Do you think reviving the dead will ever be possible?

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Re: Do you think reviving the dead will ever be possible?

Postby Bakemaster » Tue Jul 27, 2010 4:14 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Also, dude, we're mortal. That's what makes us us. Don't take that away from us.

FUCK. THAT. SHIT.

I am prepared for immortality. By which I mean, the eventual insanity will be totally worth it. Mortality doesn't define me, as I have never in my life died and for most of my life have planned not to. I don't consider it a gift or a necessary human feature any more than the appendix or the tailbone.
Izawwlgood wrote:A key point here, I feel is, rendering one immortal renders one inhuman. If you can pull an eternal consciousness, then rad, but it wouldn't be human.

No true human eats his porridge with ETERNAL UNDYING?
Belial wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:On a more serious note, I feel what makes our lives worth living and experiencing is the urgency of our forays here. I feel Gaiman had it right, depicting the 10,000 year old man who recalled the scent of mammoth exclaiming upon realizing his imminent doom "NOT YET!". I surely support allowing man to live longer, but I've no idea how long I feel that should go, only that immortality is not something that would serve humans well.

You took a completely different message from that than I did. I took it to basically be a reaffirmation of what we'd already seen in Hob Gadling: that immortality was pretty neat, actually, and if you gave people the choice, many of them would choose to not ever, ever die because there's always more to see and experience. Mammoth guy didn't *want* to die. After 10,000 years, he was still clinging to life. Faced with death, he thought to himself "NO! I STILL HAVE SHIT TO DO!". His life was not a meaningless montage of ennui and existential angst, like many (frankly less interesting) authors depict for immortal characters. He was still enjoying it. He still wanted it.

That, to me, is like saying "guys, immortality is totally a worthwhile pursuit."

I'm 100% with Belial on this. Mammoth guy (if that's what we're calling him) has always been one of the most poignant and memorable scenes from Sandman, to me.
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Re: Do you think reviving the dead will ever be possible?

Postby Argency » Tue Jul 27, 2010 4:46 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Because we're not talking about pausing brain function, a la Han Solo, we're talking about destroying it. I'd wager that if you resurrected Walt Disney it'd be very akin to Robot Chickens "Are the Jews still here? Yes? Put me back in the box.", i.e., he'd be for all intents and purposes the asshole dreamer that is Walt Disney, with the same memories and lovable antisemetism, but the consciousness driving that particular rendition wouldn't be the same one from before.
He may not realize anythings changed, and may still think of himself as the original, but I don't feel the original would. Because the original is dead.
And no, I don't know what constitutes 'pausing' or 'stopping'.


But hang on, you can't destroy function. Function is something that happens or doesn't. That'd be like saying, "while I wait at a pedestrian crossing, my walking is paused, but when I become quadriplegic my walking is destroyed." You can destroy the potential for a function, but that doesn't destroy the function, it just stops it.

So what you're saying is that you don't think a person can survive having their brain destroyed, and that if you make a new brain (or fix a funtionally destroyed brain, like Walt's) you make a new person. But I'm saying I think that's silly, because a brain is just a lump of meat, whereas the things that make me me are actually the result of the patterns of causality within the brain, which can be recreated. So sure, if you take a person to be alive up until their brain is destroyed and dead from then on, then I'd be dead after my appendectomy/cloning. But that doesn't seem to be a useful way to talk, because there would be a person alive who perfectly fit all of the characteristics of me.

I mean, we could theorise that there is this property called the soul that is undetectable and which is bound to one brain, and which goes away when the brain is destroyed, but it doesn't seem like that hypothesis is any more useful than Russel's teapot. The soul doesn't do anything, doesn't explain anything, and we wouldn't miss it if it wasn't there.
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Re: Do you think reviving the dead will ever be possible?

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jul 27, 2010 5:06 pm UTC

Bakemaster wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:Also, dude, we're mortal. That's what makes us us. Don't take that away from us.


FUCK. THAT. SHIT.

The word itself means 'not mortal'. The realm of what humanity gets itself up to is partially dependent upon shedding those who belonged to outdated modes of thinking, held ancient prejudices about what could and could not be done ("A negro learn math?! Preposterous!" or "Fly like a bird in a machine made of metal?! Preposterous!" or so on and on). I'm not saying a mind can't learn to adapt to the times, but I feel strongly that a species of intelligent organism that replaces it's entire population every second generation or so will fare better than a species that never replaces itself.
You grok it? The martians were stagnant. The Illidians were stagnant. The Night Elves were stagnant. The Vampires were bored, the MacLeod suffering from the Scottish equivalent of ennui. It has nothing to do with poor writing (although I can't rule it out, as Belial pointed out), it has everything to do with a lack of newness, something immortality practically forces.
Maybe it'd only work well in a Transmet or Futurama style zoo; the dead aren't really functionaries in society at large, but instead comic relief, advisers, and commentators. Or, in the case of some in Transmet, future shocked madmen who can't adapt.
Bakemaster wrote:I'm 100% with Belial on this. Mammoth guy (if that's what we're calling him) has always been one of the most poignant and memorable scenes from Sandman, to me.

