Walt Disney is often thought to be cryogenically frozen. Of course, this is complete balls because cryogenic freezing wasn’t possible until a month after his death, not to mention the fact that he was cremated in front of several witnesses and interred at Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California, a fact his daughter verifies. No, James Bedford was the first, on January 12, 1967, although the preservation was basic and shoddy. Today he is still stored at Alcor in Arizona, hoping one day to undergo the simple procedure of being unfrozen, brought back to life, have his cancer cured, and live for… well, we don’t know, because he was beyond the maximum male life expectancy age of America when he died, and still is today. Yes, this is cryonics, the low-temperature preservation of human beings who cannot be sustained by contemporary medicine, with the hope that healing and resurrection may be possible in the future. You can also have just your head frozen. I sincerely hope their working on a giant robot it can be attached to once it’s unfrozen…
270 people are cryogenically frozen around the planet, but Bedford is the only one before 1973. They lost a few between 1967 and 1973. They ran out of money, the bodies unthawed, it all got a bit messy. It’s come a long way since those – somewhat wonderful – days. But because assisted suicide is illegal in most of the developed world, you can’t freeze someone until they actually die. Whilst it hasn’t worked on humans, rats, pigs and dogs have been killed and brought back to life after three hours of freezing, so, if you’re rich, there’s hope. For just the head and brain, you’re looking at $12,000-$80,000. Full body, you’re looking at $250,000. Alcor have a $500 annual mandatory membership fee, whereas other places have the fee as low at $300. And The Cryonics Institute has a one off institute fee of $35,000, that doesn’t include freezing, transportation or funeral director costs. What does it include, then? A pen?
There are moral and religious ethical considerations, here. But, you know what, I’m not the Pope, I don’t care. I’m a Roman Catholic and it doesn’t bother me. Do what you want, it’s your death, heaven is not for the body, it’s for the soul. You might get a new one when you come back, how are we supposed to know? But what kind of world will you wake up in?
No friends or family, unless you take the wife. You might have to trick her, though. “Oh, they’re, they’re, just some friends of mine.” There’s a risk of alienation and future shock. There’s a huge chance you’ll be old and frail. But on the other hand, we might be able to reverse aging. We don’t know what technology we’ll have. It might help you adapt. We might have spread to other worlds. It’s a lot of ifs and buts, and that’s my biggest problem. There’s no guarantee. You don’t know what world you’re gonna wake up in. They might only wake you up because they need soldiers in a future World War Three. I don’t want that. You live once and you make the best of it. You do what you can and make up for what you did wrong. You’re born, you live, you die. There’s no reason to interfere, no reason to meddle. You are supposed to make the best of life so that one chance you get is well lived. So when you get to the end you can die a happy person. If you want more time then you haven’t lived your life to the full. We all should. I think that’s the point of cryonics. To show the world that you shouldn’t need more time.
Would you consider cryonics, readers?
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