To Cryo or not to cryo? WAS:Re: ethical problem? Some kind of problem,

Michael S. Lorrey (
Mon, 19 Apr 1999 15:06:43 -0400

Scott Badger wrote:

> Mike Lorrey wrote:
> > This being said, I am 31 and I have not signed up for cryonic suspension.
> My rationalization for this act of pure laziness and/or stinginess is that
> according to the stats, if I die in the next two decades it is most likely
> to be something which leaves my brain in a useless state, and anything else
> that happens is likely to give me plenty of a heads up that I will have time
> to sign up for suspension before it kills me. Cryonics is a last ditch
> option, which IMHO is most likely to be used by the oldsters on the list
> than the youngsters. Caveat: I will probably sign up sometime in the next
> ten years anyways if I wind up having a wife and kids that will make it much
> more worthwhile to come back to.
> >
> It's just difficult for them to appreciate the need to plan on the next 60
> years when they only have twenty under their belt. Since you mention a
> possible future spouse/partner and your possible desire to return to them,
> that brings up some potentially thorny issues, doesn't it?

its more a matter of whether there is family down the timeline or not. I'm rather close to siblings, cousins, and parents, but I'm the only one interested in cryo, so the idea of not knowing or being related to anyone once I get to the future is kind of a downer.

> How long do you all think marriages will last in a world where everyone is
> ageless. I know I'm not going to let the preacher include, "Till death do
> us part." in the vows. I suspect that the average marriage in the future
> would last for a shorter period of time than it does today.

> snip
> Another thorny cryonics issue is the benficiary issue. Spouses can easily
> become upset with the idea that you've established a cryonics firm as the
> beneficiary of your life insurance policy instead of the family. Ideally,
> you could maintain two policies, but what if you only had the resources to
> maintain one policy? Who would the beneficiary be? OK, now consider this
> analogy: You've been told by your doctors that your only chance to live
> requires an experimental medical procedure costing over $100,000 and with a
> 10% chance of success. Would your spouse insist that you *not* have the
> operation so that the family could have the money? Would you agree or would
> you fight for your life?

Excellent questions. First off, I don't expect to wind up marrying anyone who does not share or is open to my extropian views/principles, etc. I'm still single, as such women are few and far between up here in upstate NH. If and when I do meet such a person and if a long term relationship is developed, I personally would not hold them to any commitment longer than that required to raise any children to adulthood, though I do demand and require that sort of commitment as a minimum from anyone I would give a commitment to in return. My own parents are hitting their sixties and are still married (going on 34 years of marriage), and my grandparents are also still married (the one with both members are still alive), so I don't see long term commitments as being that difficult for people who have integrity to maintain. (I'm sure not living in California also has a big thing to do with it...;) )

IMHO, the divorce rate in today's society is more a matter of how much ideas such as honor, honesty, loyalty, and integrity have been devalued, and not with a person's true ability to maintain a long term relationship. Marriages that last 30 or 40 years are usually only ended by the death of a spouse, not by divorce. I will bet that anyone who becomes immortal and gets married and can maintain a marriage for more than 20 or 30 years will likely be married for at least a few centuries therafter.

In my generation, of all my siblings and cousins (3 siblings and 4 cousins of this generation) and myself, there have been only two marriages so far (one divorced after 7 years with no kids), and one child. Our ages range from 24-33. We typically have rather high standards.

Back to the cryo issue, since most estimates put the projected Singularity as sometime between 2020 and 2035, and since nobody in my family has died prior to age 65 in over a century, I still consider myself in good shape without a cryo policy. The odds say I will attain immortality long before I am at risk of death by anything other than an accident involving brain trauma.

Mike Lorrey