And we're in agreement about what his literary intent was. He didn't want to die.
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Re: Do you think reviving the dead will ever be possible?

Postby Belial » Tue Jul 27, 2010 5:29 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:You grok it? The martians were stagnant. The Illidians were stagnant. The Night Elves were stagnant. The Vampires were bored, the MacLeod suffering from the Scottish equivalent of ennui.


They're also all fictional. You're right, I was probably too harsh by going straight to poor writing (mostly, I just fucking hate Anne Rice), because the problem has nothing to do with the quality of the fiction and everything to do with the fact that it's fiction.

Don't get me wrong, I love stories. I was a fucking literature major, so I'm basically all about stories. But never lose sight of the fact that they're stories. They don't have to be true, in the factual sense (obviously). They don't even have to resemble the truth in a verisimilitude sense, beyond the demands of the story and the audience's ability to suspend disbelief.

So the best you can say for these fictional depictions is that they're some author's musing on what immortals might be like. And, in fact, they're usually even less (or more, but less for your purposes) than that: they're not even the author's musings on what immortals might be like, they're just the way they are because it serves the story for them to be that way. Immortality is a big benefit, and outside of some celtic myths, most authors like to build their characters at least somewhat flawed. Immortality angst is a pretty big flaw, so it serves.

Either way, they don't prove a single thing beyond the fact that Ray Bradbury, Anne Rice, and whoever wrote The Highlander might think immortality would be boring. I could counter with Gaiman and a few other authors who decided to subvert the trope and portray immortals that were having just a grand fucking time, but it still wouldn't prove anything because they're still stories first and foremost, not dissertations on speculative futurism.

Anyway, if they hold it, Anne Rice, Ray Bradbury, and whoever wrote the Highlander are welcome to that opinion. I think they're not thinking very hard about all the shit they could get up to in *forever*, and how much fun that would be. I think they're expressing a trite and poorly-thought-out but oft-repeated sentiment. In short, I think they're wrong. And telling me that they think it is no more convincing than telling me you think it. (In fact, to my knowledge, you've never said anything cavernously stupid about the meaning of Fahrenheit 451, so you're actually ahead of Ray Bradbury. And you started ahead of Anne Rice. Everyone starts ahead of Anne Rice.)

Also,

Bakemaster wrote:Mortality doesn't define me, as I have never in my life died and for most of my life have planned not to.


That. To be defined by death, I would need it to give my life meaning. I have never, to my knowledge, died. I may not ever do so. My life feels just as meaningful as the next guy. And I take sugar in my goddamn porridge, lad.
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Re: Do you think reviving the dead will ever be possible?

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jul 27, 2010 5:47 pm UTC

Belial wrote:That. To be defined by death, I would need it to give my life meaning. I have never, to my knowledge, died. I may not ever do so. My life feels just as meaningful as the next guy. And I take sugar in my goddamn porridge, lad.

"I have often wondered if every night I fall asleep and don't dream, that I have died and my brain function has ceased, sparking anew in the morning, the complex organization of matter and energy pulling from the ether the seed crystal of infinity that blossoms into me as various functions are restored. Who I am continues and goes about as if nothing happened, but I ceased to be."

I disagree. To be defined by mortality merely means you have to enjoy what you are doing and recognize the possibility that it won't last forever. I could go so far (although recognize it's an argumentative stretch) as to claim that the very fact you desire to live forever is due to your fear of death, your aversion to it. To use a really sappy and sophomoric line of reasoning and anecdote, it can't be summer all the time. Enough speculative fiction exists to demonstrate that the dream state of perfection, of Utopia is incomplete. Man rejected the Matrix that was sublime.
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Re: Do you think reviving the dead will ever be possible?

Postby Belial » Tue Jul 27, 2010 6:03 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:I disagree. To be defined by mortality merely means you have to enjoy what you are doing and recognize the possibility that it won't last forever. I could go so far (although recognize it's an argumentative stretch) as to claim that the very fact you desire to live forever is due to your fear of death, your aversion to it.


And you could argue that your desire not to be sick is due to the fear of or aversion to sickness. That doesn't mean that if we cured ALL ILLNESS tomorrow, that we'll have removed some defining characteristic from you. Sickness didn't define you. It was just some bad shit that you were prone to, and now you aren't anymore.

Death is just some bad shit that you're prone to. And of course I don't want to be prone to it anymore. Fucking duh. It sucks. You can have it.

To use a really sappy and sophomoric line of reasoning and anecdote, it can't be summer all the time. Enough speculative fiction exists to demonstrate that the dream state of perfection, of Utopia is incomplete. Man rejected the Matrix that was sublime.


Gah. No. Again. Stories are not reality. Summer doesn't last forever, Utopia is incomplete, because those states are boring to read about. Stories thrive on conflict, and those states present none.

And before you say "A-hah! But that means immortality would be boring", let me say that "boring in a story" and "boring in real life" are totally different concepts. I can have the most awesome vacation of my life, enjoy it more than anything that's ever happened to me, but you probably won't be very interested to hear about it. You certainly won't enjoy hearing about it as much as I enjoyed living it.

