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

Jebadiah Moore jebdm at jebdm.net
Mon Jun 21 21:05:52 PDT 2010

On Mon, Jun 21, 2010 at 9:56 PM, Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org> wrote:

> Generally the process is funded by acquiring sufficient term life insurance
> to pay for the process, and making the suspension organization the
> benefactor of that policy.  The cost is then dominated by the premiums,
> which are generally usually low.  (As in, less than most coffee aficionados
> spend on coffee on an ongoing basis.) There are some de minimus ongoing
> costs and some small up-front costs, too.  Maintenance, etc.

But you could always make the insurance go to something else at the last
minute, right?

> And the research and the organizations have been, to date, too closely
> coupled.  Sign up and you *are* funding the research.  Probably too lightly.
> This may be part of what Eugen was implying when he said that the costs
> today are too low.

Nothing wrong with that, but are you telling me there aren't people who
invest/donate beyond signing up?  That would be a serious warning sign.

> Of course.  But I think that the vast majority of the people on Earth
> would
> > consider it expensive.  If you're a fairly typical multimillionaire, you
> > probably wouldn't consider it especially high.
> >
> I think you should check into the costs, and in particular the premiums
> normally used to fund, and see how this compares to other thing you spend
> your money on.  This is easily in the reach of the mid-middle class in the
> US today.

I've been looking at it a bit over the last few hours.  I agree that
mid-middle class US could do it--they can own their own homes as well, but
they'd also say those are expensive.  Personally, I try to keep my spending
as methodical and rational as possible; my only real "splurge" is on eating
out, but even that I do less than average for my income class.  I certainly
don't go to coffeeshops.

(My justification for this is fourfold; 1) less working, 2) more giving, 3)
lower environmental impact, 4) less stuff to hassle with.  I certainly don't
expect anyone else to follow suit, but I do wonder why people value certain
things they buy over the hours they spent to earn the money.)

> Neither is it obviously less...

Yes, I agree.  I'm not saying it's a bad idea to invest, I'm just saying
it's not as obviously a good idea or bad idea as people make it out to be.

Not forever.  Just very, very long.  If that's what you want.  In any case,
> it's about making it a choice; eliminating a very pernicious but ubiquitous
> externality.
> Absent some Tipler-esque eschatological hocus-pocus, there's no reason to
> believe you can avoid the heat death or the big crunch.  Not assuming any
> "magic happens here.". (I imagine that assertion probably amuses some
> folks... ;-)

I agree.  I was just making the point that, even if it is possible, it
doesn't change the equation.

Talk to somebody that grew up with oil lamps and outhouses.  They're still
> around, though not many of em.  Those I know who have relatively modest
> means and lives relative to those around them are nonetheless profoundly
> aware and appreciative of the increases they have enjoyed due to technology.
> At least, the non-curmudgeonly ones are. ;-)

Sure, they appreciate it, but I bet that if you did a happiness survey
before and after some new piece of tech emerges, there wouldn't be much
difference.  All I meant is that people tend to perceive happiness
relatively, and locally.

At least one set of my grandparents grew up with oil lamps and outhouses.
 The house I grew up in had oil lamps, though we only used them during power
outages.  We didn't have central air or heat, though, and this was in deep
east Texas, and my second-story room didn't even have a fan.  I feel like I
wouldn't want to go back now--sweating myself to sleep and waking up frozen
don't appeal to me--but I certainly don't remember feeling any less happy
than I do now as a result.  Obviously it wasn't just a matter of not knowing
what it was like--most other buildings had AC--but I admit the kid factor
may have made a difference.

Actually, I remember not being able to sleep at friends' houses, because I
was so cold...

> > I didn't mean situations in which you'd be disallowed.  I meant that you
> > might not be able to cope with everyone being gone, you're not able to be
> > nearly as competitive due to your outmoded habits/knowledge/beliefs (thus
> > putting you in a very low status job, which you might resent),  you dying
> or
> > getting sick from new diseases, you being handicapped in some way due to
> an
> > error in the cryo process (or a fundamental flaw thereof), possible
> > persecution of past people, etc. etc.
> Do you think it likely that anyone would choose to revive somebody if these
> kinds of adjustment problems were not anticipated and effective methods for
> dealing with the available?

Not everything will always be anticipated.  There would be pressure to
revive as soon as the tech became feasible.  With regard to the issues of
mental health, who are they to say you can't adjust?  These are all

Certainly, I can conceive of possible futures in which such things would
happen, and thus have to include them in my analysis.

Jebadiah Moore

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