Site started 2014.01.01
The sections below are in roughly the order I started them - see the alpha sorted web sites at the bottom of the page for the complete list.
See this for a quick, printable overview of cold stuff: Quick Summary of Current Human Cooling Options
Click on a subheading to expand or collapse a section.
I always thought it was a bit odd to have a personal web site but it is probably the most convenient way for me to summarise everything. The following info is in some sort of logical order. On the lighter side, I feel like Geoffrey Palmer should be asking me questions on "Grumpy Old Men" - on the more serious side there is this soapbox effort from my Sydney Futurists web page:
"This group has been more than ten years in the making. Since I first started getting actively involved in Cryonics (Cryonics Association Of Australasia) I have become convinced that it is not sufficient to just want to have an extended, wonderful life for myself. It was clear that for my personal dreams to have any chance of success that there would have to be some preconditions. If I could not extend a vigorous and worthwhile life in the current instance, and I eventually required a Cryonic Suspension, then if there was going to be any chance of a reanimation of my frozen self in the future, then that was going to require, at least, an advanced technological civilisation that was capable of the reanimation. That fundamental requirement raises issues that go beyond issues of immediate self-interest.
I grew up in a scientific family in the fifties, sixties and seventies during a period of great optimism. Western economies were booming, we sent people to the moon and returned them to Earth, scientific and medical advances (eg the first heart transplant) were gathering pace. However, there were some dark clouds. We were involved in stupid and illegal wars in South East Asia and there were some serious and rapidly growing problems with damage to the natural world - caused, basically, by the rapid expansion of human populations and material consumption.
Humans are clearly going to have to make some existential choices in the near future. The results of the those choices could be, in the extremes, that our species goes on to explore the rest of the universe for millennia to come, or, at the other extreme, complex life on Earth could vanish altogether. I think it is clear that personal survival and growth fundamentally depends on the sociological and biological health of our little planet. If we want to reach an incredibly exciting and interesting future for ourselves we are going to need a good dose of enlightened self-interest for ourselves, for other people and for other species on this planet.
When wars were fought with clubs and spears etc it did not matter too much that some numbers of people removed themselves from the human gene pool. This is not true for the modern world. When bad governments, bad leaders or even just crazy individuals committed to one fairy story or another are capable of returning our species to the Stone Age - or worse, we need to be much more intelligent about how we run the place. I guess this Group is an attempt to have discussions with people who have desires about reaching or seeing a wonderful future and are interested in having discussions/arguments about the best way to get there!"
As mentioned in the Introduction, when the delusion of continuing youth was wearing off and I had to take mortality seriously, I started investigating options. Despite, after childhood, having had a relatively healthy (and relatively lucky) life, the end result of some decades of nature and nurture meant that I had to revisit some of the scary thoughts that had crossed my mind when I was very young (after some severe asthma attacks, I was surprised to find out that survival was not guaranteed to everyone). I had put these thoughts out of my mind when I had grown out of the childhood asthma and had a somewhat reckless, but fun, adolescence. For people who are not convinced about some superstitious hereafter (and for some who are!) Cryonics seems like a good idea. Nothing is guaranteed of course but the chances of physcial revival from Liquid Nitrogen temperatures has a greater than zero possibility (as compared to rotting and burning). Now the chances of a successful revival may vary between 0% and 100%, and there are lots of variables that will contribute to the likelihood of success but, in my opinion, the biggest roadblock is the survival of civilisation itself - which is looking increasingly less likely if we keep trashing the biosphere at an ever-increasing rate.
I had thought when I was younger that by the time I had grown up, that Science and Medical technology would have solved the aging problems and I could live happily and healthily for as long as I chose to. So I was very surprised that when I started investigating Cryonics that more progress had not been made. When I got involved with the Cryonics Association of Australasia (CAA) in the late 1990s, it did not have a web site or a mailing list - clearly, like previous activist situations I had been involved in, if I wanted to improve the situation, I was going to have to get involved directly myself and not just hope that "someone else will do it".
After I decided to put some effort into spreading the word about Cryonics, I was constantly surprised when talking to people that they couldn't see the logic of the Cryonics solution - after an intelligent discussion with someone (who wasn't predisposed and irrationally committed to some superstitious solution), they would quite frequently say something like: "OK, I can see that there might be a chance that Cryonics might work but I'm just not interested in another life - this life has been good. What I AM upset about is that after 80 years of living, growing and learning, all those memories, experiences and all that knowledge, expertise and even wisdom is just going to disappear when I die . ."