But if my life falls apart in some really intricate and engaging way, you'll be totally interested in the story, even though actually experiencing it is a living hell for me.

By the same token, reading about how I spent the next million years living through every cool situation I could find, eating every new dish I could lay hands on, seeing badass new places and sublime new events that I never could've dreamed of in the first 30 years of my life...would be boring. That's a boring fucking story. But it would be rad as hell for me living it.

Life is not fiction. What makes a good story does not necessarily have fuckall to do with what makes a good life, and vice versa. Stop trying to use fiction to prove your point because it doesn't work.
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Re: Do you think reviving the dead will ever be possible?

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Jul 27, 2010 6:42 pm UTC

Belial wrote:And before you say "A-hah! But that means immortality would be boring", let me say that "boring in a story" and "boring in real life" are totally different concepts. I can have the most awesome vacation of my life, enjoy it more than anything that's ever happened to me, but you probably won't be very interested to hear about it. You certainly won't enjoy hearing about it as much as I enjoyed living it.
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And yeah, an immortal would have no problem at all with being bored. There's too much shit going on right now for a person to keep up with, even if they no longer had to sleep, eat, and could teleport at will. There's more ground on the planet than you can explore in a lifetime. The goddamn ocean is still new and, fuck, even if the whole thing's been mapped, that shit's new to you. The rate of books being published right now is well above the rate you could read them in - and that's even after we filter out the crap you can't read because it's in a different language.

Hell, language. There's 6900 something living languages on the planet right now. Even when you filter out similar languages, that still leaves you with thousands of tongues you could learn. And then you could learn dead languages.

And since time's on your side, go exploring! Get yourself a spacecraft and get out there and have a look! Terraform Mars! Find those water planets and have a birthday party there!

Write your memoirs! Update them! Teach someone to play the electric guitar. Learn to play the electric guitar! Do it in the other order, so it makes more sense! An immortal would be no more bored on a lazy Sunday than you are. An immortal would have no problems finding shit to do.
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Re: Do you think reviving the dead will ever be possible?

Postby Belial » Tue Jul 27, 2010 6:53 pm UTC

There's more ground on the planet than you can explore in a lifetime.


And by the time you'd explored even a percent of a percent of it, you'd probably have a list of places you want to go back to to see what's changed. I still go back to my various hometowns every few years and wander around to see what's different and what's still the same and eat some of my old favorite foods again.

Stuff changes faster than you can experience it. Thus, experience is infinite.
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Re: Do you think reviving the dead will ever be possible?

Postby Oregonaut » Tue Jul 27, 2010 6:59 pm UTC

But what about the sense of urgency that is commensurate with your impending mortality? Half of the impetus that humans use to get themselves up off their cheetos-lined couches is the fact that you only have so many Lazy Sundays before Zane comes calling to rub his magic marbles over you.

I can see this heading the way of Pixar pretty quickly.
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Re: Do you think reviving the dead will ever be possible?

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Jul 27, 2010 7:03 pm UTC

Bullshit. It's not mortality that gets me off my couch to mow my lawn, it's the fact that if I don't get up and do it today, it'll be even harder tomorrow. It won't be mortality that gets me back to Europe in a few years time, it'll be that I'll feel financially comfortable enough with blowing a few grand on a nice trip. It's not mortality that makes me go to my job everyday, mortality has nothing to do with my desire to have pets or read or play video games or do any of the shit that I do. And mortality doesn't come into my mind when I make a choice between going out for the day or staying in.

I mean.. you ever felt that you have to do anything urgently because you'll likely be dead in a half century or so? I know I haven't.

The whole "Sense of urgency in their short lives" is a fiction trope that has just as much bearing in reality as does Katanas Are Just Better or All Animals Are Dogs.
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Re: Do you think reviving the dead will ever be possible?

Postby Belial » Tue Jul 27, 2010 7:08 pm UTC

Yeah. If anything, mortality is an inhibitor on the really big projects. How many things do people not bother starting because they think they'll never be able to see them through to completion before they die?
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Re: Do you think reviving the dead will ever be possible?

Postby Oregonaut » Tue Jul 27, 2010 7:17 pm UTC

But you seem like someone who would be active anyway. What about those people who aren't? You may have your lazy periods, but your experience and perspective are not universal. Imagine sudden immortality being granted to your average person. If you could live forever, how many people would simply choose to do nothing but the bare minimum? Freed from consequence of a wasted life, they wouldn't get bored, they'd just stagnate. There wouldn't be any risk, knowing that you can be revived would honestly kill (ha!) a lot of the fun I've had over my life. The thrill of "this could be it" ending in the sudden jaw-dropping-holy-fuck-did-he-just-do-that things I've managed would be gone. (Really, I'm just DAing here. I think immortality would be neat, within limits. We'd still have to deal with radiation before we could go to outer space. We couldn't explore the ocean depths due to crushing pressure. We really are just limited by being meatsacks.)
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Re: Do you think reviving the dead will ever be possible?

