All of mikedarwin's Comments + Replies

Even better cryonics – because who needs nanites anyway?

Actually, cryogenic vessels do not really fail, in the sense I think you mean, over time - with the notable exception of liquid helium and liquid hydrogen storage vessels. Liquid helium has bizzare effects of metal (in addition to quantum tunneling) causing high strength steel to embrittle over time. It is thoought that this occurs due to the presence of helium in solid solution in the metal subjected to loading, and being present at a temperature sufficiently low to form grain boundary cracks as a result of sliding along grain boundaries (which contain s... (read more)

Even better cryonics – because who needs nanites anyway?

Most of my childhood notes and cryo-memrobilia were lost when my house burned down in September, of last year. So, regrettably, I can't consult my notes from those experiments. However, as best I recall, the mortality rate in yeast frozen in distilled water was ~90%. No special treatment was required beyond removing them from the incubating medium and resuspending them in distilled water prior to freezing. Viability was determined indirectly by adding the frozen-thawed yeast in water to culture medium in an Erlenmeyer flask connected to a water displaceme... (read more)

0EGI7y
I would be VERY interested in reading that http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/acel.12344/pdf [http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/acel.12344/pdf] paper. Unfortunately the link does not work for me (page not found).
Even better cryonics – because who needs nanites anyway?

My pleasure!

I have a few (hopefully helpful) comments to add. I am a huge advocate of trying things yourself on a do-able scale. For instance, many years ago I had pretty much the same idea you did and I decided to it out, directly. I lived across the street from a mechanical engineer from Eli Lilly, Inc., named Bud Riever. I asked Bud to figure how much prsssure would be developed if I simply cooled a closed steel container which was completely filled with water to well below the frrezing point? The answer was about 2,000 atmospheres, or about 24,000 psi... (read more)

5maxikov7y
That's actually surprising: I thought yeast survives freezing reasonably well, and http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC182733/?page=2 [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC182733/?page=2] seems to confirm that. What was different in your setup so that even the control group had a very low survival rate?
Even better cryonics – because who needs nanites anyway?

I'd say FUNDAMENTALS OF CRYOBIOLOGY, followed by Baust's ADVANCES in BIOPRESERVATION. However, you may find another starting point better. I recently felt the need (out of self defense) to learn about dentistry. That's a bit like saying I decided to learn about neurosurgery:that covers a lot of ground. However, mostly what I was interested in was plain old restorative dentistry and the much more exotic implant dentistry. There are easily half a dosen textbooks on basic, restorative dentistry... After perusing a number, I settled on one as a proper "re... (read more)

Even better cryonics – because who needs nanites anyway?

I was asked by several people to comment on this post/proposal. Clearly, Maxikov put a lot of time and effort into this post and, at least in part, there's the pity. When you find you have an idea which seems at once compelling and obvious (in tems of the science) in an already well explored field, the odds are very good that you weren't the first to reach that conjecture. And that almost always means that there is someting wrong with your premises. Very smart and capable people have been trying to achieve cryopreservation of cells, tissues, organs and org... (read more)

6Capla7y
With which of those books should I start?

Thanks so much for the detailed review and lots of useful reading!

Thank you very much for the effort involved in this post and that you put in in general.

Alcor vs. Cryonics Institute

Next up for discussions is the issue of "hyperonconicity." Just as cells require a certain "tonicity" (electrolyte concentration) to maintain their normal volume, tissues with capillaries require a certain concentration (and type) of large (macro-) molecules (colloid) to avoid accumulating water between the cells and becoming swollen, or edematous. Hyperonconicity refers to any solution that has more ability to hold water in the circulatory system (circulating blood or perfusate) than would be the case under NORMAL conditions. The key ... (read more)

Alcor vs. Cryonics Institute

As you can see from the CI data above and below, patient temperatures never come anywhere near -7 degrees, let alone the -20 degrees C called out in either the original animal research, or in CI's own publicly posted protocol for how cryoprotective perfusion is to be administered. In fact, it is necessary to look a number of case reports to even document that CI is perfusing its p atients with VM-1 chilled in a mechanical freezer: "Perfusion with CI−VM−1 vitrification solution began at 3:04 A.M. The CI−VM−1 was at freezer temperature (about −20ºC) in... (read more)

