I wonder if the people that chose to be cryonically embraced really thought the process through. What if they were to be reanimated? Would the reanimation proces be horribly painful, would there be an irreparable brain damage, or might the person be a freak in an advanced society?
These people must have really believed that enormous scientific advances would occur and that a future society would be willing to expend its resourses for a second chance at life.
Woulnd’t freezing these people and then reanimating them prevent our species from evolving into a better species before it becomes extinct? Woulnd’t prolonged life be boring?
Even if these people get the chance, will they really want to enter a society that is markedly different from the one they left behind?
Can you imagine reviving Ben Franklin? (I know he wasn’t frozen, just using him as a “relic” example) Woulnd’t the pressure of society and everyday life drive him over the edge?
Technical issues aside, no, because the percentage of humans that undergo the procedure will always remain miniscule compared total population. This is also why cloning is no threat to the process of evolving a stronger species. The resources necessary to accomplish either cryogenic life extension or cloning will prevent it from becoming anything more than a novelty of the very rich. Even in vitro fertilization is still so expensive and rare (relative to the total births in the species) that it will not impact evolution in the slightest.
Technically speaking, freezing causes incredible damage on teh cellular level. The technology needed to reverse that is so far advanced from ours, that a person frozen today would be incredibly alien in a society that could accomplish such a feat. He’d be a historical curiosity, and utterly dependent on the kindness of others for his survival (at least at first, he may be able to become acclimated enough to hold down a “job” after a few years).
It’s far more likely that the remains will simply be drisposed of somewhere between his death and the point where resurrection becomes possible.
Can’t we construct a trust that would provide for such a person? Suppose you are a millionaire…you could set up a trust that would hold investments in stocks…and in 500 years or so, the porfolio would be enormous! You could awake from centuires of coldslepp to find yourself a BILLIONAIRE! So, coldsleep might be a viable option for some.
If you could ONLY be sure that NOBODY would UNPLUG the freezer though!
> Even if these people get the chance, will they really want to enter a
> society that is markedly different from the one they left behind?
I think that’s the whole idea. You’d get the experience of learning a whole new way of life from the point of view of an adult. The future (well, a future that is capable of reanimating you) would be a wonderous place, filled with technology and ideas we can’t even begin to imagine today.
I think Ben Franklin would love it.
] The resources necessary to accomplish either cryogenic life extension
] or cloning will prevent it from becoming anything more than a novelty
] of the very rich.
They used to say that about television and airline flights.
It seems feasible that, in maybe 20 years, the cost of cloning could drop down to, maybe a year’s salary. The cost would not be a barrier to anyone who really wanted a clone.
Ben Franklin was a pretty exceptional guy, with a remarkably open and agile mind for his time.
How many people in his time were anything like HIM?
The bottom line is that elderly people TODAY have a tough time with some aspects of the culture that you and I take for granted. How much worse could it be in a time so far removed from anything you knew that even the LANGUAGE had begun to drift outside your comprehension?
Not sure the “trust fund” idea works well, either. If it ever became widespread, I can see a great many descendants suing for their inheritance, as opposed to letting Uncle Popsicle attempt to take it with him into the Brave New World.
Corpses can’t vote. How long will it be before the law finds in favor of the living?
So if I have myself frozen, I could be well off, IF they cure my disease or condition, IF they find a way to either fix the damage caused by freezing on the cellular level, or somehow clone me a new body and download my memories, IF they have the technology to do that*, IF nobody ever unplugs the freezer before my rebirth, and IF my bank account held up through whatever financial and legal storms might have happened between my death and resurrection.
Seems like a lot of money and trouble to go to, and way too many IFs.
*…plus, I ain’t sure I’d WANNA be revived in a world that had the technology to download my memories and play them into a freshly cloned body. I mean, for all I know, by the time I wake up, Hollywood could have made a movie based on my first girlfriend, and a new TV series based on my experiences with Jehovah’s Witnesses… I mean, talk about a world without privacy…
Well, Master, if they made a new body for you and copied your memories into the new one, it wouldnt really by you, it would just be a clone of you. So why should THIS you care about THAT you?(unless , of course, you have been chosen by god to implement a grand scheme to Take Over The World :))
There was a ST:TNG episode where they found some frozen corpses exactly like we are talking about. The first thing they asked about was money. The crew told them that money was not needed here in the future.
