Re: the "Ben Franklin" situation...

Steve C. Dotson (
Tue, 23 Nov 1999 10:46:51 -0800


On Sat, 20 Nov 1999 13:55:13   john grigg wrote:

>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?
John Grigg:
>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.
Here's a scenario: The "Ben Franklins" he invested at 5% yearly interest grew faster than inflation and left him with a good nest egg... That paled in comparison to the Bill Gates size fortune that had accrued from a small amount of risk capital he left in wireless communication, biotech, and Hans Moravecs robotic companies.(brokers will fulfill the investment wishes of the cryonicized......will their portfolios be known as frozen assets?) [$10,000 invested in Qualcomm in Jan-99 was worth $148,000 last week! (for example)] Of course, you are correct that adjusting would not be easy, but its likely an optimistic wealthy resurrectee would soon inhabit a life that Donald Trump can only dream about. And even if he is a pauper, forced to reinvent a new life, that is much preferable to the alternative of not existing at all. (If nothing else, he could get a book deal)..."Refelections From the Dewar" or "An Old Codger Speaks" or "A Funny Thing Happened on The Way to The Thawing". Steve HotBot - Search smarter.