3mikedarwin10y
Next up for discussions is the issue of "hyperonconicity." Just as cells require a certain "tonicity" (electrolyte concentration) to maintain their normal volume, tissues with capillaries require a certain concentration (and type) of large (macro-) molecules (colloid) to avoid accumulating water between the cells and becoming swollen, or edematous. Hyperonconicity refers to any solution that has more ability to hold water in the circulatory system (circulating blood or perfusate) than would be the case under NORMAL conditions. The key word there is NORMAL. The macromolecules that comprise colloids can be thought of as molecular sponges that hold water in the capillaries and prevent it from accumulating in between cells as a result of the hydrostatic pressure of perfusion. This water holding ability is quite complex and nuanced and depends upon the condition of the junctions between the cells in the capillary, the charge of the colloid, the unique chemical properties of the colloid (poorly understood), the configuration of the colloid molecule, and so on. Onconicity and hyperonconicity are thus in actual practice, relative terms - relative to the condition of the capillary membrane. It is quite possible to have a markedly hyperoncotic perfusate and still have massive edema due to accumulation of water and of the colloid in between the cells! This is so because injured capillary membranes do not behave the same way as healthy or intact ones do - they leak! They leak colloid and with the colloid goes water. Simply cooling the organs (or bodies) of non-hibernating animals results in increased capillary permeability and the leakage of colloid and water into the spaces between cells. There is currently not a complete understanding of why this happens, or why some colloids do not leak as much in the cold as do others. In fact, only a very few species of colloid have been shown to leak less in hypothermia. Capillary injury and consequent leakage of colloid from ischem
Alcor vs. Cryonics Institute

This Mickey Mouse operation results in perfusate that is at some (variable) subzero temperature when it is pumped through the perfusion circuit and delivered to the patient. While CI case reports are chaotic and inconsistent - some report temperature data during perfusion (http://www.cryonics.org/reports/CI97.html), some do not (http://www.cryonics.org/reports/CI75.html) - it is clear that even with the practice of pre-cooling the VM-1 perfusate in a freezer before perfusing it, CI patients never (so far as I can determine from published case reports, see... (read more)

2mikedarwin10y
As you can see from the CI data above and below, patient temperatures never come anywhere near -7 degrees, let alone the -20 degrees C called out in either the original animal research, or in CI's own publicly posted protocol for how cryoprotective perfusion is to be administered. In fact, it is necessary to look a number of case reports to even document that CI is perfusing its p atients with VM-1 chilled in a mechanical freezer: "Perfusion with CI−VM−1 vitrification solution began at 3:04 A.M. The CI−VM−1 was at freezer temperature (about −20ºC) in contrast to the ethylene glycol, which was at refrigerator temperature (about 3ºC)" see: http://www.cryonics.org/reports/CI110.html [http://www.cryonics.org/reports/CI110.html]In fact, this patient was one of the very few who achieved any subzero temperature during cryoprotective perfusion with VM-1: Refractive Index values only taken during CI−VM−1 perfusion CI Patient 110: http://www.cryonics.org/reports/CI110.html [http://www.cryonics.org/reports/CI110.html] TIME (AM) Nasopharyngeal temperature (ºC) Flow rate(liters/minute) Pressure mm Hg RJVRI 3:07 8.25 1.07 102 3:08 6.9 1.06 101 3:09 5.3 1.07 100 1.3700 3:11 3.6 1.3769 3:16 4.3 1.39 101 1.3670 3:19 2.0 1.37 3:20 0.8 1.00 1.62 1.367 3:20 Perfusion Halted/Surgery 3:30 0.4 0.35 134 1.4166 3:33 −1.4 0.29 135 3:37 −2.6 0.26 120 1.42 3:40 −3.6 0.24 111 1.424 3:41 −1.4 0.29 135 3:43 −3.7 0.26 127 1.42 3:40 −3.0 0.28...
Alcor vs. Cryonics Institute

This is a remarkable statement from Ben Best, and one that perhaps speaks best as to why CI is not a cryonics organization being run on a rational, scientific,or evidence based basis. When Ben Best writes: "There is no incompatibility between DMSO and PEG. The PEG make the solution hyperoncotic as the expected. My big mistake, and it was a bad one, I acknowledge, is that most of the vitrification solution was ruined because I was not aware that PEG would come out of solution when placed in a freezer," he is making a statement that has the follow... (read more)

1mikedarwin10y
This Mickey Mouse operation results in perfusate that is at some (variable) subzero temperature when it is pumped through the perfusion circuit and delivered to the patient. While CI case reports are chaotic and inconsistent - some report temperature data during perfusion ( http://www.cryonics.org/reports/CI97.html [http://www.cryonics.org/reports/CI97.html]), some do not ( http://www.cryonics.org/reports/CI75.html [http://www.cryonics.org/reports/CI75.html]) - it is clear that even with the practice of pre-cooling the VM-1 perfusate in a freezer before perfusing it, CI patients never (so far as I can determine from published case reports, see: http://www.cryonics.org/refs.html#cases [http://www.cryonics.org/refs.html#cases]) reached subzero temperatures of -7 degrees C throughout VM-1 administration and in fact rarely reach subzero temperatures at all. This despite what CI says in its own description of how its patients are to be perfused with VM-1: http://www.cryonics.org/research/CI-VM-1.html [http://www.cryonics.org/research/CI-VM-1.html] "The Cryonics Institute protocol for perfusing the heads (brains) of cryonics patients is a 4-stage stepped open circuit perfusion: (1) blood washout with carrier solution (4ºC) (2) 10% Ethylene Glycol (4ºC) (3) 30% Ethylene Glycol (4ºC) (4) 70% CI−VM−1 (−7ºC)" I would also note that in the same document, it is stated that the positive research results achieved with VM-1 in rats were achieved only under these conditions: *"To test the toxic effects of CI−VM−1 (with or without ice blockers) hippocampal slices were saturated with increasing concentrations of ethylene glycol at 0ºC and −7ºC before cooling to −20ºC for ten minutes of saturation with CI−VM−1 (with or without ice blockers). The DMSO in CI−VM−1 is less toxic at lower temperatures, and is least toxic when introduced at −20ºC. Adding the ethylene glycol first and cooling at 0.3ºC/minute ensured that the solution would not be frozen at −20ºC when the CI−VM−1 (with
Alcor vs. Cryonics Institute

