Looking for information on cryonics

post by Metus · 2012-02-02T12:33:02.181Z · LW · GW · Legacy · 56 comments
Disclaimer: English is a foreign language for me. If you find any mistakes please inform me.

I am currently looking for information on cryonics since I have the intention to sign up. My current organization of choice is the Cryonics Institute with their one-time fee of $1,250 at sign-up and $28,000 for cryo-preservation which is an excellent offer given my age. I understand that most people choose to pay for cryopreservation by life-insurance. Since the cost of cryopreservation is lower than the €30,000 most insurers here in Germany take as minimum payout I still would have money left and wonder if I could put this money in some kind of trust to pay for "revival" and have some money in that future. Do any of you have plans like that and could share their information?

Also, do I understand correctly that the $28,000 at the Cryonics Institute are for cryopreservation only and that $88,000 figure is for cryopreservation, standby and transport to Michigan? In that case I of course need to get life insurance with higher pay-out but at my age that should not be a problem.

Are there any other institutes that offer cryopreservation of at least the brain that I should consider? I know of Alcor (expensive, I do not see the benefits) and KryoRus (seems cheap and require continuous funding that could be handled by a trust fund). Are there more I should know of?

If you have ideas, information I should consider or question I need to have answered, please feel free to reply in the comments.


Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by WrongBot · 2012-02-02T22:01:07.269Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Minor mistakes: In English, currency symbols generally go before numbers, and for large numbers you separate digits into groups of three with commas to make them easier to read. So you would write $28,000 instead of 28000$. Life insurance isn't typically hyphenated. One-time-fee should be "one-time fee". (The rules for hyphens are kind of tricky. In this case, the words in "one-time" together make up a single modifier, so we put them together. "Fee" is being described by that modifier, so it doesn't get included.)

Your English is generally quite good for a foreign speaker, so please don't be discouraged by my nitpicks.

Replies from: Metus
comment by Metus · 2012-02-02T22:06:23.337Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Nitpicks are the difference between "quite good" and "perfect." I strive for the latter. ;)

Replies from: WrongBot
comment by WrongBot · 2012-02-02T22:11:20.058Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

That's precisely why I wanted to help. :D

comment by benbest · 2012-02-03T17:07:56.472Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Suspended Animation does not currently provides Standby, Stabilization, and Transport (SST) service outside of the United States. Cryonics Institute Members in Europe pay the Cryonics Institute $28,000 if they are Lifetime Members for perfusion and storage services. Costs of transport are additional, and if there is to be Standby, Stabilization, or Transport, additional arrangements can be made with funeral directors, local volunteer groups (of which there is a very active one in Germany), or EuCrio. You can make your arrangements with the Cryonics Institute for $28,000 and make other arrangements with others at the same time or later.

comment by Normal_Anomaly · 2012-02-02T22:13:10.540Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Also, do I understand correctly that the 28000$ at the Cryonics Institute are for cryopreservation only and that 88000$ figure is for cryopreservation, standby and transport to michigan?

That would appear to be the case. According to their website, $88,000 gets you a lifetime membership, plus a contract with Suspended Animation to wait at your deathbed, preserve you as soon as your heart stops, and send you to Michigan. I don't know if Suspended Animation is able to do standby for overseas patients, though. As for a trust, you should probably consult a lawyer or some sort of financial advisor--I don't know enough to help you, especially since you're in Germany.

comment by [deleted] · 2012-02-02T20:03:41.059Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

How is transportation (preservation during transport) managed?

Replies from: lsparrish, Metus
comment by lsparrish · 2012-02-02T23:38:46.445Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I've heard of a U-Haul being used. It's not as crazy as it sounds -- you need something that can be obtained at a moment's notice to get you to the airport or straight to the facility, and U-Hauls are extremely easy to get and inexpensive. For air travel I think there's a kind of metal casket used for shipping dead bodies, and what they do is fill it with ice and fiberglass insulation.

