<Utnapishtim> Looking forward to tonights chat?
<BJKlein> quite so... special guest.. and great author
<Utnapishtim> I haven't read his book
<BJKlein> hop to it man
* MichaelA checks out the first 25 pages that are online
<Utnapishtim> Would it ever be viable to have Eric Drexler or robert ettinger participate in an imminst chat ya think?
<BJKlein> I've asked Ettinger.. but he's not yet receptive
<BJKlein> I've asked Ray Kurzweil.. and he's not yet receptive as well..
<Utnapishtim> but he hasn't ruled it out in the future I hope...
<BJKlein> haven't asked Drexler
<BJKlein> not I don't think he's ruled it out
<Utnapishtim> I think Kurzweil will be a lot more receptive shortly before his new book is launched
<BJKlein> could be.. he's offered to help us with the ImmInst Book Project
<Utnapishtim> Maybe he is worried about being grilled by Eliezer
<Utnapishtim> wow.. That would be awesome
<BJKlein> heh.. would be.
* MichaelA hopes the new book won't be a disaster
<BJKlein> Kurzweil's book?
* MichaelA nods
<BJKlein> hmm.. not sure..
<mikep> "Show time" must be soon, eh?
<BJKlein> 2mins i think?
<BJKlein> unless my clock is slow...
<MichaelA> 1.5 minutes!
<MichaelA> 1 minute! (by my clock)
<BJKlein> this shall be quite fun!!
<BJKlein> same here..
<Utnapishtim> I hope that his overoptimism regarding getting the book release date is not a reflection on his future predictions in general...
* BJKlein Official Chat Start Now (Welcome Mike Perry!)
<Utnapishtim> Thanks for joining us Mike!
<BJKlein> Have you counted up the number of suspensions you have helped with over the years?
<mikep> Some years ago I did. I think it was 43. Add maybe 10 more since then.
<BJKlein> That's amazing...
<mikep> Most of Alcor's cases I've helped on, actually.
<BJKlein> is there anyone with more cases?
<mikep> Hugh Hixon, definitely. Anyone else--not sure. CI has quite a few now too.
<MichaelA> memetics questions: how has the attention towards Alcor increased since the Williams case, and how much attention has your book received?
<mikep> The Williams case resulted in a lot of media and other inquiries but did not change the signup rate by any substantial amount.
<MichaelA> (interesting quote from the book: "Immortality is not precluded; even self-engineered, eternal salvation must be regarded as a possibility.")
<mikep> As for my book, some but not overwhelming. Maybe 250-300 copies sold so far. No advertizing though, except from what you see on the Web.
<MichaelA> not bad
<MichaelA> your book hopscotches over a lot of interesting issues that the more mainstream transhumanist/immortalist authors would be reluctant to touch
<BJKlein> Yes, that's a respectable sum considering no advertisment, etc.
<mikep> I was tempted to try one of these deals where you can reach millions of email addresses to promote the book--what they now call spamming. Glad I didn't.
<BJKlein> bless you Mike
<MichaelA> yeah, that would probably garner much more annoyance than anything else
<Utnapishtim> How likely do you personally consider the resurrection of cryonics members suspended under presently ideal conditions to be?
<hkhenson> the williams case was very different from the Dora Kent case that resulted in a large upsurge in the numbers signing up. Is there speculation in Alcor as to why the difference? If so, what do they think made the difference?
<mikep> Resurrection under presently optimal conditions: pretty likely I think. If enough brain structure survives, it should be a "go" unless civil unrest or something else terminates suspensions.
<John_Ventureville> Hello Mike, this is John from the "Ventureville News," please include in your answer how Larry Johnson affected things."
<John_Ventureville> : )
<mikep> Williams case again: (hkhenson): I haven't heard much talk about this, but one factor is that with DK we were perceived as underdogs attacked unfairly by the mighty bureaucracy. That may have made a difference.
