X-Message-Number: 31093
From: "Chris Manning" <>
Subject: Some random thoughts on cryonics
Date: Thu, 2 Oct 2008 22:05:44 +1000

Just three points that have occurred to me concerning cryonics, which I offer to
the group for what they are worth (which may be very little):

(1) Many people believe that cryonics won't work. We believe it may. This raises
the possibility of funding one's suspension by means of a bet with such a 
person. The bet could be weighted according to the perceived probabilities of 
each possible outcome. 'I am so sure of cryonics not working that if you *are* 
revived, I will reimburse you the cost of your suspension. In return, if you are
not revived, you agree to leave me $1,000 in your will.' Or something like 

There are of course a number of problems with this idea. For example, if someone
is revived it will be clear that cryonics has worked, but when shall it be 
deemed to have been unsuccessful? 

(2) Some members of the public may assume that cryonics must be a scam on the 
grounds that cryonics organisations try to interest people in signing up. With 
religious and humanitarian organisations, the motivation for signing up new 
recruits is obvious, but it might not be clear to the average person why we do 
it. After all (they might argue), the number of other people who sign up makes 
no difference to any particular person's chances of being successfully revived, 
so what difference does it make how many new recruits they can attract unless 
it's a scam?

The answer, I assume, is that it may well make a difference, e.g. because of 
economies of scale. But it would be as well to make sure people realise this.

(3) Many possible reasons why people aren't interested in being cryopreserved 
have been canvassed. A possible reason which nobody has mentioned to my 
knowledge - and I am treading warily - is guilt. Some people may well be living 
with a burden of guilt about things they have done (or failed to do) in life. 
This burden will end with their death, and so, while they don't exactly welcome 
death, at least it means an end to that burden.

I think it is a pity if people feel that way but I can understand it. 

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