Cryonics - What It Feels Like

Chris Fedeli (
Mon, 19 Apr 1999 05:12:01 -0400

Emlyn wrote:

>"It's not suprising that you don't sign up for cryonics - I
wonder if
>anyone on this list actually has? It's like setting up your
>While many people actually do buy plots of land, etc, just
for that
>purpose, I'd be VERY suprised if people on this list are
amongst their

but later she qualified this with:

>What I meant was that, psychologically, cryonics feels like
>your own funeral. I support using cryonics, I think its a
good last
>option, but to actually address it in your life must be
like arranging
>your own burial site.
>Or is it like getting life insurance?

Actually, when I signed up for cryonic susupension my expereince of the psychological dimension was something of a rush. It was probably similar to the feeling expereinced by those who joined the American Communist Party back in the 1920's - a twinge of excitement at having associated yourself with a tiny group who shares a radical vision.

But that excitement fades, since cryonicists share little else in common with early communists. No one assigned me a contact person, or asked me to perform subversive acts of psychological terrorism against the establishment. Cryonics (and transhumanism in general) does not have the qualities of the mass movements of old, since it does not ask its memebers to submerge their identities into a 'cause' which is greater then themselves. Instead, the cause is ourselves : it is an ethic centered around self-preservation and enhancement.

But still, I would maintain that signing up for cryonics is one of the most important acts that many of us on this list can do to help advance transhumanism in the world. Being a signed-up suspension member with a cryonics outfit is, to use the old expression, putting your money where your mouth is. It's easy to spout transhuman memes to your friends, but filling out that dreadful paperwork and arranging a life insurance contract demonstrates a willingness for some kind of lasting personal committment to the extropian weltanshauung. [and yes Emlyn, that part of the sign-up feels exactly like doing annoying paperwork :) ]

Call it a symbolic act. For many of us on this list, 'symbolic' would be the only way to look at is, since I know a number of people are relatively certain that they'll never need to resort to the ice to extend their own lives long enough to become post-humans.

Ignoring the holes in that reasoning, join a cryonics organization just to get that little bracelet that you can wag in people's faces to show how radical you are. And to show them that transhumanism isn't just a bunch of talk.

Chris Fedeli