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How do S-Risk scenarios impact the decision to get cryonics?

by bgold 1 min read21st Apr 201911 comments


LessWrong has frequently discussed the value of cryonics, but I haven't seen any discussion of how S-Risks impact the decision to sign up for cryonics.

For example, I would expect that if you're cryonically frozen, you are less likely to be able to exercise control over whether you/your brain patterns are alive/can be simulated. Even a small chance of an S-Risk future, especially if you hold a mild-to-strong negative utilitarian outlook, should deter you from signing up for cryonics.

I am interested in whether this is a consideration for others in signing up for cryonics, and if not why not?

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Paradoxically, if a person doesn't sign for cryonics and expresses the desire not to be resurrected by other means, say, resurrectional simulation, she will be resurrected only in those worlds where the superintelligent AI doesn't care about her decisions. Many of this worlds are s-risks worlds.

Thus, by not signing for cryonics she increases the share of her futures where she will be hostily resurrected in total share of her futures.

Whatever answer you give it should be the same as to the question "How do S-Risk scenarios impact the decision to wear a seat belt when in a car" since both actions increase your expected lifespan and so, if you believe that S-Risks are a threat, increase your exposure to them. If there are a huge number of "yous" in the multiverse some of them are going to be subject to S-risks, and if cryonics causes this you to survive for a very long time in a situation where you are not subject to S-risks it will reduce the fraction of yous in the multiverse subject to S-risks.

Alcor is my cryonics provider.

My assumption is that getting frozen means giving up all control over what, if anything, happens to the dead frozen piece of organic matter that you used to identify with. With high probability it will get discarded within the next century, due to a failure of the some sort, technical, economical or political. There is a very unlikely eventuality of it being used for recovery of the informational content, even less likely eventuality that the recovery process will result in some sort of self-awareness, and the chance is even more remote that it would be anything resembling the kind of "life" that you hope for when you sign up. if this is a baseline (and if you are more optimistic than that, then I want some of what you are on), then the decision to sign up for cryonics is between a near-certain extinguishing of your identity (not absolutely certain, as there is always a vanishingly small chance that we can be simulated from the information available) and a tiny chance of revival in some form, and in various number of copies/clones of varying faithfulness/awareness/intelligence, maybe to live happily forever, maybe to be tortured forever, maybe the whole spectrum in between.

If your question is whether the odds of happy resurrection are lowered by taking into account S-risks, then my answer is that they are already so low, S-risk doesn't even enter into it.

Still, I'd take my chances and get frozen rather than, say, cremated. Because to me personally, non-existence is worse. Your outlook is likely to be different.