Re: Announcing new J. of Transhumanism article

Scott Badger (
Fri, 1 Jan 1999 02:33:54 -0600

>Greg Burch wrote:
>>> An Exploratory Survey Examining the Familiarity
>>> with and Attitudes Toward Cryonic Preservation
>>> by Scott Badger
>>This is a great paper that makes interesting reading as a probe of the
>>of various demographic factors on attitudes about the future and
>>advance in general. One thing it does bear out is my experience that most
>>people significantly overestimate the cost of cryonic suspension: I often
>>people guess that it must cost half a million dollars or some such figure,
>>when $50k, financed easily by life insurance (especially if you're young
>>healthy), is the right number for a neurosuspension.
>But the paper *doesn't* show that most people overestimate cost.
>The distribution of cost estimates is normal in log space, with
>the mean log being pretty close to the right answer. Some people
>overestimate while others underestimate, but the median estimate
>is about right.
>Do people who overestimate the cost become less interested in cryonics
>as a result? I don't think Scott looked at that.
>The raw data is included with the paper, in case someone else wants to
>look into such questions.

It's probably easiest for me to respond to this. I did some supplemental calculations on new year's eve after returning from the party.

The correlation between the responses to Question # 7:

(How much do you believe it costs to have your body cryonically preserved?)

and Question # 44:

(I believe that Cryonics is an exciting idea and intend on looking into it further.)

is: -.0030 N=507 p = .946

The overall correlation between the two sets of responses are therefore statistically non-significant.

So I decided to form two groups, (1) those who estimated costs to be less than $500,000, and (2) those who estimated costs to be $500,000 or more. There were 422 participants in Group 1 and 85 in Group 2. A simple ANOVA sought differences between the groups in terms of their responses to Q44. The result was an F ration of 1.6 and an F prob. of .205. Again, nothing really there to distinguish between the groups suggesting that cost is not a large factor.

This conclusion appears counter-intuitive, but appears nonetheless. It may be that I overstated the importance of costs in my summary. I was simply a bit taken aback by how high many of the estimates were. Then again, there were a number of very low estimates so, as Robin stated, the median fell into a fairly realistic range.