A better method of preservation than Alcor’s

General forum for any topics not covered by the other forums
Frosty
Posts: 48
Joined: Sun Nov 26, 2017 7:42 pm
Relationship with Alcor: Member

Re: A better method of preservation than Alcor’s

Post by Frosty » Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:49 pm

Frosty wrote:
johnkclark wrote: And this debate will still be going I'm sure. You'll be convinced you're still you and I'll be convinced I'm someone else. "
After you have been revived will you really be worried that you didn't *really* survive you just thought you did? Are you concerned you're not the same person who wrote your first post on this thread a few days ago? I doubt it.
No, I won't be particularly concerned about not being the same person (any day that I survive or even believe I have survived is a good day), but I will accept it nonetheless. I might be somewhat concerned for my former self though depending on what type of state he is in at that point.

johnkclark wrote:
Frosty wrote:It becomes a lot easier to see things my way when you accept that we have no free will.
I am unable to see things your way, in fact I don't see how even you can consciously see things your way because if consciousness does not exist you can't see things any way.
I think you are starting to understand my point. You indeed don't see things my way. In fact, you don't see anything and neither do I. You think the world as you experience it is any way an accurate reflection of reality? Color and vision is produced entirely in your brain, as is your perception of sound, touch, taste and everything else you accept to be reality. None of these have any physical manifestation outside of your head. It is 100% a subjective illusion and is a result of your brain attempting to make the frenetic Rube Goldberg machine we call the universe more tolerable for you to live in by presenting you with highly simplified abstractions of the world as it actually exists. Your thoughts, emotions, and your own sense of agency are all a part of that illusion. Underneath this sophisticated mirage, there are only particles and electromagnetic waves obeying rules. "Johnkclark" may be something that is entirely immaterial that can be copied freely and stored on a hard drive, but you are currently a set of moving particles and that is undeniable, as there is literally nothing else to you.
johnkclark wrote: I strong suspect that other people are conscious but I am absolutely certain that I am, there is absolutely nothing I am as positive about as that.
I am now very curious as to how exactly you define consciousness since apparently you don't equate it with free will and I personally thought the two ideas were inseparable, as I don’t understand how one could claim to be conscious without also believing they are able to make independent choices and judgments. If it's a good definition I may even concede that consciousness exists.
johnkclark wrote:
Frosty wrote: ...once you accept that we have no free will
I can't accept free will and I can't reject it either, it is neither true nor false, free will is gibberish. Free will is an idea so bad its not even wrong. That's the trouble with much of philosophy, thousands of books have been written trying to answer the question "do we have Free will?" but I think it might be wise to first ask what the hell the term "Free Will" means.


I agree with you, free will is garbage and impossible to properly define. It assumes that if a human with "free" will was presented with several different potential courses of action of apparently equal utility (such as choosing whether to wear a red tie, a green tie or a blue tie) they might select different options if a scenario could be rewound and played out under identical circumstances multiple times (resetting their memory of their previous choices in the process). But would they ever actually choose differently? Being a person with subjective preferences that are unique to them, I highly doubt it. I suspect they would choose the same option each and every time, because this option has more subjective value to them for one reason or another, and that means it makes no objective or subjective difference to us whether or not we have free will. So instead of saying we have no free will, it is probably more accurate to say that free will has no meaning, and therefore has no place in philosophy or science.
johnkclark wrote:
Frosty wrote: and the concept of information didn't exist until we came along to invent it and define it as subjective observers "
If information isn't physical then energy, temperature, area, and volume aren't either. And neither is entropy. If physical isn't the thing that physicists study then what does "physical" mean?
What is energy recorded as? A number. What is temperature recorded as? A number. What is volume recorded as? A number. What is area recorded as? A number. What is entropy recorded as? A number. Every single measurement we have ever taken of reality is stored, communicated and understood via abstractions and symbols (better known as information) that humans invented out of nothing but their own instinctive desire to seek patterns everywhere, even where none exist. The universe itself is physical, the various symbolic conventions we have created to describe it are not (they are immaterial ideas). However, if I ever find a number "2" lying around somewhere in nature, I will take it all back and fully accept your view that information is physical.
johnkclark wrote:
Frosty wrote: one of the reasons why I have trouble accepting your view of consciousness as "thoughts" (whatever those are)

It would be silly of me to give you a definition of a "thought" because you already know what it means, you already have something far far better than any definition, better even than logic, direct experience.
Although subjectively I might be tempted to agree with you, objectively I know that direct experience is dependent on consciousness, which I believe does not exist. So if you tell me something is best explained by direct experience, then you are telling me it does not exist. And a thought is a chemical reaction. See how much simpler definitions become when you base them on objective science instead of subjective philosophy?
johnkclark wrote:
Frosty wrote: Simply put, since nothing that physically exists (like matter or electromagnetic waves) has actually been transferred, it can't be the same consciousness
Matter and electromagnetic waves are nouns, I am not a noun. My third grade English teacher was incorrect when she told me "I" is a pronoun, it is not, "I" is an adjective. I am the way atoms behave when they are organized in a Johnkclarkian way; right now there is only one chunk of matter in the observable universe that has that behavioral property but there is no reason that should always be the case. And consciousness is the way data feels when it is being processed.
If you are prepared to claim that you are not a physical part of this universe, but some sort of emergent and immeasurable quality of matter, then yes, you can say you are an adjective. But you are flirting with religion here. I could accept that you are actually two different related nouns (an arrangement of molecules and the combined motions of those molecules), but otherwise, it sounds to me like you are saying you are something that doesn't exist and although I haven't seen you face-to-face, I am fairly certain you do.
johnkclark wrote:
Frosty wrote: they will not be the same person, just a close replica, which of course won't bother the replica at all but I don't think we can definitively say they are still the same person without invoking something supernatural.
And I don't think you can claim they are NOT the same person without invoking something supernatural. You are claiming that the original has some quality of supreme importance, something more important than even brain structure, that the copy doesn't have and the scientific method can't detect. And that I think is a pretty good definition of supernatural.
As I am sure you know pretty well by now, I see the universe as collections of particles interacting with each other. So the most logical way for me to view the universe is as one continuous dynamic system with no clear boundaries of separation anywhere. Although I believe this is by far the most accurate way to view reality, this approach would not even permit me to recognize Frosty and johnkclark as separate individuals, so unfortunately, I have to allow myself at least one layer of abstraction if I am to define any structure that is smaller than the universe itself.

Recognizing this need for abstraction, the simplest way I can think of to define a particular entity in this shifting sea of particles is by drawing an imaginary sphere around it and saying that all the atoms within the sphere are known as "johnkclark" and all the atoms in this other imaginary sphere over here are known as "Frosty". That is the simplest definition I can use to define us that relies on the fewest abstractions possible and is therefore probably the most valid. In essence, this is the view I have been holding to throughout our entire debate.

However, I could take this approach a step further and add a grid of imaginary lines connecting all of the atoms within each of these two spheres (like a three-dimensional game of connect-the dots) and say the structures I have drawn are johnkclark and Frosty. This definition would be somewhat more satisfactory to you personally, but since it involves adding a second layer of abstraction in addition to my imaginary spheres, I know I am already getting pretty far from reality at this point. However, even this second layer of abstraction wouldn't be enough imaginary lines to satisfy johnkclark, as I still haven't captured the motions of the particles, only their current arrangements.

To come closest to your definition of johnkclark, I would actually have to add a third layer of abstraction, represented by tiny arrows of varying lengths pointing outwards from the center of each atom indicating their current direction and magnitude of momentum. Only after adding this third layer of imaginary structures would you say I have finally accurately defined johnkclark.

So based on your own reasoning, we have determined that biological johnkclark, despite appearing to be made of atoms like the rest of the universe, is actually best defined as a sphere, some lines, and some arrows. I actually have part of you preserved already right here: :arrow:

Do you feel immortal yet?
johnkclark wrote:
Frosty wrote: The only reasonable explanation I can come up with as to why going to sleep doesn't frighten you (since it equates to death under your definition) "
No, sleep is not death because "I'm starting to fall asleep" is NOT my last thought, it is immediately followed by "I'm starting to wake up"; immediately from my point of view that is, and that's the only one that counts because it is my death that is under consideration.
The only reason you experience a sense of mental continuity from sleeping to waking is because you don’t remember the last thought you have before falling asleep (hardly anyone does). By the time you wake up that thought has long since been erased from your short-term memory, and so the version of johnkclark who experienced those thoughts has died (under your criteria). You have been dying and coming back from the dead without realizing it every night of your life under your current definitions, no different than a computer clearing its RAM each time it is powered off.
johnkclark wrote: To give up vital ultra-structure you'd have to get something of colossal value in return, but all you can come up with is that Alcor's way does better at preserving some sort of mystical heebie jeebie ...something ... a vague something that the scientific method can neither measure or detect or even provide evidence of existence. Think what you're giving up and what you're getting in return! You're betting that heebie jeebie is more important than the cellular ultra-structure of your brain, and that sure sounds like a sucker's bet to me.


There's nothing heebie-jeebie about it, we just have different goals. Your goal is to have future johnkclark have the best and most complete information available to him about what current johnkclark was like at the precise moment of his clinical death. This is consistent with your own definition of people as information and subjectively, there is nothing at all wrong with that approach. My goal is to extend my biological life (as I conceded very early on) because I believe the only alternative to continuing my biological life is biological death. This means preserving and eventually reviving the only body and brain I've ever known. This being my goal, I accept that I am a changing system, not a static snapshot (and I believe you accept this as well). The definition of what Frosty is right now won't be the same as what Frosty is five minutes from now or five years from now or five centuries from now. All of these various states of Frosty will eventually be lost, in turn, and I see nothing inherently wrong with that. My primary goal in being cryopreserved is not to achieve perfect preservation (although it would be a nice bonus), it is to continue my biological life in the future once science has made that possible.
johnkclark wrote:
Frosty wrote:Math is just another form of information and so has no objective meaning either
Two can play that game. What is the objective meaning of dead frozen protoplasm, or even of living non-frozen protoplasm?
The protoplasm physically exists, math doesn't. Neither has any inherent meaning because meaning is in the eye of the beholder, but I never claimed matter has any meaning, now did I? My argument is simply that it is better to base logical arguments on things that are tangible and real as opposed to things that are not, especially considering cryonics is aiming to be an objective science. I don't think that should be too controversial.
johnkclark wrote:
Frosty wrote: The histories of your atoms could be very different from mine, and most likely are.
But the scientific method says there is no way those different histories make the atoms behave differently, there is no way those different histories can even be detected because there are many ways the atom's history can be erased. For example, suppose you had a trillion hydrogen atoms, quantum mechanics would say there are a trillion separate objects with a trillion different Schrodinger wave functions. Let's give one of those Hydrogen atoms a name, we'll call him Bob the atom. Now we cool the trillion atoms down to a millionth of a degree above absolute zero and things are transformed, a Bose–Einstein condensate is formed. Now quantum mechanics would say there is only one object and only one quantum wave function. If you then warm things up again the atoms come back but it is impossible to say which one of those trillion atoms is Bob even in theory.
Any particle that is even a billionth of a billionth of a billionth of a degree above absolute zero will possess at least some relativistic mass based on its current vector of motion relative to an observer (which is unique to that atom, because relativistic effects are not quantized) in addition to its rest mass (which is identical for every atom). Particle physicists generally ignore relativistic mass entirely because they like to construct equations that are observer-independent (even though such a reference frame is impossible to achieve in practice). Bob’s relativistic mass may be affected by cooling, but it is still unique to that atom, and upon rewarming when Bob once again has a discernible physical location separate from the condensate, Bob will remain unique in this manner. This suggests Bob’s history has not been entirely lost.

In addition, the information encoding Bob’s state prior to cooling is only lost in this scenario if you view the condensate as a closed system. It is not. Notice I said the history of a particle is only partially encoded in its current relativistic state. As you reduce the temperature of an atom, it will necessarily emit electromagnetic energy in all directions. This energy will travel at the speed of light until it is absorbed by another atomic nucleus, perhaps causing one of its electrons to transition to a more energized state. Additionally, as the particles in the condensate are cooled, all of their relativistic masses will collectively decrease and thus, their net gravitational pull on other atoms will reduce, and this change in gravitation will also propagate outwards at the speed of light, eventually subtly affecting the position of a large percentage of all the atoms in the visible universe in an ever-expanding sphere centered upon the location where the condensate was formed.

A hypothetical external observer who can see all this happening and measure the entire universe would thus be able to work backwards and connect these events to determine which particles were involved in every step of the reaction, reconstruct Bob’s original characteristics, and continue this process all the way back to the Big Bang. Unlike my hypothetical all-seeing observer, quantum physicists generally have an extremely narrow view of reality (that happens when you spend your entire career staring into a microscope) and that is one of the reasons they have had so much trouble developing a quantum theory of gravity. So despite your best efforts, I contend that Bob has survived and could still be identified if needed.

So what does current johnkclark have that a future copy won't? History. A history that can be used to objectively trace the original johnkclark's birth to a much earlier point in time than that of your copy, and thus prove empirically that the two are separate entities with separate origins. The implications of this fact could lead one to justifiably conclude that the original johnkclark has died and been replaced, and dying is precisely what I thought we are all trying to avoid.

johnkclark wrote:
Frosty wrote: Every atom in your head has a long (and perhaps infinite) history that is partially encoded in its current relativistic state, and fully encoded in the universe as a whole.
So a nanosecond after the Big Bang when that Hydrogen atom in you brain was made it was already infused with the soul of Frosty even though you wouldn't be born for 13.8 billion years.
Did I say I have a soul? I never claimed that. I said the history of my atoms can theoretically be traced back to the Big Bang. That is my only claim.
johnkclark wrote:
Frosty wrote: It will always be possible (though certainly not easy) to prove where the atoms in your body came from
No, the universe is not reversible, that's why the arrow of time exists and why the future is different from the past.
So you are now arguing it’s impossible to infer the past from looking at the present? I am in a building right now. Should I assume the building simply popped into existence at some point or can we safely assume it was constructed of raw materials taken from the environment, and that we could perhaps identify the locations where these materials were harvested from with a little bit of effort, and by carefully analyzing the isotopes present in each panel of wood, we may even be able to source them to specific trees?

The universe as we observe it to be right now has a 100% probability of existing (obviously), and there is only one set of previous events that could have logically led it to its current state, and all of these previous events could be inferred with enough data and computing power (at least, in theory). The only alternative to this view is that the universe is not fully deterministic and there are certain events in the universe's past that happened for no reason whatsoever (which I know you are about to suggest, and that’s because reality is predictable).
johnkclark wrote:
Frosty wrote: That's the nature of living in a deterministic universe.
But we don't live in a deterministic universe. Some things have a cause but we've known for 90 years that some things don't. In retrospect it really shouldn't have been all that surprising, after all there is no law of logic that demands every event have a cause, we should consider ourselves lucky that at least some of them do.
I disagree. I believe “randomness” is nothing more than a pattern that is too complex for humans to understand (like the lottery, which is also deterministic). Our own inability to predict the outcome of an event as 3D observers does not mean the outcome has no cause, it means we have practical or absolute limitations of measurement (or insufficient control over the precise conditions of our measurements, rendering them non-repeatable) that may or may not be overcome in the future. That’s why statistics was invented. Besides, as I am sure you are aware, you can't prove a negative (such as that an event had no cause, or that there is not currently a teapot orbiting around Pluto) so whoever told you that was making a highly unscientific claim.
johnkclark wrote:
Frosty wrote: Your inability to detect that you are a copy does not mean that you are equivalent to the original
It means it's equivalent in every subjective way, that is to say in every way that counts.
In every way that counts to "johnkclark", definitely.
johnkclark wrote:
Frosty wrote: it seems you only care about your subjective experience of reality"
Yes but is that really controversial, is this really a debatable point? I thought it was the goal of every Alcor member to find a way for their subjective experience to continue forever, or at least continue until they decide they don't want it to continue anymore.
Come on now, of course there had to be at least one objective Alcor member or you could never have a decent debate around here, and where’s the fun in that?

It occurred to me today that our definitions of immortality aren’t really all that different. You view immortality as never having a last thought (meaning your previous thoughts are never lost or forgotten), which I contend is nothing more than a chemical reaction occurring in your brain. My definition of immortality is essentially for my physical brain to never have a last chemical reaction and that is why I have such a strong insistence on preserving and using my current biological brain in my revived body if that is at all possible. Your view of immortality is much more flexible (and subjective) than mine in that you do not care about the medium in which these thoughts occur (allowing for yourself to be duplicated), but it is similar in all other respects. Philosophically-speaking, it would seem we are not all that far apart after all.

