Nobody Cares: PRS

danielravennest

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I've never gotten the thinking on the whole cryonic thing, with people being frozen after they die. I mean....you're dead. It's a little late at that point, isn't it? So you've gotta wait not just until whatever disease killed you is curable, you've gotta wait until somebody cures death. It's not quite as simple as just jump-starting your heart long enough to inject the disease-cure and letting it work until suddenly you're alive and recovering. Especially since terminal diseases tend to ravage your body and organs before finally finishing you off.

So to be realistic, you'd have to be frozen sometime before you died - long enough before that your death wouldn't be like imminent after you were thawed and resuscitated. But if you're not so far along that your death is imminent, how do you really know how much time you have left? You could be trading a couple of good years that you could have enjoyed living, to wait for a train that ultimately don't come. And there's also that freezing a living person is, well, murder, and a permission slip isn't a defense (just ask Armin Meiwes).
You are making a bet that they find a cure for what killed you *and* the damage that freezing causes (which isn't trivial). The progress of medical science in recent decades is nothing short of amazing. When I was in college, researchers were just figuring out how to sequence DNA using crude methods. Today they are fixing genetic defects in utero. So the bet that they can *eventually* fix you is not an irrational one, merely a long-shot. Even a 1 in 1000 chance is better than being certainly dead and decomposed.

Some people will take that bet. Most won't, because they would rather the $150K or whatever the procedure costs these days go to their family when they are gone. Or their religion tells them they are going to a better place or coming back. Or they don't think medical science will *ever* get that good. You seem to fall in that last category.

No, you can't take a living person and turn them into a corpsicle. That is indeed murder. You can have cryonics staff on hand for when the doctor pronounces the time of death, and they jump into action immediately, but not before that.

My personal expectation is rather than bringing back someone in the flesh, we will instead scan and upload them. We have scanning tunneling microscopes that can see individual atoms. You take a corpsicle, scan their body at an atomic level, one layer of atoms at a time. This gives you a full 3D model, despite the freezing process introducing ice crystals and cracks and other damage. You can undo those things in software, and build a software version of the person at whatever level of detail is needed for consciousness. Likely that is somewhere between atomic and neural map levels. Then give them a robot body, or a virtual world to live in.
 

Ashiri

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My personal expectation is rather than bringing back someone in the flesh, we will instead scan and upload them. We have scanning tunneling microscopes that can see individual atoms. You take a corpsicle, scan their body at an atomic level, one layer of atoms at a time. This gives you a full 3D model, despite the freezing process introducing ice crystals and cracks and other damage. You can undo those things in software, and build a software version of the person at whatever level of detail is needed for consciousness. Likely that is somewhere between atomic and neural map levels. Then give them a robot body, or a virtual world to live in.
I would also expect that this could eventually be doable. I would also expect that before that time there would be considerable research into condensing a full simulation of the physical processes into far simpler rulesets.

My second worry (after civilisation collapse) is that we'll keep having to call in digital pest control because the lab animals we first digitised have run rampant. ;)
 

Kamilah Hauptmann

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No, you can't take a living person and turn them into a corpsicle. That is indeed murder. You can have cryonics staff on hand for when the doctor pronounces the time of death, and they jump into action immediately, but not before that.
With the recent developments with assisted suicide perhaps this won't be as much an issue in the future.

Other sticky points of legalities and survivors I recall from a couple blog posts awhile ago.
On a rational(ish) note: http://www.overcomingbias.com/2008/12/we-agree-get-froze.html

Seems the other is no longer on the web but it was on the topic of spouses threatening divorce should one decide to get froze. Closure vs. not dying.

The topic a decade ago seems to have not much changed, reaching for a possibility of immortality is such a violation of societal norms even liberal people react badly to this area.
 
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Ashiri

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The topic a decade ago seems to have not much changed, reaching for a possibility of immortality is such a violation of societal norms even liberal people react badly to this area.
Yes, people's reactions to this are very interesting. Certainly many of the arguments against reveal a lot about the person.
 

Veritable Quandry

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For those who feel they haven't done enough about global warming, consuming more energy in a cryogenic tank is one way to add a bit nore CO2 to your lifetime total. At least until the company running the facility goes bankrupt eventually and they pull the plug.
 

Kaimi Kyomoon

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My personal expectation is rather than bringing back someone in the flesh, we will instead scan and upload them. We have scanning tunneling microscopes that can see individual atoms. You take a corpsicle, scan their body at an atomic level, one layer of atoms at a time. This gives you a full 3D model, despite the freezing process introducing ice crystals and cracks and other damage. You can undo those things in software, and build a software version of the person at whatever level of detail is needed for consciousness. Likely that is somewhere between atomic and neural map levels. Then give them a robot body, or a virtual world to live in.
A few years before "The Matrix" I read Circuit of Heaven which was about a world where almost everyone has given up their body to live in a virtual world. I quite enjoyed it.
 

danielravennest

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For those who feel they haven't done enough about global warming, consuming more energy in a cryogenic tank is one way to add a bit nore CO2 to your lifetime total. At least until the company running the facility goes bankrupt eventually and they pull the plug.
That's why I choose being placed in Antarctica - no extra energy required to keep the body frozen. Hell, Siberia has preserved Wooly Mammoths for millenia in the ice.
 