Brian, when you say: "Mike, let's be fair about this. Veterinary surgeons for thoracic surgery (after loss of Jerry Leaf) and chemists for running perfusion machines were also used during your tenure managing biomedical affairs at Alcor two decades ago. You trained and utilized lay people to do all kinds procedures that would ordinarily be done by medical or paramedical professionals, including establishing airways, mechanical circulation, and I.V. administration of fluids and medications. Manuals provided to lay students even included directions for... (read more)

1grendelkhan9y
I think I'm missing something here. As I understand it, you (Mike Darwin) have a great deal of experience and expertise in the actual practice of cryonics, as well as a lot of actionable recommendations. The current staff at Alcor (e.g., Max More) seem to take you seriously. Is it a silly question to ask why you're not working for Alcor?
3maxmore10y
"I follow Alcor's announcements, read its magazine and track its public blog, as I necessarily must, so I am surprised to learn that "In Alcor's O.R., Alcor is presently evaluating and training two board certified general surgeons to supplement the veterinary surgeon and neurosurgeon who have been used by Alcor for the past 15 years." This is the kind of information that I would expect to see showcased in the organization's literature and on its website, not disclosed here. This is the kind of thing that happens over and over and which degrades member confidence in the transparency of the organization. " In fact, I did mention the new surgeons, briefly, in an Alcor News post on April 2:http://www.alcor.org/blog/?p=2518 [http://www.alcor.org/blog/?p=2518]And similarly in the issue of Cryonics magazine now in production. Since we are just starting to work with these surgeons, it didn't yet seem appropriate to report much more. We are continually reporting on just about everything. Your attempt to cast Alcor as non-transparent should be obviously false to anyone who looks at what we communicate.
5bgwowk10y
Your points are mostly well-taken, Mike. Not everything is better than it used to be. While the basic cryopreservation technology (vitrification) is better, and some important aspects of service delivery are better, Alcor does not have in-house expertise comparable to the era of you and Jerry Leaf. With the benefit of hindsight, I would say that people of such caliber willing to devote their life to cryonics are a historical anomaly not amenable to formulaic replication. With respect to communications, the two new potential O.R. surgeons I spoke of were not a public announcement being withheld because Alcor is opaque and untrustworthy. Contact was made with them only within the past few weeks, as discussed at a recent public board meeting. I mentioned them only because your message seemed to imply that Alcor was content with the status quo. I confess that you have a knack for twisting the knife of public criticism in ways that prompt me to "announce" things that aren't ripe for announcement, and that lead to more questions and criticism. When will I learn? :)
Alcor vs. Cryonics Institute

My comments about economic, social and political matters don't speak to how people should invest in the market, or to who will win the coming election. They speak to the general condition of the economy and the culture over the long haul. As I've observed in print before, plenty of people will get rich, and millions of people have gotten richer, despite the fact that diversion of wealth from the people who primarily produce it is at an all time high. I am the first to acknowledge that it has been fantastic advances in productivity that have made this possi... (read more)

7gwern10y
--Isaac Deutscher
Alcor vs. Cryonics Institute

Umm, here's a suggestion: WHY DON"T YOU JUST ASK ELIZER HOW AND WHY HE MADE THE DECISION? Why speculate?

9gwern10y
Because it was an excuse to bring in the hope function by way of correcting Max's statistical reasoning, something I find really cool given how simple & obscure it is.
Alcor vs. Cryonics Institute

This post from Max More is the kind of post that I would expect to see voted off of LessWrong. I have not had a substantive conversation with Max More about cryonics, let alone my personal position, psychology, desires or motivations in over 20 years. We did correspond recently, and I have asked Max for permission to make that complete correspondence, minus personal incidentals not material to cryonics, public. He has flatly refused. Why, I do not know, but I do know that that is the only substantive communication he and I have had in decades and that it i... (read more)

http://chronopause.com/index.php/2011/08/09/fucked/ and sequels have cost you more than one LWer's opinion of your judgment because it matched exactly the sort of doomsaying which has cost contrarians literally billions of dollars over the past 4 years in bad bets against the dollar and US stocks (eg. Peter Thiel's Clarium fund alone, or Dr. Doom for that matter). It's not a surprise if they acknowledge your facts but question your judgment, which is the same sentiment Max is expressing.

