Cryonics and Fear Of The Future

Cryonics and Fear Of The Future

Joined: May 17th, 2009, 5:13 pm

July 1st, 2010, 1:28 pm #1

http://www.depressedmetabolism.com/2010 ... he-future/

Aschwin makes an interesting case that even if excellent medical protocols were available and cryonics were proven to work by reanimation, people would still resist the idea because they want to avoid waking up in the unknown future.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: October 6th, 2004, 6:46 pm

July 1st, 2010, 2:28 pm #2

by successful reanimation people will be flocking to it...
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: March 3rd, 2005, 2:52 am

July 1st, 2010, 2:37 pm #3

http://www.depressedmetabolism.com/2010 ... he-future/

Aschwin makes an interesting case that even if excellent medical protocols were available and cryonics were proven to work by reanimation, people would still resist the idea because they want to avoid waking up in the unknown future.
As a matter of fact, these kinds of fear are often expressed when people discuss cryonics or futurism. And it is often among the remaining concerns if people are presented with evidence that the technical feasibility of cryonics is not as bad as they imagined. So in a sense cryonics could benefit from being bundled with something. And the most important bundle is not technical feasibility or procedures performed by medical professionals but TRUST. People who make cryonics arrangements should have a feeling that their fate is in the hands of people who are strongly committed to their future. This is easier said than done because it is not reasonable to expect that cryonics organizations will have a strong influence on the shaping of the environment that the patient will be resuscitated in.
As for cryonics organizations' ability to shape "the environment the patient will be resuscitate in," Ronald Bailey pointed out at the recent H+ Summit (or so I gathered from the reports I've read) that democracy threatens to ban the sorts of foreseeable technologies revival efforts might need. You can see his slide show here:

http://www.slideshare.net/humanityplus/bailey-4581393
Last edited by advancedatheist on July 1st, 2010, 2:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: March 3rd, 2005, 2:52 am

July 1st, 2010, 2:50 pm #4

by successful reanimation people will be flocking to it...
Thomas Donaldson argues that:
We would all like "proof" that cryonics will work. There will never be proof that cryonics will work. Certainly, individual people will be revived. Some of them (we hope a very large percentage) will actually come back as the same people as those who "died." There will certainly be proof that we can successfully freeze human brains and definitively preserve personality, identity, the "soul", or what have you. But those things aren't cryonics, they're just particular technologies. They don't really embody the key idea.

The really key idea in cryonics is the idea of freezing (or otherwise preserving) people when we don't know if we can ever revive them. Of course, we intend to figure out later whether we can do this. We intend to succeed in reviving them. But before we've actually done so, we certainly can't prove we will succeed. And funny thing, after we've done so, the proof will be irrelevant. If we know how to bring somebody back as a fully functioning human being after an hour of ischemia, why should we ever bother to go to the added expense and trouble of freezing them first? That would be bizarre and unnecessary.
Elsewhere Donaldson argues that the term "death" encompasses a whole range of pathologies currently considered "Theological Events." Eventually at least some of these conditions will move into the category of treatable diseases.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: May 17th, 2009, 5:13 pm

July 2nd, 2010, 12:06 am #5

As a matter of fact, these kinds of fear are often expressed when people discuss cryonics or futurism. And it is often among the remaining concerns if people are presented with evidence that the technical feasibility of cryonics is not as bad as they imagined. So in a sense cryonics could benefit from being bundled with something. And the most important bundle is not technical feasibility or procedures performed by medical professionals but TRUST. People who make cryonics arrangements should have a feeling that their fate is in the hands of people who are strongly committed to their future. This is easier said than done because it is not reasonable to expect that cryonics organizations will have a strong influence on the shaping of the environment that the patient will be resuscitated in.
As for cryonics organizations' ability to shape "the environment the patient will be resuscitate in," Ronald Bailey pointed out at the recent H+ Summit (or so I gathered from the reports I've read) that democracy threatens to ban the sorts of foreseeable technologies revival efforts might need. You can see his slide show here:

http://www.slideshare.net/humanityplus/bailey-4581393
Revival does not require modification from the normal baseline human form in any way. I don't see how bans on splicing together human and animal DNA, or any of the other technologies mentioned in that slideshow are relevant to the pursuit of long life.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: May 17th, 2009, 5:13 pm

July 2nd, 2010, 1:13 am #6

by successful reanimation people will be flocking to it...
Rejection based on not seeing it work beforehand is quite simply a display of certainty-bias. By the time that kind of certainty is obtained, the level of certainty is so high that you have definitely overshot the mark for making a rational gamble on the outcome. There is an infinite graduation of possibilities before you hit that point where it has a probability of working that is high enough that it is worth the cost.

That is why I say rejecting cryonics is irrational. If you reject cryonics at any level of scientific evidence and standard of care short of 100% proof, that is equivalent to saying the advantage gained by survival is exactly equal to the cost of cryonics. Given that the cost is a variable, this makes no sense.

A rational person would have some hypothetical point where they will say something like "99% at a cost of $100 is high enough. But 100% would justify paying $200." And they would be able to model it down to where the exact level of risk justifies springing for it for $1, or $0.01.

They would never reject doing it for free.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: October 9th, 2009, 9:26 pm

July 2nd, 2010, 4:01 am #7

http://www.depressedmetabolism.com/2010 ... he-future/

Aschwin makes an interesting case that even if excellent medical protocols were available and cryonics were proven to work by reanimation, people would still resist the idea because they want to avoid waking up in the unknown future.
http://lesswrong.com/lw/1ay/is_cryonics ... _into_the/


Perhaps we should abandon other medical procedures, too. The money saved will allow us to purchase more paper and pencils for writing all day.
Quote
Like
Share