More to come . .
When I was young, despite living fairly frugally for the time and the place, and despite some near misses with health problems and accidents, I think I was pretty happy with the world. However, once I started to get older, have more health problems, saw how lots of other people had many more problems than I did and, indeed, saw the state of the planet, there was a lot to be depressed about.
I have found a number of ways of trying to deal with the depression (including the pharmaceuticals): exercise; mental exercise; going to interesting lectures; singing; playing and listening to music. For many decades I have messed around with playing guitar - usually just half a dozen chords and folk or pop songs. Now I want to be able to do more. In the seventies I heard the popularisation of Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" from his Ninth Symphony ("Song of Joy"), and so began something wonderful with Ludwig van and I - and from him I discovered more "Classical" composers, who's stuff is just mind blowing. So it wasn't just the great philosophers, naturalists, scientists, engineers, medical researchers and artists of history and their works that fascinated me, now there was music as well.
Even when I was a kid I thought there was something wrong with Traditional music Notation (TN) - it seemed unnecessarily difficult to me. Of course back then I didn't know about the historical development of Western music, it was only when I got older that I found out why things were they way they were. However, by then I was more interested in other things. Now that I have returned more actively to listening to and creating music (with an emphasis on Classical Guitar), I find I am again irritated by TN, so I have started producing my own Alternative Notation (AN). I realise I am being iconoclastic and probably I will be the only person in the world to use this AN, but as long as it suits me and allows me to make faster progress than I otherwise would - who else cares?
Here is my analysis about the two possibilities of how the staves should look: Guitar Note Layout Possibilities
Here is my first stab at what the first option would look like: Guitar Note v1 which is still better than TN but doesn't really "grab" me!
Here is my first stab at what the second option would look like: Guitar Note v2.1
And here is my first conversion of an existing score for guitar: Simple Exercise Score
Here are updated versions with hollow note heads for open strings and an integrated "treble" and "bass" staff:
I gave away the idea of using hollow heads for open strings - although I thought it was useful, I found I was already conditioned to hollow notes being half-notes or whole-notes. Also, five of the guitar strings have fretted notes on other strings that are the same notes as the open strings, so indicating open strings is probably of little use in the long run really - sort of like training wheels for bicycles.
More to come . .
Of course growing up in the 60s and 70s means the popular music of the time is
part of who I am but I certainly leaned more towards "protest songs" and "folk
rock" than stuff like Deep Purple. The first exposure to Classical Music was
actually through cartoons eg:
Eventually I discovered Leonard Cohen and Sixto Rodriguez and then Australia's own "Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band" - which needs its own page, so look here:
There seems to be a lot of frustrated writers around - people who have the desire to produce novels, short stories, personal histories and interesting non-fiction. Most people of course never end up being famous and / or rich authors. Some people write just because it fulfills a need that they have - they have a passion for writing. I don't think I fall into any of those categories really. I have always been interested in reading Science and Science Fiction and, on occasions, I have jotted down notes that I thought would make a nice story - I even wrote a "chapter" every now and then - but I never took it seriously. Then one day I was having a discussion with a friend of mine and I was trying to explain to her why I thought Cryonics and Neural Archives was interesting, worth investigating and spending my time on. I wasn't making much progress convincing her so I thought if I could write something - a fictional story - that would be able to touch a mother's instincts, then maybe she would understand what I was getting at. Needless to say my idea and story didn't work for this purpose . . but I began to get the writing bug . .
While I was writing the first short story I realised that writing Science Fiction might also be a way of reaching people about the dangers that humans faced by majorly stuffing up the biosphere. Ideas for further short stories and sequels began to take shape . . an idea for a new web site took shape:
More to come . .
A major part of the problem with getting interested in things like Cryonics and Neural Archives is that very quickly you find that there are a lot of stupid legislative and other controls around that prevent rational adults from doing sensible, rational things - that they SHOULD have the right to do. I won't get on my soapbox in this section about how the Judeo-Christian heritage kept us in the Dark Ages for more than a thousand years and how organised superstition (certainly since the Ionian Greeks) generally causes more damage than any good it might do - but have a look here for how Voluntary Euthanasia relates to Pre-Mortem Cryonics Suspensions:
More to come . .