Alcor vs. Cryonics Institute

The first question you need to ask Yudkowsky (and yourself) is a damned difficult one to answer "simply," and that is what are the currently well known, well understood, and well documented BIOLOGICAL differences in outcome that are likely to pertain using the two different approaches in the reasonably optimum case. Reasonably optimum means that the member is experiencing medico-legal death under controlled conditions with competent cryonics organization personnel in attendance, My bet is that only a few people on the planet can answer that quest... (read more)

I realize I'm probably going to lose some points with you by stating this. But assuming the limit of perfect technology and the absolute correctness of the pattern theory of identity - if you can't accept these hypotheses, please just say so, instead of answering based on a different hypothesis - is there any definitive rejection of my admittedly naive notion that if you can literally read out every single atomic position, then "Chop off the head with a guillotine and drop it into a bucket of liquid nitrogen" should, yes, just work? I admit tha... (read more)

Alcor vs. Cryonics Institute

Yes, unquestionably some of the "information" that constitutes your person hood is in your gut, your glands, your immune system and your peripheral nervous system. However, your position would seem to imply that these things, and things much more central to your identity, such as your brain structure, are like unchanging books or artifacts on a museum shelf. They aren't. In fact, by the time you are 80, you will have lost roughly a third of your brain mass and your brain will be a tattered "remnant" of what it once was. You're now losi... (read more)

4James_Miller10y
Thanks for the very thoughtful reply. I hadn't properly considered the "ball and chain" risks of whole body you mentioned. Is there much of a chance that technology will develop in a way so that I will be revived sooner if I go with whole body rather than neuro?
Alcor vs. Cryonics Institute

No, and that's the trouble! Because, you see, if cryonics were like any other medical procedure, I'd simply point to the STATISTICS and to the MAIMED and DEAD patients. In fact, the errors and screw ups would be a huge public scandal, because people would have SUFFERED and DIED. Indeed, the patients themselves (who were not killed outright) would be hollering to high heaven via every available media outlet. Cryonics patients never complain because they can't.

Because no cryonics patient suffers, or dies, or experiences any other OUTCOME of any kind, your ... (read more)

Alcor vs. Cryonics Institute

The major problems at Alcor are truly abysmal management, for which the Alcor Board of Directors is to blame, and lack of a professional culture and staff to administer the front end of cryopreservation. The situation is almost identical to one that would exist if the board of directors of a hospital tried to deliver medical services without physicians and nurses, but rather hired "the best they could find" to do these professionals' jobs. Thus, there might be a veterinarian doing cardiac and neurosurgery, a chemist operating the heart lung machi... (read more)

Mike, let's be fair about this. Veterinary surgeons for thoracic surgery (after loss of Jerry Leaf) and chemists for running perfusion machines were also used during your tenure managing biomedical affairs at Alcor two decades ago. You trained and utilized lay people to do all kinds procedures that would ordinarily be done by medical or paramedical professionals, including establishing airways, mechanical circulation, and I.V. administration of fluids and medications. Manuals provided to lay students even included directions for doing femoral cutdown su... (read more)

Alcor vs. Cryonics Institute

There's no mystery about why I have comparatively few criticisms posted about CI. My reasons for this are as follows:

1) Ci is what it is. What you see is pretty much what you get, and that this is so is evident from the discussion here. The perception of CI as a "mom and pop" outfit is but one example I could cite from this discussion. Ci does not project itself as using a medically-based model of cryonics. It's case histories are ghastly - and anyone who doesn't take the time to read them, or who can't see what the deficiencies are, well, you ca... (read more)

The major problems at Alcor are truly abysmal management, for which the Alcor Board of Directors is to blame, and lack of a professional culture and staff to administer the front end of cryopreservation. The situation is almost identical to one that would exist if the board of directors of a hospital tried to deliver medical services without physicians and nurses, but rather hired "the best they could find" to do these professionals' jobs. Thus, there might be a veterinarian doing cardiac and neurosurgery, a chemist operating the heart lung machi... (read more)

Prediction is hard, especially of medicine

Melatonin has a very short half life and is secreted as needed by the pineal gland. It's apparent primary biological function is as a signal transduction/regulatory molecule. It's unclear if this function is what is responsible for its protective effect in ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI), because melatonin is also a powerful radical scavenger - and in fact, a particularly effective scavenger of the radical species associated with neuronal injury in IRI, such as peroxynitrite. Other factors to consider are the timing, route of administration and dose use... (read more)