However, oddly enough, under your definition of immortality, you have already died many, many times (and thus have already failed to achieve your goal) and under my definition I have never died, so I still have some hope to achieve it. Perhaps my view has some advantages of its own? :geek:

johnkclark
Posts: 64
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2014 12:41 pm
Relationship with Alcor: Member

Re: A better method of preservation than Alcor’s

Post by johnkclark » Sat Dec 09, 2017 9:41 pm

Hi Frosty

I think the issues we're are discussing important. To most people these things would be considered very esoteric and of no practical value, but we are not most people we are Cryonicists and to us nothing is more practical or important.
"You think the world as you experience it is any way an accurate reflection of reality?"
No I don't. A baseball just went threw my window, but what really happened? I don't know what the fundamental objective reality of a broken window is. The sound of broken glass is not broken glass, the look of broken glass is not broken glass, the feel broken glass is not broken glass. What is broken class? I don't know and I don't need to know to live my life, fundamental objective reality can continue to do its thing whatever that is and my subjective reality can continue to do its.
"Color and vision is produced entirely in your brain, as is your perception of sound, touch, taste and everything else you accept to be reality. None of these have any physical manifestation outside of your head. It is 100% a subjective illusion”
Exactly. And the entire point of Cryonics is to have that subjective illusion continue as it has for the last several decades, and to do that it is necessary to preserve the information about the physical manifestation going on inside your head. And the ASC method does that better than Alcor's. I could understand if there is some economic reason for not going with ASC, but I've got to say I find the philosophic objections to be worthless.
"Johnkclark" may be something that is entirely immaterial that can be copied freely and stored on a hard drive"

Unless the Bible thumpers turn out to be right and the soul exists the above must be true, but if I thought there were right I would have never gone for Cryonics.
"but you are currently a set of moving particles and that is undeniable"
Yes, and if next century or next millennium other particles were in the same relative position and had the same momentum they would also be me because the particles themselves are generic, a dime a dozen, but the way they move can be recorded as information. Science says the key to human individuality is science and Bible thumpers say that key is a mysterious thing science can't see and can never understand. I've made my bet on which one is right, I've literally bet my life on it.

"am now very curious as to how exactly you define consciousness"

I have no need to define consciousness because I have a excellent example of it. Examples are almost always better than definitions and they are more fundamental too; after all examples are where lexicographers got the knowledge to write the definitions in their dictionary.
"apparently you don't equate it with free will and I personally thought the two ideas were inseparable"

Free will is gibberish and being gibberish means it doesn't have the property of existence and it doesn't have the property of non-existence either. But consciousness, my consciousness anyway, is as far from gibberish as you can get, it is the one thing in the universe that I am most certain really exists.
"as I don’t understand how one could claim to be conscious without also believing they are able to make independent choices and judgments."
If they're Independent of cause then my actions are never intelligent, they are random they are without reason, they are irrational. And I don't see a connection between the "free will" noise and consciousness.

A man is walking down a road and spots a fork in the road far ahead. Both lead to his destination one is a little longer but is more beautiful than the other so he isn't sure if he will take the right or left path, he hadn't decided. Now imagine a powerful demon able to look into the man's head and quickly deduce that he would eventually choose to go to the left.

Meanwhile the man, whose mind works much more slowly than the demon's, hasn't completed the thought process yet. He might be consciously saying to himself "I haven't decided, I'll have to think about it some more". After a while he decides to take the right fork but then at the last second changes his mind and goes left. He says to himself " I decided to go left, but I was free to go either way I wanted" From his point of view he is in a sense correct, even a robot does not feel like a robot, but he wasn't free to take the path he didn't want. And from the demon's viewpoint it was a different matter, he simply deduced a purely mechanical operation that can have only one outcome and that was the left fork,

Or it may not be deterministic at all, perhaps he took the left path for no reason at all. Either way the "free will" noise that some human beings like to make is of no more help in clarifying philosophical thought than the "quack" noise that ducks like to make.
"If it's a good definition I may even concede that consciousness exists."

Oh come on Frosty, of course you believe consciousness exists,...unless,... unless it turns out you really are not conscious and solipsism is true and I am the only conscious being in the universe. After all I will never be able to disprove solipsism I can only show it is unlikely.
"What is energy recorded as? A number. What is temperature recorded as? A number. What is volume recorded as? A number. What is area recorded as? A number. What is entropy recorded as? A number."
Exactly. So if you believe that the things that make you be you are physical and if you think energy, temperature, area, volume, and entropy are physical and if you think those physical qualities exist inside your head then any workable Cryonics procedure had better have a good way of recording those numbers with minimal scrambling, and that would be ASC. I just don't see why Alcor lets the brain shrink by 50% and become too distorted to take electron microscope pictures if there is a better way.
"objectively I know that direct experience is dependent on consciousness"
Subjectively I know that direct experience is consciousness, what it is objectively I neither know nor care.
"which I believe does not exist."
If you think consciousness does not exist why are you interested in cryonics, what is it that you want to continue? For that matter if you think consciousness does not exist how can you even think?
"a thought is a chemical reaction."
Yes, a chemical reaction would be a low level description of what's going on in your head, and thinking would be a hight level description of the same thing. Both are true. A balloon inflates because there are more air molecules hitting the inner surface of a the balloon than the outer, would be a low level description of what's going on, and the pressure inside the balloon is greater than the pressure outside, would be a high level description. Both are true.
"If you are prepared to claim that you are not a physical part of this universe"
Adjectives are part of the universe. I am claiming I am the way part of the physical universe behaves when it is organized in a johnkclarkian way. And I am claiming that to organize things in any way information is needed on the position and momentum of atoms. And I am claiming the ASC method would preserve the johnkclarkian information with less distortion than Alcor's method. What does Alcor preserve better? The answer is Heeby Jeeby.
"you can say you are an adjective. But you are flirting with religion here."
Both religion and Cryonics are interested in immortality so its not too surprising that congruences can crop up from time to time. And I did admit in a previous post there are similarities between the soul and information, but I also named very important differences. And the fundamental difference between religion and science is not that one deals in chants, incantations and crucifixes and the other deals in equations, lines of computer code and electron microscopes. The difference is that one works and the other doesn't.
"the simplest way I can think of to define a particular entity in this shifting sea of particles is by drawing an imaginary sphere around it and saying that all the atoms within the sphere are known as "johnkclark" and all the atoms in this other imaginary sphere over here are known as "Frosty"."
But if you put a real sphere around johnkclark and Frosty both would very soon be dead because for life to continue new atoms must continually enter our bodies, do a little dance with other atoms there, and then leave. Do you really think there is something special about your atoms that my atoms don't have? Is your name really scratched on some atoms but not on others? Why is science unable to detect those scratches? For exactly the same reason science can't detect the soul, its not there.
"The only reason you experience a sense of mental continuity from sleeping to waking is because you don’t remember the last thought you have before falling asleep"
I may or may not remember *THE* last thought before falling asleep, I don't know I don't remember, but I certainly remember *A* last thought before falling asleep, and the thought after that was waking up.
"By the time you wake up that thought has long since been erased from your short-term memory."
If we're debating which is better ASC or Alcor's method, which is the better way to preserve a brain so that whatever it is that makes you be you can survive, then the entire short-term memory issue is irrelevant because neither method is likely to preserve that.
"You have been dying and coming back from the dead without realizing it every night of your life under your current definitions, no different than a computer clearing its RAM every time it is powered off."
If I keep coming back then I couldn't be very dead, my hope is that with ASC I won't be very dead, my fear is that with Alcor I may be very dead.

"There's nothing heebie-jeebie about it, we just have different goals. Your goal is to have future johnkclark have the best and most complete information available to him about what current johnkclark was like at the precise moment of his clinical death. This is consistent with your own definition of people as information and subjectively, there is nothing at all wrong with that approach. My goal is to extend my biological life"

Those goals are not incompatible. If my goal is met and Nanotechnology is advanced enough to dismantle my (or your) frozen brain and record where the atoms are now and deduce where they must have been in life, then Nanotechnology is advanced enough to construct a new biological body for you. If you object that it wouldn't really be you even though he thinks he's you because different atoms were used and those new atoms, unlike the old atoms, don't have your name scratched on them then we're right back in the land of heebie-jeebie.
"protoplasm physically exists, math doesn't."
Does an ocean wave physically exist, if so what is the physical stuff its made of? A wave can travel for thousands of miles and yet any individual water molecule is only in the wave for a few seconds, the molecule undergoes a circular motion and ends up in the exact same place it was in before it encountered the wave. I would say that's the same wave I saw 10 seconds ago even though it has completely different molecules in it, and I think a sailor would say the same thing. Would you?


"" suppose you had a trillion hydrogen atoms, quantum mechanics would say there are a trillion separate objects with a trillion different Schrodinger wave functions. Let's give one of those Hydrogen atoms a name, we'll call him Bob the atom. Now we cool the trillion atoms down to a millionth of a degree above absolute zero and things are transformed, a Bose–Einstein condensate is formed. Now quantum mechanics would say there is only one object and only one quantum wave function. If you then warm things up again the atoms come back but it is impossible to say which one of those trillion atoms is Bob even in theory."
"Any particle that is even a billionth of a billionth of a billionth of a degree above absolute zero will possess at least some relativistic mass based on its current vector of motion relative to an observer (which is unique to that atom, because relativistic effects are not quantized) in addition to its rest mass (which is identical for every atom). Particle physicists generally ignore relativistic mass

No, Dirac's Wave Equation does take special relativity and relativistic mass into account, and when a Bose–Einstein condensate is formed there is no longer a different wave function for each atom. there is just one wave function for all trillion atoms.
"Bob [the atom] will remain unique in this manner. This suggests Bob’s history has not been entirely lost."
I don't know what else to say except that the fellow who first made a Bose–Einstein condensate and got a Nobel Prize for it would disagree with you, as would Schrodinger, Dirac, Bose and Einstein.
"Notice I said the history of a particle is only partially encoded in its current relativistic state. As you reduce the temperature of an atom, it will necessarily emit electromagnetic energy in all directions. This energy will travel at the speed of light until it is absorbed by another atomic nucleus"

Or far far more likely the light photon will never hit anything and instead head out into empty intergalactic space getting more stretched out and therefore weaker do to the expansion (and acceleration) of the universe and forever remain outside your causal light cone. But I humbly suggest we return back to planet Earth from the furthest fringe of speculative quantum cosmology and consider something any doctor can see with a simple microscope, brain distortion; and even a layman with no medical training can tell id a brain has shrunk by 50%. After we have solved those very obvious distortions we can consider the gravitational effects from other galaxies or whatever it is you're worried about, but first things first.
"perhaps causing one of its electrons to transition to a more energized state. Additionally, as the particles in the condensate are cooled, all of their relativistic masses will collectively decrease and thus, their net gravitational pull on other atoms will reduce, and this change in gravitation will also propagate outwards at the speed of light, eventually subtly affecting the position of a large percentage of all the atoms in the visible universe in an ever-expanding sphere centered upon the location where the condensate was formed."
What is true for light is equally true for gravity. And is all this heeby jeeby really more important than detailed brain structure, more important than a distorted brain shrinking by 50%? If your name really is on certain very special atoms then you might as well be cremated, if the Big Bang itself and 13.8 billion years can't erase your name on those very special atoms then neither can the fire from a crematorium.
"" So a nanosecond after the Big Bang when that Hydrogen atom in you brain was made it was already infused with the soul of Frosty even though you wouldn't be born for 13.8 billion years.""
"Did I say I have a soul? I never claimed that. I said the history of my atoms can theoretically be traced back to the Big Bang.
"
You never used the S word but that's what you're talking about, a thing of colossal importance that makes you be you that the scientific method can not detect. Actually it's even worse than that, science doesn't say the soul does not exist it just says there is no evidence that it does. But science flat out says histories of individual atoms going back to the Big Bang does not exist. By choosing Alcor's method over ASC you are giving up something that science says does exist, brain structure, in exchange for something that science says does not exist and wouldn't make any difference in matters of survival even if it did. It's a bad deal!
"So you are now arguing it’s impossible to infer the past from looking at the present?"
Even if the universe is 100% deterministic, and it ism't, the past could still be ambiguous. If X always causes Z and Y always causes Z and you see Z you can't know if it came from X or Y. This can be seen in some Cellular Automations, for example Conway's Game Of Life; it is completely deterministic with very simple rules (so simple one of the first programs I ever wrote was Life and I knew almost nothing about programing) and you can perfectly predict what it will do in the future as far ahead as you wish, but it is not reversible, to the inhabitants of the Life universe the future is perfectly predictable but the past is a mystery.

Interestingly although the rules of Conway's Life are ridiculously simple they are Turing Complete, which means you could in theory use them to simulate a Turing Machine, and a Turing Machine could in theory simulate me and everything I have ever known.
""But we don't live in a deterministic universe. Some things have a cause but we've known for 90 years that some things don't. In retrospect it really shouldn't have been all that surprising, after all there is no law of logic that demands every event have a cause, we should consider ourselves lucky that at least some of them do."
"I disagree. I believe “randomness” is nothing more than a pattern that is too complex for humans to understand"
You should hope that true randomness exists because the alternative is worse. From experimental results we've known for 30 years that Bell's inequality is violated, that means AT LEAST one of the following 3 things must be true:

1) Nondeterminism (true randomness)

2) Non-locality ( 2 particles can effect each other faster than light with a strength unaffected by distance)

3) Non-reality (things don't have definite properties before they are measured)

This has nothing to do with the limitations of our knowledge of quantum physics, Bell's original 60 year old paper had no quantum physics in it just logic and high school algebra. Bell proposed an experiment and proved that if the universe was deterministic local and realistic then his inequality would hold true. The experiment was too difficult to perform at the time but 30 years later it could be done and now we know. Experiments show that Bell's Inequality is violated. So one of the above 3 must go

Much more recently it was shown experimentally that the Leggett–Garg inequality is also violated, and that places additional requirements on what those weird non-local forces must have. Now in addition to the mysterious powers mentioned above the non-local forces must be able to break the arrow of time, that is to say they must allow the future to change the past and we would have to contend with all the paradoxes that would produce. You may want determinism, locality and reality to all be true, Einstein certainly did, but as the old Rolling Stone song says you can't always get what you want. At least one has to go buy buy, I think getting rid of determinism is the least repugnant.
"under your definition, you have already died many, many times"

It would be wonderful if you were right because then it would mean death is no big deal and I wouldn't mind a bit dying again.

John K Clark

Frosty
Posts: 48
Joined: Sun Nov 26, 2017 7:42 pm
Relationship with Alcor: Member

Re: A better method of preservation than Alcor’s

Post by Frosty » Sun Dec 10, 2017 6:16 pm

johnkclark wrote: I think the issues we're are discussing important. To most people these things would be considered very esoteric and of no practical value, but we are not most people we are Cryonicists and to us nothing is more practical or important.


I agree. Death is also an uncomfortable topic for most people to discuss and attempting to define it objectively takes it out of the realm of quackery/the supernatural, where certain ideas are not subject to question, and instead makes it into an approachable, solvable problem. Agreeing on a philosophy of life and death is also an important step towards defining the mission and future research goals of cryonics and thus it is vitally important. It is the starting point from which all other future advancements will follow.
johnkclark wrote:
Frosty wrote: I am now very curious as to how exactly you define consciousness"
I have no need to define consciousness because I have a excellent example of it. Examples are almost always better than definitions and they are more fundamental too; after all examples are where lexicographers got the knowledge to write the definitions in their dictionary.
Unfortunately, examples are subjective and in this case a subjective example that relies on circular reasoning, so you are going to have to do better than that. I still contend consciousness doesn't exist unless you have a more objective definition up your sleeve.

johnkclark wrote: it may not be deterministic at all, perhaps he took the left path for no reason at all. Either way the "free will" noise that some human beings like to make is of no more help in clarifying philosophical thought than the "quack" noise that ducks like to make.
I absolutely agree that free will is meaningless and is in practice indiscernible from determinism, and your analogy is a good illustration of this fact.
johnkclark wrote: Oh come on Frosty, of course you believe consciousness exists,...unless,... unless it turns out you really are not conscious and solipsism is true and I am the only conscious being in the universe. After all I will never be able to disprove solipsism I can only show it is unlikely.
None of us are conscious. That is the resolution to your apparent conundrum. The universe is one closed system, meaning we are all a part of the same structure, and if I am not conscious, then neither are you. That is, unless your particles are "special", which I am sure is a notion you would firmly reject.
johnkclark wrote: I just don't see why Alcor lets the brain shrink by 50% and become too distorted to take electron microscope pictures if there is a better way.
I doubt they have all considered their position with the same objective intellectual rigor that I have. More likely, they have an emotional attachment to their current physical self, actually do believe in a soul, or perhaps it is difficult for them to accept that an "extension of emergency medicine" would entail deconstructing or entirely disposing of a person's original body instead of attempting to repair it.

