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Good transhumanist fiction?

I cannot believe nobody has recommended David Zindell yet! His work is a masterpiece of transhumanist fiction.

His Requiem for Homo Sapiens series is preceded by a short story Shanidar, you should read it first to get a taste of what's next. If you want more, then the next four books are:

  • Neverness
  • The Broken God (My personal favorite)
  • The Wild (IMHO the worst of the series, but Nikolos Daru Ede is just lovable)
  • War in Heaven

I'll second After Life, it's very short but definitely one of my favorite pieces of h+ fiction. The work of Cordwainer Smith (He only wrote a novel and a few short stories) could also be considered transhumanist fiction, as it includes genetically-engineered super-furries.

Sirius, by Olaf Stapledon, is also a very, very good (And rather depressing) novel about an uplifted dog. In the short story deparment, my personal favorite (Even better than Shanidar) is Fermi's Urbex Paradox, a real must-read about a posthuman who travels around the galaxy investigating the remains of civilizations and provides an answer for the Fermi Paradox. Crystal Nights, by Greg Egan, is also good.

Full list

Finally Ending My Cryo-Crastination

Is there anything else you would recommend be discussed before I make that initial payment and set the ball in motion?

Sure, the fact that Ben Best experimented on a patient, ruining his perfusion (Emphasis mine):

My dear friend and mentor Curtis Henderson was little more than straight frozen because CI President Ben Best had this idea that adding polyethylene glycol to the CPA solution would inhibit edema. Now the thing is, Ben had been told by his own researchers that PEG was incompatible with DMSO containing solutions, and resulted in gel formation. Nevertheless, he decided he would try this out on Curtis Henderson. He did NOT do any bench experiments, or do test mixes of solutions, let alone any animal studies to validate that this approach would in fact help reduce edema (it doesn’t). Instead, he prepared a batch of this untested mixture, and AFTER it gelled, he tried to perfuse Curtis with it.

Mike Darwin believes they are providing substandard care, certainly not enough to ensure the possibility of revival.

And they go pretty badly. Go to: http://cryonics.org/refs.html#cases and start reading the case reports posted there. That’s pretty much my working definition of horrible. It seems apparent to me that “just getting frozen” is now all that is necessary for a ticket to tomorrow, and that anything else that is done is “just gravy,” and probably unnecessary to a happy outcome.

And the fact that they are licensed as a cemetery, and at any time the state can decide that cryonics doesn't work and thaw everyone.

Request for a cryonics decision flowchart

This would be a useful inclusion in a will. For example, add provisions and funds to transport you to another facility should the one you are in fail, and to another if the second is not available, ad infinitum until permafrost interment.

Eric DeMar did something similar in his will, to ensure his parents (Who'd been cryopreserved by Trans Time in the seventies) would be transported to the CI facilities. A very good choice, considering Trans Time's policies.

A separate decision tree may be included to cover alternatives to cryonics, if the entire cryonics decision tree is exhausted of possibilities: Brain-only chemopreservation as the first alternative, high-temperature vitrification as the second, and so on and on until you decide to simply have your body cremated.

How to Improve Field Cryonics

As long as you recognize that clotting is a different process. =)

Of course.

It's been a few years since I studied this, but as far as I know, the physiological significance of rouleaux (including whether they block blood vessels) is unknown - don't forget that they're in equilibrium with the non-rouleaux form.

I wouldn't know, but Mike Darwin says they are harmful:

[...] irregular aggregation of RBCs rouleaux formation has a profound negative impact on perfusion.

How to Improve Field Cryonics

I've never heard of rouleaux having a role in blood clotting

They block blood vessels and prevent perfusion, which is why it's equivalent to clotting.

How to Improve Field Cryonics

Blood clotting is not caused by red blood cells but by platelets.

I thought ischemic tissue caused RBCs to form Rouleaux complexes. Even without RBC's, ischemia causes plenty of changes that have effects functionally equivalent to clotting: Swelling of myocytes and the endothelium, subsarcolemmal and endothelial blebs, et cetera.

I suppose another option would be to suggest that the patient to start taking anticoagulants before death. I'm not sure whether that would have legal implications though.

This is certainly helpful and doesn't seem to have been done in past patients, but we're mostly talking about unexpected settings here, where no standby is available. I don't think it has any legal implications, at least the Best's article doesn't mention any.

How to Improve Field Cryonics

I don't know if you can make a perfusion pump fit into a shoebox, especially not without very good funding. I do remember a case where a standby team (With a slightly-more-than-briefcase-sized perfusion pump, I think it was this) was working on one of those resusci-anne dolls and they mishandled the pump, causing a whole mess:

I will add one thing that the reporter didn‟t because he had left the room to photograph some of the other CUK members before he lost his light to the setting sun. And that is that the venous blood reservoir bag in the circuit of the ATP exploded due to a misplaced clamp. The reporter apparently missed the timid request made to the meeting‟s hostess, Sylvia Sinclair, for a mop and towels to clean up the water that was all over the kitchen. While it is true that cryonicists often have no choice but to undertake to provide and deliver care for themselves, it is equally true that they should not attempt to do so in ways that make the situation worse for the patient than had they taken a simpler approach that was, in fact, within their ability to master. I had spent most of that day at the meeting trying to convince the CUK group that rather than the ATP, what they really needed was to use a simple, inherently „safe‟ open circuit system open circuit system equipped with a microbubble detector and auto-line clamp, to start cryoprotective perfusion as soon as was logistically feasible and to follow that with cooling of the patient to dry ice. Source (Emphasis mine).

If it were feasible (To make an automatic shoebox-sized HLM or general perfusion pump), it would be worked on, because then you don't have to pay all those expensive hemodialysis technicians (Trivia: Mike Darwin is one) and cardio perfusionists, who remain the only people capable of operating such machines in a manner that is safe for the patient.

Cryonics: Can I Take Door No. 3?

What about a fracture that severs the brain in several pieces?

Cryonics: Can I Take Door No. 3?

Hooking up the nerves is still tricky, but we could probably figure it out.

Wouldn't this be tantamount to regrowing a transected spine? I'm not up-to-date on that area, but I don't think we can do that yet.

Cryonics: Can I Take Door No. 3?

substantially better neuroscience

We have plenty of models of neurons and some of them imitate neurons very well.

Eugene Izhikevich simulated an entire human brain equivalent with his model and he saw some pretty interesting emergent behaviour (Granted, the anatomy had to be generated randomly at every iteration, so we still need better computers).

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