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DPR Is Now A Full-Fledged Cryonicist · 11:57am Nov 1st, 2012

How much is your life worth to you?

If you suffered from a disease which might strike you down at any time; and a treatment was available, which cost six thousand dollars per year... would you be willing to scrape together that much cash for it? If the best available treatment only had a fifty percent chance of success... would you be willing to pay three thousand a year it? If the best available treatment only had a five percent chance of success... would you be willing to pay three hundred a year for it?

My own answers to all three questions are 'yes'.

After reading and researching about cryonic preservation, my best estimate of its success - that is, eventual revival - is somewhere in the neighbourhood of five percent. I have also learned that arrangements can be made for one's own cryonic preservation for around three hundred dollars per year. I have filled out the forms, signed the paperwork, sent in my first installment. (If you want to know how to sign up yourself, feel free to ask.) Put simply - I'm putting my money where my mouth is.

Medically, the procedure I have signed up for isn't "freezing", which involves ice; instead, it's "vitrification", which lowers the body's temperature in a way that avoids the creation of tissue-damaging ice crystals.

Legally, according to the "Uniform Anatomical Gift Act" of my cryonic provider's location, and the "Trillium Gift of Life Act" of my home province, what I've actually signed up to do is donate my whole body for scientific research. There's no actual guarantee that, if vitrified, I will ever be revived - though that is the goal being aimed for.

Philosophically, I have not encountered any significant evidence in support of the idea of an immortal soul. The best conclusion I've been able to reach is that minds are processes created by brains, and when the brain is sufficiently damaged, the mind ceases to exist, like a candle blown out. If it's possible to avoid dying, I'd rather avoid it; and for a number of causes of death, like getting hit by a car, there aren't really any ways to avoid them, and only a few possible ways to even potentially survive such lethal levels of damage to the body... but people keep coming up with new tricks all the time, and it's possible that whatever does end up killing me will be curable at some point in the future - and it's also possible that the vitrification process will be reversible at some point in the future. I've already mentioned my estimate of that possibility.

So... if I don't manage to live long enough for a technological Fountain of Youth to be discovered, then, if all goes well (or at least as well as possible, given that I'll be dead), my body will be transformed into a glass statue - and, like Sleeping Beauty, like Rip Van Winkle, like the various Kings Sleeping Under the Mountain... like Han Solo in carbonite, like Dave Lister, like Khan Noonien Sing, like Ellen Ripley, like Philip J. Fry, like Captain America in the iceberg, like Buck Rogers... like Rana sylvatica... I will await the possibility of my eventual awakening.

And if it doesn't work, then, worst-case scenario is that I just stay dead. Which is what would happen if I never signed up for cryo in the first place.

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Comments ( 15 )

If they revive you, I hope one of them says, "Welcome to the WORLD OF TOMORROW!"

'Twould be a nice greeting to wake up to one day, wouldn't it? :twistnerd::twilightsmile:

Good for you man. I live in a country where cryo is illegal.

467012 Let's just hope you don't get the Transmetropolitan kind of revival. That just isn't pretty... Or the Cowboy Bebop kind of revival, which is nasty too.

In other words, let's hope resurrected people aren't treated like third-world immigrants without documentation.

Good luck to you. If I understand you correctly, you're about to do a procedure that will probably kill you, in the name of science. I honestly can't do anything except admire and respect that. And maybe even envy it a little, too.

Er, thank you, but that's not quite my plan - I plan to live as long as I can manage, and then get myself vitrified. It's like insurance; it doesn't do you much good unless you set it up well ahead of time.

467782 Meh, that was close enough of a guess for me. And I still admire and respect you for doing it!

Well, good for you, I suppose. My own examination has come to the conclusion that the chance of eventual revival is probably far too low for Pascal's Wager to make sense for me and my moneys, but where would the world be without early adopters and the people who dared to dream?

I'm no Singularitarian or Yudkowskian myself, but I recognize that you've put your money where your mouth is here and put your beliefs into practice, and I really can respect that.

Ah neat, I was wondering what happened to that process!

I had heard that it was 100% revival rate when administered to otherwise healthy dogs for 24 hours of metabolic cessation.

and there had been papers published three or four years ago about applications for EMC 'vitrification' in order to prevent oxygen/blood loss related death that had progressed to pigs and also had an under ideal conditions revival rate of 100% (even when otherwise lethal arterial injuries were involved).

Last I heard then was that testing under less then ideal situations for animals were going to be underway and I even heard a rumor that they were going to perform human trials as early as two years ago to see if there was cognitive side effects!

but I've not heard anything about it since.

How do I sign up for this? Do I have to be an American? If so, aww...

No, you don't have to be an American - I'm Canadian, myself. However, present-day cryonics is currently rather America-centric, as the two main providers of cryonics, Alcor and the Cryonics Institute, are located in the USA, and so if you live outside that country, you'll have to make a few additional arrangements.

The actual process of signing up is reasonably simple. I'll use CI for my description, since as they're the ones I signed up with, I know them better than I know Alcor. First, do a bit of reading, to make sure you understand what it is you're signing up for; this is one of the best FAQs around, and you'll probably also want to skim over this and this, and this is the most prominent discussion group, so you can talk with others to make sure I'm not a lone nut. :pinkiehappy:

When I made my decision, I sent CI an email, and they physically mailed me the legal forms. I took them to a notary, but most people just find a couple of witnesses to sign in front of, and then mailed them back. I paid the first installment of my membership fee with Paypal. To fund the actual cryonics procedure on my death, I've opted for term life insurance; the first insurance provider I contacted refused me, but the second (Manulife Canada) had no problems. I filled out an online form, they mailed me a form, filled it out, and mailed it to them. When they confirmed my insurance was in place, I filled out one more form, setting the beneficiary of a certain portion of that life insurance to go to CI, and mailed that to the insurance people, and a photocopy of that to CI to prove to them I had the funding in place.

If you go through the same steps - you'll also have finished signing up. (From what I've absorbed, making arrangements with Alcor is roughly similar.)

I see in your profile that you're a student in Canada; there's a Cryonics Society of Canada which might interest you, and if you're anywhere in Ontario, the Toronto Local Support Group will likely interest you even more, as they have the equipment and are doing the practice to perform the actual initial stages of cryopreservation, to chill your brain (and body) as soon as possible before sending it to your cryonics-provider-of-choice for vitrification.

Under what specific types of situations would they end up putting you under for?

One of the simpler ways to put it is that cryo-preservation will be attempted in any situation where I end up legally dead, as long as my brain hasn't been too damaged for revivification even in theory. If it's something slow, I'll be able to talk to my doctor ahead of time to make the arrangements. If it's unexpected, such as an accident, I have a wallet card, and I've ordered a medic-alert style necklace and bracelet with instructions and emergency contact numbers.

Well there goes all my concerns.

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