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Extend consumer protection law to cover implausible but untestable claims

 
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The linked story (see link) made me think - these cryogenic freezing outfits get away with making completely unrealistic promises to vulnerable and desperate people because they're allowed to say that, while there's no way at all that a person can be frozen and then unfrozen and come back to life now, there's a slim possibility that at some unspecified point in the future this will be possible. In fact, it's almost certain that any unfreezing process will result in a sort of mushy cellular soup. Therefore consumer protection law should be extended to prohibit selling services on the basis of impossible future scientific breakthroughs.
hippo, Nov 18 2015

http://www.bbc.co.u...world-asia-34311502 [hippo, Nov 18 2015]

Cellular soup could be avoided Suspended_20Animation
I think we have the technology, but nobody has put enough $ into it to try it. [Vernon, Nov 18 2015]

[link]






       The problem is that they're not "impossible", just implausible ...
8th of 7, Nov 18 2015
  

       It's implausible today.   

       In 50 years, it will almost certainly be possible to freeze a brain, or a person, in such a way that they can be revived. (This is already done routinely for human and other embryos; human-sized organisms are probably 3-5 orders of magnitude harder.)   

       In 100 years, it will almost certainly be possible to reconstruct and revive a brain which has been frozen using today's rather primitive technology.   

       If someone gets frozen today in the hopes of being alive at some point in the future, the greatest risks are the continuity of storage and the decisions of people in that future to revive them (or not).
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 18 2015
  

       I wonder what Walt will think of owning Star Wars?   

       [Max] //it will almost certainly be possible to reconstruct and revive a brain which has been frozen using today's rather primitive technology// - really? I thought that processes used for freezing human bodies today were likely to irreparably damage cells. On the other hand I don't even have 'O' Level Biology and so might not be able to justifiably claim to be an authority on this.
hippo, Nov 18 2015
  

       Regarding goods that have a “lifetime guarantee”: If the product fails, the manufacturer might say that it has reached the end of its lifetime, and therefore is no longer covered.
Ian Tindale, Nov 18 2015
  

       //processes used for freezing human bodies today were likely to irreparably damage cells//   

       It depends on your repair technology. I presume they've made some advances in the freezing technology but, even if not, we're looking at two types of damage:   

       (a) Local (subcellular) damage caused by ice crystals and other effects and   

       (b) Large-scale damage (large fractures).   

       In each case, we know *how* to repair the damage, in principle. What I mean is, if we could examine the structure in sufficient (near-atomic) resolution, and if we could move atoms around at will, we could repair the damage perfectly. So, all that's needed is the technology to do that.   

       There are other ways to do it - possibly easier in practice - but atom-by- atom repair is conceptually simpler.   

       Or, if you prefer, just ablate the frozen brain atom-by-atom, noting the position of each atom as you go. Once you're done, apply some nifty algorithms to detect freezing damage and edit the file, then use the edited file to build a new brain atom by atom.   

       If you went back 100 years, and told someone that you would be able to engineer purified sand to the point where a few square millimetres had one billion memory devices on it, they'd have been doubtful too.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 18 2015
  

       // I wonder what Walt will think of owning Star Wars?   

       Would he own it? Are there any legal precedents for people being revived from death? Do they get their stuff back? What about any new stuff their estates and holdings have acquired since they died? These are important issues.   

       Walt would have never heard of Star Wars but he'd be delighted to know that kids love it, there's a princess, and it makes shitloads of dollars.
tatterdemalion, Nov 18 2015
  

       Is this an "idea" within the guidelines of the help file ?
normzone, Nov 18 2015
  

       [norm] yes, I wondered that too - it's an idea for a new law, and there is a "Public: Law" category, so I think OK, but probably on the boundary of what's permissible.
hippo, Nov 18 2015
  

       //and it makes shitloads of dollars//   

       and would marvel that it cost less than Candy chuffing Crush.
bs0u0155, Nov 18 2015
  

       anyhow, a frozen brain might prove unwakeuppable, however it will certainly be possible to image it well enough to build a fairly comprehensive map of the neuronal interactions. You wouldn't have to do all of it, just the non- standard bits. Then a new brain could be built with fancy scaffold technology.
bs0u0155, Nov 18 2015
  

       [Max] Point taken - our ability to do atomic-scale construction and repair will in the future be beyond what we can imagine now. The problem might be more complicated than you make out though - you have to repair molecules and cells where you might not be sure what was there originally, and also, all the chemical processes would have to be kick-started.
hippo, Nov 18 2015
  

       //you have to repair molecules and cells where you might not be sure what was there originally, and also, all the chemical processes would have to be kick-started//   

       Cells do that very well, provided the damage isn't above a certain threshold.
bs0u0155, Nov 18 2015
  

       //you might not be sure what was there originally//   

       You'll be sure enough. Your brain doesn't care if a protein diffuses across a cell, or if there are 50 molecules of ATP instead of 40. Your brain (and any living thing) is in a constant state of turmoil. You'll want to keep the right cell-to-cell connections, and proof-read the DNA, and stuff like that - but a few wrong molecules won't make a difference.   

       //all the chemical processes would have to be kick-started// cellular chemical process restart quite happily, which is why you can freeze and revive sperm, embryos and all kinds of tiny things. It's possible that, in the brain, there is something like "dynamic ram" that requires constant neuronal firing to keep it up and running, but I doubt it. At least very deep anaesthesia has no major long- term impact, so the mechanisms at least aren't _that_ delicate.   

       My guess is that if you could defrost a brain to just below freezing, having repaired all the damage, and then instantaneously (that's the hard part) get it up to temperature with a good blood supply, the result would be very much like coming round from deep anaesthesia. (And yes, I know anaesthesia doesn't stop all the brain's processes, but still.)
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 18 2015
  

       Interesting stuff - thanks. You're making this sound almost plausible; I had always assumed cryogenics was a massive scam, preying on the vulnerable.
hippo, Nov 18 2015
  

       I'll wager sanitizer liquids and antibiotics were looked at from the same viewpoint when they first materialized.
normzone, Nov 18 2015
  

       //I had always assumed cryogenics was a massive scam, preying on the vulnerable//   

       That's not to say it's not - after all, Alcor doesn't have to deliver the resuscitation. But if you're going to die, your chances of coming back from cryogenesis are infinitely better than your chances of coming back from a cremation.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 18 2015
  

       How much infinitely?
Ian Tindale, Nov 18 2015
  

       A lot infinitely.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 18 2015
  

       How about you want to return a product just because you just don't like it?
travbm, Nov 18 2015
  

       Then you shouldn’t have bought it. You can’t just take something back because you don’t like it any more.
Ian Tindale, Nov 18 2015
  

       You lost me at "impossible".
Voice, Nov 18 2015
  

       //// I wonder what Walt will think of owning Star Wars?////   

       //Would he own it? Are there any legal precedents for people being revived from death? Do they get their stuff back? What about any new stuff their estates and holdings have acquired since they died? These are important issues.//   

       I totally agree!
These decisions will have a large impact on whether the first revival attempts are made public knowledge.
  

       Every time I see a new Disney project I can't help but wonder what Walt would or would not have changed or allowed. I have nothing to base these suppositions on other than the films made while he was alive and his brief tv appearances, but I wonder anyhoo.   

       [Voice's standard anti-destructive-copy rant]
Voice, Nov 18 2015
  
      
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