Notes on the 4th Terasem Movement Colloquium

You find a lot of interesting speculation on the future intersection of law and cryonics in this lengthy report from Accelerating Future: "this is a legally focused gathering, and addresses legal issues related to cryonics patients, cyborgs, artificial biological intelligent beings, enhanced human beings, and artificial intelligences. ... Martine invites the first speaker, John Didon, to the podium. He has contributed more than any other attorney to the rights of people in biostasis. As many of you may know, people in biostasis are sometimes at risk of their rights being denied, treated as objects rather than the people they are. John points out that there is no legal status of suspended persons, so any discussion of such is merely (unfortunately) of ideas. Historically, people have tried to do things like will money to themselves for revival after biostasis, and these efforts have run into trouble with family members. John quotes William Goldman: 'Nobody knows anything'. Law is based on precedent, which is both a blessing and a curse. Because cryonic suspension is so new, there is little precedent, but we have to try to shape the law by being there first. He will present four arguments to support shaping the law in favor of persons upon their suspension." From where I stand, law is far less important than incentives - worry about arranging the incentives first, because incentives shape laws and the way people interact with those laws. Potential material gain beats ink on paper every time.