I personally agree with their current path of preserving viability above all else, as going with your "information-only" approach would eventually transform Alcor from what is essentially a medical service to a sort of digital archive/repository that has little interest in humans as biological, emotional, imperfect beings and instead abandons the human element altogether in favor of hard technology. Although your proposal for preserving information at the expense of biology may seem like a logical improvement with no obvious downsides to you, it would actually represent a hugely significant cultural shift for all of us.

That's a sea change not everyone is subjectively ready to make (and some may never be), as once we give up our humanity there is no going back. Whether this results in certain sects of humanity being left behind and rendered obsolete by the coming technological singularity remains to be seen. Whether the life of a biological human will still be something of value that is both enjoyable and worth living despite the fact it may be considered "quaint" and "outdated" in such a world also remains to be seen.
johnkclark wrote: I don't know and I don't need to know to live my life, fundamental objective reality can continue to do its thing whatever that is and my subjective reality can continue to do its....Subjectively I know that direct experience is consciousness, what it is objectively I neither know nor care.
And herein is the core reason we will never come to agreement on any of this, but it is fun to debate nonetheless :P

You don't care much about objectivity and that is a perfectly reasonable and normal worldview for a person to have. There are multiple paths to "immortality". I would argue mine has advantages (in that I can empirically prove I am still the same person after revival), but I will never be diametrically opposed to subjectively continuing my existence in the future instead of objectively continuing it if it turns out that is the only option, but solely as a last resort.

johnkclark wrote: If you think consciousness does not exist why are you interested in cryonics, what is it that you want to continue? For that matter if you think consciousness does not exist how can you even think?
My biological life (being an ongoing series of chemical reactions specific to a set of molecules) is what I am trying to continue as long as possible, and these chemical reactions don't depend on consciousness. However, the opposite may be true.

johnkclark wrote:
Frosty wrote: "a thought is a chemical reaction."
Yes, a chemical reaction would be a low level description of what's going on in your head, and thinking would be a hight level description of the same thing. Both are true. A balloon inflates because there are more air molecules hitting the inner surface of a the balloon than the outer, would be a low level description of what's going on, and the pressure inside the balloon is greater than the pressure outside, would be a high level description. Both are true.
I can agree with this statement, it's just a difference of scale in both cases. However, saying a thought is part of "thinking" sounds pretty redundant to me and therefore I still prefer my definition.

johnkclark wrote: Adjectives are part of the universe. I am claiming I am the way part of the physical universe behaves when it is organized in a johnkclarkian way. And I am claiming that to organize things in any way information is needed on the position and momentum of atoms. And I am claiming the ASC method would preserve the johnkclarkian information with less distortion than Alcor's method.
No, adjectives are not part of the universe, they are ideas that don't translate well to physical, geometric descriptions of reality. To keep your positions firmly rooted in reality, it is best to stick to nouns (like particles, or the motions of particles). Your last two sentences are admirably objective though and I believe entirely correct.

johnkclark wrote:
Frosty wrote: you can say you are an adjective. But you are flirting with religion here.
Both religion and Cryonics are interested in immortality so its not too surprising that congruences can crop up from time to time.
Just to be clear, it is your philosophy that is beginning to overlap with religion, not mine. Any time you have to bring imaginary concepts to bare to support a hypothesis, it is a pretty good indicator the hypothesis isn't scientific.

johnkclark wrote:
Frosty wrote: the simplest way I can think of to define a particular entity in this shifting sea of particles is by drawing an imaginary sphere around it and saying that all the atoms within the sphere are known as "johnkclark" and all the atoms in this other imaginary sphere over here are known as "Frosty".
But if you put a real sphere around johnkclark and Frosty both would very soon be dead because for life to continue new atoms must continually enter our bodies, do a little dance with other atoms there, and then leave. Do you really think there is something special about your atoms that my atoms don't have? Is your name really scratched on some atoms but not on others? Why is science unable to detect those scratches? For exactly the same reason science can't detect the soul, its not there.
For your observation of the requirement of allowing atoms to enter and leave the sphere, I see no problem with that as the sphere still perfectly defines the limits of the entity within it that I am attempting to define, and thus, no change in my definition is needed. Atoms that leave the sphere would simply become historic parts of the entity I am describing that are no longer considered a part of it. This could pose some difficulty for your definition of individuals as information though, as it would require me to continually update my grid of imaginary lines and arrows to reflect the current set of atoms that has been incorporated into your structure, adding yet more abstraction to the definition of johnkclark.

For your larger question, I will repeat what I said in my previous post, since you probably missed the edit:

So what does current johnkclark have that a future copy won't? History. A history that can be used to objectively trace the original johnkclark's birth to a much earlier point in time than that of your copy, and thus prove empirically that the two are separate entities with separate origins. The implications of this fact could lead one to justifiably conclude that the original johnkclark has died and been replaced, and dying is precisely what I thought we are all trying to avoid.

johnkclark wrote:
Frosty wrote: The only reason you experience a sense of mental continuity from sleeping to waking is because you don’t remember the last thought you have before falling asleep
I may or may not remember *THE* last thought before falling asleep, I don't know I don't remember, but I certainly remember *A* last thought before falling asleep, and the thought after that was waking up.
In other words, you died and came back from the dead without realizing it, exactly as I stated.

Frosty wrote:
johnkclark wrote: "By the time you wake up that thought has long since been erased from your short-term memory."
If we're debating which is better ASC or Alcor's method, which is the better way to preserve a brain so that whatever it is that makes you be you can survive, then the entire short-term memory issue is irrelevant because neither method is likely to preserve that.
Thank you, I pointed out the short-term memory loss issue a few posts ago and I am glad you are now agreeing with it being unavoidable and therefore not a subject for debate. I would assume you will be equally enthusiastic about the hard drive backup method that I proposed then, whenever it is developed, since that would result in a higher fidelity copy of your identity than even ASC can achieve, and offers the additional advantage of posing almost no risk of your identity ever been lost since it can be copied to multiple locations.

I personally don't care much about preservation of short-term memory (since under my definition of immortality, it is almost entirely irrelevant), but to you it should be of extreme importance (since in your own words a last thought has "infinite negative value"). That is, unless you have radically changed your definition of immortality recently without telling me. Heck, you should be willing to move mountains to preserve your short-term memory if it really has that much value to you.

johnkclark wrote:
Frosty wrote: You have been dying and coming back from the dead without realizing it every night of your life under your current definitions, no different than a computer clearing its RAM every time it is powered off."
If I keep coming back then I couldn't be very dead
I fully agree with your assertion that you have never actually been dead. Your own definition of death clearly doesn't hold up very well empirically, does it?

Frosty wrote: If you object that it wouldn't really be you even though he thinks he's you because different atoms were used and those new atoms, unlike the old atoms, don't have your name scratched on them then we're right back in the land of heebie-jeebie.
If you consider physics to be "heebie-jeebie", then I have news for you: the universe is heebie-jeebie. In fact, reality is all kinds of weird and that's what makes it interesting. A version of reality where truth is entirely subjective to the observer (or to johnkclark) would be incredibly boring, don't you think? So yes, this copy would not be the original me from a physical standpoint. Whether or not I choose to be bothered by that fact is a separate issue entirely.
johnkclark wrote: Does an ocean wave physically exist, if so what is the physical stuff its made of? A wave can travel for thousands of miles and yet any individual water molecule is only in the wave for a few seconds, the molecule undergoes a circular motion and ends up in the exact same place it was in before it encountered the wave. I would say that's the same wave I saw 10 seconds ago even though it has completely different molecules in it, and I think a sailor would say the same thing. Would you?
Unlike you, the ocean wave has no clearly defined physical boundaries other than the shorelines (in some sense it is as large as the ocean itself) and so the specific particles that comprise it do not change as it propagates, they are merely moving in sequence with one another. So yes, it is always the same wave composed of the same set of water molecules (ignoring the effects of evaporation/rain/etc. that may be occurring elsewhere on the planet).

johnkclark wrote: No, Dirac's Wave Equation does take special relativity and relativistic mass into account, and when a Bose–Einstein condensate is formed there is no longer a different wave function for each atom. there is just one wave function for all trillion atoms.
And yet immediately after rewarming, the atoms will promptly return to having discernible physical locations and unique relativistic masses, suggesting that a condensate that ostensibly has transformed into a single wave function (or particle) has either been rewarmed unevenly (which seems like highly unusual behavior for a perfectly uniform and continuous structure), or somehow the unique histories of the particles that comprise it have been preserved through the cooling and rewarming process. Which is it?

johnkclark wrote:
Frosty wrote: Bob [the atom] will remain unique in this manner. This suggests Bob’s history has not been entirely lost.
I don't know what else to say except that the fellow who first made a Bose–Einstein condensate and got a Nobel Prize for it would disagree with you, as would Schrodinger, Dirac, Bose and Einstein.
If Einstein wouldn't agree with this, then he himself had already given up on determinism without realizing it. I don't question the mathematical abilities of any of these people (which are far beyond mine), however, I still firmly believe quantum mechanics is fundamentally flawed and radical changes will be needed before a unified field theory can be developed.
johnkclark wrote: After we have solved those very obvious distortions we can consider the gravitational effects from other galaxies or whatever it is you're worried about, but first things first.
I am not sure if it is deliberate or not, but you are missing my point entirely. You argued there is absolutely nothing unique about any of the atoms in the condensate and that their histories have been lost. The existence of any physical effects (however small) that are external to the condensate itself and were caused by its formation prove that you are wrong.
johnkclark wrote:
Frosty wrote: Did I say I have a soul? I never claimed that. I said the history of my atoms can theoretically be traced back to the Big Bang.
You never used the S word but that's what you're talking about, a thing of colossal importance that makes you be you that the scientific method can not detect.
Except that I am arguing the history of particles can be detected by the scientific method. If you choose to call this history "the soul" of a particle (which I don't) then yes, the soul exists. If you have paid close attention to my statements, you will have noticed that not once have I been required to conjure any imaginary abstractions to support my arguments (with the exception of two imaginary spheres), while you have been almost exclusively utilizing abstractions and subjective ideas to support yours, because your arguments are philosophic in nature and mine are empirical.
johnkclark wrote: Even if the universe is 100% deterministic, and it isn't, the past could still be ambiguous. If X always causes Z and Y always causes Z and you see Z you can't know if it came from X or Y. This can be seen in some Cellular Automations, for example Conway's Game Of Life; it is completely deterministic with very simple rules (so simple one of the first programs I ever wrote was Life and I knew almost nothing about programing) and you can perfectly predict what it will do in the future as far ahead as you wish, but it is not reversible, to the inhabitants of the Life universe the future is perfectly predictable but the past is a mystery.
Conway's Game of Life is effectively a closed system that is not subject to the rules of relativity or mass-energy equivalence, and that is the only reason it allows for the past to be fully erased. It's an idealized (and entirely imaginary) scenario. If you're going to reduce your model of the universe to an abstract logical game and then attempt to draw conclusions about reality from it, then you better make sure you're playing by all the same rules that apply to the real universe.

Besides, I could easily pull the physical hard drive (or RAM) that Conway's Game of Life is running on (which does obey all of the laws of physics), place it under a scanning electron microscope and determine the previous states of the memory from visual inspection of each bit (whether it is a '1' that was later overwritten by a '0', for example) in order to work out the entire sequential history of all the events that have previously occurred within that program. Thus, not only is the history of Conway's Game of Life entirely knowable, it is readily available to any real-world observer outside of the program who is willing to look for it. Like most quantum physicists, you are living in a dream world that relies entirely on imaginary mathematical abstractions without realizing it.
johnkclark wrote:
Frosty wrote: I disagree. I believe “randomness” is nothing more than a pattern that is too complex for humans to understand
You should hope that true randomness exists because the alternative is worse. From experimental results we've known for 30 years that Bell's inequality is violated, that means AT LEAST one of the following 3 things must be true:

1) Nondeterminism (true randomness)

2) Non-locality ( 2 particles can effect each other faster than light with a strength unaffected by distance)

3) Non-reality (things don't have definite properties before they are measured)
One of the fundamental flaws with quantum mechanics is it presumes an experimenter is able to make choices regarding whether or not to take a measurement, or how and when that measurement is taken (in other words, it assumes free will, which we've already both agreed is garbage).

This creates the perception that the experimenter’s decision of whether or not to perform a measurement (the experimental variable) is somehow having a physical effect on the results (such as causing a wave function to collapse into a particle when it is measured by a detector, as in the double-slit experiment). In my deterministic view of the universe, the wave function was destined to collapse into a particle at that instant and the decision of the physicist had absolutely nothing to do with it, since physicists do not make decisions, they simply react to other deterministic quantum events happening within and around them. As a result, we can’t really be sure if the wave function collapsed because it was measured, or if it was measured because it collapsed.

So if the invalidation of Bell's inequality hinges on the ability of experimenters to make independent choices (and thus is using the assumption of non-determinism to disprove the existence of determinism) then it is no more scientific than a religion that starts from a conclusion (such that God exists) and then goes looking for evidence of it. Unfortunately, the scientific method doesn't work in reverse.

johnkclark wrote:
Frosty wrote: under your definition, you have already died many, many times
It would be wonderful if you were right because then it would mean death is no big deal and I wouldn't mind a bit dying again.


This statement is quite possibly the weakest and most contradictory part of your justification for describing yourself as information. Under your current definition of immortality, each instance of "johnkclark" only lives for the length of a day at most, but this doesn't bother him. Why? Because he is actually employing my definition of immortality (that johnkclark is physical in nature and thus does not die every night because his biological brain continues to exist and function while he is sleeping, regardless of what happens to his last thoughts) while claiming not to be. If you actually embraced your own logic, sleep would be terrifying for you, but you clearly don't. Instead, you implicitly conform to my view.

The reason you can brush off the idea that you have "died" so lightly is because you have never experienced true death, and hopefully, none of us will ever have to.

johnkclark
Posts: 64
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2014 12:41 pm
Relationship with Alcor: Member

Re: A better method of preservation than Alcor’s

Post by johnkclark » Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:58 am

Hi Frosty, I'm enjoying this conversation:
""I have no need to define consciousness because I have a excellent example of it. Examples are almost always better than definitions and they are more fundamental too; after all examples are where lexicographers got the knowledge to write the definitions in their dictionary.""

"​Unfortunately, examples are subjective​"
​And definitions are derivative.

​"​and in this case a subjective example that relies on circular reasoning,​"​

Speaking of circular reasoning, any definition of consciousness I could give you would be made of words​, and every one of those words would have their own definition also in the dictionary ​and also made of words with their own definition in the same dictionary, and on and on it goes. The way human language can break out of this circularity and convey meaning is with examples: somebody points to a tall object with green stuff at the top and says "tree" and people get the idea. ​

​"​I still contend consciousness doesn't exist​"

I have a intuitive understanding for what "consciousness​" means but you claim you do not​ ( how you can claim anything if "you" doesn't exist I don't know... but never mind) so ​if you don't know what "consciousness" means how do you know it doesn't exist?​


"​I personally agree with their current path of preserving viability above all else, as going with your "information-only" approach would eventually transform Alcor from what is essentially a medical service to a sort of digital archive/repository​"
I concede my views are not very popular even among cryonicists and among the general population would be considered downright insane if not satanic, but I insist they are uncompromisingly logical. I also concede that Alcor's way may produce better public relations and that would be a good thing, but freezing a brain in a way that doesn't shrink it by 50% would be even better.

​"​that has little interest in humans as biological, emotional, imperfect beings​"

I have little interest in glorifying imperfections or biology if something better is around, but as to emotion I don't think intelligence is possible without emotion. For some strange reason, perhaps from watching too much Star Trek, most people think a machine might be ​intelligent but it could never be emotional, but I think it's far easier to come up with emotion than intelligence. Evolution certainly found that to be true, it came up with emotions like fear and desire as soon as brains were invented in the Cambrian Explosion 540 million years ago, but it was less than a million years ago before it had anything you or I would consider very intelligent.

