[FoRK] Extreme Life Extension: Investing in Cryonics for the Long, Long Term

Jeff Bone jbone at place.org
Fri Jun 18 16:25:16 PDT 2010

The article:  http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/section?content=a921989939&fulltext=713240928



Investing in Cryonics for the Long, Long Term (Thursday June 17 2010) 

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	An open access anthropology paper on cryonics, illustrating in a number of subtle and less subtle ways the eternal divide between students of soft sciences and students of hard sciences: "Cryonics is a particularly American social practice, created and taken up by a particular type of American: primarily a small faction of white, male, atheist,Libertarian, middle- and upper-middle-income, computer/engineering 'geeks' who believe passionately in the free market and its ability to support technological progress. In this article, I investigate the relations between the discourses and practices of cryonics and its underpinnings in the values associated with neoliberal capitalism. I take seriously the premise that cryonics is an investment in the possibility of an extended future and a potential insurance policy against death. I show how cryonics is conceived of as an attempt to gain sovereignty over the limits of biological time, achieved through both monetary investment and the banking of biological objects understood to be actual selves. Cryonics demonstrates a unique way in which time, capital, and biotechnoscience can come together in the name of future life. An examination of the extreme example of cryonics reveals how speculative economic reasoning is applied to lives and bodies in the United States. I argue that cryonics is one response to American anxieties about time, the impending decline of the human body, and its culmination in death that draws on logics of biomedicine, technological progress, and investment forms. I describe some of the many unique aspects of cryonics and some of its similarities to venture capitalism, mainstream biomedical practice, and other sites where investment in the self and biotechnoscience come together, chiefly in other forms of tissue banking."



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