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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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:iconquatro8745:
quatro8745 Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Wow, I am amazed in this step you are taking and I do wish it is sucessful for you. If it does work then you might be the one of the first humans in a new generation. I'm blown away by this but I have almost no words to describe how great a step for mankind this could be if it works, but if it doesnt you'd still be remembered as one of those who had the courage to go into the unknown yet never come back out.
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:iconzalcoti:
Zalcoti Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2013   Digital Artist
I don't think it'll ever happen for a whole living being. Aging will still happen and you'll still die.
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:icondatapacrat:
DataPacRat Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
If revival ever does become possible, one of the ways it might be accomplished is by scanning the entire brain into a digital form, and running it as a program. If that happens, then the usual biological forms of aging could potentially become entirely irrelevant. If that's the case, then another possibility that opens up is keeping backups of your brain-data, so that if you /do/ die, then all that's lost is your memories since your last backup. (And that's without even getting into the potential complications of multiple backups...)

Of course, it's also entirely possible that even if I am successfully cryonically preserved, none of the above will be possible. Like I said - I estimate the odds at being around 1-in-20. However - without going for cryonics, the odds are roughly 0-in-20. The best I can do is what I am doing: I rolls my dice and I takes my chances.
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:iconzalcoti:
Zalcoti Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2013   Digital Artist
The brain is very complex. If that kind of technology can even happen in our lifetime or ten lifetimes away or ever. It's fun to think about, but something I wouldn't bet my life on. A lot of bad things can happen in a year, let alone 100 years. For all you know, your body would be incinerated by a thermonuclear blast before revival can happen.
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:icondatapacrat:
DataPacRat Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
And all those bad things are part of the 19-in-20 odds of my estimation that cryonics won't work.

If I might ask, if you feel that you wouldn't "bet your life" on cryonics, what /do/ you bet your life on?
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:iconzalcoti:
Zalcoti Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2013   Digital Artist
I don't bet my life on anything.
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:icondatapacrat:
DataPacRat Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Does that mean you've worked out a sure-fire way to survive beyond your actuarially-predicted lifespan?
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:iconzalcoti:
Zalcoti Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2013   Digital Artist
What's wrong with dying and staying dead? I'd like to live forever too, but right now it's a fantasy that has a very small chance of becoming a reality. There are too many things to deal with in a 80-100 year life span and it would suck if it kept on repeating within 100 year intervals. Especially if it was nothing but nightmarish things.
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:icondatapacrat:
DataPacRat Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Even without cryonics, it's possible my country will turn into an Orwellian Stalinist heck-hole. That doesn't mean I should kill myself because that /might/ happen.

My perspective can at least roughly be described by [link] . (Yes, I'm linking you to TVTropes. I'm curious whether I'll see you again within the next few hours... :) )
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(1 Reply)
:icondevasthedeath:
devasthedeath Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012
Congratulations!
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:iconbanesshadow:
BanesShadow Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm in awe of what you wish to do, I say that it is amazing what people will do to survive. What you plan to do is something incredible, not egotistical. And not to try and detract from the seriousness of this subject but it does sound very interesting.

I hope that you are fully aware of your choice and that you are ready. This is something unorthodox, you might wake up in the future, whatever future that may be, or you may not.
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:icontankaakumawani:
TankaaKumawani Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm neutral on it, moreso because the chances of revival are a bit lowish than any philosophical concerns. (Okay, there's also the "all my friends are dead now, surviving relatives/descendants are strangers" issue...) I'm just going to go the organ donation route if I kick the bucket, that's got better chances of providing a benefit to someone if I take good care of myself.
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:icondatapacrat:
DataPacRat Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
That's an entirely fair and valid perspective. Up until I signed the paperwork to be a 'whole-body donor to science', I've been signed up for organ donation myself (and am a regular blood donor, too). Unfortunately, even if I went for head-only cryo-preservation, the current best practices for vitrification don't really leave the body in a state where the organs are usable for transplant; so given the choice between trying to save my own life and being an organ donor... well, I just suppose I'm enough of a selfish egoist to want to try to stay alive, if it can be done.
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:icontankaakumawani:
TankaaKumawani Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah, if the odds were closer to 50% as far as the ability to revive someone who was cryopreserved go, I'd probably think about signing the papers 20-30 years from now.
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:icondatapacrat:
DataPacRat Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I can understand that. There are a number of possible ways to try to avoid death, such as Kurzeil's taking hundreds of pills and supplements a day. They have different costs, will extend lifespan by different amounts if they work, and different odds of success. Whichever method(s) you try, I hope they work well enough that we've got a chance of meeting up again in a century or so.
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