5bigjeff510y
I recently watched a BBC documentary called "Back From The Dead", mainly about using extreme hypothermia to prevent IRI in some rather extreme cases, though drug development was also mentioned (that portion mostly focused on the study of cell death). One case was a Norwegian woman who fell in a crevasse while hiking on a glacier - the extreme cold plus 3+ hours of constant CPR was enough to keep her brain alive long enough to be revived. She made a full recovery and now works at the hospital that revived her. Another was a man who's blood was intentionally cooled to extreme hypothermic temperatures in order to repair an aortic aneurism. Doctors were able to operate for 45 minutes with the patient in full cardiac arrest with no ill effects. It's amazing to me that the basis for these techniques have been around for so long, and yet still they seem like science fiction when anyone discusses them. Since the benefits of mild hypothermia had been at least hinted at 30+ years ago, you would think researchers would have been playing with extreme hypothermia soon after and we'd be a lot further along with this stuff in general. I don't have any idea how often hypothermia is actually used to save lives, but the documentary made it seem rare, with extreme hypothermia being only used in one or two hospitals in the world. Your experience seems to back that up as well.
On the unpopularity of cryonics: life sucks, but at least then you die

Sorry, you've spent a lot of time trying to address things that really aren't problems. I was in no way offended, or put off. It's axiomatic, but worth noting yet again, that correspondence in writing is a dangerous way to communicate, because it lacks the context of intonation, facial expressions, and other non-verbal cues.

The best way to deal with errors in my writing, thinking or actions, real or perceived, is directly, matter of factly, and with only such tact as common courtesy requires. Public statements can be dealt with publicly, privates ones are... (read more)

On the unpopularity of cryonics: life sucks, but at least then you die

I'll try to keep my response brief:

1) I respect the desire for precision in the use of words, and I understand that each culture has its own nomenclature and rules.Those here that I have seen so far seem eminently reasonable.

2) I have no interest whatsoever (and haven't for many years) in persuading anyone to sign up for cryonics - including friends and family. While it is an understandable error, my purpose here is not to convince, proselytize, or recruit, but rather to identify minds that are useful to my current endeavor. They will not need persuasion ... (read more)

2lessdazed11y
I suck at being tactful and polite, particularly in this medium. I was trying to say I like your writing by saying you could add short comments to your repertoire, I hadn't meant to imply you should decrease your production of long ones. That I genuinely enjoy your comments was not the sole motivation behind my writing what I did, I was trying to soften the criticism, and trying not to be rude. I was also trying to make convenient for you what I was pointing towards, at the level of depth you would want it in, whatever that might be. That's what I meant to do by having "How" go to link summarizing the content of the following link "convenient", to present the same idea to the extent you cared to engage it. My intent was to show that they are analogous, I wasn't claiming you didn't use the word that way. What the article shows is that the question "Is "deprogramming" a treatment, or coercion?" is misguided. I did not mean to imply that you are here to persuade people to sign up for cryonics, if that is what you thought I meant. Rather, when people make assertions, they often are attempting to persuade the reader of their truth. I just did that in the preceding sentence, there is nothing wrong with persuasion! You are trying to persuade me of at least five things in the parent of this comment, this is not a bad thing. Rather, advocating for something by asserting that it has no opportunity costs is not just non-persuasive, it's anti-persuasive because it is either clumsy attempted manipulation or rationalization - artful manipulation I wouldn't be so inclined to comment on, but I genuinely felt empathically embarrassed to read "And because cryonicists are the most rabid and intense of the life extensionists, you will also soon learn that they are at the absolute edge of emerging science in this area. In other words, you stand to be the first to know about newly developed and developing technology to combat aging." Perhaps false modesty, or sloth, led me to provi
On the unpopularity of cryonics: life sucks, but at least then you die

In looking over the comments here, there are a few missed points that I believe heavily shift the balance in favor of having cryonics arrangements. The first is that the need for "cryonics," in the generic sense, is never likely to go away. While it is true that we can currently envision technologies to repair all of the pathological processes we currently understand, that does NOT mean that we understand all of the things that both can, and will go wrong with us in the future.

Let's assume that aging is conquered tomorrow. Within some definite (... (read more)

-4lessdazed11y
Yvain has said [http://lesswrong.com/lw/bk/the_trouble_with_good/]: Disease (and by analogy, malware) is dissolved here [http://lesswrong.com/lw/2as/diseased_thinking_dissolving_questions_about/]. How [http://wiki.lesswrong.com/wiki/Least_convenient_possible_world] convenient [http://lesswrong.com/lw/2k/the_least_convenient_possible_world/] that the way to optimize life extension happens to be the same set of actions that would entail signing up for cryonics. On [http://lesswrong.com/lw/mp/0_and_1_are_not_probabilities/] odds [http://lesswrong.com/lw/oj/probability_is_in_the_mind/]. I always enjoy reading your comments and from their length and writing I can tell you put a lot into them. Perhaps you'll also put up shorter posts with single thoughts as they come to you, the way I and some others do, which would be great as well. LW has a high standard it holds ideas, arguments, and most of all attempts to persuade to, which is why I enjoy the site and hope you post more often. I think you would pick up certain valuable ideas quickly, the posts I linked to are related to the parts of your comment I quoted.
On the unpopularity of cryonics: life sucks, but at least then you die

I can't speak to your situation, per se. I can only tell you that in my experience (managing and marketing in both the for-profit and NPO sectors), comprehensive demographic information was very valuable. Since I don't know the agenda of LessWrong in detail, I can't say if, for instance, knowing the income distribution and the markers for charitable giving amongst LessWrongers would be of use. These typesof data help you to define the kinds of projects you can reasonably hope to fund, and thus reasonably hope to market to your demographic. Markers for givi... (read more)

On the unpopularity of cryonics: life sucks, but at least then you die

I'm not sure if this comment will stand for long here, because the questions I'm about to ask are probably mostly of interest just to me.

