Fallout and 3 Body Problem

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jordansparks
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Fallout and 3 Body Problem

Post by jordansparks »

I just finished binge watching Fallout. Great show. Some of the ridiculous impossible technologies included cold fusion, brain in a jar, and cryonics. There are two fundamentally different ways of depicting cryonics. The nearly universal way that it's depicted on TV and in movies is as a suspended animation technology where the character goes to sleep in a cryo chamber with a transparent front so that you can see them sleeping. Then, they get woken back up in the future, usually by someone intentionally pushing buttons to wake them up, but sometimes accidentally. It's a great plot device and is heavily used, just like time travel. I saw another example of cryonics last month in the 3 Body Problem where Wade planned to use a series of sessions in cryo sleep to live for 400 years. If you go back and read The Prospect of Immortality by Robert Ettinger, it's pretty consistent with this depiction of cryonics. Cryonics was founded as an attempt at suspended animation. The problem is that this is impossible. Nobody's going to wake up that easily. Revival will instead require a complete rebuild of the brain, molecule by molecule.

This leads us to the newer alternate version of cryonics which is structural preservation that future technology could use to completely rebuild the brain from scratch. I think this alternate approach is understood fairly well within the cryonics community, but the public doesn't really make the distinction. It doesn't help that many in the cryonics community are still pursuing cryonics as if it were suspended animation. That irritates me as being irrational. But there are glimmers of hope that the public perception might be changing. In the 3 Body Problem, they also send a naked cryopreserved brain to the aliens because that's clearly all that their advanced technology would need in order to completely rebuild the original person. I hope to see the concept of structural brain preservation used more regularly in the future.
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