Postby Bakemaster » Tue Jul 27, 2010 7:18 pm UTC

I know if I had an expectation of immortality I wouldn't be busting my ass to get into a good school and maximize my lifetime earning potential. I'd go back to work, buy a house, have a ball turning it into a better house, and eventually sell it and repeat until I could afford to build myself a real nice house. Then I'd work on buying myself an awesome island or a small country or maybe a neat plateau or some shit, and invite all the cool people to come live in my sovereign nation. But maybe not year round; maybe it'd be a vacation nation. A vacation masturbation nation. But not limited to.

I think it would be quite the sensation.
Izawwlgood wrote:The word itself means 'not mortal'. The realm of what humanity gets itself up to is partially dependent upon shedding those who belonged to outdated modes of thinking, held ancient prejudices about what could and could not be done ("A negro learn math?! Preposterous!" or "Fly like a bird in a machine made of metal?! Preposterous!" or so on and on). I'm not saying a mind can't learn to adapt to the times, but I feel strongly that a species of intelligent organism that replaces it's entire population every second generation or so will fare better than a species that never replaces itself.
You grok it? The martians were stagnant. The Illidians were stagnant. The Night Elves were stagnant. The Vampires were bored, the MacLeod suffering from the Scottish equivalent of ennui. It has nothing to do with poor writing (although I can't rule it out, as Belial pointed out), it has everything to do with a lack of newness, something immortality practically forces.
Maybe it'd only work well in a Transmet or Futurama style zoo; the dead aren't really functionaries in society at large, but instead comic relief, advisers, and commentators.

What I hear you trying to say is, "Just look at the way things are." What you are actually saying is, "Just look at the way I perceive things to be." You have a belief system you're applying to this problem that, for the purposes of discussion, is functionally similar to any other dogmatic belief system. You're basing it on a literary and intellectual tradition rather than a religious one, and I understand why you might think that's a better authority, but twice nothing is still nothing.

In addition, you're talking about humanity as a group (species, culture, whatever type of group) where I'm talking about myself as a human. I don't really care whether mortality is a defining characteristic of humanity as a whole; anyway, if we find a road to immortality through science (though everyone knows you must USE MAGIC TO KILL DEATH), then mortality will no longer be a defining characteristic of humanity. We don't need to stop calling ourselves the thing we call ourselves every time something changes; I don't see that this change would necessarily constitute a significant enough discontinuity in our collective identity to warrant calling ourselves something other than human. But maybe that's because I'm not writing a beautiful sweeping space romance and implying important implications.
Belial wrote:Either way, they don't prove a single thing beyond the fact that Ray Bradbury, Anne Rice, and whoever wrote The Highlander might think immortality would be boring.

Bradbury's short "The Blue Bottle" is an excellent example of his acknowledgment of the different relationships individuals might have with mortality, and though it wasn't included in the original Martian Chronicles collection, it's part of the general arc of Mars stories and was written around the same time. I think later editions may have added it and some other Mars stories.
Izawwlgood wrote:"I have often wondered if every night I fall asleep and don't dream, that I have died and my brain function has ceased, sparking anew in the morning, the complex organization of matter and energy pulling from the ether the seed crystal of infinity that blossoms into me as various functions are restored. Who I am continues and goes about as if nothing happened, but I ceased to be."

Sure, you can mess around with your definitions to come up with all sorts of situations. For instance, I'm fairly down with Socrates' reasoning in determining the existence of an immortal soul. For a certain definition of immortal soul, it's perfectly good reasoning. I can believe all I want that I am made up of the stuff of the universe which can never be destroyed, and will be reincarnated eternally in some form. The thing is, that doesn't provide what I'm looking for when I speak of immortality. What I want to preserve is my identity, my ego, the part of me that is aware of itself as a distinct and specific individual. When faced with thought experiments about discontinuity of self, replacing the self with an alternate-universe self or a clone, questions about who is truly living on, I have to fall back to subjective perception. If you simultaneously destroyed my body and created an exact replica of me standing on the other side of the room, what I'm concerned with is my perspective. Do all parties involved, so long as they exist, perceive a reasonably contiguous self? In that case, at the very least I am protected significantly against existential terror. So yeah, I'd settle for what SMBC might call an engineer's definition of immortality, and I don't expect I'd sabotage myself with questions about, "Yeah, but am I really a DIFFERENT PERSON from the guy that was disintegrated?" If I am, then fuck that guy, I don't care if he's immortal or not. Sucks to have been him, I guess.
Izawwlgood wrote:To be defined by mortality merely means you have to enjoy what you are doing and recognize the possibility that it won't last forever. I could go so far (although recognize it's an argumentative stretch) as to claim that the very fact you desire to live forever is due to your fear of death, your aversion to it. To use a really sappy and sophomoric line of reasoning and anecdote, it can't be summer all the time. Enough speculative fiction exists to demonstrate that the dream state of perfection, of Utopia is incomplete. Man rejected the Matrix that was sublime.