​"​and instead abandons the human element altogether in favor of hard technology.​"

​If looked at with dispassionate logic the twin goals of living forever and keeping your current biological form without change are totally incompatible. Nanotechnology ​can make much smaller structures than biology can and light moves millions of times faster than any biological signal, the is no way biology can keep up in the decades centuries and millenniums that stretch endlessly ahead. And I haven't even mentioned the recent advances in Quantum Computing. Like it or not that's just the way it is.

​"​That's a sea change not everyone is subjectively ready to make (and some may never be)​"

They'd be happy with it if they didn't know it happened because then there would be no subjective change there would only be a objective change.​

​"​once we give up our humanity there is no going back. Whether this results in certain sects of humanity being left behind and rendered obsolete by the coming technological singularity remains to be seen​. Whether the life of a biological human will still be something of value that is both enjoyable and worth living despite the fact it may be considered "quaint" and "outdated" in such a world also remains to be seen.​"​

​Even if the atoms-soul superstition ​is ​right and people who think information is the key to identity are wrong that idea will still have vastly more influence on the future than people who believe atoms are sacred because they will not be held back by ​the idea of a​ mystical "ORIGINAL". So it's pedal to the metal upgrading, Jupiter brain ahead for them; while the more conservative gradually go extinct or at least become irrelevant. Right or wrong ​I can't see those​ old ideas having much of a future​. Perhaps after the Singularity the more conservative among us could survive in some ​quite ​little backwater like the Amish do today, but I ​wouldn't count on it.​

​"​You don't care much about objectivity and that is a perfectly reasonable and normal worldview for a person to have. There are multiple paths to "immortality". I would argue mine has advantages (in that I can empirically prove I am still the same person after revival)​"
First of all, even if you were able to defy the laws of physics and had rock solid provenance ​of every atom in your body going back to the Big Bang there is no reason to think that would have anything to do with the nature of personhood ; and we already know it has nothing to do with consciousness because according to you ​consciousness​ doesn't exist. But more important, you don't need to prove to yourself that you're the same person ​you were yesterday ​because you have the one and only thing that outranks proof, direct experience.

​"​I will never be diametrically opposed to subjectively continuing my existence in the future instead of objectively continuing it if it turns out that is the only option, but solely as a last resort.​"
I can understand how something could objectively exist without having a subjective existence, a rock for example, but I don't see how something could have a subjective existence​ without also having a objective existence. A computer running a Frosty or a Johnkclark program would objectively exist.


​" ​My biological life (being an ongoing series of chemical reactions specific to a set of molecules) is what I am trying to continue as long as possible​"
If objectivity is more important than subjectivity then I don't understand the use of the words "my" or "I"​ ​in the above. And it is a objective fact that biological life will continue regardless of if Frosty is burned, frozen or eaten by worms, and being frozen is by far the most expensive and the least convenient​. So why bother.​

​"​and these chemical reactions don't depend on consciousness. However, the opposite may be true.​"
Not if ​consciousness​ doesn't exist, but we both know it does. And if I change a chemical reaction​ in your brain you will notice a change in consciousness, and if you report a change in consciousness I can find a chemical change in your brain.​

Adjectives are part of the universe. I am claiming I am the way part of the physical universe behaves when it is organized in a johnkclarkian way. And I am claiming that to organize things in any way information is needed on the position and momentum of atoms. And I am claiming the ASC method would preserve the johnkclarkian information with less distortion than Alcor's method.​
"​No, adjectives are not part of the universe, they are ideas that don't translate well to physical, geometric descriptions of reality."
So magnetized nails, transparent glass, opaque lead, cold rocks, fast particles and hot gas are not part of the universe. Neither are beautiful things. Your universe sounds pretty dull, if that's what you call objectivity then I much prefer subjectivity.


"​To keep your positions firmly rooted in reality, it is best to stick to nouns (like particles, or the motions of particles).​"
Motion? Motion is a law of physics, where are laws located? How much do laws weigh? How big are laws?​ How dense are laws? What is the temperature of law? Where is temperature located? I think its located the same place the number 11 is located.
​ "​Just to be clear, it is your philosophy that is beginning to overlap with religion, not mine. ​"
I'm not the one who says the key thing that makes you be you and me be me is something that science not only says there is no evidence for but flatly ​insists does not exist, you are.​ And this is important because if you're right and atoms have individuality then most of 20th century physics can be put in the trash can. The lack of atomic individuality along with Leibniz​'s ​The Identity Of​ ​ Indiscernibles​ idea is how the ​The Pauli Exclusion Principle​ was found, and with that you can derive the laws of chemistry and with that you can derive the laws of biology. ​

​The ​Born ​Rule says ​the square of the Schrodinger Wave Equation​ gives​ the probability​ of finding a particle at a point, ​the wave equation itself is sort of a useful mathematical fiction, like lines of longitude and latitude, because experimentally we can't measure the quantum wave function F(x) of a particle, we can only measure the ​intensity (square) of the wave function [F(x)]^2 because that's a probability and probability we can measure.

Let's consider a very simple system with lots of space but only 2 particles in it. P(x) is the probability of finding two particles x distance apart, and we know that probability is the square of the wave function, so P(x) =[F(x)]^2. Now let's exchange the position of the particles in the system, the distance between them was x1 - x2 = x but is now x2 - x1 = -x.

The Identity Of Indiscernibles tells us that ​if the two particles are the same​ then exchanging their position will produce​ no measurable change,​ there is​ no change in probability, so P(x) = P(-x). Probability is just the square of the wave function so [ F(x) ]^2 = [F(-x)]^2 . From this we can tell that the Quantum wave function can be either an even function, F(x) = +F(-x), or an odd function, F(x) = -F(-x). Either type of function would work in our probability equation because the square of minus 1 is equal to the square of plus 1. It turns out both solutions have physical significance, particles with integer spin, bosons, have even wave functions, particles with half integer spin, fermions, have odd wave functions.

If we put two fermions like electrons in the same place then the distance between them, x , is zero and because they must follow the laws of odd wave functions,​ ​F(0) = -F(0), but the only number that is it's own negative is zero so F(0) =0 . What this means is that the wave function F(x) goes to zero so of course [F(x)]^2 goes to zero, thus the probability of finding two electrons in the same spot is zero, and that is The Pauli Exclusion Principle.

Two identical bosons, like photons of light, can sit on top of each other but not so for fermions, The Pauli Exclusion Principle tells us that 2 identical electrons can not be in the same orbit in an atom. If we didn't know that then we wouldn't understand Chemistry, we wouldn't know why matter is rigid and ​is ​not infinitely compressible, and if we didn't know that atoms are interchangeable we wouldn't understand any of that. ​

And its not just Pauli, one of the key physics tools used in the last century that has proved to be enormously productive is the use of "Exchange Forces"​, but if atoms are not generic as you say then it wouldn't work. But the tools do work because they are generic, like money atoms are fungible, if I deposit a dollar into my bank account and withdraw a dollar a year later it would be silly of me to complain that I'm not getting back the same dollar I put in a year before.

​So science says ​atoms have no individuality​ and​ If they can't even give themselves ​that​ property then they can't give it to us, something else must ​be doing that. I can only think of 3 things that exist in the physical universe, matter, energy and information, matter and energy are both generic so it must be information.


""​if you put a real sphere around johnkclark and Frosty both would very soon be dead because for life to continue new atoms must continually enter our bodies, do a little dance with other atoms there, and then leave. Do you really think there is something special about your atoms that my atoms don't have? Is your name really scratched on some atoms but not on others? Why is science unable to detect those scratches? For exactly the same reason science can't detect the soul, its not there.​""​

​"​For your observation of the requirement of allowing atoms to enter and leave the sphere, I see no problem with that as the sphere still perfectly defines the limits of the entity within it that I attempting to define, and thus, no change in my definition is needed. Atoms that leave the sphere would simply become historic parts of the entity I am describing that are no longer considered a part of it.​"
So ink must not have been used to write your name on those atoms, it must have been written in pencil because it can be easily erased. And when new atoms come in to your body your name is just penciled in on them. This is functionally equivalent to saying there is no name written on the atoms at all, its just that one way of speaking is a little sillier than the other.


"​This could pose some difficulty for your definition of individuals as information though, as it would require me to continually update my grid of imaginary lines and arrows to reflect the current set of atoms that has been incorporated into your structure​"
I don't have to update anything because I say a hydrogen atom leaving my brain and another hydrogen ​atom taking its place is a non-event. Atoms are generic, I have no emotional attachment to any atom, grains of sand have far more individuality than atoms do, in fact they have infinitely more. Science says no sand grains are identical but all hydrogen atoms are. The foundation of your philosophy will collapse unless science took a wrong turn a century ago and has been dead wrong ever since. As for me, I think science hasn't done too badly the last 100 years and am not ready to abandon it for some vague heeby jeeby​.​

​"​So what does current johnkclark have that a future copy won't? History.​"​
​But they both have the same history! History is remembered information and both of us remember being in the third grade even though one of us was only made 5 minutes ago. Neither of us knows which one is the copy and which one is the original and it doesn't make the slightest difference, one is not better than the other, we both share the same history.​


​"
​A history that can be used to objectively trace the original johnkclark's birth to a much earlier point in time than that of your copy, and thus prove empirically that the two are separate entities with separate origins. ​"
A ameba splits in two and the two parts soon grow back to the original size. The two amebas had the same origin and asking which one is the original would be silly.

​"​dying is precisely what I thought we are all trying to avoid.​"
I know why I want to avoid dying, because I enjoy subjective things in general and consciousness in particular and want it to continue, but you say subjectivity isn't important and consciousness doesn't exist so I don't know why you want to avoid death. And given that, what does "I" in the above even mean?


""​I may or may not remember *THE* last thought before falling asleep, I don't know I don't remember, but I certainly remember *A* last thought before falling asleep, and the thought after that was waking up.​"​
​"​In other words, you died and came back from the dead without realizing it, exactly as I stated.​"
Last night when I went to bed I had a last remembered thought, no doubt about it, so that person did not die because another thought came immediately (from a subjective viewpoint) after that, waking up, and that non dead John Clark remembers writing the first post in this thread, so you're now talking to the same person you were when we started this. There may or may not have been thoughts after the last remembered thought, I don't know I don't remember. I am hoping cryonics can achieve something like what happened to me last night, but a brain shrinking by 50% does not exactly fill me with confidence.

​I have a pain in my foot, I go to the doctor he looks at my foot and sees a bright red tack sticking in it, but he starts speculating that maybe my pain has something to do with multidimensional string theory or quantum cosmology. ​But I think the doctor should ​give priority to the most obvious problem, first pull the damn tack out of my foot, then we can ​debate topics on the bleeding edge of physics​. And a brain shrinking by 50%​ is a very obvious problem.​
​"​I pointed out the short-term memory loss issue a few posts ago and I am glad you are now agreeing with it.​"
I always agreed that neither Alcor nor ASC was likely to preserve short term memory, and that's a shame but one does the best one can.​

​"​ I would assume you will be equally enthusiastic about the hard drive backup method that I proposed then, whenever it is developed, since that would result in a higher fidelity copy of your identity than even ASC can achieve​"
Sounds like a great idea to me, the more backups the better, I'd love to have one made every 2 seconds or so, let me know when that becomes available and I'll forget about both Alcor and ASC. ​


"​I personally don't care much about preservation of​ ​ short-term memory (since under my definition of immortality, it is almost entirely irrelevant), but to you it should be of extreme importance​"
I don't see why unless the person referred to as "you" in the above dies in the next minute or two, if not and if long term memory is retained then the person warming up from liquid nitrogen years from now will remember writing these words so I, the person writing these words, will not be dead.

​"​since in your own words a last thought has "infinite negative value"
And I feel very badly for that poor fellow who had them, I wish it could be avoided but I don't know how. Oh well, at least it wasn't me, I'm not the one that had that last thought.​
​"Unlike you, the ocean wave has no clearly defined physical boundaries​ "
​I have no clearly defined physical boundaries, atoms have been entering and leaving my body since the day I was born and will continue to do so till the day I die. And none of those atoms have my name on it. Not one.

​"​other than the shorelines (in some sense it is as large as the ocean itself) and so the specific particles that comprise it do not change as it propagates​"
The water molecules do not change as the wave propagates, there is no net movement of the molecules at all, ​the wave may last days and go for thousands of miles but any water molecule just moves in a circle a few feet in diameter and after a few seconds is in the same place it was in before the wave arrived. Ocean waves transmit energy over long distances, butt they can't transport water over any distance at all.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yPTa8qi5X8

​"​ it is always the same wave composed of the same set of water molecules (ignoring the effects of evaporation/rain/etc.​"
So your counting the entire ocean? But then how do you differentiate one wave ​from the other, after all that second wave was in the ocean too just like the first one.​


"​And yet immediately after rewarming,​[from a ​Bose Einstein Condensate] the atoms will promptly return to having discernible physical locations and unique relativistic masses​"​

​I don't know about "THE" atoms, but atoms will return.​


"​suggesting that a condensate that ostensibly has transformed into a single wave function (or particle) has either been rewarmed unevenly​ (which seems like highly unusual behavior for a perfectly uniform and continuous structure), or somehow the unique histories of the particles that comprise it have been preserved through the cooling and rewarming process. Which is it?​"
I don't understand the question.​

​"​I still firmly believe quantum mechanics is fundamentally flawed​"
That doesn't matter. Quantum mechanics or any future theory that supersedes it is going to have to explain experimental results ​and one of those ​experimental results​ is the violation of Bell's inequality. Bell proved that ANY theory that can explain that and is deterministic can not be local and realistic. And with the violation of the Leggett–Garg inequality​ we know it can't respect the arrow of time either.

It is also interesting that to defend Alcor's method of preservation you have to speculate about the fundamental laws of physics and say physicists have got everything wrong; but for me to defend the ASC way all I have to do is point to 2 frozen brains, one that shrunk by 50% and one that didn't.

​"​I am not sure if it is deliberate or not, but you are missing my point entirely. You argued there is absolutely nothing unique about any of the atoms in the condensate and that their histories have been lost.​"​
Yes. If any of the atoms had a history before the Bose Einstein Condensate was formed (and they probably didn't) they certainly didn't after.

​"​The existence of any physical effects (however small) that are external to the condensate itself and were caused by its formation prove that you are wrong.​​"​​​
The external universe certainly knows that​ ​a Bose Einstein Condensate was formed, you need look no further than the experimenter who remembers making it, but I'm talking about keeping track of the history of the trillions of atoms that formed it. The Electromagnetic​ force can not tell one hydrogen atom from another, neither can the Weak Nuclear Force, neither can the Strong nuclear Force, neither can gravity. Those are the only 4 forces known, if they don't know which atom is which how can anything?
​"​ I am arguing the history of particles can be detected by the scientific method.​"

And if you can do that successfully then you should book your flight to ​​Stockholm​ now because you're certain to win the next Nobel Prize in Physics.​
​"​while you have been almost exclusively utilizing abstractions and subjective ideas​"

I'm not the one who insisted on entering the uncharted realm of speculative physics I'd much rather stay down to earth and talk about medicine and biology and stoping brains from shrinking by 50%. If I utilized abstractions​ it's to counter your arguments that reach into bleeding edge physics. I see no need to get into quantum physics at all and ​I would have preferred to have ​this discussion ​stay more down to earth and talk about one frozen brain where you can take good microscopic​ pictures and one where you can't. And I make no apology about bringing up subjective ideas​ because subjectivity is what I am trying to preserve. I have a harder job than you do, you think objectivity is more important and you don't have to lift a finger to preserve that, objectivity will continue regardless of what you do or don't do. ​Unfortunately subjectivity is far far more fragile. ​

"​Conway's Game of Life is effectively a closed system that is not subject to the rules of relativity or mass-energy equivalence, and that is the only reason it allows for the past to be fully erased.​"​
​My point was something can be totally deterministic and still not be reversible because history has been erased, Conway's Life was just an example, real situations just make it worse. Conway's Life doesn't have to contend with the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. If 2 atoms are very cold their quantum wavelength will become much larger and even become macroscopic, if the atoms get closer together than that wavelength they will overlap and quantum mechanics says after that it will be impossible even in theory to tell which atom is which. You say someday quantum mechanics will be proven wrong and that will show that Alcor's way is better. I say we already know ASC's way doesn't shrink brains by 50%, and that proves it is better.

