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ciphergoth comments on Timeless Identity - Less Wrong

23 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 03 June 2008 08:16AM

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Comment author: ciphergoth 25 May 2011 07:53:52AM 4 points [-]

Could you tell us what you see in the way that cryonics is "hyped" that you would be less likely to see if people praised it simply because it was a good idea?

Comment author: handoflixue 25 May 2011 07:18:44PM 1 point [-]

I would expect to see a rational discussion of the benefits and trade-offs involved, in such a way as to let me evaluate, based on my utility function, whether this is a good investment for me.

Instead, I primarily see almost a "reversed stupidity" discussion, combined with what seems like in-group signalling: "See all these arguments against cryonics? They are all irrational, as I have now demonstrated. QED cryonics is rational, and you should signal your conformity to the Rationality Tribe by signing up today!"

I can totally understand why it's presented this way, but it reads off as "hype" because I almost never encounter anything else. It all seems to just naively assume that "preserving my individual life at any cost is a perfectly rational decision." Maybe that really is all the thought that goes in to it; if your utility function places a suitably high value on self-preservation, then there's not really a lot of further discussion required.

But I get the sense that there are deeper thoughts that just never get discussed, because everyone is busy fighting against the nay-sayers. There's a deep absence of arguments for cryonics, especially ones that actually take in to consideration social policy, and what else could be accomplished for $200K.

(Eliezer hinted at it, with his comments about economies of scale, but it was a mere footnote, and quite possibly the first time I've seen anyone discuss the issue from that perspective even briefly)