Re: CRYONICS: feasibility [was Re: Fox cryonics show]

From: Jeff Davis (
Date: Fri Feb 11 2000 - 03:08:44 MST


I have much enjoyed the postings Re: CRYONICS: feasibility, and have
something to add to the discussion, but, for now, this comment only:

On Wed, 9 Feb 2000 17:44:00 EST
 "Stirling Westrup" <> wrote:

>You know, the knee-jerk "Cryonics is a necessity" theme that some folks
have on
>this list has always annoyed me. Frankly, I think that cryonics IS is a good
>last-ditch solution to terminal diseases. Now, the question is, how much
>I be willing to give up for that chance of being frozen if suddenly struck

Stirling, if I may be so familiar as to address you on a first name basis,
I would like to give you a straightforward answer to this question, as best
I can, based on my own experience as someone who is signed up for his(my)
cryonic suspension.

Two months short of my 51st birthday, I signed up with the Cryonics
Institute. As a non-smoking male in excellent health I was able to obtain
an insurance policy with a $35,000 death benefit, for $250 per year for the
next twenty years. I hope, in the next twenty years, to accumulate $35K
net worth in "my estate" (hardly an unreasonable goal, most would agree),
and thereafter dispense with the insurance policy, but for now,and for the
next twenty years, I'm covered. I pay CI an additional $120 per year as a
membership fee. So all told, it comes to $370 per year--about a dollar a
day. Quite a bargain for the priviledge of enjoying as much of the future
as--barring accidents--I should choose to. (My analysis of the matter
persuades me that the likelihood of the success of the
suspension/reanimation process is a near certainty, and that further
discussion of the matter is somewhat tedious. Robert and Ralph have got it
right--end of story. I realize that such blunt confidence is off-putting
to some, and rationally insupportable to others, often outrageously so.
Yet I, in turn, consider their analysis feeble, and their vision puny.
Though this may sound like an insult, I assure you it is not. We all
believe in the future, but how many of us are genuinely persuaded, AT AN
EMOTIONAL LEVEL, of the imminent and profound transformation of human life
as we know it--of the singularity--when today is still so very much like
yesterday. The future looms, our brain calculates the evidence, but our
gut knows several billion generations of "the way it's always been".
Sometimes the truth is surpassing hard to accept, so I fault no one for
refusing to accept it.)

>Clean air? Clean water? A low crime area? Financial independance? This
>is the cost that *I* look at as the cost of cryonics. In order to take
>advantage of cryonics (which is almost non-existant in Canada) I would
have to
>move to a place where crime is an order of magnitude higher, (ie a big US
>city), and where life spans are ten years or so lower, and sign a life-
>insurance policy at rates which would no longer permit me to live off of
>chemical-free foods. Is this statistically the best thing for me to do to
>maximize my life expectancy? I think not.

I take it from the above that (1) you think you have to move, because
cryonics services are not available to you in Canada, and that (2) you see
the cost of cryonics as prohibitively high. I believe I have dispensed
with issue number two, so let's take a look at number one.

I did a google web search on "causes of death", and the second item which
appeared happened to be causes of death in Canada. Either I was just
lucky, or google has a search engine that reads minds! You can reprise my
search, or simply go to:


where you will find, amidst a wealth of other information, the following:

                Causes of Death

                (Information supplied by: Statistics Canada)

                Selected causes of death, Males, 1997
                deaths per 100,000 population
                   All causes 822.3

                   All cancers 229.7
                   Cardiovascular diseases 307.0

                   Heart diseases 230.8

                   Acute myocardial
                   infarction (i.e. heart attack) 93.0

                   Cerebrovascular diseases
                   (Stroke is the major component.) 52.8
                    Chronic obstructive
                    pulmonary diseases(5) 44.5

                   Unintentional injuries 37.8

Now, "unintentional injuries" can kill you suddenly, but not all do, and
heart attacks can kill you suddenly, but not all do, and strokes can mess
up your brain so bad that many people think that the "you" that you would
seek to preserve by cryonic suspension is irretrievably lost (in my book,
still a subject for debate: see my 3/23/99 post to the cryonet entitled
"Brain Damage"). These causes of death or possible reduction to vegetative
oblivion add up to 22.3% of the total. For the sake of arguement, then,
let's say that 10% of the time you're shit out of luck. That means that,
with good planning, when the time comes, you have a 90% chance to transport
yourself, or have yourself transported to CI in Michigan, for a timely

So the bottom line is, stay where you are, enjoy your life in low-crime
Canada with your clean air and water, but make the appropriate arrangements
with CI, your local medical care provider, your local mortician (see the CI
website to understand what this is about), your friends and family, and
possibly your travel agent. You're not that far away from the necessary
services. You're in Canada, Stirling, not Uganda. It's up to you, and you
don't have to give up squat.

Now, what really annoys you?

                        Best, Jeff Davis

           "Everything's hard till you know how to do it."
                                        Ray Charles

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