I think to be defined by mortality at the very least would require recognizing it not lasting forever as hard fact rather than mere possibility. And yeah, of course my desire to live forever is fueled at least partly by a fear of death. I find the idea that my existence is finite to be, quite frankly, terrifying. I do my best to avoid being defined by that fear, because if I have to have a finite existence, I'd prefer to waste as little of it as possible being terrified of the inevitable, but sometimes it can hit pretty strong. Is this because my father died when I was young? Hey, why not. Or maybe it's because my public education in grade school stroked my ego too much in the name of building self-confidence. Or maybe it's because I'm a conceited prick who thinks he's pretty much the best thing since sliced bread. Wait, now, it could be a genetic switch. Maybe it's a virus. Maybe I'm destined to be a planeswalker. Maybe the only thing elevating me above what I see as a purely mechanical pattern is a dash of meta to salt my existence. Maybe I am a strange loop. Maybe I am an odd duck. Maybe, to quote Jadzia Dax, I've run out of speculation.
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Re: Do you think reviving the dead will ever be possible?

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jul 27, 2010 7:51 pm UTC

I feel there's something, perhaps fueled by the fiction I've read, that makes our lives awesome and somewhat tragic because we don't have forever to do what we do. If it takes someone 50,000 years to learn 100 languages and has a blast doing it, then all power to them. If someone takes 50 years to learn 100 languages and has a blast doing it, and convinces others to rise to the challenge, proves that it's possible in their lifetime...
Maybe my reluctance to agree full heartedly is that I view immortality as a somewhat selfish endeavor, and while I'm all about selfishness, a society of immortals doesn't jive. Fine for individuals, not fine for everyone. But yes, sign me up.
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Bakemaster wrote:You're basing it on a literary and intellectual tradition rather than a religious one, and I understand why you might think that's a better authority, but twice nothing is still nothing.

My sentiments are referenced by these texts, which I'm using to try and help establish a common ground. They are no more or less authoritative than your personal preferences/opinions, and no or less worth dismissing than personal opinions.
Bakemaster wrote:In addition, you're talking about humanity as a group (species, culture, whatever type of group) where I'm talking about myself as a human.

I guess see above. My opinion is, if its still too muddy to make out, is that immortality would be awesome, because I would never get bored, I would never tire, and everyone deserves the grandeur that is me forever and ever. However, everyone should not be immortal because that would be a Very Bad ThingTM. I've repeatedly stated that what makes US human is our mortality, not what makes YOU human. The human collective is not the same as the human individual, and neither beast can be compared as equivalents.
Bakemaster wrote:If I am, then fuck that guy, I don't care if he's immortal or not. Sucks to have been him, I guess.

I still occasionally slip back into the "I'm the only sentient individual" line of reasoning. So ya.
Bakemaster wrote:I know if I had an expectation of immortality I wouldn't be busting my ass to get into a good school and maximize my lifetime earning potential.

Actually, I'm going to call you out on this. I don't think you would. I don't think you'd be operating very differently. We all like to assume that a paradigm shift or outsider knowledge would make us kings in our various fantasy scenarios, but my guess is you'd still be busting your ass to get into school and you'd still be working to earn a living. Teleport you back to the 1920's and you wouldn't wow the world with your smooth 80's guy mentality. Maybe 100 years from now you'd be wiser and spend less effort managing your various investments and assets, but maybe you wouldn't. Immortality isn't going to make you an adventurous, traveling, savvy, debonair worldly gentleman, but it will certainly give you time to develop into one. Never mind, I just applied circular reasoning to my own argument. :roll:
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Re: Do you think reviving the dead will ever be possible?

Postby Ishindri » Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:44 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:I guess see above. My opinion is, if its still too muddy to make out, is that immortality would be awesome, because I would never get bored, I would never tire, and everyone deserves the grandeur that is me forever and ever. However, everyone should not be immortal because that would be a Very Bad ThingTM. I've repeatedly stated that what makes US human is our mortality, not what makes YOU human. The human collective is not the same as the human individual, and neither beast can be compared as equivalents.

Even accepting the premise that humanity as a whole attaining immortality would shift us away from being 'human' (a nebulous term at best, unless we're going by simple biology), you seem to suppose this would be a bad thing. Why?
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Re: Do you think reviving the dead will ever be possible?

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jul 27, 2010 9:32 pm UTC

Dude, read the handful of posts I've made explaining why I feel this is a bad thing. If you have any specific questions, by all means, ask them.
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Re: Do you think reviving the dead will ever be possible?

Postby Sockmonkey » Tue Jul 27, 2010 9:47 pm UTC

Oregonaut wrote:There wouldn't be any risk, knowing that you can be revived would honestly kill (ha!) a lot of the fun I've had over my life. The thrill of "this could be it" ending in the sudden jaw-dropping-holy-fuck-did-he-just-do-that things I've managed would be gone.

Ah bullcrap. I know I'm reasonably safe when I get on a roller coaster but that doesn't stop it from feeling dangerous and exciting.

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Re: Do you think reviving the dead will ever be possible?