Christina, wen you say you'd be more interested in funding "life extension research,"(LER), I'd like to know what your vision of LER is, specifically? What kinds of technologies do you think realistically offer you a chance at indefinitely, or even moderately extending your healthy lifespan? When do you think they might be available, and with what restrictions (if any) and at what likely cost? How long do you th... (read more)

2christina11y
I'd like to know what your vision of LER is, specifically? My vision of life extension is something that allows maximum and average lifespan to increase significantly. The most effective way to do this would be to cure aging. Also I think drastically increasing the effectiveness for heart disease, cancer treatments, and Alzheimer's will be important (although these might also be significantly decreased by any treatment that reverses the aging process itself). I think the mechanism that will eventually drastically increase human lifespan should ultimately be some sort of nanotechnology that can repair damage to the cells. I think Aubrey de Grey may have some good ideas on what to repair from what I've read about his work (Mostly what I know about his research is in the Ending Aging book he wrote with Michael Rae, and from various internet articles). What kinds of technologies do you think realistically offer you a chance at indefinitely, or even moderately extending your healthy lifespan? I don't think that any current technologies are likely to help for anything except possibly modestly increasing my lifespan by perhaps a couple decades at best. On the other hand, given the rate at which medicine is advancing, I feel some optimism that this could increase in my lifetime. I continue to watch advances in this area with great interest. When do you think they might be available, and with what restrictions (if any) and at what likely cost? I don't really know, but I hope that there will be something I can take advantage of in my lifetime. Since I am very risk averse, I prefer to invest in medical interventions that are better understood. I prefer to avoid ones that are poorly understood, given that they could make my situation worse instead of better (by definition, if they don't work, they have made my situation worse since they have drained some amount of time and resources from me.) On the other hand, I am open to the idea of putting some money into making poor
1Unnamed11y
There was a fairly in-depth LW survey [http://lesswrong.com/lw/fk/survey_results/] a couple years back.
4shokwave11y
Most of LessWrong would be fascinated too, I daresay! We've had a few attempts at surveys previously; nothing extremely rigorous and (as far as I recall) usually only focused on already-outstanding features - so we might be missing an opportunity to discover surprising regularities in our makeup.
On the unpopularity of cryonics: life sucks, but at least then you die

Frankl didn't provide a nomenclature. His book was useful to me because it alerted me to what I was (and am), and also offered a reasonable explanation of the nature of so many of the people I found myself involved with in cryonics. Frankl observed that those people who lived independently, not just independently of the labels others put on them, but also of their roles and purpose (internal as well as external) in their social world, had in common a certainty of purpose and meaningfulness in their lives. For Frankl, those things were god and love - princi... (read more)

On the unpopularity of cryonics: life sucks, but at least then you die

You are not wrong about "freeloading," though that term is probably (unnecessarily pejorative). The Developed world is so obscenely wasteful that it is not necessary to beg. You can get all the food you want, much of it very nice - often much nicer than you could afford to buy by simply going out and picking it up. Of course, you don't get to pick and choose exactly what you want when you want it.

Clothing, with the exception of jeans, is all freely available. The same is true of appliances, bedding and consumer electronics of many kinds. The one... (read more)

On the unpopularity of cryonics: life sucks, but at least then you die

I have seen all the movies, most more than once. I have not yet read the books.

Voldemort is a fictional character from one of the most popular novel and movie series in the last 20 years (of which one of the top posters of this site is writing a fanfiction). I don't think it's too much to expect almost all english speakers with an internet connection who might have an interest in this site to have at least heard of him, regardless of whether we have a "static readership".

On the unpopularity of cryonics: life sucks, but at least then you die

LOL! You don't have to be a genius to be evil and, speaking from long, hard and repeated experience, you don't have to be a genius to a great deal of harm - just being evil is plenty sufficient. This is especially true when the person who has ill intentions also has disproportionately greater knowledge than you do, or than you can easily get access to in the required time frame. The classic example has been the used car salesman. But better examples are probably the kinds of situations we all encounter from time to time when we get taken advantage of.

I do... (read more)

6NancyLebovitz11y
The people who cause the most damage do it because they have disproportionate power rather than disproportionate knowledge.