<MichaelA> I guess it was just a matter of how most media outlets chose to spin the story
<Cliff> Do you believe that means will eventually be devised to compute the essential characteristics of all possible sentient identities? Is cryonics a hedge against the possibility that a person's sentient identity will never be duplicated in any other place, time, or universe unless sufficient information from its initial occurrence is preserved continuously until scientists gain the capability of restoring it? Alternatively, is cryonics s
<mikep> for John_V.: We got some press of various sorts with LJ (some of it favorable in fact), then things quieted down--very quiet now.
<John_Ventureville> but do you think the future lawsuit will really stir things up?
<Guest> Are there any research efforts into improving cryonics or improving the chances of successful resurrection?
<mikep> I'm getting a lot of questions, so it may take a little while before I can get around to any given one, but I'll try.
<BJKlein> take your time.. no problem
<John_Ventureville> *time for dessert*
<mikep> For Cliff: there is an article that should appear in the upcoming _Cryonics_, "Coping with Imperfect Preservation"--should address some of your questions. I try briefly here.
<mikep> Again, Cliff: All sentient entities (at all points of their lives) can be described by finite bit strings, at least. So, with sufficient, finite resources, you could recreate a copy of anybody who ever lived.
<MichaelA> Mike, do you have an opinion on Tipler's OPT?
<mikep> This could serve as a basis for a resurrection. But cryonics offers the possibility of doing it much more straightforwardly. My book has a chapter on why I think the biostasis (including cryonics) route it the better one
<mikep> plus there is the article.
<MichaelA> do you have personal opinions on ETAs for medical nanotech or seed AI, per chance?
<cyborg01> (What's ETA?)
<weirdnrg> expected time to arrive
<weirdnrg> btw, hello everyone :o)
<MichaelA> hello weirdnrg
<mikep> For John_V: the future lawsuit? Haven't heard about that in awhile and don't feel like speculating at this point.
<mikep> On Tipler's OPT: I'm skeptical about his cosmology, but something like it in essential respects (resurrecting the dead) may happen eventually, I'm optimistic.
<Cliff> What do you propose should be done about the problem of infinite accumulation of memories? If an immortal person deletes some memories to keep personal memory from becoming overgrown, does this constitute a death of part of the person?
<weirdnrg> anyone check out this online book by Harold Percival? http://www.word-foun...ddestinypdf.htm
<weirdnrg> i just stumbled upon it..
<mikep> Research efforts in cryonics: there is work, not really confined to cryonics, to develop demonstrated, reversible cryopreservation. That is the cutting edge here now, I think.
<shedon> wow, someone else that has seen that
<BJKlein> weirdnrg, we're talking to mike.. thanks
<weirdnrg> Bruce, ok
<shedon> thinking and destiny**
<weirdnrg> and sorry
<BJKlein> no problem..
<mikep> Infinite accumulation of memories: deletions could well be a problem. I think that, to achieve true immortality, at least a core subset of one's memories must remain and grow without bound, hopefully the universe will allow this.
<shedon> would it be true deletion or just a matter of dormancy? like a foundation so to speak
<shedon> for example 2+2 becomes a dormant foundation of the mind that is currently resolving consciously on a calculus level
<mikep> ETAs on medical nanotech, seed AI and so on: hard to guess, so much could happen in 30 years if conditions are right, and a lot seems possible, but 1973, 30 years ago was not that long ago.
<MichaelA> retaining highly abstracted versions of past memories might be sufficient
<MichaelA> Mike, depends on how fast stuff is speeding up, and what the true technological prerequisites are
<Chestnut> mikep: may i ask a personal question? are you singed up for neuro or full body suspension? i knoe right now that may be the only insurance we have to preserve ourselves should something happen to us but in my ignorance and perhaps childish mind i just can't get past the idea of beinf "frozen" it scares me...what advice can shed to one such a myself to maybe get over this fobia? :O)
<mikep> You have a basic informational issue there, though. There are limits to how far you can reasonably abstract. In all, I think it reasonale to say that one's identity-critical information, however construed, must grow without bound.
<MichaelA> how much information is identity-critical may be partially a matter of convention and personal preference
* weirdnrg scratches head
<mikep> Signup arrangement: I am signed up for neuro. As for "phobia"--being "frozen" (now it's "vitrified"--at least in Alcor) is better than being buried or cremated.