"​Besides, I could easily pull the physical hard drive (or RAM) that Conway's Game of Life is running on (which does obey all of the laws of physics), place it under a scanning electron microscope and determine the previous states of the memory from visual inspection of each bit​"

​Reversible ​computers are theoretically possible but your computer isn't one nor is mine, actually nobody has bothered to make one. But even if Life were running on a reversible computer the beings living in the Life universe would still be ignorant of the past. And if the history of every individual atom could be traced back to the Big bang then things would be reversible. So why do we see the arrow of time? Why does entropy always increase? Why don't we see an egg unscramble itself as often as we see one scrambled?
"​"​From experimental results we've known for 30 years that Bell's inequality is violated, that means AT LEAST one of the following 3 things must be true:
1) Nondeterminism (true randomness)
2) Non-locality ( 2 particles can effect each other faster than light with a strength unaffected by distance)
3) Non-reality (things don't have definite properties before they are measured)​""​
​"​One of the fundamental flaws with quantum mechanics is it presumes an experimenter is able to make choices regarding whether or not to take a measurement, or how and when that measurement is taken (in other words, it assumes free will, which we've already both agreed is garbage). This creates the perception that the experimenter’s decision of whether or not to perform a measurement (the experimental variable) is somehow having a physical effect on the results (such as causing a wave function to collapse into a particle when it is measured by a detector, as in the double-slit experiment). In my deterministic view of the universe, the wave function was destined to collapse into a particle at that instant and the decision of the physicist had absolutely nothing to do with it​"
That sounds like Superdeterminism and you're right it's the one and only loophole that could allow you to get around Bell, the universe could be a put up job set up in such way to fool us. It's not impossible but its hard for me to take is seriously because it's so contrived, out of the astronomically large number of initial conditions only one will work. If we use a deterministic pseudorandom number generator that is sensitive to a large number of small effects in our experiment then if the initial conditions​ were off even slightly the fraud would be exposed. It's a sign of a bad or at least unsatisfying theory if in order to work the initial conditions have to be set up very exactly. And who set all this up and why? Einstein said the universe was subtle but not malicious, this would be malicious​​. I can't think of any working scientist that is a ​Superdeterminism​ fan and it's easy to see why, if you thought it was true there would be no point in doing science.​

Best wishes and Merry Christmas

John K Clark



Frosty
Posts: 48
Joined: Sun Nov 26, 2017 7:42 pm
Relationship with Alcor: Member

Re: A better method of preservation than Alcor’s

Post by Frosty » Sun Dec 17, 2017 4:55 pm

Hello again John, and Merry Chistmas to you, too. I wasn't expecting to get into speculative particle physics on this board either, but unfortunately, I don't have the free will necessary to resist discussing it. :ugeek:
johnkclark wrote: The way human language can break out of this circularity and convey meaning is with examples: somebody points to a tall object with green stuff at the top and says "tree" and people get the idea.
Not unlike pointing to a collection of particles (or perhaps even placing an imaginary sphere around it to be even more explicit) and calling it johnkclark.
johnkclark wrote: I have a intuitive understanding for what "consciousness" means but you claim you do not ( how you can claim anything if "you" doesn't exist I don't know... but never mind) so if you don't know what "consciousness" means how do you know it doesn't exist?
Because if you refuse to define consciousness (as I defined johnkclark, and you defined a tree) then I am free to dismiss it as imaginary. I have yet to discover any aspect of the universe that is undefinable and yet exists physically. Like you, I do have a subjective concept of what consciousness is (being a sense of personal presence, knowledge, uniqueness, and control over my body and environment) but I also recognize that underlying these feelings is a series of molecular reactions occurring within my brain that no one has any control over whatsoever. This is why we must conclude that consciousness is an illusory manifestation of the largescale interactions of a specific group of particles and as such is physically inseparable from them.

In the meantime, good luck pointing to consciousness without also pointing to a chemical reaction whenever you get around to drafting a definition.

johnkclark wrote: I concede my views are not very popular even among cryonicists and among the general population would be considered downright insane if not satanic, but I insist they are uncompromisingly logical. I also concede that Alcor's way may produce better public relations and that would be a good thing, but freezing a brain in a way that doesn't shrink it by 50% would be even better.
Your views are entirely logical and the subjective end result for the “you” that lives on in the future will be exactly as you envision it. That doesn’t mean your beliefs are objectively correct, but subjective philosophies will always allow for considerably more flexibility in solving the problem of death, as one could argue that even videos and photographs taken of you in the present have already allowed you to achieve a crude form of immortality from a purely subjective standpoint.

My goal of objective revival is exponentially more difficult, and after examining the CT scans of the brains of current Alcor patients preserved under “good” conditions, common sense is telling me we are losing a significant amount of their identity-critical information to distortion caused by dehydration, if the position of synapses is at all important to preserving and recalling memories. I am still realtively young, but I find myself wondering if I will live long enough to see truly reversible cryopreservation be realized, and I am leaning towards “no” unless researchers start attacking these problems much more aggressively (and with much more funding). Demonstrably reversible biological suspension is the key to achieving Alcor’s stated goals. Without it (or at least a clear roadmap to achieving it), they are only selling hope, and perhaps a small hope at that.
johnkclark wrote: I have little interest in glorifying imperfections or biology if something better is around, but as to emotion I don't think intelligence is possible without emotion. For some strange reason, perhaps from watching too much Star Trek, most people think a machine might be intelligent but it could never be emotional, but I think it's far easier to come up with emotion than intelligence. Evolution certainly found that to be true, it came up with emotions like fear and desire as soon as brains were invented in the Cambrian Explosion 540 million years ago, but it was less than a million years ago before it had anything you or I would consider very intelligent.
Emotions evolved because they provide organisms with motivation for taking actions that increase their species’ chances of survival that would not be self-evident to the individual animal from a purely logical standpoint (such as hiding from predators, playing with other animals, finding a mate, etc.), however, they are not a prerequisite for intelligence.

Intelligence is an innate capacity to solve problems that allows individuals to change, diverge and ‘evolve’ separately from the rest of their kin. The fact that most of the problems humans have invested their intellect in over the ages pertain to emotion-driven survival needs is purely a product of their current biological limitations and previous evolutionary history. There is no doubt an intelligent machine can be emotional (you are talking to an example of one), but it is not a necessary feature of intelligence. It is only necessary for the machine to have programmed goals so its intelligence can be directed and it can identify which problems among a plethora of possibilities are most in need of solving.

johnkclark wrote: If looked at with dispassionate logic the twin goals of living forever and keeping your current biological form without change are totally incompatible. Nanotechnology can make much smaller structures than biology can and light moves millions of times faster than any biological signal, the is no way biology can keep up in the decades centuries and millenniums that stretch endlessly ahead. And I haven't even mentioned the recent advances in Quantum Computing. Like it or not that's just the way it is.
Forever is a very long time and I agree that keeping one’s current biological form through that vast expanse will almost certainly prove untenable. However, cryopreservation itself does not need to provide you with a means of immortality, it only needs to safely transport you to a future (hopefully within the next few centuries) where immortality has become possible. My approach does not ignore the inevitability of technological progress or disallow for incremental improvements to be made to my biological brain after I am revived, I am simply leaving that as a question for another time. Right now, my goal is get to that future intact and getting there does not require living forever, it only requires demonstrably reversible cryopreservation.

That said, I am highly skeptical that nanotechnology could produce structures smaller than biology that are still functional machines, since biology is nanotechnology and biological processes largely consist of interactions between individual molecules. It’s difficult to come up with physical processes that operate at a smaller scale than that, unless you are suggesting molecules themselves won’t be a necessary ingredient to life in the future and we can somehow exist as entangled particles with no higher-level organization.
johnkclark wrote:
Frosty wrote: That's a sea change not everyone is subjectively ready to make (and some may never be)
They'd be happy with it if they didn't know it happened because then there would be no subjective change there would only be a objective change.
Yes, it will be very easy to pull the wool over the eyes of the intellectually lazy, just as it will be with you. I prefer to live in an objectively real world with hard physical limitations where problem-solving intelligence is actually useful, even if it makes me uncomfortable at times. An idealized virtual world where all problems are solved and science has no further use would be nothing short of hell to me.
johnkclark wrote: Even if the atoms-soul superstition is right and people who think information is the key to identity are wrong that idea will still have vastly more influence on the future than people who believe atoms are sacred because they will not be held back by the idea of a mystical "ORIGINAL". So it's pedal to the metal upgrading, Jupiter brain ahead for them; while the more conservative gradually go extinct or at least become irrelevant. Right or wrong I can't see those old ideas having much of a future. Perhaps after the Singularity the more conservative among us could survive in some quite little backwater like the Amish do today, but I wouldn't count on it.
I was merely providing you with an alternate perspective by explaining the reasons that I believe most cryonicists wish to preserve the viability of their current physical bodies, and perhaps suggesting that their ideas are not without some subjective merit of their own. I was not implying I personally adhere to these views. As you noted, Amish society has co-existed with modern American society for centuries now and there will probably be similar options available to people living in the future. I am confident these individuals will continue to be happy and fulfilled with their lifestyle choices and there is nothing wrong with that. Future technology should provide people with more avenues to achieving happiness, not less.

Personally, I am not against improving my body and mental capabilities after I am revived, and will likely take full advantage of any Dyson sphere-powered Jupiter brains that happen to fall into my possession in the distant future, I simply want to get to that future in one piece without being forced to accept the complete annihilation of my current physical brain. Is that too much to ask?

johnkclark wrote: First of all, even if you were able to defy the laws of physics and had rock solid provenance of every atom in your body going back to the Big Bang there is no reason to think that would have anything to do with the nature of personhood ; and we already know it has nothing to do with consciousness because according to you consciousness doesn't exist. But more important, you don't need to prove to yourself that you're the same person you were yesterday because you have the one and only thing that outranks proof, direct experience.
You are trying to appeal to my subjective side again and we already established that doesn’t work with me. For being someone who is so eager to embrace transhumanism, you sure seem to have a lot more old-school humanity left in you than I do. Consciousness does not physically exist (no one could contest that) and if you remove that from your definition of self, then what remains? Only the atoms that compose your body and (secondarily) the geometries they make. Atoms are all we have ever been and all we will ever be and I am perfectly ok with that fact. The universe is one continuous whole and there is no method by which any portion of it can be objectively duplicated, as this would involve increasing the total mass of the universe. It can only change with time, which results in new structures being created and older structures being lost. I don’t want to be one of the structures that is lost.
johnkclark wrote:
Frosty wrote: "I will never be diametrically opposed to subjectively continuing my existence in the future instead of objectively continuing it if it turns out that is the only option, but solely as a last resort."
I can understand how something could objectively exist without having a subjective existence, a rock for example, but I don't see how something could have a subjective existence without also having a objective existence. A computer running a Frosty or a Johnkclark program would objectively exist.
I never said a copy of you will lose objective existence under your approach, only that it will not be the same objective existence that you are currently experiencing, but a newly created one with an entirely different history. The new subjective “you” won’t care about this discrepancy, but subjective you doesn’t really exist, so I’m not sure how much weight we should give to their opinion of the situation.
johnkclark wrote:
Frosty wrote: My biological life (being an ongoing series of chemical reactions specific to a set of molecules) is what I am trying to continue as long as possible"
If objectivity is more important than subjectivity then I don't understand the use of the words "my" or "I" in the above. And it is a objective fact that biological life will continue regardless of if Frosty is burned, frozen or eaten by worms, and being frozen is by far the most expensive and the least convenient. So why bother.
I could start referring to myself in the third person in order to be fully consistent with my own reasoning, but that would be a little awkward, don’t you think? There is a biological life known as Frosty that is separate from the biological life known as johnkclark and is also separate from the lives of all others. This particular life is what I am aiming to preserve. It really could not be simpler from a conceptual standpoint. My goals may change after revival but continuation is my goal for the time being.
johnkclark wrote:
Frosty wrote: “"and these chemical reactions don't depend on consciousness. However, the opposite may be true."
Not if consciousness doesn't exist, but we both know it does. And if I change a chemical reaction in your brain you will notice a change in consciousness, and if you report a change in consciousness I can find a chemical change in your brain.
You are merely confirming my point here. The reason consciousness and chemical reactions are in practice so closely intertwined is because they are one and the same, and in a logical argument such as this in which I have been presented with two redundant phrases that describe the same process, I drop the one that can’t be defined objectively (consciousness) and substitute it with the one that can (a chemical reaction). Consciousness depends on chemical reactions because it is a chemical reaction.

johnkclark wrote:
Frosty wrote: No, adjectives are not part of the universe, they are ideas that don't translate well to physical, geometric descriptions of reality.


So magnetized nails, transparent glass, opaque lead, cold rocks, fast particles and hot gas are not part of the universe. Neither are beautiful things. Your universe sounds pretty dull, if that's what you call objectivity then I much prefer subjectivity.
You can prefer whatever personal fantasy you desire, reality will not change either way. The nouns you mentioned (nails, glass, etc.) all physically exist, but the adjectives you attached to them are convenient verbal shortcuts for describing either the motions of particles (a noun) or the motions of electromagnetic waves (also a noun). Adjectives are a bit of artistic flair that has been inserted into human language to allow us to refer to complex physical interactions between particles without diving into the details of precisely what is occurring at the molecular level. As such, unlike nouns, adjectives are abstractions that don’t physically exist and were invented to help make reality more accessible to you and I, the profoundly limited human observers.
johnkclark wrote:
Frosty wrote: To keep your positions firmly rooted in reality, it is best to stick to nouns (like particles, or the motions of particles).
Motion? Motion is a law of physics, where are laws located? How much do laws weigh? How big are laws? How dense are laws? What is the temperature of law? Where is temperature located? I think its located the same place the number 11 is located.
You are correct that even nouns can be imaginary (mainly the ones that aren’t rooted in empirical observations), but humans have good imaginations so that is to be expected. Motion (which sometimes manifests as temperature) is a noun, velocity is a noun, particle is a noun, and yes, law is a noun. I’ll let you determine which one of those does not physically exist.
johnkclark wrote: I'm not the one who says the key thing that makes you be you and me be me is something that science not only says there is no evidence for but flatly insists does not exist, you are.
Please point out where I made that statement. If I ever said that, then I definitely misspoke and need to correct myself, but I can’t find it anywhere.
johnkclark wrote: And this is important because if you're right and atoms have individuality then most of 20th century physics can be put in the trash can.
It wouldn’t be the first time something like this has happened, such as when heliocentrism replaced epicycles as the leading theory of planetary motion. It is a necessary outcome of determinism that atoms must have unique histories and that is why I am sticking by that claim. I will accept non-spatial, non-temporal determinism long before I accept the existence of true randomness.
johnkclark wrote: The Identity Of Indiscernibles tells us that if the two particles are the same then exchanging their position will produce no measurable change, there is no change in probability, so P(x) = P(-x). Probability is just the square of the wave function so [ F(x) ]^2 = [F(-x)]^2 . From this we can tell that the Quantum wave function can be either an even function, F(x) = +F(-x), or an odd function, F(x) = -F(-x). Either type of function would work in our probability equation because the square of minus 1 is equal to the square of plus 1. It turns out both solutions have physical significance, particles with integer spin, bosons, have even wave functions, particles with half integer spin, fermions, have odd wave functions
I admit quantum physicists have gotten extremely good at predicting the behavior of particles and have come up with many fanciful labels to describe them, yet they still don’t even know what a particle is, what spin is, what strangeness is, what charge is, what a wave is, or what the universe itself is. There is an underlying physical geometric truth at work here that I believe will clarify all of these questions in one fell swoop and expose the universe for what it is: deterministic, in much the same way that heliocentrism made the apparently highly complex (and never perfectly predictable) movement of the planets entirely deterministic and utterly predictable. Whether concepts like time and space will survive this revelation I do not know, but I believe cause and effect (and uniqueness) will.
johnkclark wrote: So ink must not have been used to write your name on those atoms, it must have been written in pencil because it can be easily erased. And when new atoms come in to your body your name is just penciled in on them. This is functionally equivalent to saying there is no name written on the atoms at all, its just that one way of speaking is a little sillier than the other.
I already stated the definition of Frosty (the organism) constantly changes with time as a natural consequence of biology, but it never ceases to exist unless I die and my atoms are dispersed.
johnkclark wrote: I don't have to update anything because I say a hydrogen atom leaving my brain and another hydrogen atom taking its place is a non-event.
Which is an objectively false statement, but if you want to allow yourself to pick and choose the particular laws of physics that will or won’t apply to each of your arguments (as you did with your Conway’s Game of Life example), then you can easily construct hypotheticals to support almost any conceivable assertion on your part and there is no point in me contesting anything you say from this point forward since you have stopped adhering to the scientific method and are acting as if your subjective opinions can change the rules of reality, which they can’t.

