Comments on: A Personal Update A revolution in time. Thu, 11 Apr 2013 01:11:28 +0000 hourly 1 By: Taurus Londono Taurus Londono Sat, 28 Jul 2012 02:39:50 +0000 (pardon the intrusion)

“If go and do that with cats or dogs or rats, my neighbors will have me put in jail.”

Yet they’ll enjoy the product of the slaughterhouses as if it were plucked out of thin air and gingerly placed into a bun for their consumption (the heart disease and colon cancer risk is a bonus). This society sure does have its priorities straight…

By: Taurus Londono Taurus Londono Sat, 28 Jul 2012 02:14:38 +0000 “I find it equally amusing that these people are obsessed with surviving events that have a TINY probability of representing any threat to them (such as super volcanoes), whilst being oblivious to the CERTAINTY that they are going to die from aging and disease. It’s really crazy – and probably represents a displacement of their fear of death and their lack of control over their destinies.”

Well said…but I had you pegged for one of their ilk not long after browsing through the wealth of back issues of Cyronics, when colleagues openly (and perhaps affectionately at the time) called you “paranoid.” At the time, I suddenly remembered an episode of “Doomsday Preppers” featuring a man who had turned his California ranch into an arsenal, a fortress complete with booby traps and a last-resort spider hole. He’d also taken to mentoring young fans of his on such practical life lessons as being able to jump onto a moving vehicle while simultaneously laying down suppressing fire. I thought “Holy shit, I’ll bet Mike Darwin has something like that going on.” Came across this page (as I continue my daily perusal of your wonderfully rich and informative blog), and it turns out I was right (sort of).

Preparedness is a virtue, and “better safe than sorry” is a sturdy if not well-worn maxim.
“Cryonics is acutely dependent upon the continued uninterrupted function of technological civilization. Any examination of history makes this seem extremely unlikely.”
It seems to me that this is assessment is only valid beyond the provincial level on time scales in excess of current human life expectancy in the western world; any examination of history bears this out.

It also seems to me that the complexity and interdependent nature of our current civilization necessarily limits the potential severity of any single point failure…relative, at least, to civilizations of the past. The 2008 financial meltdown is a case in point; the relative (short-term) success of the Chinese government to soften the blow probably helped buoy multinational corporate infrastructure more than any single act that was politically feasible for *any* US government (ie right or left). Of course, whether it turns out that China merely delayed the inevitable and is in fact heading towards a new crisis of its own making remains to be seen (*though if it is* it too will be buoyed in kind by the very vested nations that would stand to suffer in the wake of a new China crisis). Spain and Greece are not dissimilar examples, their problems dragging down the EU while the very vested European economies spend the capital necessary to keep these nations from outright destruction.

Civilization is not software; the impact of catastrophic shortfalls in one region of the world are counter-balanced by local rationing and either foreign aid or the equivalent of extortion. Nevertheless, because any region of the world has some dependence on the well-being of any other region of the world, they *necessarily* have a vested interested. The late 20th and early 21st centuries have so far seen nations act in exactly this way as they leverage geopolitical power in attempts to supplant the old post-WWII hierarchies.

Obviously I realize that this may change. Interdependence might prove to be an irreparably corrupting force, whether among corporatists or financial traders…or civil/military leaders in nations that lack strong democratic institutions (ie Africa, the Middle East). New technologies may bring about unforeseen paradigm shifts, the scope of which might be difficult to appreciate as they unfold. Of course, new technologies might also bring about potent new threats.

Nevertheless, short of natural disaster or nuclear terrorism, my hunch is that the next 100 years will be as *relatively* stable for most Americans living within our borders as the last 100 years was. …and let’s be clear, the last 100 years was remarkably stable in relative terms for your centenarian Uncle Goober who lived out his humble life in Podunk, USA…and that despite an epic flu pandemic (spanish flu), natural disasters (dustbowl) economic abyss (depression), the two largest armed conflicts in human history, and several decades’ worth of the threat that a cold war could become hot.

Aside perhaps from the Spanish Flu, life and death for the vast majority of Americans has been remarkably stable and predictable since the end of the Civil War.

Nevertheless, I agree that it’s good to be prepared.

By: Eudoxia Eudoxia Wed, 27 Jun 2012 17:06:12 +0000 >

Is that escher drawing by any chance the same that was on the old Alcor lobby? (

By: cath cath Thu, 01 Mar 2012 04:36:53 +0000 Hi Mike… Haven’t read many of them at all. My focus in fiction is not cryonics per se but the pervasive idea of death through ALL fiction and immortality as a specific subject matter, whether or not related to cryonics. I do have access to the Madoff book, I checked and it is at the local Uni library in the Law Library collection, so I can do an overview for you when it is available. Paintings on the way but not all the pics are digital and I need to scan some slides, so bear with me, they will eventuate.

By: Luke Parrish Luke Parrish Thu, 01 Mar 2012 01:39:10 +0000 I enjoyed The Silicon Man as well. CryoBurn didn’t strike me as Bujold’s best work, but was passably good fiction. I’m surprised not to see anything by Gregory Benford on the list.

By: Fundie Fundie Tue, 28 Feb 2012 15:55:09 +0000 Can it be I’ve read a story by Donaldson that you have not?

I found this story very interesting in terms of thinking about the degree of recovery and the value that could be found in a life lived after resuscitation even if some or all damage to memories could not be repaired. It shaped my thinking from thinking of recovery as a binary proposition to something that could perhaps have different levels of fidelity.

I was also challenged by the prospect of people who simply aren’t interested in remembering their distant past. I am a hoarder, and I hoard my memories as well as physical possessions. I review them, relive them, and do not want to forget them for the most part. So the attitude displayed by society there is completely opposite to the way I think. I think that if I were to live for thousands of years I would still want to remember my past, but of course I have no idea how I would really feel.

By: Fundie Fundie Tue, 28 Feb 2012 15:46:28 +0000 If go and do that with cats or dogs or rats, my neighbors will have me put in jail

Obviously the best help to restoring progress would be to eliminate the neighbors! But I suppose people would go to jail for that, too, though it seems like a rational response to aggression.

By: Fundie Fundie Tue, 28 Feb 2012 15:34:21 +0000 Cath,

I was about 12 when I first heard Dr. Donaldson’s story. I am sorry to say that I did not have an honorable reaction at the time, but the memory of his situation stuck with me for years until I sought out information online, formed a much more positive opinion of cryonics, and learned what had happened to him. I find your husband’s legacy inspiring, and would love to see your painting.

By: chronopause chronopause Sun, 26 Feb 2012 06:09:45 +0000 Yes, of course, feel free to do so.

And please, keep me posted on your progress. And article with photos would much appreciated. — Mike Darwin

By: Bruno Bruno Sat, 25 Feb 2012 16:12:27 +0000 Hi Mike Darwin,
I’m Bruno Lenzi, founder of LIFEXT Research Group (the first cryonics and life extension research group in Italy). Compliments for your articles, i always read them.
I’d like to translate some of your articles in italian with your consent , it’s possible?
I will insert the link of your blog and of the your original articles.

Thanks so much!
Bruno Lenzi