By the time they are being shipped, the patient should already be near zero degrees C. Either blood washout or immersion in an ice bath with CPS would be used to cool them. Washout is a more complex surgical procedure so it is harder to train for and there is more that can go wrong in an emergency situation. Ice bath cooling is simpler, but the cooling rate (even using a thumper and a squid) is worse, since the heat has to get through the skin.

comment by Metus · 2012-02-02T20:12:00.493Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Good question, I have to research that.

comment by jdboss · 2012-02-02T14:55:51.261Z · LW(p) · GW(p)


comment by jdboss · 2012-02-02T17:11:57.119Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

hi yes have heard a couple of people say the science isn't up to scratch but then I say. " it is better to try then die"

when your dead does not like the money can be used anyway so why not have your head frozen way more logical then what religion sell you at least you get more real estate compared to a graveyard and + don't have worms eating you

Replies from: jkaufman
comment by jefftk (jkaufman) · 2012-02-06T17:50:13.048Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

"when your dead does not like the money can be used anyway"

What about donating the money to help others?

comment by jdboss · 2012-02-02T15:02:08.221Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

i am 23 years old and some time a go i look in to this from what i no is this

I have never met any one othere that had plan for this no one care they all just want to drop down dead 1 day and not ever try for life

I just plan on sell my house or 3 when old and when dead to pay for this but dont no how my "Will" here do it how do i stop my famle just takeing all my money and creamated me

I no you have to set it up in like a week befor u Die so the set you die they can do there fin they cant wait so i gess you wood have to die at there place so they can do there thin

ever one shood side up for this

Replies from: siodine, Dallas
comment by siodine · 2012-02-02T17:35:54.521Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Have you tried using voice recognition software like Dragon NaturallySpeaking to more accurately express your thoughts in text?

Replies from: jdboss
comment by jdboss · 2012-02-02T18:24:38.008Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

This was my first time come into the blog when I saw this article I couldn't resist commenting usually before I do anything related to writing I opened up Dragon NaturallySpeaking but usually takes far too long I generally thought the spirit of my message was projected I had my Opera web browser read it back to me (text to speech) and it generally sounded right I thought they would never been much of an effort in understanding my message

comment by Dallas · 2012-02-02T15:32:03.873Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Is there some reason you cannot seem to spell? It makes communicating difficult.

Replies from: Dallas
comment by Dallas · 2012-02-02T17:28:05.547Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Oh, It appears you are actually dyslexic?

Replies from: gwern, None
comment by gwern · 2012-02-02T17:37:40.239Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

That's no excuse for not using a spellcheck. Heck, Firefox even has it built-in now.

Replies from: MixedNuts
comment by MixedNuts · 2012-02-03T13:28:58.148Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

It's easier to understand misspelled text than badly-corrected text. E.g. "famle" is easier to understand as "family" than "fame" or "female" would.

comment by [deleted] · 2012-02-02T20:32:11.844Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Spelling is not the problem. The comments seem to be cheering for cryonics, completely irrelevant to the original question.

comment by 911truther · 2012-02-02T17:01:48.072Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

There is practically no chance cyonics can work, there is no evidence of it ever being done successfully. Everything we know points to it being impossible: Freezing things makes water expand and burst the fragile parts of your brain. All the information necessary to revive you will simply be destroyed, even with futuristic recovery devices I feel that there's no hope of it working. I'm against convincing yourself otherwise to buy peace of mind because this enables people to exploit you for money and also goes against rationality to beleive in something that isn't true.

Replies from: gwern, JenniferRM, None, siodine, Dallas, Metus, None, APMason, advancedatheist
comment by gwern · 2012-02-02T17:38:28.086Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Freezing things makes water expand and burst the fragile parts of your brain.

Freezing canard: proof you have not read the cryonics literature. Instant downvote.

Replies from: 911truther
comment by 911truther · 2012-02-02T17:43:40.640Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

If "the cryonics literature" (presumably explaining why freezing does not destroy the brain) actually exists why don't you link to it?

You are trying to submit too fast. try again in 4 minutes.

Remember: Downvotes are censorship, if you don't want your beleifs questioned you're doing the right thing.