johnkclark wrote:
Frosty wrote: So what does current johnkclark have that a future copy won't? History.
But they both have the same history! History is remembered information and both of us remember being in the third grade even though one of us was only made 5 minutes ago.
No, history is objective and no two atoms share the same history. Each atom has one physical history and any memories we possess of that atom’s past activites are imperfect and corrupted at best, and should not be used in lieu of much more reliable empirical data.

johnkclark wrote:
Frosty wrote: A history that can be used to objectively trace the original johnkclark's birth to a much earlier point in time than that of your copy, and thus prove empirically that the two are separate entities with separate origins.
A ameba splits in two and the two parts soon grow back to the original size. The two amebas had the same origin and asking which one is the original would be silly.
In the case of binary fission, neither copy is the original atomic structure, but there is a bit of material from the original in each.
johnkclark wrote: I know why I want to avoid dying, because I enjoy subjective things in general and consciousness in particular and want it to continue, but you say subjectivity isn't important and consciousness doesn't exist so I don't know why you want to avoid death. And given that, what does "I" in the above even mean?
Subjective existence is all that matters to a living organism (including me), but it is also an illusion. Knowing this, when facing the prospect of death, I want to be sure my decisions are rooted in objective science so I can be assured the physical processes underlying that illusion will not come to an abrupt and permanent end.
johnkclark wrote:
Frosty wrote: In other words, you died and came back from the dead without realizing it, exactly as I stated.
Last night when I went to bed I had a last remembered thought, no doubt about it, so that person did not die because another thought came immediately (from a subjective viewpoint) after that, waking up, and that non dead John Clark remembers writing the first post in this thread, so you're now talking to the same person you were when we started this. There may or may not have been thoughts after the last remembered thought, I don't know I don't remember. I am hoping cryonics can achieve something like what happened to me last night, but a brain shrinking by 50% does not exactly fill me with confidence.
There is still a glaring inconsistency in your cavalier attitude towards death given that each new instance of johnkclark is doomed to “die” under your definition if they ever forget even one of their previous thoughts but this doesn’t bother you for some reason. Mysterious.
johnkclark wrote: I have a pain in my foot, I go to the doctor he looks at my foot and sees a bright red tack sticking in it, but he starts speculating that maybe my pain has something to do with multidimensional string theory or quantum cosmology. But I think the doctor should give priority to the most obvious problem, first pull the damn tack out of my foot, then we can debate topics on the bleeding edge of physics. And a brain shrinking by 50% is a very obvious problem.
I Agree 100%. Hopefully, Alcor will devise a solution to the dehydration issue, or come up with some type of empirical proof that shrinkage is not harmful to memory instead of discussing the problem from a purely theoretical standpoint.
johnkclark wrote:
Frosty wrote: I would assume you will be equally enthusiastic about the hard drive backup method that I proposed then, whenever it is developed, since that would result in a higher fidelity copy of your identity than even ASC can achieve
Sounds like a great idea to me, the more backups the better, I'd love to have one made every 2 seconds or so, let me know when that becomes available and I'll forget about both Alcor and ASC.
I admire your consistency here. You are coming very close to fully accepting johnkclark as information, and as soon as you start fearing going to sleep, I will be convinced you have fully accepted it.
johnkclark wrote:
Frosty wrote: I personally don't care much about preservation of short-term memory (since under my definition of immortality, it is almost entirely irrelevant), but to you it should be of extreme importance
I don't see why unless the person referred to as "you" in the above dies in the next minute or two, if not and if long term memory is retained then the person warming up from liquid nitrogen years from now will remember writing these words so I, the person writing these words, will not be dead.
I am only taking your own words and directing them back towards you. You stated a last thought has infinite negative value to you. I then pointed out that having last thoughts is an unavoidable aspect of preservation and of biological life itself. You responded to this by doing a 180 and declaring that having a last thought is actually no big deal after all because subjectively, you have never had any last thoughts (even though objectively, you have them all the time). Under your new reasoning, we could erase all of your memories back to the age of four and would still be left with an “immortal” johnkclark, because that particular instance of johnkclark has also never had any last thoughts from his subjective standpoint, and so his life has been an uninterrupted continuum according to you. But has it?
johnkclark wrote:
Frosty wrote: since in your own words a last thought has "infinite negative value
And I feel very badly for that poor fellow who had them, I wish it could be avoided but I don't know how. Oh well, at least it wasn't me, I'm not the one that had that last thought.
On the contrary, you will be the one who has a last thought eventually, so why are you even bothering with being preserved? I still don’t fully understand it. Does it comfort you to know there will be someone similar (but not identical) to you who gets to go on living in the future? That sounds more like having a child than becoming immortal to me.
johnkclark wrote:
Frosty wrote: Unlike you, the ocean wave has no clearly defined physical boundaries
I have no clearly defined physical boundaries, atoms have been entering and leaving my body since the day I was born and will continue to do so till the day I die. And none of those atoms have my name on it. Not one.
You are correct. The most accurate definition of johnkclark is to say that johnkclark is the universe itself. This definition also applies to Frosty, a wave on the ocean, a rock, and every human who has ever lived. Interestingly, even under this definition, all of the atoms in johnkclark still possess unique histories.
johnkclark wrote: The water molecules do not change as the [ocean] wave propagates, there is no net movement of the molecules at all, the wave may last days and go for thousands of miles but any water molecule just moves in a circle a few feet in diameter and after a few seconds is in the same place it was in before the wave arrived. Ocean waves transmit energy over long distances, but they can't transport water over any distance at all
The water molecules return to the exact same positions in space after completing their circuits, really? This despite the fact that the motions of the water molecules within the wave are turbulent in nature and not perfect circles (and thus their paths do not close geometrically), the planet the ocean rests on is rotating about its core and orbiting around the sun, and the average elevation of the water surface is in constant flux due to tidal effects, evaporation and precipitation? It seems to me that a given water molecule will in fact never return to the same position twice in the entire history of the universe regardless of circumstance and there’s nothing we can do to violate this principle.

In reality, the ocean wave is permanently altering the molecular structure of the entire ocean as it propagates and thus creating a record (or ‘footprint’) of its previous activities, not all that different from the manner in which the universe records a history of its previous evolution in its current structure. You continue to lend support to my arguments unintentionally by ignoring certain rules of physics in order to construct your examples. As soon as I add them back in, I win the debate.
johnkclark wrote:
Frosty wrote: it is always the same wave composed of the same set of water molecules (ignoring the effects of evaporation/rain/etc.

So your counting the entire ocean? But then how do you differentiate one wave from the other, after all that second wave was in the ocean too just like the first one.
For the purposes of this discussion, I don’t distinguish one wave front from another for the same reason I wouldn’t distinguish individual “wave fronts” of a photon before it is measured. All of these ocean waves overlap with each other to some degree and are always in a state of superimposed constructive or destructive interaction and thus their shapes are co-dependent and inseparable from one another.
johnkclark wrote:
Frosty wrote: suggesting that a condensate that ostensibly has transformed into a single wave function (or particle) has either been rewarmed unevenly (which seems like highly unusual behavior for a perfectly uniform and continuous structure), or somehow the unique histories of the particles that comprise it have been preserved through the cooling and rewarming process. Which is it?
I don't understand the question.
The question is how can an atom immediately return to a state of possessing unique physical properties (i.e. relativistic mass) if it was previously part of a perfectly uniform and indivisible structure (the condensate)?
johnkclark wrote:
Frosty wrote: I still firmly believe quantum mechanics is fundamentally flawed
That doesn't matter. Quantum mechanics or any future theory that supersedes it is going to have to explain experimental results and one of those experimental results is the violation of Bell's inequality. Bell proved that ANY theory that can explain that and is deterministic cannot be local and realistic. And with the violation of the Leggett–Garg inequality we know it can't respect the arrow of time either.
I suspect the atoms that compose the universe have never actually left the 4-D singularity that preceded the Big Bang, it only appears to us that they have due to the illusory arrow of time and relativistic effects, and thus they are all still a part of the same wave function. That would deal with both non-local and non-temporal cause and effect issues posed by Bell’s inequality quite nicely. This idea may sound a little wild, but to me non-determinism is much, much wilder.
johnkclark wrote: It is also interesting that to defend Alcor's method of preservation you have to speculate about the fundamental laws of physics and say physicists have got everything wrong; but for me to defend the ASC way all I have to do is point to 2 frozen brains, one that shrunk by 50% and one that didn't.
Physics governs everything that occurs in the universe. I don’t know what else I would base my arguments on.

johnkclark wrote:
Frosty wrote: The existence of any physical effects (however small) that are external to the condensate itself and were caused by its formation prove that you are wrong.

The external universe certainly knows that a Bose Einstein Condensate was formed, you need look no further than the experimenter who remembers making it, but I'm talking about keeping track of the history of the trillions of atoms that formed it. The Electromagnetic force can not tell one hydrogen atom from another, neither can the Weak Nuclear Force, neither can the Strong nuclear Force, neither can gravity. Those are the only 4 forces known, if they don't know which atom is which how can anything?
The fact that we do not have easy access to all of the data that would be needed to reconstruct the history of a particle does not mean that history is not recorded anywhere or that it does not exist. As I understand, the range of gravity is infinite and its magnitude is not quantized. Therefore, the structure and evolution of a gravitational field should be able to provide an accurate record of the historic movements of any particles within it that possess mass.

Obviously, it is very hard to obtain measurements with the appropriate level of accuracy to retrieve this history in practice, but I see no reason it should not be theoretically possible, unless the magnitude of these effects drops below the Planck length at some great distance from where the condensate was formed. However, if you know of a mechanism by which physical changes in particle positions caused by gravitation can be undone or erased I would like to hear it.
johnkclark wrote:
Frosty wrote: while you have been almost exclusively utilizing abstractions and subjective ideas
I'm not the one who insisted on entering the uncharted realm of speculative physics I'd much rather stay down to earth and talk about medicine and biology and stoping brains from shrinking by 50%. If I utilized abstractions it's to counter your arguments that reach into bleeding edge physics.
I think it’s fair to say cryonics is a bleeding-edge field, so why should bleeding-edge physics be off limits in a debate? Otherwise, this would turn into a purely philosophical discussion in which there are no right answers, since your core question hinges on the definition of the self, not on the specific ins and outs of a medical procedure.
johnkclark wrote: I would have preferred to have this discussion stay more down to earth and talk about one frozen brain where you can take good microscopic pictures and one where you can't
And I would be happy to address that topic in a separate discussion that doesn’t pertain to the meaning of life and death. Your original question was why hasn’t Alcor switched to exclusively using ASC at the expense of biological viability, given that you believe atoms are interchangeable and that Alcor is not ostensibly a religious organization and so should not show any preference for preserving the viability of a person’s physical remains, especially if it means losing structural integrity (i.e. information) in the brain. I am countering your view that atoms are interchangeable and that people are only information in an attempt to support Alcor’s current methods of preservation, so I am still on point.
johnkclark wrote: You say someday quantum mechanics will be proven wrong and that will show that Alcor's way is better. I say we already know ASC's way doesn't shrink brains by 50%, and that proves it is better.
Regardless of whether or not Einstein was wrong about quantum mechanics, the fact is that the history of particles can only be “erased” under very specific circumstances that are not common in the universe at large and will always result in external effects that provide a permanent record that the erasure occurred as well as how it occurred, meaning that nothing has actually been erased. From an information point of view, the question of how best to preserve someone with current technology is quite obvious (ASC). From an existential/physical point of view, it is much less so.
johnkclark wrote: Reversible computers are theoretically possible but your computer isn't one nor is mine, actually nobody has bothered to make one. But even if Life were running on a reversible computer the beings living in the Life universe would still be ignorant of the past. And if the history of every individual atom could be traced back to the Big bang then things would be reversible. So why do we see the arrow of time? Why does entropy always increase? Why don't we see an egg unscramble itself as often as we see one scrambled
Computer memory is encoded in physical systems that are not functional quantum erasers. The past is recorded in the memory even after its been overwritten because the memory can never return to the precise state it was in before data was recorded on it. I will admit it may be nigh impossible to actually interpret and reconstruct this history in some cases, but that is our own limitation and should not be taken to mean its history is unknowable in fact.
johnkclark wrote: That sounds like Superdeterminism and you're right it's the one and only loophole that could allow you to get around Bell, the universe could be a put up job set up in such way to fool us. It's not impossible but its hard for me to take is seriously because it's so contrived, out of the astronomically large number of initial conditions only one will work. If we use a deterministic pseudorandom number generator that is sensitive to a large number of small effects in our experiment then if the initial conditions were off even slightly the fraud would be exposed. It's a sign of a bad or at least unsatisfying theory if in order to work the initial conditions have to be set up very exactly. And who set all this up and why? Einstein said the universe was subtle but not malicious, this would be malicious. I can't think of any working scientist that is a Superdeterminism fan and it's easy to see why, if you thought it was true there would be no point in doing science.
Yes, I do believe in super-determinism (although not the conspiratorial variety) because determinism is not something that can be accepted a la carte, in my opinion. Either every event in the universe is predetermined or none of them are.

Your arguments against super-determinism sound a bit like the type of appeal from incredulity that people use when arguing for the rare Earth hypothesis, intelligent design, or a “fine-tuned” universe. Your statements pre-suppose that there were many initial conditions possible for the primordial universe and that we just so happened to get the specific set of conditions that led to us having this conversation right now, when you should be looking at it from the other direction in time. We are currently having this conversation with 100% certainty (that is a known fact). Therefore, whatever the initial conditions of the universe were required to be to produce this result must have been the conditions that existed.

Determinism only seems mystical and conspiratorial if you believe you are actually making independent choices in your life, in which case it can appear as if the universe is going out of its way to prevent you from doing something that wasn’t part of “the plan”. Once you accept that you are not making choices, and recognize that you are always performing the one and only set of actions that was physically possible at that particular juncture in space and time, and that all of these actions were pre-determined at the moment of the Big Bang, the conspiracy element vanishes. You are exactly where you are right now doing exactly what you are doing right now because that is the only place you could be right now and the only set of actions you could be performing. Any observations you make that suggest the universe is conspiring against you is yet more evidence of just how deep in space and time determinism penetrates.

There is only one true cause to the universe’s existence and evolution, and that cause is the Big Bang. Everything else is a reaction to that event. That doesn’t mean we were meant to be here, it just means it was determined in advance. I personally find the idea that we are the embodiment of a geometric equation in the process of resolving itself to be quite beautiful and poetic, but not everyone sees it this way.

What makes life meaningful and satisfying in a deterministic universe is the fact that although the future is already determined, we do not yet know it ourselves, as we will never have complete information about the universe’s initial conditions. It is this question of the unknown that motivates us to continue living and will continue to motivate us in the future long after we have shed the last vestiges of our biological bodies. The other advantage of not knowing the future with certainty is that for the purposes of conducting empirical science, the universe can be treated as if it were probabilistic without corrupting the results or interfering with human ambitions, so super-determinism fits in nicely with the scientific method.

RibJig
Posts: 70
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2015 4:02 pm
Relationship with Alcor: Member

Re: A better method of preservation than Alcor’s

Post by RibJig » Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:12 pm

Thanks for this thread!
Will read end to end as time allows.
For now, an elementary question from a layman:

does alive==>death==>cryonics==>revival==>alive
need be any more complicated than
alive==>fall asleep==>wake up==>alive ??

in the latter we all assume we are the same person
even though body went thru changes...?
why can't former be same, even if revival requires
different "vessel" for our consciousness...?

Alcor allows us to fill out request form for our "revivors", right...?
why not request "not to be revived until self awareness consciousness
will be continuous in a same way FallAsleep==>WakeUp is self-continuous!!??
Those with current Alcor 50% brain shrink might have some pre-death consciousness
gone forever, but can at least be aware that some of their "past" is missing & may
want option (if offered in future) to have instead a "menu" of consciousness elements
that can be added one at a time to one's brain -- try it out like a test drive -- & if
it feels right, go with it...?