<BJKlein> Therein lies the necessity for an infinite universe(s) if we are to hope that immortality is possible
<MichaelA> I would still think that living for trillions or quadrillions of subjective years would be better than living for 70, although some people try to argue that if you can't live forever, then it's not worth living more than the evolutionary default :\
<weirdnrg> it's nonsensical
<John_McC> I'd like to ask a question about "critical information" as it pertains to identity. Is Alcor only considering storage of biologically based identity information?
<mikep> Evolutionary default: that's a good term I haven't heard before, and it seems to be what many instinctively want to affirm is "right" even if they don't use this particular term.
<shedon> when you open up the debate unto whether time exists or not and entertain that it does not, well then the "how many years" issue goes out the door and life/death perception changes a bit.
<mikep> Alcor stores memorabilia as well as biologically-based info.
<Guest> Isn't our evolutionary default more like 40 years? Medicine and qaulity/safety extend it to 80currently
<Guest> yikes, sorry for the typos
<mikep> So far I haven't worried much as to whether time "exists"--it's what I call a "frame of reference" issue. The frame of reference seems to be there in any case.
<mikep> Evolutionary default again: 40 years if you count diseases, predators and such, assuming the traditional hunter-gatherer lifestyle (or maybe 50 if you survive childhood?).
<shedon> i hear ya . . . but with given my statement, Shakespeare's "To Be Or Not To Be" is the issue, rather than "how long to be"
<MichaelA> Guest, right, we already ahve "unnatural" lifespans
<shedon> the ideal and focus (illusion) of time might be the distorting element to acheiving such (spirirtual/physical) resonance
* MichaelA would bring nothing but a teddy bear if he were to be frozen
<MichaelA> if philosophical issues with "time" crop up, then you can just invent a new word
<shedon> i guess this chat is a cryonics chat though, not time
<shedon> (did not want to distract) i was just goin on/off
<BJKlein> shedon - you're fine
*gustavo* hi man. I have not been very active at imminst because my daughter was born a week ago. I hope to gradually go back to my activities in one week or so... in case someone asks...
<mikep> One problem in cryonics concerns the scientific/political climate in the world at large, particularly in the U.S. where the cryonics operations are presently. We want good research to continue and not be hindered for unreasonable reasons.
<BJKlein> this is where ImmInst hopes to do some good
<BJKlein> answering questions and changing one person at a time
<BJKlein> I propose that making the idea that death = oblivion more clear would be a help to the cryonics movement
<John_McC> I've got to apologize for this question, since I missed the first half hour of the chat... What's been happening with vitrification research at Alcor? Is it stagnating like some news articles claim?
<mikep> Alcor itself does not presently do vitrification research but it is being done. Progress is being made, but the problem of actually achieving indefinite shelf-life for a cryopreserved organ is a very hard one, and hasn't been solved yet for anything sizable.
<Guest> What is the current maximum shelf liefe?
<shedon> hey a question just hit me when pondering the usefulness (i dont automatically see a positivity of cryonics along side my i am not against it) of being frozen.....can light or electromagnetic energy be frozen?
<EmilG> I assume the vast majority of the damage happens with the initial cryopreservation?
<shedon> answer when ready
<mikep> The maximum shelf life--don't have exact figures, which will vary with the organ, but order of a day or two at most I think. Not affected by the vitrification progress as far as I know. With vitrification, you now have good but still not adequate preservation, in terms of just being able to reanimate by a simple warming procedure.
<cyborg01> Mikep: what kind of anti-freeze agent is used in vitrification?
<hkhenson> trade secret. sorry
<cyborg01> I'm very curious=)
<weirdnrg> => | <=
<mikep> Can light or electromagnetic energy be frozen? I would need to have this problem defined better--don't know exactly what you mean. I've heard that photons can be "stopped"--maybe that's a form of "freezing" (?).
<hkhenson> though if you know much about the area, you can make a very informed guess.
<shedon> it is related to the chakra system idea and the individual (possibly seperate from body on a physical level) soul
<mikep> Antifreeze agent(s) We used to always use glycerol (in water-based solution with other ingredients). Now, a proprietary cocktail, DMSO is one of the ingredients but not the only one.