You don't have to be a genius to be evil

Right, I'm just saying, that's how I know it's not the real Voldemort posting.

in my experience those few people who are both geniuses and evil, usually tell you exactly what they are about. They may not say, "I intend to torture and kill you," but they very often will tell you with relish how they've tortured others,

We may have different standards for "genius"; I don't think I've ever heard of someone who I would classify as both malicious (negated utility function, actually wants to hurt... (read more)

On the unpopularity of cryonics: life sucks, but at least then you die

First, I should point out that I don't believe the choices about how to increase success for cryonics are binary, as you lay them out above. While I don't use the same language you do, my argument has been that it is not possible to get people to freely adopt cryonics in larger numbers, unless you change them, as opposed to trying to change cryonics, or how it is "marketed."

You use the words "raising people's sanity level" to describe the change you believe is necessary, before they are able to choose cryonics rationally. The dictionar... (read more)

-8Swimmer96311y
4Vladimir_Nesov11y
It's partially a reference to this post [http://lesswrong.com/lw/1e/raising_the_sanity_waterline/].
On the unpopularity of cryonics: life sucks, but at least then you die

I just read over my post, and I didn't say (or imply) anything about lesswrong being a cult. I know almost nothing about lesswrong, beyond reading interesting posts here, from time to time, usually as a result of google searches. My proximate reason for posting here was that Gwern suggested I do so, and also pointed me specifically to this discussion. So I guess my question would be, "Why would anyone think that I would think lesswrong was a cult?"

My remarks about "selling cryonics as part of a cult" are long-standing ones, and go back... (read more)

2advancedatheist11y
Do you refer to your time in the Galambosian cult? http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Galambosianism [http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Galambosianism] BTW, according to Galambos's beliefs about intellectual property, people owe me a royalty every time they use the word "singularitarian."
3lsparrish11y
Perhaps I got confused about what you were replying to exactly there. My big issue with your post is that it seems to assume there are only two options that result in widespread adoption: sell it as a traditional product, or create an odious mind-control cult. What about the option of raising people's sanity level so they can come to the conclusion on their own?

True evil geniuses don't reveal their intentions openly. (They also don't post this blog comment.)

4Voldemort11y
I hate to repeat myself but let me ease your mind. Despite the risk of cluttering I even made a posts who's only function was to clear up ambiguity: I thought it was more than probable the vast majority of readers here would be familiar with me. Perhaps I expect too much of them. I do that sometimes expect too much of people, it is arguably one of my great flaws.
9FeepingCreature11y
Voldemort is the taken name of the main antagonist of the popular fantasy book series Harry Potter. Eliezer Yudkowsky, one of the founders and main writers for lesswrong.com, also writes a Harry Potter fanfiction, called Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality. (HPATMOR) Because of this, several accounts on this forum are references to Harry Potter characters. [edit] Vol de mort is also french for Flight of Death.

LW has a few role-playing characters identifiable by usernames, while others don't appear to be playing such games and don't use speaking usernames. So "Voldemort" is likely a fictional persona tailored to the name, rather than a handle chosen to describe a real person's character.

On the unpopularity of cryonics: life sucks, but at least then you die

Taken at face value, the comments above are those of a sociopath. This is so not because this individual is willing to sacrifice others in exchange for improved odds of his own survival (all of us do that every day, just by living as well as we do in the Developed World), but because he revels in it. It is even more ominous that he sees such choices as being inevitable, presumably enduring, and worst of all, desirable or just. Just as worrisome is the lack of response to this pathology on this forum, so far.

The death and destruction of other human beings i... (read more)

5advancedatheist11y
Nelson has also managed to get director Errol Morris to make a movie based on his version of cryonics history, which suggests that he may have the last word on his reputation, depending on how the film portrays him.

Cryonics has a blighted history of not just attracting a disproportionate number of sociopaths (psychopaths), but of tolerating their presence and even of providing them with succor

Details?

I've seen a couple of cases of people disliking cryonics because they see its proponents as lacking sufficient gusto for life, but no cases of disliking or opposing cryonics because there are too many sociopaths associated with it.

2Magneto11y
The ugly truth is that sometimes sociopaths are useful, though you are probably correct in stating that visible and prominent sociopaths that support cryonics hurt it.
-8SortingHat11y

Such a mind that wrote the words above is of a cruel and dangerous kind

A Dark Lord, no less!

To be absolutely clear, the commenter you are responding to is a troll and a fictional character.

Taken at face value, the comments above are those of a sociopath.

I imagine that's the point of writing under a Voldemort persona.

On the unpopularity of cryonics: life sucks, but at least then you die

The reason I haven’t posted here before is that I’ve had no burning reason to, and I’m busy.

While there are many discrete reasons why cryonics hasn’t been (more) successful, the single biggest reason is the most obvious one; it has not been demonstrably shown to work. If suspended animation were a demonstrated reality tomorrow, and it was affordable (i.e., not like spaceflight, which is demonstrably workable, but not yet affordable) then the tide would be turned. Even then, it is unlikely there would be any kind of flash-stampede to the freezers.