And so it might be. By the time science can reanimate your body and cure your disease, society may have no place for the fabulously rich. Everyone will have enough wealth to cover all their living expenses plus regular luxuries.
Someday, when we find free and limitless energy sources, the world will change over night (it’s a shame about that cold fusion not working). If you think about it, almost everything people work for today is centered around energy. Moving from here to there takes energy. Growing food takes energy. Producing products from raw materials costs energy. Once we have free energy, the cost of everything will drop to nearly zero.
I don’t think money will be an issue for someone who gets reanimated.
The thing that always puzzled me about the whole “frozen until they find a cure” thing that Alcor and the rest do is the “unfreezing” part of the equation. I’ve no doubt that in even 100 years time, many of the diseases that people die from today will be treatable, but as far as I know, no one is working on a cure for being dunked in liquid nitrogen for 100 years. As others have mentioned, freezing causes traumatic damage to tissues. This would have to somehow be repaired at the cellular level thoughout the entire body.
The most likely scenario of reanimation is the cloned body/downloaded memories plan that Master Wang-Ka mentioned above. Even that is unlikely.
As alluded to above, freezing is the equivalent of puncturing every cell in the body with thousands of microscopic knives. This is because water freezes in a piecemeal fashon, with tiny seeds of crystals growing, often in razor-like shapes, until the whole thorny mess forms an interlocking mass.
There is a way to keep cells from being so horribly damaged by freezing: Dip them in a solution of some sort of surfactant, like DMSO, which causes water to laregely congeal rather than crystalize when it solidifies in cold temperature. A concentration of 10%DMSO in some nutrient-rich saline or serum can keep cells viable in liquid nitrogen storage for years, as long as you freeze them slowly, so too many errant crystals don’t form. I dunno about decades or centuries though. Thing is, the process isn’t near perfect; a good percentage of cells stored this way still die, even under ideal conditions.
It’s one thing to dunk a glob of individual cells in such stuff; infusing the tissues of an entire mammal would be quite another, especially when that mammal is as big as a person. Even if you could manage it, it would take a long time, and the poor sot would have to be kept at an above-freezing temperature while the fluids of his/her body were replaced by the anti-crystalizing solution. Damage will occur during this period, beyond whatever rendered the person deceased. Plus, any substance that can alter the properties of an isotonic saline solution sufficiently to prevent it from crystalizing while cold would likely be highly toxic to a complex organism, if it were alive. So, once you defrost the guy, you’ve got to replace ALL of the cryopreservation solution with some kind of life-sustaining saline, at an above freezing temperature. More damage.
I just can’t see it. I doubt after all that you could get a corpse that was nice to look at, much less could eventually get up and walk. We weren’t built to be frozen, and I can’t think of any cold-storage method that can get around the limits of our physiology.
I read that the people that have chosen to be frozen are not religious/spiritual individuals. They are mainly single, men who believe in science fiction. I remember when I read the article that it “felt like” the people who chose this method were in a cult.
Could this be a type of cult?
Where could I find real stats on those that have chosen this method?
I’d think that any person who was “re-animated” through some future medical facility could easily find a job simply because they ARE a living historical artifact.
Schools and museums would love to have them on a consultant basis if not on faculty. I mean, can you imagine taking a history class of the American Civil War from someone WHO WAS THERE?!?!?
They don’t even have to be a general or an important person at all. They could convey all the nuances of life during that time. They’d be a living national treasure and Academia/Museums would be fighting each other for a chance to hire him/her. It’d be a bidding war (assuming money was still in use. )
Ask yourself this… would you pay a thousand dollars to hear a two hour lecture (with Q&A) from somone who really lived during the Revolutionary War or French Revolution? I’d be willing to bet that person would fill every seat in the house at 1K a head. If you were head of a College would you pay 100K a year to have this person on your faculty?