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Thomas_Nowa comments on You Only Live Twice - Less Wrong

85 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 12 December 2008 07:14PM

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Comment author: Thomas_Nowa 12 December 2008 10:06:14PM 2 points [-]

The use of the financial argument against cryonics is absurd.

Even if the probability of being revived is sub-1%, it is worth every penny since the consequence is immortality (or at least another chance at life). If you don't sign up, your probability of revival is 0% (barring a "The Light of Other Days" scenario) and the consequence is death - for eternity.

By running a simple risk analysis, the choice is obvious.

The only scenario where a financial argument makes sense is if you're shortening your life by spending more than you can afford, or if spending money on cryonics prevents you from buying some future tech that would save your life.

Comment author: more_wrong 27 May 2014 03:40:49AM 5 points [-]

The only scenario where a financial argument makes sense is if you're shortening your life by spending more than you can afford, or if spending money on cryonics prevents you from buying some future tech that would save your life.

What if I am facing death and have an estate in the low six figures, and I can afford one cryonic journey to the future, or my grandchildren's education plus, say, charitable donations enough to save 100 young children who might otherwise live well into a lovely post-Singularity world that would include life extension, uploading, and so on? Would that be covered under "can't afford it"? If my personal survival is just not that high a priority to me (compared to what seem to me much better uses of my limited funds) does that mean I'm ipso facto irrational in your book, so my argument 'doesn't make sense'?

I do think cryonics is a very interesting technology for saving the data stored in biological human bodies that might otherwise be lost to history, but that investing in a micro-bank or The Heifer Project might have greater marginal utility in terms of getting more human minds and their contents "over the hump" into the post-singularity world many of us hope for. I just don't see why the fact that it's /me/ matters.

What if the choice is "use my legacy cash to cryopreserve a few humans chosen at random" versus "donate same money to help preserve a whole village worth of young people in danger who can reasonably be expected to live past the Singularity if they can get past the gauntlet of childhood diseases" (the Bill Gates approach) to "preserve a lovely sampling of as many endangered species as seems feasible". I would argue that any of these scenarios would make sense.

Also, I think that people relying on cryo would do well to lifeblog as much as possible, I think continuous video footage from inside the home and some vigorous diary type writing or recording might be a huge help in reconstructing a personality in addition to some inevitably fuzzy measurements of some exact values of positions of microtubules in frozen neurons and the like. It would at give future builders of human emulations a baseline to check how good their emulations were. Is this a well known strategy? I cannot recall seeing it discussed, but it seems obvious.

Comment author: [deleted] 27 May 2014 05:46:11AM 0 points [-]

You may be interested, at the moment, in donating to the Brain Preservation Foundation.

I have personally found arguments that cryonics actually works (with significant probability) unconvincing, so that's what I do.