Postby Oregonaut » Tue Jul 27, 2010 9:59 pm UTC

Do yourself a favor. Google amusement park safety. Fun reading.

Anyway, I'm talking about falling out of an airplane and managing to get your chute on and deployed while falling.

I'm talking a bungee jump where the rope snaps and you have seconds to get yourself into a position to hit the water.

I'm talking me, falling off of a building while still attempting to attach my rappeling gear, wrapping the pulley chain around my shoulder, clipping the carbiner/snap hook assembly to my back, and aiming for an awning, missing said awning, having the rope get caught in said awning, causing my momentum to carry me into a pendulum motion, going through a window, having the whole rear assembly come off my body and my monkey ass go sailing down the aisle in pain, broken in more than one way, while the training instructor looks on in disbelief and saying to her partner, "I want him. I want him down here, right now. That was inhuman and I want his babies."

Surviving shit like that would be par for the course, if you could just download yourself to another body. Experiences like that would be gone forever, because the risk, the spice, would be gone.
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Re: Do you think reviving the dead will ever be possible?

Postby Bakemaster » Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:25 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
Mr. Bakerstein wrote:I know if I had an expectation of immortality I wouldn't be busting my ass to get into a good school and maximize my lifetime earning potential.

Actually, I'm going to call you out on this. I don't think you would. I don't think you'd be operating very differently. We all like to assume that a paradigm shift or outsider knowledge would make us kings in our various fantasy scenarios, but my guess is you'd still be busting your ass to get into school and you'd still be working to earn a living.

I don't think you understand what I'm getting at. I'm not saying that I'd suddenly be a better person; I'm saying that my priorities would be different. I'd like to have kids. Before I'm willing to have kids, I need the ability to support them to my satisfaction. That means I need a career that meets my family's financial needs (or half of them, if my wife works) and my own personal needs (so I don't burn down the building). To achieve this, I need to finish my education. And if I take too long to do any of this, I'll be too old to have kids.

So I do what I need to do based on the time I have available. Without the restriction of a let's say 60-to-100-year lifespan, I'd put some of that shit on the back burner for a while. I'd rather be working full-time and taking classes at my own pace, or learning on the job. If I had the time, I could teach myself any of a wide range of careers without ever going back to an academic institution. I don't have that time.
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Re: Do you think reviving the dead will ever be possible?

Postby Ishindri » Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:30 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Dude, read the handful of posts I've made explaining why I feel this is a bad thing. If you have any specific questions, by all means, ask them.

My apologies, I should have been more specific. You seem to be referring to the negative effects upon society, I was thinking of humanity as a whole (and possible divergences therefrom). Is there a difference in your opinions between the two, or am I just reading the wrong thing out of your posts?
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Re: Do you think reviving the dead will ever be possible?

Postby ikrase » Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:31 pm UTC

I suspect that it would be possible immediately after death. (seconds to hours). If things have not decayed too much. Which changes the definition to 'near death experience'.
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Re: Do you think reviving the dead will ever be possible?

Postby Sockmonkey » Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:44 pm UTC

Oregonaut wrote:Do yourself a favor. Google amusement park safety. Fun reading.

Anyway, I'm talking about falling out of an airplane and managing to get your chute on and deployed while falling.

I'm talking a bungee jump where the rope snaps and you have seconds to get yourself into a position to hit the water.

I'm talking me, falling off of a building while still attempting to attach my rappeling gear, wrapping the pulley chain around my shoulder, clipping the carbiner/snap hook assembly to my back, and aiming for an awning, missing said awning, having the rope get caught in said awning, causing my momentum to carry me into a pendulum motion, going through a window, having the whole rear assembly come off my body and my monkey ass go sailing down the aisle in pain, broken in more than one way, while the training instructor looks on in disbelief and saying to her partner, "I want him. I want him down here, right now. That was inhuman and I want his babies."

Surviving shit like that would be par for the course, if you could just download yourself to another body. Experiences like that would be gone forever, because the risk, the spice, would be gone.



At the time I believed roller coasters to be fairly safe and still had a blast so the actual safety of them is not relevent and thus my point remains valid.
As for the rest, are you freakin' kidding me? The majority of the time situations like you describe do not end in someone humping you, they end in someone burying you. Of the handfull that do survive, many would wind up in therapy for PTSD rather than knocking back beers with their buddies as they tell their story.

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Re: Do you think reviving the dead will ever be possible?

Postby SlyReaper » Wed Jul 28, 2010 6:57 am UTC

Oregonaut wrote:Do yourself a favor. Google amusement park safety. Fun reading.

Anyway, I'm talking about falling out of an airplane and managing to get your chute on and deployed while falling.

I'm talking a bungee jump where the rope snaps and you have seconds to get yourself into a position to hit the water.

I'm talking me, falling off of a building while still attempting to attach my rappeling gear, wrapping the pulley chain around my shoulder, clipping the carbiner/snap hook assembly to my back, and aiming for an awning, missing said awning, having the rope get caught in said awning, causing my momentum to carry me into a pendulum motion, going through a window, having the whole rear assembly come off my body and my monkey ass go sailing down the aisle in pain, broken in more than one way, while the training instructor looks on in disbelief and saying to her partner, "I want him. I want him down here, right now. That was inhuman and I want his babies."

