An Article on Cryonics and Alcor

I noticed a press article on cryonics and the Alcor Life Extension Foundation today:

With medical advances, many put faith in freezing

Leis studies geosciences at the University of Arizona and works in the school's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, helping study high-resolution images of Mars. Meanwhile, he's paying $22 a month into a life insurance policy that would provide $250,000 if he dies young.

That's enough freeze his body at minus 196 degrees Celsius and store it indefinitely at the Alcor Life Extension Foundation here, waiting for medical advances that could bring him back to life.


Leis, the University of Arizona student, said he's happy to have the option to be preserved until someone figures out how to revive and cure him.

"The technological breakthroughs in cryopreservation suggest that we at least have the ability to preserve biological matter relatively well for a longer period of time," he said. "Whether or not we will be able to do anything with that biological matter down the road remains unseen."

Alcor uses vitrification these days, a process that is very different from freezing and which causes far less damage to tissue.

There's the standard humbug from a bioethicist in the middle of the piece, sticking with the party line of pulling nonsense objections from thin air in response to every endeavor in medicine. If they couldn't at least make the pretense of finding fault, they wouldn't have a job, after all. It's just a pity that bioethicists aren't engaged in more useful work, such as actually getting something accomplished:

Arthur Caplan, a professor of bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, said those considering being frozen should think about what it would be like to come back. For example, a person revived in the future wouldn't have any relationships or ties to that time.

"Who we are isn't just defined by what's in our heads; it's also by our relationships,"


Rafal said he disagrees with Caplan's concerns about a revived person fitting into a future culture. "A reasonable person would find a place in society and have a new life with no difficulty," he said.

Which is exactly the case. You can go through life making up dumb reasons not to forge ahead, or you can forge ahead. I know which approach I prefer.