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V_V comments on [Link] Reddit, help me find some peace I'm dying young - Less Wrong

22 Post author: Konkvistador 18 August 2012 03:17PM

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Comment author: V_V 20 August 2012 09:38:38PM 1 point [-]

I've listened to some of the founders talk about what it was like when they first started. They were a small group of people who righteously believed in their cause

Chatsworth Scandal

How much damage does burial or cremation cause?

For reanimation purposes? Probably pretty much the same of cryopreservation. Once a bit has been deleted you can't delete it twice.

The implication being that the folks running cryonics organization are frauds just out to make money and don't give a damn about the patient?

Or they are incompetent, or they try to cut the costs to avoid bankruptcy, or they avoid reporting problems in order not to alienate current and potential new members, or because they delude themselves in order not to hurt their own perception of their effectiveness.

Why should you trust them? When someone offers to sell you the afterlife, skepticism should be the default position.

There is nothing magical about the prospects of nanotechnology. There are no assumptions that we will discover free energy, cold fusion, or need anything that we know violates the laws of physics.

Flying pigs might not necessarily violate the laws of physics either. That's not a good argument in favour of the claim that it will be eventually possible to create flying pigs.

If you make the claim that technology X is physically possible, the burden is on you to support that claim with a compelling argument. Attempting to reverse the burden of proof by saying "You can't prove X is impossible" doesn't qualify as a compelling argument. Note how close this comes to the classical religious argument "You can't prove there is no God".

If you're not going to point out exactly what is magical about widely held beliefs about the prospects of future technology then it's safe to assume this is yet another opinion pulled out of your ass.

  • There is no widely held belief that nanotechnology capable of restoring cryopreserved people will be developed.
  • "Nanotechnology" is kind of a buzzword. If by "nanotechnology" you mean artificial biochemistry, or something closely resembling that, then it is something feasible, and to some extent it already exists, but it will be subject to physical constraints probably similar to those that apply to natural biochemistry. If you mean an unspecified process that will allow us to arbitrarily control matter at atomic level, then that's pretty much the definition of magic.

The continued existence of cryonics organizations with their current policies provides for reanimation.

Why should they care about people frozen a long time in their past, particularly given limited resources?

Finally, what exactly does this say about your view of humanity?

That is realistic, I suppose. We currently let people die of starvation, curable diseases and violent conflict. If we found frozen corpses of 1000 years ago and it was technologically possible to reanimate them, how many would we care to restore?

Do you even know what a pyramid or Ponzi scheme is? A cryonics organization charges people the money required to perform the services they offer.

They fail to cover all the per-member expenses with just the fees paid by that member, hence they rely on the continuous recruitment of new members to pay the expenses for old ones. That makes them essentially a Ponzi scheme (or pyramid, if the members actively try to recruit new members themselves, as various people on this very thead appear to be doing). Possibly that wasn't done with fraudolent intent, but the result on the financial viability of the business model will be the same.

Comment author: Dolores1984 22 August 2012 02:32:27AM *  2 points [-]

Flying pigs might not necessarily violate the laws of physics either. That's not a good argument in favour of the claim that it will be eventually possible to create flying pigs.

For the record, it will one day be perfectly possible to create flying pigs, and it will probably be done as an art project, when the science of bio-engineering is sufficiently well understood. It's probably possible now, in fact,, if there were a substantial R&D push, and you allowed biomechanical augmentation.

EDIT: I'm right. If you bolt a jet engine and a pair of glider wings onto the skeleton of a pig, the animal will fly. And you can definitely splice enough genes to give a pig hollow bones and functional wings. The latter's just quite a bit harder than the former. Doesn't mean it won't be done, eventually.

Comment author: V_V 22 August 2012 09:37:37AM 0 points [-]

If you bolt a jet engine and a pair of glider wings onto the skeleton of a pig, the animal will fly.

If you load a pig in the cargo hold of a Boeing 747, the animal will fly, but I meant biologically flying pigs.

While I can't prove they are physically impossible, I don't assign a significant probability to the claim that they will be eventually created.

Comment author: Dolores1984 22 August 2012 05:04:21PM -1 points [-]

I think that's unreasonably pessimistic without an upper bound on time limit. In any case, there's substantially less interest in an art project like that than there is in, say, bringing people back from the dead.

Comment author: V_V 22 August 2012 06:51:07PM -1 points [-]

The claim I was considering is flying pigs being technologically possible at some time in the future, not they being actually made (which is less likely).

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 22 August 2012 05:13:17AM 0 points [-]

If you want an animal the size of an adult pig to fly under its own power, it's going to be a very challenging problem.

Comment author: Alicorn 22 August 2012 05:18:03AM 0 points [-]

Are there any naturally occurring vertebrates that can fly as juveniles but lose the power as adults? Do we have reason to believe that there are early or flightless birds that passed through a stage like that? Because that would be interesting.

Comment author: Dolores1984 22 August 2012 06:39:38AM -2 points [-]

'Under its own power' was not specified as part of the problem. But even under those conditions, a piglet is not dramatically larger than the big fruit bats. It could be done, mechanically. Actually getting that terrifying clusterfuck of a genome to work would be quite a challenge, but I have little doubt someone will do it eventually.