26 May 2015

Hold the autopsy, gimme life extension

Mony Price


After looking into life extension products, I've become fascinated by cryonics. In the off-chance you've never heard of it, notice that Michael Jackson got buried. Forced into a mandatory autopsy, the court stripped his brain down for parts. Instead of being frozen, he went to ground and broke his date with the future.


While I think it's naive to assume I'll die intact, I certainly don't want my brain snatched in a made-for-TV court drama. With nanotechnology just getting started, the idea of cheating death is more entertaining. Besides. Who needs funeral pyres and boring burials, when we have cryotoriums and space caskets?
"By 2020 we'll have computers powerful enough to simulate the human brain. But we won't be finished yet, with reverse-engineering the human brain and understanding its methods." ~ Ray Kurzweil, Futurist
Ray Kurzweil: The Coming Singularity

Screw tradition.

We know that the human brain is inching close to the day it's mapped. So given the option, I'll gamble on mind-uploading before the pathologist cracks my chest. I don't care if the cops haul out the yellow tape. Sign me up for neuro-suspension, and put me on the first flight out to Alcor!

But don't stop there. Nanoparticles already target "specific cells" to "deliver medicines," and that's just the tip of the iceburg. Even the cryogenics industry hopes to reap the benefits of nanotech. Just give it another fifty years. From, "medicine, communications, computing, energy, and robotics," to Lord knows what ... our minds are about to get blown.[1]

We've come a long way since 1970, when the late Dr. Robert J. White rocked the world with the first brain transplant. From one monkey's body to another, who would have thought an entire head could be chopped off and replaced by another? "Dr. Butcher" or not, White got straight to the point. The seven-day experiment "proved" it could happen to humans.

We live in a world where bladders grow in labs, and human-animal hybrids (chimeras or parahumans) pop up from time to time. While naysayers and proponents weigh in on the probability of mind uploading, rat neurons really do run robots. And human versions are next. Like it or not, these things happen around the world. Even the Human-Animal Hybrid Prohibition Act of 2009 failed in Congress.

I guess it was just a matter of time before someone claimed a, "human head transplant is now possible."

But who knew there would be investors.

So maybe now you'll understand why I think my brain is worth preserving. And let's face it: it ain't like I have anything to lose anyway.

To be continued....

Notes


1. Shoffstall, G. (2010). Freeze, wait, reanimate: Cryonic suspension and science fiction. Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society 30(4). DOI: 10.1177/0270467610382704

Mony Price


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