Replies from: komponisto, gwern
comment by komponisto · 2012-02-02T17:51:38.223Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

if you don't want your beleifs questioned you're doing the right thing [by downvoting]

That is true; however the converse ("if you do want your beliefs questioned, you're doing the wrong thing") isn't.

comment by gwern · 2012-02-02T17:47:36.456Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Because spending the time to look up references solid enough that they cannot be glibly rejected indicates that I think someone is worth educating, that I can educate them, or it's a sign of respect.

None of those three are true. So if you think you are right, you are free to bring your own references to the table.

Replies from: 911truther
comment by 911truther · 2012-02-02T17:54:41.182Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

You do not have enough karma to downvote right now. You need 1 more point.

It's blatantly obvious that you only beleive in cryonics to get upvotes here. I already explained why it's not possible..

PHD in biomedical engineering agrees with me http://www.quora.com/Cryogenics/Is-it-technically-possible-to-undergo-cryogenics-and-wake-up-500-years-later

Replies from: faul_sname, Grognor, gwern
comment by faul_sname · 2012-02-02T20:41:27.593Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Yes, you can get up votes here if you don't think cryonics will work. You got down voted for rejecting it out of hand without doing any research.

Replies from: 911truther
comment by 911truther · 2012-02-02T20:46:22.246Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I have done research and seen this before.

Replies from: faul_sname
comment by faul_sname · 2012-02-02T21:15:36.872Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I downvoted you not because I disagree with your stance on cryonics (in fact I share it), but because you didn't link to or provide the material that convinced you of the unfeasibility of cryonics, or what could make you change your mind (i.e. successful revival of a primate).

Replies from: JoshuaZ
comment by JoshuaZ · 2012-02-03T04:17:09.506Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

(i.e. successful revival of a primate

Minor nitpick that is worth noting because a lot of highly educated people use this as a signaling issue for education level: "e.g." is for an example. "i.e" is for restating something.

Replies from: faul_sname, RobertLumley
comment by faul_sname · 2012-02-03T04:50:59.731Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Really? I always thought i.e. stood for "individual example". I'm really not sure where I got that idea, now that I think about it. Thanks for the pointer.

Replies from: saturn, komponisto
comment by saturn · 2012-02-04T23:20:35.441Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

They are Latin abbreviations. i.e. stands for "id est" meaning "that is" or "that means", e.g. stands for "exempli gratia" meaning "for the sake of example".

comment by komponisto · 2012-02-05T20:41:38.300Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

A mnemonic that helped me before I knew the Latin: "i.e." = "in other words".

comment by RobertLumley · 2012-02-05T13:44:15.631Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Thanks! I never knew that.

comment by Grognor · 2012-02-02T19:52:47.741Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Please, never post on Less Wrong again.

Replies from: 911truther
comment by 911truther · 2012-02-02T19:59:55.259Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

You do not have enough karma to downvote right now. You need 1 more point.

comment by gwern · 2012-02-02T17:58:01.720Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

You're pointing to a grad student - not even a cryobiologist. Try googling "kidney cryobiology".

In isolated conditions, we can prevent this by adding glycerine which helps sustain the cell wall

Isolated indeed.

comment by JenniferRM · 2012-02-03T02:30:46.774Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I was going to say "Come on LW! Obvious troll is obvious." but then I remembered this recent post...

This person appears to take pleasure in being downvoted consdering how much it is happening. Moreover, they aren't curious as to what norms they're violating to receive so much downvoting indicating some awareness. Their username is automatically controversial, but it can't even be a plausibly effective advocacy account for 9/11 conspiracy beliefs because then they would be polite the other rhetorical dimensions, so as to appear likable and be more effective at persuasion.

Admittedly, many of the beliefs they express are somewhat common, but they express too many of them too densely and with too much half-accurate background knowledge for it to be plausible. If you look at their other comments you'll see them on a wide variety of topics, all of them dumb. Generally stupidity goes with a lack of intellectual passion in weird areas, which displays itself as ignorance and a tendency towards silence. Plus, 911truther is responding line-by-line to too many responses - there's no sense of measured consideration or update delay, just the glee of someone who is being argued with by people who don't realize that in doing so they are feeding a troll.