A schoo... (read more)

5Cog11y
Could you clarify this notion of a group of people who exist independently of labels? Perhaps a name that Frankl used to classify them? I have found nothing online about it. This jives relatively well with one way I classify people. I imagine what would happen if I were to suddenly take them out of their life and drop them in a city across the country without friends or family and less than a grand on their person. I think most people I know would find it incredibly taxing. A relative minority would simply take in their surroundings and start building again.
-5Craig_Heldreth11y
On the unpopularity of cryonics: life sucks, but at least then you die

Rationality Bootcamp and Advanced Sanity Techniques? The first things sane and rational people do, are to exercise due diligence in gathering the facts before they make crazy and unfounded public statements such as:

1) "I suspect that Mike Darwin wants a grand narrative of Why, Oh Why Cryonics Fails, a grand narrative that makes sense of this shocking and incomprehensible fact and gives some info on what needs to be done to relieve the frustration." and

2) "Mike Darwin thinks that if you have better preservation techniques, people will sign u... (read more)

0RobertLumley11y
Your hyperlink is broken, it has a period at the end of it.
-1lsparrish11y
The concern that lesswrong might be a cult has been dealt [http://lesswrong.com/lw/lv/every_cause_wants_to_be_a_cult/] with [http://lesswrong.com/lw/md/cultish_countercultishness/] extensively [http://lesswrong.com/lw/4d/youre_calling_who_a_cult_leader/] already [http://wiki.lesswrong.com/wiki/Death_Spirals_and_the_Cult_Attractor]. Like it or not, lesswrong is likely one of the greatest allies cryonics has right now -- and I would say this is not so much because of all the new recruits and fresh blood, but because of the training in rationality that it provides and ultimately injects into the cryonics community (among the other communities it intersects with). Because of this emphasis, lesswrong is actually pretty good insurance against cryonics becoming a cult.
The cost of universal cryonics

I found this a fascinating and amusing exercise. The 1990 Alcor article, "The Cost of Cryonics" and the accompanying tabular breakdown of the actual marginal costs that was used, in part, to generate the scenario above, were done by me in 1989-1990. [And you will note they have not been repeated since ;-0] If you look closely at that article you’ll also note that there is a disclaimer at the start which says, “these opinions are mine and do not represent those of Alcor…” That was there because the management was not happy with my projections, an... (read more)

6handoflixue11y
Thank you for the very insightful response! The main trade off, I think, is whether we view cryonics as a medical procedure or a universal human right. Your numbers seem spot-on if we're trying to prevent every single death, and pessimistically assuming that cryopreservation must be done immediately after death. If instead this is simply a medical procedure for those that can be saved (such as current treatments for heart attacks - rushed to a hospital, but without any special standby), or something that people routinely volunteer for when their health is failing, then you'll be eliminating a large chunk of those costs. Equally, if vitrification is shown to be effective even a few hours after death, then much of the expense from urgency disappears. It's also worth noting, as Isparrish pointed out, cryonics can simply move money around that's already being spent - a heart attack patient is going to be rushed to a hospital regardless of whether or not cryonics is an option. Maybe people will be less blase about death thanks to the prospect of immortality, but right now people risk death due to heart attack, smoking, and a myriad of other ostensibly preventable causes. On the other hand, if they're less blase, they're probably also willing to spend more on it :)
7lsparrish11y
I am skeptical of this analysis for several reasons: 1. For better or worse, skilled personnel providing the service would be protected from malpractice to some degree by the very nature of the procedure. It's simply too hard to prove that harm occurred by all possible future standards. Even if malpractice is a possibility, the penalties would tend to be lower. 2. The $25,000 for cryoprotectant sounds unrealistic unless there are no competing firms producing comparable cryoprotectants. That Alcor pays this at present seems to be a result of the fact that M22 is produced and consumed on a very small scale. Nonetheless, an insanely high profit margin for companies developing less toxic cryoprotectants could be a very good thing for cryonics quality. Cryoprotectant toxicity [http://www.evidencebasedcryonics.org/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page] is an incredibly important area to develop for the purpose of not only cryonics but also for organ preservation and the advent of true suspended animation. 3. Responding rapidly to cardiac arrest is something we pay for already with the existing health care system in developed countries that have EMS. If cryonics provides motive to extend EMS infrastructure to undeveloped countries, that is useful for other reasons -- it would save lives in the ordinary sense of the term. It should not be considered an additional expense of cryonics except in situations where EMS would not be deployed. 4. A society that takes cryonics seriously would feel very differently regarding assisted "suicide". It would be something encouraged (and voluntarily pre-arranged) for situations when the brain and personality is seriously threatened. This would result in extraordinary savings not only by eliminating the need for emergency response and standby for cryonics, but coincidentally by reducing the burden (which is intense both financially and psychologically)