<weirdnrg> ah - DMSO, I use that for a chronic skin condition
<weirdnrg> 3x a day
<weirdnrg> i mean, sorry for the interruption :>
<mikep> For shedon re "chakra system": I am skeptical about any mystical notions--more evidence needed, in my view.
<shedon> i was sittin here thinking of what -I- would go through if i was frozen, and it brought me back to a suicide attempt (half the reason was curiousity, heehee) i did, i was "close to death" and feel because of being that close am -more- aware of what death is. alike the subjective experience a masochist goes through as to defining what pain is to themselves......so if i was frozen, would it just be a ticket to lose the bod
<shedon> btw, i do not know that i have a soul seperate from body, i identify that I AM a soul, not that I HAVE one...
<BJKlein> We're coming up on the last 5 min..
<shedon> but i can say i have "felt" these chakras, however ideal they may be
<EmilG> shedon: That view would not be inconsistent with the purely physicalist interpretation.
<John_McC> I've come the conclusion that there's not a whole lot inside a human. Even a very smart human. Frozen humans may not hold much interest for the future. This seems to be a major risk factor in being frozen.
<weirdnrg> John - why do you believe that?
<weirdnrg> there isn't much inside us humans :?
<mikep> For shedon: "a ticket to lose the bod"? Not likely. What would you "go through"? How about this? You're in a hospital bed, then suddenly -- it seems that maybe some time has passed, only not too much, and you're awake again, and feeling better, and you learn it's some decades in the future, and they have reanimated you. Of course you'd be unconscious while all this was going on, then awakened when it's all done.
<shedon> john: ?define "inside"?
<BJKlein> Mike Perry will be free to stay but the Official Chat will end soon.
<hkhenson> john_m, there might not be, but it's all we have.
<John_McC> Humans have some innate complexity, but very limited computation abilities compared to even a P4... Future machines will achieve all the complexities of a human brain, and far more computational power.
<EmilG> John: Nonetheless, there's a whole lot more than was thought in the behaviorist days. With evolutionary psychology we're finding mental "modules" all over the place. But, yeah, the number of such modules is ultimately limited by the size of our DNA, though not in some obvious way.
<hkhenson> that's far from true.
<hkhenson> humans have monsterous computing capacity in parallel
<hkhenson> which is part of the reason we get by on so little memeory
<John_McC> And it terribly unreliable. we need massive amounts of redundancy to achieve anything useful.
<MichaelA> relative to future posthumans, we're still as simple as clockwork, which is why future posthumans will need to see being kind to all sentient creatures as an end-in-itself
<mikep> For John: people often express the fear that no one will want to revive them--no way to dispel this, and can't prove it won't be a problem. But some of us at least feel committed to the principle that people should be revived if they can be. The Venturist organization, http://www.venturist.org
, is officially committed to this position.
<Guest> Why not then just integrate human strengths of parallel processing with the speed of linear copmputer processes
<hkhenson> so are those of us who have friends in suspension we want to get out.
<John_McC> I figure the best way around the problem of being revived is a foundation, which is exactly what Alcor has done. A few more in parallel wouldn't hurt, either.
<hkhenson> of course the *best* way is just to live long enough.
<EmilG> John_McC: I see your thesis was on self-improving AIs ...
<John_McC> We will see computer implants in the future, probably not even the very distant future. It may complicate vitrification.
<mikep> I will need to leave pretty soon, enjoyed this.
* BJKlein Official Chat Now Ends
<hkhenson> give my best to the folks at Alcor Mike.
<BJKlein> Thanks very much Mike!
<John_McC> Gotta go.. Got kids to put in bed... Bye All!
<Guest> bye, john
<BJKlein> you have been very generious with your time
<Chestnut> thx mike!
<mikep> I did do my thesis on self-improving AIs, wanted to continue this work, nobody interested that I could find--wound up (where else?) in cryonics! Bye for now.
<Guest> bye mike, thx for the chat
<Cliff> Thanks Mike