So a kind of interesting question here is who is behind the troll account? (It is a pretty good job if you stop and think about it. I mean... who trolls on the subject of genetic algorithms with this much plausibility?)

But a more educational question is why are there so many responses, when we could have just downvoted to -10 and had one or two responses providing epistemic warnings to readers who might not understand, and then moved on? Is it the pleasure of scoring points on someone who is wrong? Is it a mistaken presumption of good faith because so many on LW write in good faith? I'm serious here. I'm honestly interested in LW's radar for trolling. Troll radar seems like an important epistemic skill that many of us lack, and I think there's something interesting in this lack.

Replies from: Dallas, Caspian, 911truther
comment by Dallas · 2012-02-03T03:50:43.526Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

One example: I have had to deal with people going on and on with "but it's not really you!" arguments about mind uploading on other forums on several separate occasions. Of course it's annoying to press on about it entirely by yourself, so I don't really bother and move on after a post or two. Here, I don't have to repeat myself over and over very often, and the userbase is sympathetic, so keeping systemic obnoxiousness out of the environment is feasible enough that we should crush it with overwhelming force.

If it's a troll, I'd guess either Eliezer being meta or maybe Mitchell Porter trying to make a point, but I've seen people this oblivious before.

Replies from: Viliam_Bur
comment by Viliam_Bur · 2012-02-03T11:25:37.001Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

If it's a troll, I'd guess either Eliezer being meta or maybe Mitchell Porter trying to make a point, but I've seen people this oblivious before.

If they are making a point about necessity of downvoting, I must admit that it works perfectly.

But yes, contributors of this kind have high prior probability of appearing spontaneously on the internet. I have probably met an example or two in real life, too.

comment by Caspian · 2012-02-04T14:43:30.361Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Yes, it wasn't obvious to me. Partly because I expect common hostility to be mislabelled as trolling, and partly because even just the obvious hostility was enough that it didn't seem worth paying that much attention to - it looked like a classic example of politics as the mind killer. The thing about freezing and cryogenics though - it seems like someone from lesswrong would already know the counter argument, and 911truther did seem familiar with lesswrong. I have updated towards the troll possibility.

ETA: I hadn't read the genetic algorithm comment until now, so there's another example of me missing evidence of trolling. The thing is, paying more attention doesn't seem like a good idea. I am glad I read your comment to point me a specific example rather than their whole comment history.

Replies from: Caspian
comment by Caspian · 2012-02-05T00:49:34.547Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Oops I was getting mixed up with another user who also kept mentioning not having enough karma to downvote, and being rate-limited in commenting.

comment by 911truther · 2012-02-03T02:34:14.214Z · LW(p) · GW(p)


spelled wrong and I'm not a troll.

comment by [deleted] · 2012-02-02T20:09:48.776Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

there is no evidence of it ever being done successfully.

There is evidence that cryonics preserves brain structure to some extent, which, coupled with the fact that people are brains, constitutes Bayesian evidence that cryonics suspensions performed up to this point were successful (that is, information-theoretic death didn't happen). What you require as evidence in this case might be a clear-cut demonstration of a cryonics patient getting revived. However, if we already knew how to revive people we wouldn't bother with cryosuspension in the first place. You can't, at this point in time, reasonably expect that kind of evidence, even if cryonics works perfectly.

Freezing things makes water expand and burst the fragile parts of your brain.

Correctly performed cryosuspension involves vitrification instead of freezing.

Replies from: 911truther
comment by 911truther · 2012-02-02T20:28:54.847Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

You didn't say anything explicitly wrong except vitrification can't work 100% yet, ice crystals are still formed. information-theoretic "death" may not have happened but the claim that recovery may be possible in the far future is a seriously dubious, so is the evasive attempts of beleivers like gwern to maintain this beleif without backing it up.

You are trying to submit too fast. try again in 7 minutes.

