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Link - total body transplant

Thanks for the information. Edited out. The main issue I had with the original comment was that it seemed to assume everyone would agree with a specific, vastly oversimplified definition of organic death. In reality organic death is a process that happens over a long period of time and has not happened completely by the time the brain reaches LN2 temperatures in ideal circumstances. It could easily be reversible via biological means.

Link - total body transplant

Perhaps a different prefix would make it more clear that it is a formerly animate object, or between stages of being animate. E.g. postanimate or transanimate.

Link - total body transplant

But the cells remain dead, as does the organ they comprise.

In the case of vitrification under ideal conditions this is not true of most of the cells. There is a spectrum of cryonics cases, and many of them do have a high rate of cell death, but the goal of cryonics is to prevent cell death to the greatest degree possible.

Death is a process, not an all or nothing proposition. You don't really need to assign a category "dead" or "not dead" to understand what's going on. The brain is broken beyond simple repair and ceases to be animate. Maybe a more useful term would be one that connotes brokenness rather than irreparability.

Most cells survive for several hours after clinical death. Ten minutes or so without oxygen (blood flow) initiates an ischemic cascade that current technology cannot halt, but this cascade takes a lot of time before most of the cells actually die.

ETA: It is a good point that cell death isn't the same problem as information loss. A really powerful AI with high grade molecular nanotech could probably recover more information by analyzing non-viable cells than a more minimalistic rejuvenation technology that simply rescues the remaining viable cells and replaces missing ones.

Link - total body transplant

Cryonics involves killing a brain (or preparing a dead brain) in such a way as to maximize the chances that some future technology can extract its instantiated mind.

[edit to take away the quibble about definitions]

Cryonics keeps open the possibilities both of uploading and robust repair scenarios. Assuming that it will play out one way or the other is unnecessarily specific for a belief about the future. There may be e.g. cultural or contractual reasons to repair people instead of extracting the information to instantiate on a digital substrate.

Alternate Sleep Schedules

Here is PureDoxyK's response to the Wozniak criticism. There's a funny bit...

  • There are no women doing polyphasic sleep. Which makes myself, my friend who first did Uberman with me, and my hero Heidi who’s gone more than a year-and-a-half on Uberman by now the most attractive, clean guys in HISTORY! Mind you, he doesn’t just state this silliness, but uses it as EVIDENCE for the fact that polyphasic sleep can’t work (because women’s “hormones” don’t allow it somehow). Yeah, ROFLcopter.
Open Thread, January 2011

Yes, plan A is definitely to wait as long as possible. :)

Branding Biodiversity

For me this is in the "not surprising, but important to notice" category. Every kind of activism is a kind of marketing. The branding of important topics like cryonics, rationality, transhumanism, etc. tends to suffer from neglect, or plays out in weird ways that will never go mainstream. This may be due to the way we tend to think about them or the kind of people attracted to them.

My mother is now in cryostasis

This is an amazing story. Congratulations on your courage and the chance you have with your mother which many others do not. Even if it is small it is a source of hope.

This is the first case I've heard of where brain only cryonics was combined with a traditional funeral. KrioRus is the only current cryonics company that does brain only right now, so it is possible that more such cases may originate there in the future.

If this does become public in Russia, we may be presented with a useful data point about how controversial brain-only cryonics is. My theory is that it is less controversial and easier to rationalize for people who have failed to internalize the fact that the brain is a human being. If Ted Williams had been brain only, I wonder how that controversy would have played out differently.

The Neglected Virtue of Scholarship

On the topic of scholarship, I'd like to mention that if one takes the notion of surviving cryopreservation seriously, it's probably a good idea to read up on cryobiology. Have at least a basic understanding of what's going to happen to your cells when your time comes. There is a rich and complex field behind it which very few individuals have much grasp on.

If the bug bites you to do so, you may even be able to go into the field and make some breakthroughs. Huge advances have been made in recent decades by very small numbers of cryonics-motivated scientists, suggesting that there is probably a lot of low-hanging fruit remaining. Even if there's not, it seems like relatively small amounts of incremental progress in this field could have a large total utility if cryonics somehow catches on and becomes widespread in the near future.

Note that Aschwin de Wolf has published a good deal of high quality technical information on his blog Depressed Metabolism, which is a good starting point. Leading cryobiologist Brian Wowk has also been answering all kinds of questions over on the Immortality Institute Cryonics Forum. Many of his publications are to be found here.

New Year's Predictions Thread (2011)

I'd be more than happy to debate any and all pragmatic concerns you can think of in another thread. Feel free to start one in Discussion. I'm not signed up yet, focusing largely on the advocacy side of things. As a younger adult it seems like advocacy has a higher potential payoff both in research getting done before my turn comes and having freedom and necessary infrastructure to get preserved under ideal circumstances. Currently it's very difficult to arrange an ideal preservation.

I'm not 100% libertarian, and try to see both sides. There is something to the argument that there should be a law requiring cryonics organizations to have good financial arrangements covering long term care. The state has a legitimate interest in preventing the thawing of patients, along similar (though not identical) lines to the interest it has in preventing graveyards from having to sell their land to developers. But that interest is not even remotely close to being an adequate excuse to prevent patients from achieving an ideal preservation. We're being handed a false dichotomy when forced to regulate cryonics as if it were a cemetery operation (or as a standardly defined medical one, if it comes to that).

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