quickly adapt and do better then many people from this time do! But remember, we are all cut from the same genetic cloth so to speak. Now imagine a man raised in the 20th century who dies in the early 21st and is suspended.

He is then reanimated into the very late 21st century. He may find himself economically competing against young people genetically engineered to have cognitive abilities that far outstrip him that augment that already impressive ability with machines designed for their minds and not his. Even if he uses this cybernetic augmentation he will not be on their level when they use it.

Imagine how this man may feel? Especially if he was in his previous life considered very bright as an educated and respected professional. This whole situation may lower his self-esteem as he sees his prospects for work, leisure and mates diminished in this new world.

So Ben Franklin in the 20th century being genetically "one of us" would adapt quickly and in time fully assimilate while a 20th/early 21st century person could find themselves woefully inferior in mental/physical powers as compared to the late 21st century person and experience culture shock that never wore off.

Of course, I realize some readers may say that he can be genetically engineered to be the equal of the societal mainstream. But this may not be possible for an adult or may be too expensive. Any thoughts? Perhaps they would just have to wait until technology advanced and they could be "upgraded" but then they would probably always be several rungs behind on the ladder.

best regards,

John Grigg

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