A Report from the Alcor-40 Conference

Members of the cryonics community gathered for the Alcor-40 conference last week. Here is a report on the event:

I was expecting some excellent talks on the current state of cryonics technology, from the particulars of preservation via vitrification with powerful cryoprotectants, to the pragmatics of transitioning a recently deceased body from the site of death to Alcor's facilities. And the talks on these topics were indeed worthwhile, giving me faith that, in spite of quite limited funding for research and operations, Alcor is steadily improving all dimensions of their practice. Alcor's new CEO Max More started in the position fairly recently, and from what I can tell he's been doing a very professional job.

What surprised me was the depth of the talks on longevity science and neuroscience. One definitely got the feeling that cryonics is not nearly as marginalized as it was a decade ago or even five years ago, and is now accepted as a reasonable pursuit by a rapidly increasing subset of the scientific community.

Of course, this is part of a larger trend of the gradual mainstreaming of transhumanist technologies. AGI and nanotechnology, for example, were laughed at by most academics in relevant fields just 10-20 years ago. Now they are much more broadly acknowledged as valid and important pursuits, though there are still differences in vision between the maverick advocates and the interested folks in the academic mainstream.

Link: http://www.kurzweilai.net/report-from-the-alcor-40-conference


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