Re: Cryonics Thoughts

Scott Badger (
Tue, 1 Dec 1998 17:59:45 -0600

I'll take a crack at this.

Terry Donaghe <> wrote:

>I know that most (all?) transhumanists and Extropians believe that
>Cryonics is a "good thing" and are either already signed up for it or
>will as soon as they gather the moola.
>I haven't been convinced yet that it's a "good thing." I understand
>the basic arguments for it, and yes, I want to live a long, long time
>just like the next transhuman. However, I have concerns and doubts...

I would refer you to the Cryonics FAQ provided at the various web sites of the cryonics orgs but here's some short responses to your concerns.

>1) How long can I be legally dead and still retain my brain state
>(identity)? I live in North Carolina and I doubt there's any Cryonics
>centers nearby. If I'm gonna be suspended then dammit, I better be
>there when I'm thawed out, not some brain damaged version of me.

Clearly, the sooner you're suspended the better. I've been told that there's relatively little damage in the first few hours especially if you're iced down, but the decay process does accelerate as time passes. If no steps are taken within 24 hours, it's probably too late. You need to determine if there's a cryonics technician in your area that will be alerted, and you need to make sure you have an agreeable physician and possibly a mortician that will work in conjunction with your cryonics org's protocols.

Keep in mind that the more damaged brains may simply have to wait a little longer for greater advances in bio-technology, but I can't imagine our revivers knowingly reanimating individuals with significant brain damage.

>2) I'm almost 30 now. I fully expect to live at least to 2040 and
>hopefully 2050. What are the chances we won't have developed mature
>nanotechnology by then?

I'm not sure I understand your question, but it sounds like you're saying, "Nanotech will probably arrive before I die, so cryonics won't be necessary." In the first place, I wouldn't bet on it. In the second place, what happens if you deanimate next month?

>3) If I name a Cryonics organization as a beneficiary of life
>insurance in order to secure financing for freezing and I expire in
>such a way that I'm not salvageable (explosion, acid, eaten,
>spontaneous combustion, alien abduction, lost at sea, etc.) is there a
>clause to divert the money to my family?

No problem. They only get the money if they suspend you. Check out their contracts.

>4) Is life insurance even Transhuman? I'm betting I'll die before my
>family does. The whole point of being transhuman is that I DON'T

Lucky for us that we can still use life insurance to finance cryonic suspension. I would think that option will not be available once people (or even just smaller mammals) start being successfully revived. They're not going to want to pay death benefits if you didn't actually die. I'm curious as to whether they'd have a case for demanding their money back when I'm revived!

>I'd almost rather spend the money on staying healthy - supplements, etc.

The best strategy is to stay alive and healthy as long as possible so that the very best suspension techniques are available when you deanimate.

>Any thoughts? Suggestions?

Your welcome

Scott Badger