Re: poly: polymath digest for 18 Jan 100

From: d.brin <>
Date: Tue Jan 18 2000 - 14:41:36 PST

>David Brin wrote:
>> Anyway, today's cryo-storage process is messy, complex, legally
>> shaky, and terribly expensive. Wouldn't any reasonable person -- one
>> worthy of revival -- dedicate a lifetime's accumulated resources to
>> helping their children and posterity, instead of splurging it all on a
>> chancy, self-important gamble for personal immortality?
>> And yet, cryonics devotees keep plugging away at their dream, ...

Robin Hanson replied:
>The number of cryonics customers is very small (I am one of them), so there
>is likely a lot of truth in this. Yet we spend huge amounts now on medicine
>for people in their last year of life, spending that has relatively little
>health benefit. So the puzzle is: why do people not also see this standard
>spending as similarly selfish?

I agree that it is a matter of perception. Without any doubt, cryonics
people will be looked back upon as pioneers.

Your use of "we" above made me think that cryonics folks were spending the
money on late phase treatments.

Peter C. McCluskey
> Cheater detection has been important for long enough that evolution has
>built special cheater-detection abilities into our minds. Which means
>people are more likely to write and read about this problem than other
>equally serious problems.
> Whereas the problems of do-gooders who neglect to measure whether their
>efforts are helping or hurting their intended beneficiaries seem to have
>been small enough in our evolutionary past that few people notice whether
>do-gooders are helping others, helping only themselves, or helping nobody.
>I was referring to this phenomenon, not the cheater detection problem.
>>As for markets for goods, services and ideas, knowledge is the
>>lubricant that makes them work. Even the example you give above, of
>>self-deceiving doctors, is applicable, since a translucent system makes
>>it easier to get 2nd or competing opinions, especially from MD's who
>>hate the one you just talked to.
> How would that help to avoid biases to which all doctors are subject?
>If I ask you about SF authors that you hate, I'd expect to find out some
>of the weaknesses which those authors have but which you don't have. But
>even someone as critical as you are is unlikely to make a claim of the
>form "all novelists tend to ignore economic laws" because that would
>reduce respect for your books.
>Peter McCluskey | Boycott until they stop suing
> | companies that support 1-click shopping.
Received on Tue Jan 18 17:12:21 2000

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