Surviving shit like that would be par for the course, if you could just download yourself to another body. Experiences like that would be gone forever, because the risk, the spice, would be gone.


Even if true, it's a small price to pay for getting to live forever.
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Re: Do you think reviving the dead will ever be possible?

Postby gbagcn2 » Fri Jul 30, 2010 12:00 am UTC

I remember reading somewhere the human brain can only store 1000 years worth of memory. Anyone know if this is true or how to calculate how many years of memory the human brain can store?

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Re: Do you think reviving the dead will ever be possible?

Postby The Scyphozoa » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:29 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote:This will start with the unimportant and unimpressive things like what you had for dinner on the 23rd of March 2003 (chances are, that's already gone),

Well, I dunno about you guys, but I'm DAMN SURE I had pizza that day.



(... it was a Sunday, and during that period of my life I had pizza every Sunday)



Also, as far as "humans not being equipped to be immortal", and giving fictional examples, I submit that immortality (well, increasing expected lifespan by at least a factor of 5) was one of the things that made Smeagol so fucked up. According to Tolkien, mortals are supposed to be that way and can't handle an increased lifespan.
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Re: Do you think reviving the dead will ever be possible?

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:54 pm UTC

...because it worked for Tolkien's themes and story. Also, it made elves that much better than *normal* men, of whom Aragorn wasn't even one. Dude was pushing 90 at when he met up with Frodo and crew.
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Re: Do you think reviving the dead will ever be possible?

Postby Sockmonkey » Sat Jul 31, 2010 1:39 pm UTC

Smeagol having his brain messed with by the ring and living like a sewer rat for some time might have had something to do with his mental state.

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Re: Do you think reviving the dead will ever be possible?

Postby Ivora » Sat Jul 31, 2010 3:18 pm UTC

You know what? I think its totally possible. :wink:

Why else would people be willing to freeze themselves in those weird chambers without a chance of resurrection in the future?

...and yeah, they are totally dead. :o

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Re: Do you think reviving the dead will ever be possible?

Postby SlyReaper » Sat Jul 31, 2010 4:25 pm UTC

Ivora wrote:You know what? I think its totally possible. :wink:

Why else would people be willing to freeze themselves in those weird chambers without a chance of resurrection in the future?

...and yeah, they are totally dead. :o


As far as I know, the only human popsicles that actually exist were frozen shortly after death. Even if they are never resurrected, they haven't lost anything.

And chances are, they won't be. By my understanding, straight-forward freezing causes extreme damage to cell membranes because the water inside them crystallises as it turns to ice.
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Re: Do you think reviving the dead will ever be possible?

Postby Ivora » Sat Jul 31, 2010 5:23 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote:
Ivora wrote:You know what? I think its totally possible. :wink:

Why else would people be willing to freeze themselves in those weird chambers without a chance of resurrection in the future?

...and yeah, they are totally dead. :o


As far as I know, the only human popsicles that actually exist were frozen shortly after death. Even if they are never resurrected, they haven't lost anything.

And chances are, they won't be. By my understanding, straight-forward freezing causes extreme damage to cell membranes because the water inside them crystallises as it turns to ice.


I think the reason why they freeze themselves in the first place is to wait for medical technology to get to the point of being capable of fixing their bodily problems.

So... I'm sure the brain and skin damage caused by the deep freeze will also be fixed as well. :D

However long it takes us to figure it out... they are patient enough to wait it out. :?

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Re: Do you think reviving the dead will ever be possible?

Postby SlyReaper » Sat Jul 31, 2010 6:06 pm UTC

You're assuming it's even possible. Every cell would have to be reconstructed by a machine, and it would be making its "best guess" about what that cell looked like originally. That's fine for every organ except the brain, where small alterations at the cellular level could have a big impact on the personality of the individual who awakens.

You're also assuming that the mighty space-men of the future would even bother reviving the person. I mean, what's in it for them? It's just another mouth to feed in what is undoubtedly an already over-populated planet. His skills and knowledge would be hopelessly outmoded, and there's even a chance that he's of a particular ethnic background that the current dystopian regime just loves persecuting and/or murdering (if there's one thing which will never go out of fashion, it's people killing people).

You're also assuming their icy coffin will remain undisturbed for the duration of the occupant's slumber. All it takes is one little zombie uprising, and the coffin will be abandoned and without power, and the occupant will thaw and therefore be dead forever.

tl;dr - there's a metric fuckton of things that can go wrong.
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Re: Do you think reviving the dead will ever be possible?

Postby Ivora » Sat Jul 31, 2010 6:42 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote:You're assuming it's even possible. Every cell would have to be reconstructed by a machine, and it would be making its "best guess" about what that cell looked like originally. That's fine for every organ except the brain, where small alterations at the cellular level could have a big impact on the personality of the individual who awakens.