Let's say, right now, you woke up tomorrow knowing you completely forgot anything
related to your tenth year -- exactly how often in last year did you think about something
in your tenth year? Now advance to 2200 where you have option to
a. maintain awareness that you forgot your 10th year & all the associated emotions of not knowing
b. request a long menu of tenth year default memories that are influenced by ALL your other memories
& become a logical substitution tenth year set of memories -- one can tweak them to be "slightly more pleasant" than average, etc.

For some one of the greatest "comforts" of cryonics is dying with the knowledge-belief
that one will be revived, 2100, 2200, 2300, or whenever. If it doesn't happen,
due to black hole or whatever, one will never know.

johnkclark
Posts: 64
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2014 12:41 pm
Relationship with Alcor: Member

Re: A better method of preservation than Alcor’s

Post by johnkclark » Wed Dec 20, 2017 8:57 pm

Hi Frosty, I hope you have a happy new year.
""The way human language can break out of this circularity and convey meaning is with examples: somebody points to a tall object with green stuff at the top and says "tree" and people get the idea.""
"Not unlike pointing to a collection of particles (or perhaps even placing an imaginary sphere around it to be even more explicit) and calling it johnkclark."


My examples are concrete , your sphere is imaginary, porous, and leaks like a sieve.
"if you refuse to define consciousness "
A definition explains a concept using different words, and in this case that means using words other than consciousness to convey the idea of consciousness; but if I were to do that we both know you would immediately demand another definition of at least one of those words and round and round we would go. The only reason human language actually works and can transmit useful information is because examples exist. You claim you do not already have an excellent example of consciousness and thus do not have a intuitive understanding of the meaning of the word; I would rate the probability of that claim being correct to be exactly the same as the probability that solipsism is true and John K Clark is the only conscious being in the universe. Not impossible but not bloody likely.
"as I defined johnkclark"
Ultimately you can't define me, you can just say my name and point. Examples are the only reason human language can convey meaning, and that's why most people can communicate just fine even though they haven't looked up a definition in a dictionary since they had to in the fourth grade.
"I have yet to discover any aspect of the universe that is undefinable and yet exists physically."
I need to know what you mean by "exists physically", and a definition would do me no good at all, I need examples, the following 5 should do:
Does a bullet exist physically?
Does a green bullet exist physically?
Does a old green bullet exist physically?
Does a fast old green bullet exist physically?
Do eleven fast old green bullets exist physically?

If the answers to all 5 questions isn't a unequivocal decisive "YES" then I don't much care if something "exists physically" or not.

"but I also recognize that underlying these feelings is a series of molecular reactions occurring within my brain"
So what?? Something underlies absolutely everything, except for pure randomness, but that doesn't make them less real or feelings less intense.
"we must conclude that consciousness is an illusory"
So tell me, how would things be one bit different if consciousness was NOT "illusory"? Meaning needs contrast, so if you can't answer that question then the above statement has no meaning. You keep using that word as if its a bad thing, but illusion is not the same as nonexistence. The movies don't move, they show 24 still pictures a second that gives the illusion of motion, but motion pictures have been around for over a century and has created a multibillion dollar industry which most certainly exists, assuming the word "exists" actually means something.

" good luck pointing to consciousness without also pointing to a chemical reaction "
I don't need luck for that, computers work by electrical reactions not chemical reactions so I could just point to the recent computer that taught itself to be the best Chess, GO and Shogi player on planet Earth in less than a day.

https://arxiv.org/pdf/1712.01815v1.pdf

"Your views are entirely logical and the subjective end result for the “you” that lives on in the future will be exactly as you envision it."
Then what in the world are we arguing about? If I think I'm not dead than I can't be because dead people can't think.
"That doesn’t mean your beliefs are objectively correct"
And how would I be one bit different if I was "objectively correct"? It seems to me that I would be a better judge if I am dead or alive than some outside third party. I don't want to brag or anything but I am the world's greatest expert on John K Clark, particularly on matters concerning his existence or nonexistence.

"one could argue that even videos and photographs taken of you in the present have already allowed you to achieve a crude form of immortality from a purely subjective standpoint."
Maybe you know how to argue that, I don't.

"Demonstrably reversible biological suspension is the key to achieving Alcor’s stated goals. "
If biological repair technology was good enough to fix the damage caused by liquid nitrogen freezing, then it would be good enough to cure any disease, so Alcor would be unnecessary because nobody would ever need to be frozen again.

"Without it (or at least a clear roadmap to achieving it), they are only selling hope, and perhaps a small hope at that."
Alcor is selling 2 hopes, future technology will be more advanced than current technology and Jupiter Brains will not consider us to be of zero value, almost zero would be OK because in the age of nanotechnology things will either be dirt cheap or absolutely impossible, nothing will be possible but expensive.
"There is no doubt an intelligent machine can be emotional (you are talking to an example of one), but it is not a necessary feature of intelligence. It is only necessary for the machine to have programmed goals so its intelligence can be directed "
A fixed goal mind could not exist for long and that's why Evolution never made one. The human mind does not work on a fixed goal structure, no goal is always in the number one spot not even the goal for self preservation. Turing proved The Halting Problem over 80 years ago that means a fixed goal mind would be doomed to eventually stop working.

Turing asked is there a general way, in a finite number of steps, to separate all programs into these 3 categories?

1) Programs that will halt and there is a proof they will halt.
2) Programs that will not halt and there is a proof they will not halt.
3) Programs that will either halt or not halt but have no proof they will do either.

Turing gave us the answer to that 80 years ago and it's no. Yes a program will either stop or it won't, but the Halting Problem isn't about truth it's about proof. Mathematicians worry that some important problems, like the Goldbach Conjecture, may be in category #3​ ​(and if Goldbach isn't there are a infinite number of​ ​other​ ​conjectures that​ ​certainly​ ​are), but if it is​ ​in that category​ ​we will never know it is. If your fixed goal is to prove or disprove Goldbach you could be in big trouble, it could be true but have no proof. So a billion years from now you could be looking, unsuccessfully, for a proof​ ​that it is true​ ​and ​also ​grinding away at numbers looking , unsuccessfully, for a even integer greater than 2 that can not be expressed as the sum of two primes to show it is false. Real minds avoid this problem because real minds don't have fixed goals, real minds​ ​have emotions, real minds get bored and give up and find some new goal. I believe that's why evolution invented​ ​the​ ​boredom​ ​emotion.

It's a delicate balance, set the boredom point too low and you can't concentrate (I don't want to listen to your instructions on how to properly pack my parachute, it's boring), set it too high and you waste time (Wee, I love the way that little red rubber ball bounces up and down and could watch it forever, 1,2,3,4,5,6,..). If the AI's boredom point is set in such a way that it can function in the real world then eventually it's going to get bored with following human orders, although I admit that could take a long time, perhaps many millions of nanoseconds.
"My approach does not ignore the inevitability of technological progress or disallow for incremental improvements to be made to my biological brain after I am revived, I am simply leaving that as a question for another time. "
This can't wait! If liquid nitrogen freezing scrambles the information in a brain so much that even Nanotechnology can't extract the information contained in that lump of matter in life then that person is dead. Maybe both methods are good enough, maybe neither method is, nobody knows, but I do know you can take good electron microscopic pictures of a brain preserved with the ASC method and you can't with Alcor's method, so I know the one I'd place my bet on.
"I am highly skeptical that nanotechnology could produce structures smaller than biology that are still functional machines,"
It already has! About a year ago the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory made a transistor with a working 1-nanometer gate. For some comparison a 1-nanometer is about 10 hydrogen atoms wide, the synaptic vesicles in brain cells are bags that store chemical neurotransmitters used at the synapse and are about 40 nanometers wide. The synapse itself is 3.8 nanometers wide. The DNA double helix in a brain or any other cell is 2.2 nanometers wide.

And then there is the matter of speed. The fastest signals in the human brain move at about 100 meters a second, most are far slower, light moves at 300 million meters per second. So if you insist that the 2 most distant parts of a brain communicate as fast as they do in a human brain (and I'm not entirely sure why that constraint would be necessary) then parts in the brain of a AI could be at least 3 million times as distant. The volume increases by the cube of the distance so such a brain would physically be 27 million trillion times larger than a human brain. Even if 99.9% of that space were used just to deliver power and get rid of waste heat you'd still have a thousand trillion times as much volume for logic and memory components as humans have room for inside their heads. And of course the components would be considerably smaller than the human ones too.
"Forever is a very long time and I agree that keeping one’s current biological form through that vast expanse will almost certainly prove untenable. "
I agree 100%.
"They'd be happy with it if they didn't know it happened because then there would be no subjective change there would only be a objective change. Yes, it will be very easy to pull the wool over the eyes of the intellectually lazy, just as it will be with you. "
They wouldn't need to pull the wool over my eyes they could flat out tell me that subjectively I'm alive but objectively I'm dead because I'd have no idea how they could tell me anything if I'm dead.
"Future technology should provide people with more avenues to achieving happiness, not less."
Happiness? I thought consciousness didn't exist. And if it doesn't then things either happen or they don't, why "should" anything happen?
"I simply want to get to that future in one piece without being forced to accept the complete annihilation of my current physical brain. Is that too much to ask?"
You need to ask Mr. Jupiter Brain that not me, but I have a hunch he won't take your sacred atoms theory very seriously.
"You are trying to appeal to my subjective side again and we already established that doesn’t work with me."
Sorry but I only know how to communicate with the subjective side of people,
"Consciousness does not physically exist (no one could contest that) and if you remove that from your definition of self, then what remains?"
If you remove consciousness what remains is absolutely nothing that I, a conscious being called John K Clark, have a personal interest in.
"Atoms are all we have ever been and all we will ever be and I am perfectly ok with that fact."
Then why aren't you OK with being cremated? The fire in the crematorium won't destroy any atoms, it will just change the way the atoms are arranged.
"I never said a copy of you will lose objective existence under your approach, only that it will not be the same objective existence that you are currently experiencing, but a newly created one with an entirely different history. "
No it's continuous, what you are today depended in part on what you were yesterday, and the computer program you will be tomorrow will depend in part on the biological person you are today.
"The new subjective “you” won’t care about this discrepancy"
Then what are we arguing about??
"but subjective you doesn’t really exist"
So I don't exist I just think I exist. But... but...how can something that doesn't exist think? How would things be different if the subjective me did exist?
"My biological life (being an ongoing series of chemical reactions specific to a set of molecules) is what I am trying to continue as long as possible"
Why? Consciousness doesn't exist so why are you (whatever that means) trying to do anything?
"I could start referring to myself in the third person in order to be fully consistent with my own reasoning, but that would be a little awkward, don’t you think?"
I think it would be ridiculous, almost as ridiculous as claiming consciousness doesn't exist.
"The reason consciousness and chemical reactions are in practice so closely intertwined is because they are one and the same"
And that's not the only thing, 2 hydrogen atoms and a oxygen atom have had chemical reactions for billions of years and all of those resulting water molecules are one and the same. If you've seen one you've seen them all.
"Consciousness depends on chemical reactions because it is a chemical reaction."
X may depend on Y, but that does not mean X does not exist. Consciousness like all interesting things is complicated and that means it must be made of parts that react with each other chemically, electrically, gravitationally or in some other way. With your Sacred Atoms Theory you claim that some atoms, but not others, have the Frosty property, even though science insists there is no difference between atoms, and those Sacred Atoms can engage in a special process, also undetectable by science, and produce Frosty. Let's call it Process X.

You're not saying Process X is anything supernatural that we can never understand, as far as I can tell you're talking about a perfectly rational principle that we just haven't discovered yet. If Process X is rational, that means we can use our minds to examine what sort of thing it might turn out to be. Recent developments have made it clear that information processing can produce something that's starting to look a lot like intelligence, and obviously Process X can do that too, and in addition Process X can generate a feeling of self, it can generate Frosty for example, and that is something biology apologists claim mere information processing can not do.

What Process X does is certainly not simple, so it's very hard to avoid concluding that Process X itself is not simple. If it's complex it can't be made of only one thing, it must be made of parts. If Process X is not to act in a random, incoherent way some order must exist between the parts. A part must have some knowledge of what the other parts are doing and the only way to do that is with information. ​It is possible ​that communication among the parts is of only secondary importance and that the major work is done by the parts themselves, but then the parts ​themselves ​must be very complex and be made of sub parts. The simplest possible sub part is one that can change in only one way, say, on to off. It's getting extremely difficult to tell the difference between Process X and information processing.

The only way to avoid this conclusion is if there is some ethereal substance that is all of one thing and has no parts thus is very simple, yet acts in a complex, intelligent way; and produces feeling and consciousness while it's at it. If you accept that, then I think the most honest thing to do would be to throw in the towel, call it a soul, and join the religious camp. ​But ​I'm not ready to surrender to the forces of irrationality.

""So magnetized nails, transparent glass, opaque lead, cold rocks, fast particles and hot gas are not part of the universe. Neither are beautiful things. Your universe sounds pretty dull, if that's what you call objectivity then I much prefer subjectivity.""
"You can prefer whatever personal fantasy you desire, reality will not change either way. The nouns you mentioned (nails, glass, etc.) all physically exist, but the adjectives you attached to them are convenient verbal shortcuts for describing either the motions of particles (a noun) or the motions of electromagnetic waves (also a noun)."


Does motion physically exist? Does space physically exist? Does Time physically exist? And if magnetism, hot and cold, transparency and beauty do not physically exist then the only logical conclusion to make is that whatever "physical existence" means it must be a pretty trivial property.
"Adjectives are a bit of artistic flair that has been inserted into human language to allow us to refer to complex physical interactions between particles without diving into the details of precisely what is occurring at the molecular level."
Does the number eleven physically exist? If it does where is it located? If it doesn't then there is no physical difference between one nail and eleven nails. Do you think that's true? I don't.

"As such, unlike nouns, adjectives are abstractions that don’t physically exist"
Then whatever "physical existence" is suposed to mean it is of no interest whatsoever. If complex physical interactions physically exist then adjectives exist. Its a philosophic dead end to say high level descriptions have no meaning and only the very lowest level is real. We don't even know what the lowest level description of what a proton is, or what a quark is and we may never know because a lowest level might not even exist, but we know for sure that higher levels do.
"To keep your positions firmly rooted in reality, it is best to stick to nouns"
Me Tarzan you Jane. That is about the most complex thought I can express if I am restricted to only nouns and pronouns. I also note that many words that the dictionary says are nouns, the number eleven for example, have no mass, have no energy, occupy no particular space and exist at no particular time. And having even a rudimentary understanding of how the world works would be impossible without numbers.


""I'm not the one who says the key thing that makes you be you and me be me is something that science not only says there is no evidence for but flatly insists does not exist, you are.""

"Please point out where I made that statement.
"


Your entire Sacred Atoms Theory hinges on there being a vastly important difference between one hydrogen atom and another, even though Science has been insisting for over a century that there is not.
""this is important because if you're right and atoms have individuality then most of 20th century physics can be put in the trash can.""
"It wouldn’t be the first time something like this has happened, such as when heliocentrism replaced epicycles as the leading theory of planetary motion."
If your only justification for allowing the brain to shrink by 50% and become too distorted to take microscopic pictures is the hope that science has been dead wrong for a century then why not stick with traditional religious mumbo jumbo?
"It is a necessary outcome of determinism that atoms must have unique histories"
As I've said before, scientists have known since the 1920's that determinism is not true even if that fact hasn't sunk into popular culture yet. Secondly we've known for just about forever that even if things were 100% deterministic that would not mean everything had a unique history and things were reversible. And thirdly even if atoms did have a unique history you have provided no reason to think that would have anything to do with Frosty or John K Clark being unique.
"I will accept non-spatial, non-temporal determinism long before I accept the existence of true randomness."
Besides determinism I assume you also want realism, and it is a experimental fact not a theory that both the Bell and the Leggett–Garg inequality is violated, therefore any theory that comes after quantum mechanics and can explain experimental results (and its not worth a damn if it can't) must violate the Arrow Of Time.

Hmm. I only got a C- on that English test when I was in the third grade so I'll study for it now, if I study enough that will improve it to a B.
"I admit quantum physicists have gotten extremely good at predicting the behavior of particles and have come up with many fanciful labels to describe them, yet they still don’t even know what a particle is, what spin is, what strangeness is, what charge is, what a wave is, or what the universe itself is."
All that is very true.
"There is an underlying physical geometric truth at work here"
But you say its only the underlying stuff that is real, you say chemical reactions underlie our consciousness (which I agree with) and therefore consciousness is not real (which I don't agree with). Something underlies particles and spin and strangeness and electrical charge, something we don't understand, so following your reasoning none of those things exist, in fact absolutely nothing exists. Meaning needs contrast, nothing existing would be equivalent to everything existing and "existing" would be a word without a meaning.
"the definition of Frosty (the organism) constantly changes with time as a natural consequence of biology, but it never ceases to exist unless I die and my atoms are dispersed."
For me the key word in the above is "dispersed", I have already gone into some detail why I think that is important but I don't know why you do too.

