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Is Your Brain “You?” - cryonics and plastination

Posted: Mon, June 10, 2013 | By: Indefinite Life Extension



by David Kekich

I recently had dinner with some close friends who live overseas. One couple live in Europe and the other in Asia. It was a year since the first couple were here and probably over two for the second.

Our discussions were lively to say the least.

International politics; the markets; erosions of privacy as governments grow; potential dangers from the subset of humanity who tend to be more aggressive and who subsequently tend to gain leadership positions; pathological individuals who, either lead, who are influenced by others or who act on their own, who coupled with more easily obtainable weapons of mass destruction, pose an ever-growing threat to us as individuals or to humanity as a whole.

So you can see what implications this could have on life extension, right Methuselah?

The conversations opened and ended with life extension as the main topic. One couple are activists in the cryonics society and the other have a foundation devoted to curing aging.

The items I listed in paragraph two represent some of the existential risks we face while we are alive… but especially the risks we face if and when we are in cryonic suspension where we have lost day-to-day control over our fates.

Although I still think preserving the information in our brains via cryonic suspension is our overwhelmingly best back-up plan, a safer alternative may be possible in the intermediate future. That one is plastination. Did you ever see a Body World’s exhibit? Here’s a fascinating blog that outlines some dramatic peeks into your possible future:

http://eversmarterworld.wordpress.com/2012/09/24/preserving-the-self-for-later-emulation-what-brain-features-do-we-need/

Although I believe low temperature storage gives you a far better chance for reanimation than plastination today, plastination is much more affordable with the added advantage of being able to store your remains anywhere you want and at any temperature… along with the benefit of having them easily transportable. That means, your caretakers can be nimble in protecting you from potential risks.

If and when plastination technology develops to where revival chances rival cryogenic storage, then it should be the clear choice. Meanwhile, I’m betting on Alcor Life Extension Foundation.

As usual, Reason has cogent comments on this critical topic. You can find them HERE:

Here are some excerpts:

“But even under the most optimistic of scenarios, such as those in which the SENS program for rejuvenation biotechnology is fully funded starting tomorrow, billions will age to death before the research community can develop the first therapies capable of meaningful rejuvenation.

“There is something that can be done to address this issue, for all that almost as little effort is made here as for ways to cure aging: long-term preservation of the dead, accomplished in ways that prevent destruction of the fine structures in the brain that store the mind.

“At present, the only way to preserve your mind on death is through cryonics, or low-temperature storage with vitrification of tissue.

“They can wait out the coming decades, wait out the development of medical nanotechnologies that can reverse the processes of cryopreservation. Time is on their side in this age of rapid progress, assuming that the living community of enthusiasts and professionals can continue to ensure a long-term continuity of service.”

“A possible future alternative to cryopreservation is plastination, a different methodology for fixing a cell’s structure all the way down to the finest details.”

More Life,

David Kekich



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