Cryonics: Death in the Deep Freeze

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The first ever footage of a person being cryonically frozen is to be broadcast in a Channel Five documentary that will follow a woman who is terminally ill with cancer before and after her death. “We’re really very proud of what we have achieved with this programme – the human and emotional journey we captured with one contributor in particular, filming prior to her death and the subsequent process of her preservation, in conjunction with the amazing scientific and ethical questions raised by this subject, makes for one of our most challenging and fascinating productions to date. Filming was earlier this year, according the Alcor newsletter; I’m hoping this turns out to have more of a respectful positioning than the Guardian article suggests.” Cryonics is an essential insurance policy; the best and only option available to all too many people who will die before the onset of meaningful healthy life extension technologies.

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    Skeptics can evaluate cryonics in two ways.

    A skeptic can say, "Cryonics can't or won't work," given scientific reasons A, B, C, etc. Then he loses interest and goes off to criticize global warming denialists or something.

    Or a skeptic could say, "Hmm, cryonics can't or won't work if you do it that way." Then if he thinks like an inventive problem solver and knows some biology, he might evaluate the problem by changing some of its assumptions. For example, he might employ a common creative thinking technique where he imagines the end result - revival of a human brain from cryonic suspension with its connectome intact - then works backwards to see what that implies about its starting conditions. The exercise could suggest new ways to perform suspensions.

    Cryonics in its currently underdeveloped & neglected state provides opportunities for the latter sort of skeptics who want to work hard and accomplish great things. College-aged guys with aspirations of becoming the next Steve Jobs, Sergey Brin or Mark Zuckerberg should give cryonics a look.

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