Beebo Brink

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I love the complete and utter self-absorption it takes to believe that future generations will give a flying fuck about resurrecting some old dead person. To what end? It's not like anyone alive today would have any useful skills or relevant information. Academicians might find one or two people amusing from a historical perspective and ensconce them in a re-enactment village for a touch of authenticity, but far more likely is that no one will waste resources to either keep a dead body viable or bring a person back to life.

Let's face it, dinosaurs and mastodons or other species from our time that go extinct will have a lot more appeal when it comes to resurrection.
 

Veritable Quandry

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That's why I choose being placed in Antarctica - no extra energy required to keep the body frozen. Hell, Siberia has preserved Wooly Mammoths for millenia in the ice.
There are a lot of things that can go wrong just sticking coffins in the ice. Only a tiny fraction of the animals that die in the ice in places like Siberia are preserved. And those that are may have DNA that is mostly intact, but the tissues and organs are pretty messed up. Not the kind of preservation that you need to scan a brain.

I have worked in a museum with a frozen tissue collection. They have extensive controls and multiple lines of back up power to ensure that the samples are kept in a safe state of preservation. And they don't even do whole organs. It takes a lot of resources to achieve cryogenic freezing, and only a few hours without power to lose it.

On the other hand, we are now seeing a lot of stuff in formerly frozen regions that is carrying old pathogens that can survive. Like the WWI influenza epidemic victims buried in northern Europe. So you will not be coming back, but you could be giving a different kind of gift to the future.
 

Innula Zenovka

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OK, scientists at some point in the future get the technology sorted out to defrost and reconstruct a perfect replica of the frozen corpse, and fix whatever was wrong with you that killed you.

Then what happens? What about the organised electrical brain activity that makes us both alive and who we are? Is there sufficient brain activity to keep the central nervous system and the body's involuntary functions going, and if there is, what about the actual brain activity back when you were last alive and fully conscious?

It seems to me that these scientists of the future will have the equivalent of a functioning computer that's had its hard drive wiped. Or maybe one after a factory reset, before Windows gets installed (or whatever the Apple equivalent is).
 

Ashiri

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OK, scientists at some point in the future get the technology sorted out to defrost and reconstruct a perfect replica of the frozen corpse, and fix whatever was wrong with you that killed you.

Then what happens? What about the organised electrical brain activity that makes us both alive and who we are? Is there sufficient brain activity to keep the central nervous system and the body's involuntary functions going, and if there is, what about the actual brain activity back when you were last alive and fully conscious?

It seems to me that these scientists of the future will have the equivalent of a functioning computer that's had its hard drive wiped. Or maybe one after a factory reset, before Windows gets installed (or whatever the Apple equivalent is).
One question about consciousness has always been, to use a hardware analogy, does the brain work like dynamic logic or like static logic?
Or, to put it another way, does stopping the electrical activity erase memories, or are the memories stored in the synapses?
AFAIK neither of those questions have been definitely answered because cases can be made for both possibilities.

The scientists of the future may have the equivalent of an SSD, rather than a stick of DRAM, for which they may have to implement emulation software. (if one was looking at the scanning scenario)
 

Innula Zenovka

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Actually, now I come to think of it, what you're cloning isn't the chemical state of a living human being at all. It's whatever the chemical state was of the brain (and other organs, of course) at whatever point the corpse was frozen, which is going to be some hours, at least, after brain death has occurred. During those hours, chemical reactions and electrical activity will continue, with the complications of the chemical reactions caused by the putrefaction that immediately starts.

So I don't think it's going to work at all.
 

Ashiri

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... It's whatever the chemical state was of the brain (and other organs, of course) at whatever point the corpse was frozen, which is going to be some hours, at least, after brain death has occurred. During those hours, chemical reactions and electrical activity will continue, with the complications of the chemical reactions caused by the putrefaction that immediately starts.
If the freezing isn't started within minutes then I'd say the chance of being able to get any useful scans later would be minimal. In that regard it's no different than restarting a heart attack victim's heart too late.
 
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Innula Zenovka

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It's going to take too long, whatever happens, I think. I mean, even if they start the freezing process immediately the patient is pronounced brain-dead, decay and the body's chemical processes will continue, albeit increasingly slowly, until they finally stop. That's got to take an hour or so, at least, I would think.

Ideally, you want to be able to restore the brain's chemistry and physical state to what it was not at, or immediately before, the patient was declared dead but to its state at some point before that, while the patient was still capable of regaining consciousness.
 
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