Cryonics is based on the assumption that future technology will be able to restore the terminally ill patient of today to robust good health using the medical technology of tomorrow. This assumption depends on (a) what damage the patient might have suffered prior to reaching the remarkably stable temperature of liquid nitrogen, and (b) what medical technology might be available decades or even centuries in the future to restore good health. The development of vitrification makes it clear that the damage done by cryopreservation can be minimized, while advances in molecular nanotechnology, particularly the expected development of medical nanorobots, makes it clear that remarkable new medical technologies able to heal and cure even the most extensive damage should be available in a matter of decades. The increasing likelihood of technical success has focused additional interest on questions of organizational and economic stability, and specifically on the methods by which modern cryonics organizations provide long term funding to keep patients cryopreserved, and eventually to revive them.
Dr. Merkle received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1979 where he co-invented public key cryptography. He joined Xerox PARC in 1988, where he pursued research in security and computational nanotechnology until 1999. He was a Nanotechnology Theorist at Zyvex until 2003, when he joined the Georgia Institute of Technology as a Professor of Computing until 2006. He is now President and Co-Founder of a stealth nanotechnology company, a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Molecular Manufacturing, a Director of Alcor, and on the faculty at Singularity University. He chaired the Fourth and Fifth Foresight Conferences on Nanotechnology. He was co-recipient of: the Feynman Prize for Nanotechnology for theory, the ACM’s Kanellakis Award for Theory and Practice, the IEEE Kobayashi Award, the RSA Award in Mathematics, the IEEE Hamming Award; a Fellow of the IACR, a Fellow of the Computer History Museum, and a National Inventor’s Hall of Fame Inductee. Dr. Merkle has fourteen patents, has published extensively and has given hundreds of talks. His home page is at www.merkle.com.
You may purchase food and drinks at Harry’s Hofbrau and enjoy them before, during, and after the presentation in the banquet room.
Volunteers are needed and appreciated for set up and tear down! If you’re a new member, this a great way to dive head first into the community. Setup starts at approx 6:00pm. See Social Director Sean Washington about becoming an event roadie. If you’re more interested in making your fellow atheists feel welcome, see Lyn about joining our hospitality team.
This event is totally free, though we do accept donations (http://sanjoseatheists.org/donate/).