An Approach to Growing the Cryonics Industry: Build a Hospital First, then Add Cryonics Services

My attention was recently drawn to Cryopets, a newly formed cryonics provider that has a novel approach to nudging the cryonics industry closer to the mainstream. As regular readers know, cryonics is the low-temperature storage of patients immediately following death, aimed at preservation of the fine structure of brain tissue that stores the data of the mind. Given a high quality preservation, and then indefinite maintenance at low temperature, at some point the societies of the high-tech future will have the capability to revive those patients. There is nothing magical about it; it "just" requires mature molecular nanotechnology and its application to biological systems, as well as a very comprehensive control over biology. That is over the horizon now, but preserved individuals have all the time in the world to wait.

The challenge for the cryonics industry is that it remains small, a very niche concern, with limited funding for progress. Both it and the rejuvenation industry were once alike in this respect, but in the latter case sufficient technological progress was bootstrapped on limited funding, particularly recent work on senolytic therapies, in order to convince the world that there is a viable approach to treating aging as a medical condition. Cryonics has yet to have that moment, despite some early demonstrations of vitrification, thawing, and subsequent implantation and functioning of organs in animals.

How does one bootstrap an industry? Funding depends on interest, which depends on convincing people with viable technology demonstrations, which depends on funding. It is a slow and incremental process, and the only shortcuts usually involve philanthropic funding for research. The latest generation of initiatives include those trying to produce technology demonstrations and those trying to modernize the marketing of cryopreservation services and thus obtain a larger paying membership. The Cryopets principals, on the other hand wants to try building normal, everyday self-sustaining hospital businesses that offer cryopreservation as an additional service. Since it is far cheaper to start that effort in the veterinary industry, the initial focus is on building self-sustaining veterinary hospitals that offer cryopreservation of pets as an additional service.

The soft landing here, in event of failure of the primary goal, is a functioning business. In principle that makes this more attractive to investors than some of the other options on the table for advancing the cryonics industry. Though it really is the case that someone should fund one of the paths to reversible vitrification of organs! That is a very promising prospect, with immediate application to the large medical industry for transplantation, xenotransplantation, and future creation of universal organs from cell banks. In any case, Cryopets has an interesting idea at the core of its business plan, and a greater diversity in efforts to expand the cryonics industry is always a good thing.


I find cryonics to be strange.

Look, when you die, you cease being. So "you" are gone.

However... because "you" are gone, "you" cannot experience that.

"you" will be in same situation as before your were born.

"you" is a construct that is created by an advanced brain.

"you" will live again.. as long as there are creatures with advanced brains being born. a new "you"

Just hope that "you" cannot be an ant. No fun getting trapped inside such a simple brain for any period of time. Because there are an awful lot of more simple brains than complex ones.

Time in the universe is likely finite.

I take it the arteriosclerosis treatment at Repair is not going well, if you are looking into cryonics?

Posted by: Matt at March 25th, 2022 8:13 PM

@Matt - There is no evidence to support that an individual consciousness is recycled into a new manifestation. In fact, I would state there is some evidence that this is not the case, because every other human being presently alive has a discrete, separate and different consciousness to what I have. Therefore, when you die and your consciousness shuts down, it is reasonable to believe it will not reappear somewhere else in some other being.

However, on the basis that consciousness is derived from the body it is associated with, it is possible that if that body is restarted, the consciousness will continue where it left off. This is supported by examples of people clinically dying and then being revived, in which case they appear to be the same consciousness as before. If it is the case that the consciousness is a projection of the body, and that the body itself (or at least the brain) is fully the physical counterpart to the consciousness, then it is likely that this is the original consciousness that is then in effect.

The above circumstances would mean that cryonic revival would in fact continue the original consciousness, which would justify pursuing cryonic revival.

The notion that it might not work, given that there is no better alternative, is irrelevant. Likewise, the idea that time in the universe is finite is also irrelevant - that would be discounting the value of potential billions of years of existence.

Lastly, given that people can die at any time for a vast number of reasons, looking into cryonics is always, therefore, useful. It isn't only for dealing with death by old age, and surely will still be valuable once indefinite lifespan is achieved.

Posted by: Sadi Khan at March 26th, 2022 5:47 PM

Cryogenics is subject to the risks to the power grid: EMP (solar or weapons), cyber- attack (now being effectively threatened by Claus Schwab of the WEF), earthquakes and other natural, economic, political, and epidemiological disasters. Perhaps some of this can be mitigated and designed around at great expense, but then there is the unknown unknowns. For example, let's say you set up a perpetual annuity to pay for the electricity, refrigerator maintenance, and staff, with a balloon payment of say $100K for revival, you holding the 2nd half of a code for recovery of the payment in your mind, the operator the first half. What if dollars become worthless over the next 5 years? Gold, bitcoin, a basket of currencies?

My sense of it is that the tail risks caused by numerous potential threats to the completion to revival are overwhelming to even the best plan.

Posted by: Thomas Mark Schaefer at March 28th, 2022 9:30 AM

Thera are different "states" of consciousness: 1 - is the usual when you are awake.
2 - when you are asleep and dreaming , 3 - when you are asleep without dreams - you don't experience anything, but you can be awakened, 4- when you are in a coma - you cannot be awakened , 5- when you are in suspended animation -very low temperature - minus 200 degrees Celsius - you cannot be awakened , you cannot be revived for a long time, if ever.
Cryonicists believe that bodies and brains at that low temperature are not 'dead' - they are 'deanimated' - which is intermediate state between life and death. They believe that there is no sharp division between life and death- there is a grey area of transition from life to death and those who believe in 'progress' - in the future ,one will be able to transition from that grey area to life, wakefulness, health, youth.

When you die and all of your atoms a dispersed, separated from each other,then 'you stop existing - you return to what you were before you were born , and before you were conceived - 'you become non-existent.

Even if arteriosclerosis is completely cured, - there are still many other deadly illnesses and ' aging' itself that will destroy your life.

Here is a challenge for cryonisists : if you are suffering from dementia and gradually losing your long term and short term memories, then if you deanimate and get frozen and many years later you will be defrosted, reanimated and awakened -then all of those memories that you lost while suffering from dementia - will not be restored - you may be cured from dementia- but the 'cure' will not restore lost memories - a large part of "you", your concsiousness will be lost for ever.
So, if you are serious about cryonics and preserving your 'memories', 'personality' - if and when you are diagnosed with 'dementia' - you should combine cryonics with doctor-assisted-suicide- you should be frozen alive - to preserve your memories - suicide by cold temperature.
Of course, there are very few countries and states where doctor assisted suicide is legal.
You should be living where both cryonics and doctor assisted suicide are legal and where cryonics companies/ facilities/ technologies exist.

Good luck with freezing and reanimating in the future !

Posted by: nicholas. D. at March 29th, 2022 5:41 PM

Cryonic is one of the most blatant cases of trying to run before learning to walk in this whole sorrid affair of pursuing extended lifespans. I do empathize with people who sign up for cryonics as a long shot, but there's essentially zero chance for anyone frozen today. Reversible organ vitrification in humans really needed to be achieved before even talking about anything more ambitious.

Posted by: Dylan Mah at April 1st, 2022 10:23 AM
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