X-Message-Number: 10082
Date: Mon, 20 Jul 1998 14:48:12 -0400 (EDT)
From: Charles Platt <>
Subject: Postponing signing up

On Mon, 20 Jul 1998, "The Hitman" wrote:

> I believe that many of the people frozen today will be revived but nott
> those who are frozen poorly, of which I would consider myself if I were to
> die.  So basically I believe that if I were to need cryonics in the next
> couple of yearsI don't think it would be able to help me as time delays
> and such would result in a very poor suspension.

I have seen this view expressed several times, usually by people aged 35 
and under. It's a logically consistent position, but I see a couple of 

Personally I see it like this. Every aspect of cryonics involves an
assessment of odds. There are the odds for or against dying in an accident
(which would probably entail an autopsy). There are the odds of getting
prompt help, the odds of family members interfering, the odds of long-term
storage being interrupted, the odds of repair, and the odds of

Despite claims to the contrary, I have never seen a satisfactory proof
that ANY of these odds can be calculated. Certainly, there is no consensus
at all, within the cryonics community, regarding any of these odds, 
though you will see various people claiming that their assessment is 

Therefore, I feel you're being a little inconsistent if you embrace the
improbable concept of cryonics, but postpone it because you think there is
very little chance of dying a natural death in the near future. You're
accepting the idea of one incalculable longshot, but rejecting another.
This sounds to me like an excuse for not signing up (I may be wrong). 

The real problem with postponing financial arrangements is that if you 
ARE diagnosed with a serious condition, at that moment it is TOO LATE to 
get life insurance. You can only buy life insurance affordably so long as 
you are in good health. So, by postponing your life insurance 
arrangements, you are incurring another risk: that you may end up being 
unable to pay for cryonics at all, precisely when you are most likely to 
need it.

For this reason I always suggest to young people that if they want to 
postpone making arrangements for cryonics, they should buy the insurance 
now and decide which organization to join later. The beneficiary of the 
insurance policy can always be changed accordingly.

There is one other point: while I believe that many of the odds I 
mentioned above are hard or impossible to calculate, I also believe that 
they can be IMPROVED by activists in cryonics today. Therefore, if you 
don't like the odds against, say, a high-quality state-of-the-art 
cryopreservation, the answer is not to sit around doing nothing, waiting 
for someone to upgrade the service. Clearly, if you want to accelerate 
the rate of progress, you need to get involved.

--Charles Platt

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