You're also assuming that the mighty space-men of the future would even bother reviving the person. I mean, what's in it for them? It's just another mouth to feed in what is undoubtedly an already over-populated planet. His skills and knowledge would be hopelessly outmoded, and there's even a chance that he's of a particular ethnic background that the current dystopian regime just loves persecuting and/or murdering (if there's one thing which will never go out of fashion, it's people killing people).

You're also assuming their icy coffin will remain undisturbed for the duration of the occupant's slumber. All it takes is one little zombie uprising, and the coffin will be abandoned and without power, and the occupant will thaw and therefore be dead forever.

tl;dr - there's a metric fuckton of things that can go wrong.


You kinda have to assume when it comes to the future. :P

But you yourself are assuming that... shit will go down... and things could get really bad. :shock:

Whose to say it wont though? You? :lol:

It really comes down to your prospective and how likely a zombie uprising is. :wink:

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Re: Do you think reviving the dead will ever be possible?

Postby SlyReaper » Sat Jul 31, 2010 7:14 pm UTC

The likelihood of a zombie uprising depends on how well my viral gene-line research goes, whether I lose control of it, and whether I feed this rabies-infected meatloaf to my pet chimp and subsequently get bitten by it.
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Re: Do you think reviving the dead will ever be possible?

Postby The Scyphozoa » Sat Jul 31, 2010 7:27 pm UTC

Sockmonkey wrote:Smeagol having his brain messed with by the ring and living like a sewer rat for some time might have had something to do with his mental state.

Yes, that too. I said increased lifespan was one of the things that screwed him up.
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Re: Do you think reviving the dead will ever be possible?

Postby SlyReaper » Sat Jul 31, 2010 7:41 pm UTC

The Scyphozoa wrote:
Sockmonkey wrote:Smeagol having his brain messed with by the ring and living like a sewer rat for some time might have had something to do with his mental state.

Yes, that too. I said increased lifespan was one of the things that screwed him up.

And here was me thinking it was the corrupting effect of the ring itself. Reading the books, I never got the impression that immortality itself had any bearing on his insanity.

Not that it particularly matters. As has been said before, this is fiction. Nobody has ever been immortal so we have no idea what effect immortality would have on a person's mind, and I don't think fiction writers are any more qualified to speculate about it than any of us.
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Re: Do you think reviving the dead will ever be possible?

Postby ++$_ » Sat Jul 31, 2010 9:14 pm UTC

At a guess, I would say, "not a chance after cellular death." When a cell dies, it is usually not a "he looks like he's sleeping" situation. The membrane will not remain intact, and many structures, including the cytoskeleton, will have severe damage or be completely gone. You could possibly retrieve the DNA, but that won't get you back the physical structure of a neuron, which is what we probably care about. Before that -- well, we already can revive the dead, if someone whose cells are still mostly living can be considered "dead". That's what "resuscitation" is.

As for whether or not I would want immortality, "forever" seems a bit long to me (after the heat death of the universe, things would get pretty boring). I wouldn't mind living longer, though, as long as I knew I would have a good world to live in. The problem is that any world in which people live for a really long time is likely to be a world with way too many people to be comfortable.

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Re: Do you think reviving the dead will ever be possible?

Postby SecondTalon » Sat Jul 31, 2010 9:30 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote:Not that it particularly matters. As has been said before, this is fiction. Nobody has ever been immortal so we have no idea what effect immortality would have on a person's mind, and I don't think fiction writers are any more qualified to speculate about it than any of us.
..except for the one immortal in this conversation who's been around for 15,000 years and for whatever reason is either postulating that we have no idea or is throwing up fictional evidence so as to try and prevent people from finding the thing that made them immortal in the first place.

/tin foil hat
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Re: Do you think reviving the dead will ever be possible?

Postby The Scyphozoa » Sat Jul 31, 2010 9:51 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote:
The Scyphozoa wrote:
Sockmonkey wrote:Smeagol having his brain messed with by the ring and living like a sewer rat for some time might have had something to do with his mental state.

Yes, that too. I said increased lifespan was one of the things that screwed him up.

And here was me thinking it was the corrupting effect of the ring itself. Reading the books, I never got the impression that immortality itself had any bearing on his insanity.

Sorry, I should have clarified: It's something Tolkien wrote in a letter that is in the foreword of my copy of The Silmarillion, that in his world, every being is born/created with a supposed lifespan, and is not fit to live longer than it should.
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Re: Do you think reviving the dead will ever be possible?

Postby Bakemaster » Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:13 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote:The likelihood of a zombie uprising depends on how well my viral gene-line research goes, whether I lose control of it, and whether I feed this rabies-infected meatloaf to my pet chimp and subsequently get bitten by it.

Yes, I imagine contracting rabies would throw quite the monkey-wrench into one's research, "viral gene-line" or otherwise.
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Re: Do you think reviving the dead will ever be possible?

Postby Rek » Sun Aug 01, 2010 4:10 am UTC

Will it possible? Probably.
Should it be possible? No.

The amount of problems that would rise if immortality/the ability to bring back the dead existed would outweigh the benefits by far.
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