Saturday, December 13, 2008


Within -what felt like- 10 minutes of posting my bit on cryonics, Eliezer had this to say
I know more people who are planning to sign up for cryonics Real Soon Now than people who have actually signed up. I expect that more people have died while cryocrastinating than have actually been cryopreserved. If you've already decided this is a good idea, but you "haven't gotten around to it", sign up for cryonics NOW. I mean RIGHT NOW
Ummm... Well, I do feel like an idiot now, but I'm still not going to sign up just yet. I can afford to, but if I did so much my income would be taken up by sensible stuff that life would feel a bit dull. Some of the sensible stuff is compulsory and some of it is backed up by some pretty established social norms. How does diverting money from medical aid to cryonics sound? Not so good? Didn't think so.


Trev said...

A couple of questions:

1) How much does it cost?

2) How much of you do they freeze? Could you still donate most of your other organs (than your brain)?

stuart said...

$120 per year and you need at least %50 000 worth of life insurance. (see comment below, endless stream of famous commenters!)

Cryonics is usually about freezing you head I think. The idea isn't to just thaw out but to transfer the information from your brain. You can get your whole body frozen but that's way more expensive, and why ould you wanna do that?

Greg Torr said...

Surely you'd want your whole body frozen so that you can come back to life in the same body? Quite a few people would want that option surely? I would imagine peoples' sense of self is quite strongly linked to their physical bodies - coming back as a robot just seems a bit freaky. Or are we assuming that if we've reached the stage where we can decode and re-animate brains, making an exact replica of a body (for anyone sentimental and retro enough to want that) would be a piece of cake?

mutt said...

I see where all this is coming from, but at least partly for the reason you give (brain is difficult, body would be easy) I don't think it's necessary to have your body frozen.

regardless of the technology used to reanimate us in the future, the way we freeze now damages the brain and body a lot, so we'd need a lot of repairs. how much repairing before we stop thinking of it as our "own body"?

Does it need to be our current body, or just a body that doesn't feel all metalic and robotic?Do we want to keep all the little quirks the evolution has left us with, things like appendixes and wisdom teeth?

I'm quite comfortable thinking of myself as a kind of fancy robot. I don't know how much of a problem this is for people, but I get the impression that people think of themselves coming back attached to bodies similar to robocop or terminator, which is very misleading.

Even if we were uploaded in a similar way to the people in the matrix, the upload could give us bodies, so that we'd not notice the difference.

Personally, I think I'd like a new body similar to the one I have, but minus all the bad bits, including vulernerability to disease and aging etc.

Keep in mind that I've not read up on cryonics much. there are probably advantages to getting your body frozen just in case.