Science, Religion, Ethics and Law
What Makes Cryonics Work
Choosing your own time

What makes cryonics work is that it's very cold, which means that diffusion happens on massive timescales. The main question I have about information-theoretic death is how long someone's brain has to be dead at room temperature for information to be permanently lost. The long-term damage of even a few minutes of anoxic deprivation before standard revival is massive. What information you need from a frozen dead cell to make a functional live cell isn't well known - if it's just the knowledge that neuron A is connected to neuron B, we're in good shape.

If it's what the local ion distributions were in the cellular soup and you let them diffuse for thirty minutes, it might be impossible. Feeling lucky about the odds of checking and correcting the damage to 10^15 unmapped connections?

If cryonics is not performed extremely quickly, ischemic clotting can seriously inhibit cortical circulation, preventing good perfusion with cryoprotectants, and causing partial information-theoretic death. Being cryopreserved within a matter of minutes is probably necessary, barring a way to quickly improve circulation.

What about the society or country that you will reside in as a cryonics patient for 200+ years?

We look at the failed states index and it makes us pessimistic.

If you really want to get pessimistic, read Collapse, by Jared Diamond. It shows how a complex, apparently functioning society can totally fall apart in way less time than you might expect.

We read that book a while ago. Our memory is that the societies he examined were in very fragile environments, much more fragile than most places people are today.

He argues that how fragile an environment is depends on the demands placed on it by its inhabitants. The Mayan Yucatan, Haiti, and Rwanda situations were not particularly fragile, but every place has a limit.

You're right; just remembering the Easter Island and Greenland bits.

Many of those failed states are states which have been failed for quite a long time. It is extremely rare for a state to be in good shape and then get to very bad shape.

A good example of what I'm talking about is Kuwait. As far as we can tell it deserves its place in the same category as the United States, near the bottom of it with the US near the top. But, its geographical position makes it extremely unreliable as a possibly stable place for the next few centuries.

When to go for it?

If people genuinely believed in it, then they would not wait until they are dying to preserve themselves, since the cumulative risk of death or serious mental debilitation, before cryopreservation, would be significant; the consequence is loss of (almost) eternal life, while by early cryopreservation all they have to lose is their current, finite life, in the "unlikely" event that they are not successfully reanimated.

If people were actually trying to preserve themselves early then there would be a legal debate. There is none (unless we’re mistaken).

There have been some actually extremely tragic cases involving people with serious terminal illnesses such as cancer having to wait until they died (sometimes with additional brain damage as a result). This is because the cryonics organizations are extremely weak and small. They don't want to risk their situation by being caught up in the “American Euthanasia Debate”.

An extended wait on a heron drip; if that is what you choose, then so be it?

A theory of optimal state preference without the ultimate choice option is only academic at best when considering a best time to cryo-preserve and suspend.

What is the real success probability? I think given the lack of success of humans in making long term predictions suggests that we should admit we simply don't know.

Simply not knowing is one of the weakest arguments against cryonics. First of all, some human predictions have been quite accurate. The main weakness comes from the fact that almost every single two-bit futurist feels a need to make predictions, almost every single one of which goes for narrative plausibility and thus has massive issues with burdensome details and the conjunction fallacy. Secondly, most intelligent and able forecasters are incapable of making predictions. If one looks for signs of the obvious biases then most prediction problems show up immediately.

So, chose your optimal time to cryo-preserve and suspend and seek out a provider that can do this under legal conditions of optimal departure choice, in-hospital or hospice, where vitrification is undertaken, ideally prior to actual legal death and is seamlessly incorporated into an assisted suicide euthanasia medical procedure.

That’s what we’re talking about. The result is a “Gold Standard virtification, profusion, cryopreservation and suspension.

It is your god given right.

We believe there is a difference between your consciousness existing in a branch where the casual chains leading to its destruction merely haven't reached your senses yet, and your brain existing in an unchanging state for a long period of time that would stretch the possible restoration of "you" over all branchings forward from the time of successful preservation. Your consciousness not "running" at all seems like a very different thing from it merely not knowing which branch(s) it is "running" in.

The Scientific, Religious, Ethical and Legal issues surrounding current questions of Cryonics are interesting and numerous.