November 15, 2006

Interviewed for Alcor's Cryonics Magazine

I was recently interviewed by Alcor for an upcoming Cryonics Magazine article on the ethics of cryonics. Here's a sneak peak:
According to George Dvorsky, deputy editor of Betterhumans and co-founder of the Toronto Transhumanist Association, “the ‘information’ that’s encoded in the brain and in constant flux is the person.”

To most cryonicists, it seems straight-forward that “you” are the information encoded in your brain. While this information exists, you are still “alive.” When it’s gone, so are you. But this concept of information theoretic death is not widely known, let alone accepted. Many still cling to a primacy of body over mind.

Dvorsky says, “Traditional bioethicists argue that a person remains a person until all biological activity has stopped.” Witness the struggle over the Terry Schiavo case. While medical sensibilities are migrating toward a neurological definition of being alive, it has not reached the consciousness of the American public.

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