Replies from: gwern
comment by gwern · 2012-02-02T21:11:50.085Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

You didn't say anything explicitly wrong except vitrification can't work 100% yet, ice crystals are still formed. information-theoretic "death" may not have happened but the claim that recovery may be possible in the far future is a seriously dubious

What exactly is your argument here? Why do you think vitrification doesn't work, especially given you hadn't heard of it until a few minutes ago?

Are you now shifting your argument to 'yes, vitrification works to preserve everything, but we won't be clever enough to make any use of the preservation'?

comment by siodine · 2012-02-02T18:51:04.321Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

There is practically no chance cyonics can work, there is no evidence of it ever being done successfully




comment by Dallas · 2012-02-03T01:01:57.283Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

You are self-identifying as a 9/11 "truther", which is signalling to us that you are a crank with a persecution complex. The fact that you subsequently verified delusions of persecution is just digging yourself into a deeper hole.

Replies from: 911truther
comment by 911truther · 2012-02-03T01:07:32.160Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I have no such delusions. If you look at my user page (http://lesswrong.com/user/911truther) it's blatantly obvious that someone is systematically downvoting everything I post multiple times. I don't claim to be persecuted but clearly there is an attempt to censor me. Frankly it just proves that I'm right, if I was wrong people could easily disprove me.

Replies from: Dallas, MixedNuts
comment by Dallas · 2012-02-03T01:11:36.465Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

If you posted something not obnoxious, I'm inclined to believe the community would, in fact, upvote it.

comment by MixedNuts · 2012-02-03T13:25:13.706Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Maybe some people dislike you and are downvoting all your comments because if was you who wrote them ("karmassassination"). But all of your comments are low-quality enough for downvotes, taken individually. People are not disproving you because you sound like a troll.

If you're not actually a troll, please lurk more, try to understand the norms around here, read up on the standard answers to everything you think of posting (e.g. look for other posts on cryonics here and Alcor's FAQ before you say cryo sucks), and find the most on-topic posts to comment on (old posts on whether cryonics is a good idea, rather than a new post on how to sign up for it). If you want help with that, answer here or message me, we'll start Accidental Trolls Anonymous. If you want to argue that your posts are not actually obnoxious (as opposed to being involuntarily obnoxious because you don't get LW yet), I'll just ignore you.

comment by Metus · 2012-02-02T17:30:15.161Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I have read the arguments against cryonics on RationalWiki and I know that it is not accepted in mainstream. I am thus not interested in arguments that do not go further than "It won't work, no way!"

Replies from: 911truther
comment by 911truther · 2012-02-02T17:33:41.103Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

You do not have enough karma to downvote right now. You need 1 more point.

Replies from: Metus
comment by Metus · 2012-02-02T17:49:24.886Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Seems correct, since the karma system is used to signal what is interesting to the community and you apparently produce content that is uninteresting in this community.

comment by [deleted] · 2012-02-02T20:17:56.314Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Cells are routinely frozen and thawed in labs doing cell culture. Tissue is a lot harder, but if you use a different medium (routine during cryopreservation) you can probably preserve even microscopic structures such as synapses.

comment by APMason · 2012-02-02T19:17:12.820Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

There are a bunch of papers debunking that here. Scroll down past the names (although you may be tempted to pay attention to some of them).

comment by advancedatheist · 2012-02-03T14:22:56.192Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

This shows the difference between the purely "skeptic" mentality versus the mentality of an inventive problem solver.

"There is practically no chance cyonics [sic] can work" really means "There is practically no chance cryonics can work" given the way cryonics organizations currently perform their suspensions, a way of framing the problem which I find worth discussing, because I think it comes closer to the truth and doesn't discourage exploring new approaches to the problem.

While I consider this an unrealistic fantasy so far, I'd like to think that a couple of bright & energetic college students somewhere with aspirations of becoming the next Steve Wozniak, Sergey Brin or Bill Gates will discover cryonics, notice that the field has stayed relatively neglected and underdeveloped so far, and decide to go into it to revolutionize the technology. In the meantime that leaves us cryonicists with the burden of trying to nudge the kludge into something closer to feasibility.