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Cryonic Revival Mutual Assistance Pact?

5 Post author: DataPacRat 29 September 2012 10:21AM

The odds of a successful cryonic revival may me one in several thousand, or five percent, or ninety percent; the error bars on the various sub-parts of the question are very broad.

But if those assumptions work out, and if at least some people placed in suspension in the near future will be successfully revived in the far future...

... then are there any useful arrangements which can be made now, which have little-to-no present cost (beyond the cryonic arrangements themselves)?


For example, if someone were to make an announcement along the lines of, "If anyone makes a promise to try to assist in my cryonic revival, and to assist me in getting myself established thereafter; then I promise to try to assist those people with their cryonic revivals, and assisting them, ahead of anyone who hasn't made such a promise.", then what downsides would there be to having made it? Would making it create any perverse incentives, which could be avoided? Do the potential benefits, especially the benefit of a potential increase in the odds of being revived, outweigh the potential costs?

Would it be better to make promises to specific people while one is alive, instead of making an open-ended promise? That is, I might try to convince EYudkowsky to make a mutual-assistance agreement with me personally, in hopes that one of us will one day be able to help the other; or I might make the agreement so broad that people can make their promise to help me even after I'm dead.

How large would the benefits be of unilaterally promising to help someone else, without even asking for a reciprocal promise? Or, put another way, how big would the costs be if I were to simply announce that, if it's ever in my power, I'll try to assist in EYudkowsky's revival?


Does anyone care to try figuring out the Prisoner's-Dilemma-like aspects of this, such as the probability that someone in such a pact would renege on their end of it, and how the terms could be adjusted to minimize the benefits and maximize the costs of such anti-social behavior?

Comments (11)

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 29 September 2012 02:07:02PM 3 points [-]

The only way I can imagine it working is to have mutual aid between the people involved before they're frozen so that relationships are established. That approach might actually be workable.

Comment author: DataPacRat 29 September 2012 06:44:46PM 1 point [-]

The whole concept does seem to depend heavily on aspects of trust, and thus on peoples' reputations for trustworthiness.

For example, I imagine myself waking up in a cryonic revivication facility a few decades after I otherwise would have died, and learning of a group of a half-dozen people still vitrified who made promises while I was cold to help me out if they were woken before me. One important question seems to be, how much would that promise nudge me towards feeling like assisting those people ahead of any others?

Comment author: Eneasz 01 October 2012 05:15:39PM *  0 points [-]

EY has already convinced me that he'll put effort into getting everyone who's frozen revived once it's possible, and in the process has given me hope that there are good people out there who'll do that simply because they want to. In return I've resolved that if I am revived, I will also do what I can to ensure that everyone else who can be revived, is. I'd be kinda surprised if this isn't a common sentiment among most cryo-patients. So I'm not sure there's any need for specific one-on-one agreements to revive. Help to revive everyone.

That being said, probably the best way to get other people to care about your revival specifically is to become important to them. Therefore - convince your close friends, lovers, and family to get suspended. Alternately, become semi-famous so strangers will be interested in you too. But the friends/family route is easiest, helps to keep more people alive into the future, signals caring, and will start you out with a ready-made social network in the future!

Comment author: Pavitra 30 September 2012 03:23:36AM 1 point [-]

My first reaction is that this would increase the expected cost of revival, for the same reason that it's harder to get plane tickets if you're in a group that wants to sit near each other.

Comment author: DataPacRat 30 September 2012 04:31:56AM 0 points [-]

I'm not quite sure I follow your reasoning; would it be possible for you to try rephrasing what you mean?

Comment author: palladias 30 September 2012 06:03:21PM 1 point [-]

If I am a technician in the future with limited resources deciding who to put in the pilot group of resurrectees, I'm not going to pick the people who have precommitted to haranguing me about waking up their friends.

Comment author: DataPacRat 30 September 2012 07:52:21PM 2 points [-]

That seems to be a very... subjective point of view to assume a technician has; and I can think of a variety of other viewpoints such technicians might have. To pick one just example of many, "Here's a bunch of cryonics people who seem to be completely selfish; and here's a bunch who have made promises to try to help each other, showing at least some degree of social consciousness. Which group would benefit me more to revive?".

Of course, it's iffy to try to generalize from fictional examples, especially ones made up on the spot. Can you think of any way to find out which direction human psychology actually does tend to lean toward?

Comment author: DataPacRat 29 September 2012 06:46:53PM 1 point [-]

Another question I just thought of; even if such promises are made ahead of time by live and un-frozen participants, would making such promises public increase or decrease the odds of such promises being carried out?

Comment author: ZankerH 29 September 2012 11:30:40AM 1 point [-]

The proposition seems to me to be subject to the same uncertainty problem as the "will cryonics work" question itself - there's just no way of predicting the financial/social position of reanimated cryonics patients or their ability to affect the treatment of their fellow patients, not to mention very little incentive beyond general altruism to do so in the face of financial/social difficulties.

Comment author: DataPacRat 29 September 2012 11:36:29AM 0 points [-]

Would it help if the overall set of questions was divided into sub-problems? For example, "If cryonic revival doesn't end up working", "If cryonic revival works, but revivees can't effectively help each other", and "At least some cryonic revivees can effectively others if they choose to".

Comment author: selylindi 03 October 2012 05:13:58PM -2 points [-]