It’s been a while since I looked at anything related to cryonics, having been more preoccupied lately with things related to religion, popular culture and/or new media, so I was interested to see this article on cryonics in the NY Times. Discussion about cryonics has tended to get subsumed in the hype about super-longevity research or bypassed stories of potential cybernetic immortality, but it apparently still continues to function as both a though experiment and a business.
Anyway, the article Until Cryonics Do Us Part – NYTimes.com comments on how the partners of cryonics proponents are not always as keen on the idea as the proponents. In the article, one of the interviewees comments:
“Cryonics,” Robin says, “has the problem of looking like you’re buying a one-way ticket to a foreign land.” To spend a family fortune in the quest to defeat cancer is not taken, in the American context, to be an act of selfishness. But to plan to be rocketed into the future — a future your family either has no interest in seeing, or believes we’ll never see anyway — is to begin to plot a life in which your current relationships have little meaning. Those who seek immortality are plotting an act of leaving, an act, as Robin puts it, “of betrayal and abandonment.”
One of the things I look at in my research is how the stories of technological salvation parallel those of religious salvation, and that comment above could equally applied to families of those who have a member ‘convert’ to a religion or ideology.
Related link: Greenflame · Death as an engineering problem – which has a number of links to documentaries on super-longevity.