I couldn't stand it anymore - the planet is going "to Hell in a Handbasket" - how I am supposed to live forever if the surface of the Earth ends up like Venus? Like everything to do with Humans, there are always political implications and ramifications. If I want an extended biological life span, there has to be a biosphere conducive for Humans (with lots of biodiversity); if there is going to be a nice biosphere to live in, we have to stop trashing the planet and start repairing it; and finally, if we are going to be serious about changing Human behaviour and start repairing the planet, we need to get serious about radically increasing R&D for health and longevity, clean and green technologies and aggressively dealing with Global Warming.
More to come . .
I had been interested in Envionmentally Friendly Buildings since I had been at school but a health crisis some years ago forced me to completely re-evaluate my life style and start taking a more practical interest. Basically I had to get out of the "Rat Race" because it was killing me. I started developing the idea of getting out of the city and building a house that would be conducive to my own health and longevity. Then I started wondering whether other people might also be interested in this project. I gradually realised that a community of people would be much more effective at dealing with individual and group health problems than individuals in isolation - the idea of LEVs started to take shape.
So in January 2015 I finally made the break from the big city and started the process of getting this dream going - I moved to a small country town, Cowra, 5 hours West of Sydney - the first house is in progress . .
More to come . .
I feel like I am running out of time - there are lots of things that should be done, and, if I was affluent enough, I would just pay people to do them - but I'm not, so I don't - and I will just have to do some of them myself somehow. There are things happening that could be very useful for the projects that I am working on - one of these is MaidSafe:
MaidSafe is very important to me for a number of different reasons but the critical aspect of the project is that they are rewriting key parts of the software architecture in a new "System" language called "Rust":
Over previous months I have been reading a lot about what this means for MaidSafe itself and what the implications are for the apps that I want to develop to make use of the MaidSafe environment. I have become convinced of the desirability of using Rust in parts of my own apps that are in development but the problem is that Rust is very new and there is a shortage of competent people who can help do some of this stuff. Rust resembles "C" but it is harder . . maybe as hard as I found "C++" years ago, i.e. pretty heavy going. However, there does not appear to be too many other options - however slow it may be to become competent with Rust, it looks like I am going to have to attempt it.
One of the key issues I am interested in WRT Rust is the matter of concurrency - I understand programming languages have lots of problems dealing with it. To help understand Rust a bit better I thought I might try and rewrite a little of my (on again / off again) thesis Population Genetics Simulation program in Rust and see how it goes. The original simulation program was my first (and last) non-trivial C++ project. From what I have read, I should be able to accomplish some of it in Rust in a much more efficient (lines of code) way while not losing out on the main reason for using C++ in the first place - speed. I have put a description of a minimal population simulation Rust program here:
I have attempted to solicit help (paid and otherwise) on some of the Rust fora (so I could make faster progress) but with not much luck so I will just have to start my little simulation exercise while slogging my way through "The Rust Book". I will document my Rust progress here (for as long as there is progress) in case it might be useful for others. It looks like this little program is a good place to start:
Since my original simulation program was called "Ogre", versions of this Rust program will become ogreXXX where I will diff each successive version from the last one and create a web page for it so it is easy for people to see exactly what has changed as things evolve (Ha! . . a little in-house joke . .). If anyone is interested in making suggestions about how to improve the code - or even doing some paid development / paired programming stuff - let me know!
This first diff was just an exercise really - I have changed the formatting to my preferred style and changed the number of threads to two. Eventually the numbers of threads generated will be equivalent to the number of cells in an arbitrarily sized arrary (up to about 15x15) but the smallest interesting array is 2x1 so two threads is a convenient place to start.
More to come . .
This also deserves its own page:
E-mail: phr AT philiprhoades DOT org
Mail: GPO Box 3411 Sydney NSW 2001 Australia
Annual Beethoven in Cowra Concerts
Cosmentis - Expanding Mind into the Universe - SHUT DOWN (historical interest only)
Cryonics, Suspended Animation, Life Extension: Research and ConsultingCryonics Association of Australasia
Domain Science Fiction
Freeze Phil Campaign
Life Extension Villages
Life Extension, Science and Technology Party (LESTp) (Australia)
Life Listening Technology
Mediterranean Diet - Cafes and Restaurants
Neural Archive Me!
Neural Archives Foundation
Neuronal Research Labs Pty Ltd
Pelec Pty Ltd
Pricom Pty Ltd - For Historical Interest
Quad Point Systems Pty Ltd
Rhoades Family Stuff
Sydney Futurists Meetup