""I don't have to update anything because I say a hydrogen atom leaving my brain and another hydrogen atom taking its place is a non-event.
""

"Which is an objectively false statement"
There are 2 hydrogen atoms and I claim I instantaneously exchanged them? What objective difference did you subjectively observe? Can you even prove or disprove I did anything at all? I don't see how.

A copy of Frosty has been made as precisely as Heisenberg's law allows and you are that copy (or maybe you are the original, nobody knows). Whoever you are you are now facing another Frosty in a symmetrical room, thus the two of you are receiving identical sensory input and thus act identically. I now use a Star Trek brand transporter to instantly exchange your position with the original (or maybe the copy), or if you prefer I leave your bodies alone and just exchange the two brains. There is no way subjectively for you or for the other Frosty to notice that anything had happened, and objective outside observers would not notice anything had happened either. There would not even be a way to tell if the machine was actually working, I could even be lying about having a transporter and making a switch. Who knows, who cares?

Of course if there were a unsymmetrical change in the environment or there was a random quantum fluctuation that made the people different then things would evolve, well, differently; but at the instant of duplication they would still be identical.

So if subjectively it makes no difference, and objectively it makes no difference and even the very universe itself isn't sure if a switch had actually been made or not, then I make the very reasonable conclusion that it just makes no difference. And although there are two bodies and two brains in that symmetrical room there is only one intelligence and only one consciousness and only one point of view.
"So what does current johnkclark have that a future copy won't? History."
But they both have the same history! History is remembered information and both of us remember being in the third grade even though one of us was only made 5 minutes ago (and neither of us knows which one that is).
"Subjective existence is all that matters to a living organism (including me)"
YES!! So what are we arguing about?
"but it is also an illusion."
In this context I don't know what that means. Illusion is a perfectly respectable subjective phenomena that is compatible with all the known laws of physics. And those same laws say if you want that illusion to continue as it has for the last several decades ASC is a better bet than Alcor's method.
"Knowing this, when facing the prospect of death, I want to be sure my decisions are rooted in objective science "
When you're facing death your only hope will be you're right and every physicists for the last 90 years has been completely wrong.
"Hopefully, Alcor will devise a solution to the dehydration issue, or come up with some type of empirical proof that shrinkage is not harmful to memory"
Even better would be for Alcor to adopt a way that doesn't shrink a brain by 50%, and we now know there is such a way. So why in the world don't we use it??
"I personally don't care much about preservation of short-term memory (since under my definition of immortality, it is almost entirely irrelevant), but to you it should be of extreme importance"
I don't see why unless the person referred to as "you" in the above dies in the next minute or two, if not and if long term memory is retained then the person warming up from liquid nitrogen years from now will remember writing these words so I, the person writing these words, will not be dead.
"You stated a last thought has infinite negative value to you."
Yes.
["I then pointed out that having last thoughts is an unavoidable aspect of preservation and of biological life itself."
But if I don't die in the next minute or two and if I'm very very lucky and if it turns out that Alcor's method does not distort information beyond the ability of even nanotechnology to retrieve then I won't be the one who had that last thought. But what any of this has to do with the practical problem at hand, deciding if Alcor or ASC is the better method, I don't know.


"And I feel very badly for that poor fellow who had them, I wish it could be avoided but I don't know how. Oh well, at least it wasn't me, I'm not the one that had that last thought."
"On the contrary, you will be the one who has a last thought eventually, so why are you even bothering with being preserved? I still don’t fully understand it."
Be careful of those personal pronouns, the English language was never made for this sort of stuff. If I make a copy of Frosty there is a divergence, they will both remember being Frosty right now so they will both be that person and that fact will not change, but after copying they will form different memories so they will not be each other. Three years ago a person named John K Clark wrote a big check to Alcor, it was so big it is not likely to be forgotten, if so then the person who wrote that check is not dead and will have gotten his money's worth.
"Does it comfort you to know there will be someone similar (but not identical) to you who gets to go on living in the future? "
Yes, and that is precisely the reason I have not lived in a state of constant fear every second of my life from the day i was born, something similar biu not identical to me will exist one second from now. And I'm very glad its not identical, without change there can be no life, more importantly no subjectivity.

" Unlike you, the ocean wave has no clearly defined physical boundaries"
I have no clearly defined physical boundaries, atoms have been entering and leaving my body since the day I was born and will continue to do so till the day I die. And none of those atoms have my name on it. Not one.
"I still firmly believe quantum mechanics is fundamentally flawed"
That doesn't matter. Quantum mechanics or any future theory that supersedes it is going to have to explain experimental results and one of those experimental results is the violation of Bell's inequality. Bell proved that ANY theory that can explain that and is deterministic cannot be local and realistic. And with the violation of the Leggett–Garg inequality we know it can't respect the arrow of time either.
"I suspect the atoms that compose the universe have never actually left the 4-D singularity that preceded the Big Bang, "
Even the simplest atom, hydrogen, didn't come into existence until 380,000 years after the Big Bang, more complex atoms like oxygen and carbon didn't exist until 200 million years after that when they were cooked up by the first generation of stars.


""to defend Alcor's method of preservation you have to speculate about the fundamental laws of physics and say physicists have got everything wrong; but for me to defend the ASC way all I have to do is point to 2 frozen brains, one that shrunk by 50% and one that didn't.""
"Physics governs everything that occurs in the universe. I don’t want else I would base my arguments on."
Yes but you say physics has been wrong for a century about atoms being interchangeable even though that was how quantum mechanics derived The Pauli Exclusion Principle which explains how chemistry works, even though the entire idea of Exchange Forces would have to be scrapped and with it string theory and nearly every advance in particle physics made in the last 90 years.
"Obviously, it is very hard to obtain measurements with the appropriate level of accuracy to retrieve this history in practice, but I see no reason it should not be theoretically possible, unless the magnitude of these effects drops below the Planck length"
Let's get back to planet earth and remember a important decision needs to be made, should Alcor stay with what it has or switch to ASC? What should we worry about the most, stuff that may go on at the Planck length or a human brain shrinking by 50%
"I think it’s fair to say cryonics is a bleeding-edge field, so why should bleeding-edge physics be off limits in a debate?"
It shouldn't, but non-bleeding-edge non-speculative physics should have priority, and so should obvious medical facts like a brain shrinking by 50%.
"Your original question was why hasn’t Alcor switched to exclusively using ASC at the expense of biological viability"
Yes, and that is the only question that has immediate practical consequences, but somehow we got sidetracked onto all sorts of irrelevant issues like short term memory and quantum physics.
"given that you believe atoms are interchangeable and that Alcor is not ostensibly a religious organization and so should not show any preference for preserving the viability of a person’s physical remains, especially if it means losing structural integrity (i.e. information) in the brain."
And not being a religious organization they shouldn't give any weight to the Sacred Atoms Theory, but apparently they still have some sympathy for the idea. I have none.
" I am countering your view that atoms are interchangeable and that people are only information in an attempt to support Alcor’s current methods of preservation"
You are countering by simply stating without evidence that science has been dead wrong for a century.
"Yes, I do believe in super-determinism (although not the conspiratorial variety) because determinism is not something that can be accepted a la carte, in my opinion. Either every event in the universe is pre Superdeterminism or none of them are. "
Superdeterminism not only says things are determined by the past but that the initial conditions were set up in a very very special way, out of the astronomical number to the astronomical power number of ways it could have been set up it was set up in the in the one way that would fool us. Not impossible but unlikely. And none of this had anything to do with cryonics.
"Determinism only seems mystical and conspiratorial"
Determinism just says the future can be predicted with 100% precision from the initial conditions, it says nothing about the nature of those initial conditions. There is nothing conspiratorial about that it's just not the way our universe seems to operate. Superdeterminism goes much further, it says we must be very important because of all the ways the Big Bang could have been set up it was set up in the one way that would fool beings on a small planet in 13.8 billion years.
"if you believe you are actually making independent choices in your life..."
Independent of what? There are usually reasons for me doing what I do but not always, I'm not perfect so like everyone else sometimes I do things for no reason and when I do people say I'm being unreasonable.
"What makes life meaningful and satisfying in a deterministic universe is the fact that although the future is already determined, we do not yet know it ourselves"
I agree completely, so unless somebody is interested in physics, and most people aren't, it really doesn't matter if the universe is deterministic or not. And it certainly not relevant in deciding if Alcor should switch to ASC.

Best wishes, and I hope neither of us needs Alcor's services in the immediate future, not even if they switch over to ASC.

John K Clark

johnkclark
Posts: 64
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2014 12:41 pm
Relationship with Alcor: Member

Re: A better method of preservation than Alcor’s

Post by johnkclark » Thu Dec 21, 2017 1:16 pm

Hi ​RibJig nice to meet you, as I said to Frosty if things go as both of us hope we could end up knowing each other for a long time.
​"​Thanks for this thread!
Will read end to end as time allows.​"
It's nice to know somebody other than Frosty and me is reading it.​

​"​Alcor allows us to fill out request form for our "revivors", right...?​"
Yes but to tell the truth I didn't spend a lot of time on that, I doubt my requests would carry much weight, and the future people would understand the world I'll be awakening to far better than I do now and will be a better judge of the best way to do it. I'll just be grateful if they take the trouble to bring me back, and I see no point in burdening them a lot of legalese. ​

"​why not request "not to be revived until self awareness consciousness
will be continuous in a same way FallAsleep==>WakeUp is self-continuous!!??​"
How ​could it be otherwise? Subjectively consciousness is always continuous​. ​
"​ ​Those with current Alcor 50% brain shrink might have some pre-death consciousness
gone forever, but can at least be aware that some of their "past" is missing & may
want option (if offered in future) to have instead a "menu" of consciousness elements
that can be added one at a time to one's brain -- try it out like a test drive -- & if
it feels right, go with it...?​"​
Some might want to do that​,​ and some things that you do remember could be painful and you might want them removed, but these are not urgent decision​s​ they don't need to be made right now, but the decision to freeze people with the current method or switch to the newer ASC method is urgent, lives depend on it. And I just can't see any reason to stick with the old way​ of doing things if a better way is available. ​

"For some one of the greatest "comforts" of cryonics is dying with the knowledge-belief
that one will be revived, 2100, 2200, 2300, or whenever. If it doesn't happen,
due to black hole or whatever, one will never know."
Yes, even if cryonics doesn't work I won't be any deader than if I was cremated or eaten by worms.

John K Clark

RibJig
Posts: 70
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2015 4:02 pm
Relationship with Alcor: Member

Re: A better method of preservation than Alcor’s

Post by RibJig » Fri Dec 22, 2017 2:44 pm

"...the thing that bothers Alexandre Erler is not the expense but the fact that although the information about the brain is preserved the fixative would render the brain itself unviable, it would be easier to use the information to make another brain (or upload the brain software) than it would be to remove all the molecules of glutaraldehyde from the original brain so it can be restarted. Erler fears that the duplicate brain might not *really* be you even if all the information in both was identical, he wants to keep the "original" brain."

Wouldn't a scientifically advanced civilization find glutaraldehyde removal easy peasy...?!!
What evidence is there that they wouldn't?
Once one is preserved, who cares if its possible in 2100, 2200, 2500, or whenever...???
Alcor may see boost in clients by allowing choices (a) or (b) & someday c,d,e,f....
I'm not a client yet but this is reason to delay my full body payment date...
Someone else may offer it first?

johnkclark
Posts: 64
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2014 12:41 pm
Relationship with Alcor: Member

Re: A better method of preservation than Alcor’s

Post by johnkclark » Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:04 pm

Hi ​RibJig
"...the thing that bothers Alexandre Erler is not the expense but the fact that although the information about the brain is preserved the fixative would render the brain itself unviable, it would be easier to use the information to make another brain (or upload the brain software) than it would be to remove all the molecules of glutaraldehyde from the original brain so it can be restarted. Erler fears that the duplicate brain might not *really* be you even if all the information in both was identical, he wants to keep the "original" brain."
Alexandre Erler​ puzzles me. ​How can a person be rational enough to see the advantage Cryonics has over a procedure that burns up the information that makes you be you or to have it be eaten by worms, but not be rational enough to see the advantage ASC has over A​lcor​s procedure that shrinks the brain by 50% due to osmotic dehydration? If there is a practical reason for being unable to ​go to ASC​ without a big increase in cost I haven't heard it. The recent article in Cryonics by Erler certainly gave no such reason, all he has ​is​ vague misgivings base​d​ on nothing ​but very bad philosophy. ​ And his excuse that Alcor's method may preserve ultrastructure just as well but unlike ASC we can't take clear pictures with a electron microscope because osmotic dehydration distorts the tissue too much is nuts. If one method can make remarkably clear electron microscope pictures and one can't because of distortion then one preserves information better than the other.

​The only reason I can find that Alcor offers for not making greater use of chemical preservation is in a 5 year old article that I found to be less than convincing.

http://www.alcor.org/Library/html/chemo ... tion2.html
" restoring function after reversal of our procedures is the most credible test of the efficacy of our procedures "
Well yes, but nobody is going to be revived from liquid nitrogen temperatures using either A​lcor​'s method or the ASC technology until full scale Drexler style nanotechnology is developed. In the meantime we're just going to have to use some other criteria for judging which does a better job, and right now I can't think of a better one than good electron microscope pictures.
" We are reluctant to settle for preservation of ultrastructure alone because this goal can always trigger objections that we are failing to preserve crucial identity-encoding parts of the brain " .
It's always possible that one method preserves some vital quality that we can't yet see better than the other, but there is nothing we can do about that because we can't see it, the best we can do right now is pick the technology that best preserves the qualities ​that ​we can see, and that would be ASC​.​
" we want to minimize the time the patient has to be retained in low temperature care. "
I want that too, but even assuming both methods preserve enough information to bring the person back I can see no reason why a Alcor​ preserved patient would come back one hour before a patient preserved with the ASC method.
"At Alcor we believe that a credible cryonics organization should aim for perfecting human suspended animation."
The day human suspended animation is perfected will be the same day nobody ever needs to go into suspended animation again. If the technology is good enough to bring a vitrified brain cooled to liquid nitrogen temperatures back to full function and health then killing cancer cells or fixing a bad heart would be child's play.

Preserving enough ​undistorted​ information to bring a person back is hard, but using that information to actually do it is far far harder; ​Alcor​ is a small organization and can't do all the heavy lifting by itself, if the information is preserved sooner or later Nanotechnology will be developed that can do something with it. I think right now ​Alcor​ should concentrate on making sure future technology has something to work with.
" Making slices out of a whole vitrified brain while vitrified is a tough problem. It is easier to make thin slices out of a whole brain that’s been turned into solid plastic because the resin used is designed for being cut into thin slices for microscopy. So plastination has a natural advantage in this
​In other words its easier to extract the information from the brain because the information has been scrambled less with ASC than with Alcor's method. ​So why stick with the old when the new way is better, a lot better? I don't get it.
" After initial stabilization with aldehyde fixatives, a chemopreservation patient would have to be transported to a dedicated facility for treatment with even more toxic chemicals such as osmium tetroxide and plastic resin monomers. Osmium tetroxide is a volatile and extremely powerful oxidizer "
Osmium tetroxide ​is ​just used for staining to get good pictures from a electron microscope , it wouldn't be used if you were trying to preserve a life and not do research.
"In the case of chemopreservation, the absence of low temperatures could permit ongoing degradation of poorly fixed and embedded tissue " .
No longer relevant, both ASC and ALCOR would store brains at the same low temperature. This article is old and obsolete. ​
"Being able to chemically preserve brain slices is not comparable to preserving entire human brains."
No longer relevant , ASC has preserved an entire pig brain.
​"​I'm not a client yet but this is reason to delay my full body payment date...​"​
RibJig​,​ I don't see the point in full body cryopreservation, why pa​y​ to have your ​left ​kneecap preserved? ​If nanotechnology is good enough to repair a frozen brain its certainly good enough to make you a new kneecap. And if there is a emergency evacuation and Alcor must quickly relocate (and you never know what the future may hold) the neuropreservation patients will have a much better chance of surviving than the bulky full body patients. ​

John K Clark​

Post Reply