Why not Cryonics

Eugene Leitl ui22204 at sunmail.lrz-muenchen.de
Tue Aug 20 08:30:13 EST 1996

On Tue, 20 Aug 1996, Randy Smith wrote:

> In article <4vbvjj$kbm at mserv1.dl.ac.uk>, Eugene.Leitl at lrz.uni-muenchen.de 
> says...
> >
> >On 18 Aug 1996, Randy Smith wrote:
> >
> >> I'm been investigating cryonics lately have yet to find any solid reasons 
> why 
> >> it won't work.
> >
> >Nobody can say anything about the feasibility of cryonics until the 
> >first successful desuspension. However, vitrification is the only 
> >currently known method to conserve the maximum possible amount of knowledge 
> >about a biological system for an indefinite time.
> > 
> >> Anyone here have any good reasons why it won't work?
> >
> >- because strong nanotechnology (for nanoresurrection) is infeasible?
> Why?

Physical unimplementability/inoperability. Meaning, the window of 
implementability/operability might be too narrow to allow autoreplication 
of strong nanotech. Without autoreplication capability, there cannot be any 
nanotech "as we know it".

Some ad hoc reasons, why nanotech might not work:

- mechanosynthesis tip reaction set not sufficiently all-purpose
- diamondoid lattice perfectness degradation in subsequent clones
- reaction quenched by surface chemi/physisorbed species
- whatever reason you like 

> >
> >- because it is insufficient to repair vitrification damage plus the 
> >  malady which originally caused the demise & and then to yank the result 
> How so? 

Meaning, the method itself might be insufficiently strong. Vitrified 
tissue does not take vacuum too well (sublimates), but nanocritters need 
very hard vacuum to operate. Nanoagents will be not so very small as the 
general public means they will (if at all possible, that is) -- several 
um's is not what I'd call nanoscopic. Trying to detect & repair 
molecular-scale damage with mechanosynthesis then does appear somewhat 
utopic. In situ destructive scan & reassembly approach makes more sense, imo.

> "Yank?" That would not seem to apply to a mature nanotech?

Whatever nanotech can, it cannot do magic. Coordinated operation of 
large number of microscopic (_not_ nanoscopic) nanoagents at high 
concentrations and high velocities might be a too tight set of 
constraints imposed of what is physically possible. 

> >  into living state? 
> >
> >- because no entity shortly before Singularity is goint to be interested  
> >  in reconstructing nonfunctional dead meat of obsolescent design?
> >
> >> Randy Smith
> I'll probably be revived by some grad student for his thesis :-)

Some >H grad student? Might well be.
> What is the Singularity? Will it make people cold and unfeeling?

Singularity (a concept by Vernor Vinge, see URL below for more details)


is thought to denote the hypothetical soon-to-happen civilisatorial 
discontinuity, caused by a positive autofeedback loop. Apart from being 
hinted at by extrapolations of many current trends, it is thought to will 
be precipitated the advent of any of the keystone branches of technology, 
as internet++ (>web), superrealtime natural intelligent IT systems, 
nanotechnology, macroscopic autoreplicators, etc. 
The Singularity is thought to transform everything (and I meant it) so 
radically, as to render all extrapolations but those shortly until its 
advent fruitless.


> Randy Smith
> >
> >-- Eugene Leitl
| ui22204 at sunmail.lrz-muenchen.de     | cryonics, nanotechnology,     |
| Eugene.Leitl at uni-muenchen.de        | >H transhumanism, [...]       |
| c438 at org.chemie.uni-muenchen.de     | "deus ex machina, v.0.0.alpha"|
| http://www.lrz-muenchen.de/~ui22204 | >H: "alpha-->omega"           |

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