Imagine someone who wanted their body dumped into an active volcano when they died, in order to really be one with Earth. Even if this cost tens of thousands of dollars, few people would dump a significant other, or divorce a spouse, for this. Sure it is a bit weird, but hardly a deal-breaker. Yet people
Your wife intends to PREVENT you being frozen. This is beyond normal dis-respect. She should be ashamed to openly refuse to honor her husband's wishes.
I don't concede that there *cannot* be non-intrinsic reasons to revive someone.
OK now I understand: if, for example, an agent made an agreement to revive, it can be rational for the agent to honor the agreement even if the agent assigns zero intrinsic value to the frozen human.
I stand by my statement that a frozen human is an obsolete human. (Actually, there is a very small probability that a human would not be obsolete even when surrounded by vastly more capable agents, but the probability is low enough to make it almost misleading for me even to mention it in a short comment.)
Robin: hrm... maybe you should try that and see what happens. :) As far as the whole hostile wives thing, never heard about that. I don't have much of a comment on that because my model of reality didn't even contain that in the first place. I don't know really what would explain that data. How does it compare to say an atheist wife's reaction to her husband suddenly deciding to participate in a particularly expensive religious ritual or whatever to, say, speed his soul on to the beyond? I am certainly not equating cryo with this (although the motivations are similar) but I think it would be informative to find out if the reaction is of similar intensity.
Similar for religious wife and husband who participates in such a thing from a different religion.
ie, _IF_ all three have the same level of reaction, then I'd say that the "hated because it might work" hypothesis is probably false and relates more to the "relative weirdness"... that is, the distance it is from what the wife views as something acceptable/vaguely normal in their (or her) own usual "in crowd".
Dennis: from what I saw of that, they didn't even touch on the core philosophy, the whole information-theoretic definition of death. The whole "even if the body itself is more or less lost, it stops the information that made you you from decaying, so we may be able to 'read that off' later on" thing. So I'm not really sure they've actually shown it to in any way really be a scam.
Also, why did they talk to one of the smaller groups rather than Alcor or CI?
This post was about a comparison between two scenarios. Yet most commentors ignored the comparison to just talk about cryonics. It is almost as if commentors browse posts looking for their favorite buzzwords and upon finding one mentioned leap into their standard speech on it. I could save a lot of work if instead of writing thoughtful posts I just cycled through mentions of a standard list of buzzwords.
Its the issue of closure. It is not the possibility that cryonics may work that causes many people to hate it. It is the lack of certainty that it will work. When someone gets frozen, they exist in a sort of indeterminate state between life and death. Most people cannot handle this. They want to know if the person is either dead or alive. They want either closure or being able to have the person around as a living, thinking human being.
Dennis: I didn't say the frozen body has no value (the entire point of cryonics is that it might), only that it has no power. That is the biggest problem I see with cryonics: how can you guarantee the safe keeping of your corpsicle for decades after you have ceased to have any say in the matter? How many dead people have had their posthumous wishes actively carried out for that long?
I agree with Richard that frozen body has no value for the society (either current or future).That means "irresponsible body maintenance right now" and "no proper thawing process in the future".That results in almost zero chances of recovery in the future paradise (even if it's theoretically possible from technical perspective).
Cryonics competes for people's money on the same level as any other religions do. I think that eventually Cryonics will be fully transformed into religion (like it happened with Scientology).In fact Scientology and Cryonics could even merge with each other:-)
Penn and Teller Calls BS on Cryonics Scam
Not necessarily, these things would depend on a lot of particular facts, e.g. how the actions of different entities at different times are related.
Carl, I think if that reasoning goes through it proves lots of things that are even more interesting than the future reviving cryonicists, perhaps including the prediction that paperclip AIs will use some significant fraction of their resources to reward paperclip AI creators.
"In summary, the justification for cryopreservation rests on the proposition that the person being preserved has intrinsic value; it cannot be justified by the instrumental value of the person being preserved. Will you please concede that point, Carl?"
I don't concede that there *cannot* be non-intrinsic reasons to revive someone. There are Prisoner's Dilemma/Newcomb's problem issues here.
If abandonment is the problem, this suggests that heavily pressuring your wife to sign up for cryonics will result in better relationship outcomes. Trying to pretend it's a personal choice that she can make any way she wants, may not have the intended effect. A testable hypothesis, if we could collect statistics.
Better yet, have the cryonics talk before you get into a potentially marriageable relationship with someone - "I don't want to fall in love with someone who's going to die on me." That makes it clear you're not trying to leave her by signing up, but that, when the relationship starts, it's not just till death do you part.
From a third-person standpoint - I want you to sign up, and I want your loved ones to sign up. If your loved ones don't sign up, then I'm sorry for you, and you're going to experience pain about that. But I still want you to sign up, even if it's sad, because humanity needs to get moving on this, and that means that some people have to be first. If she can understand that's how you see the moral imperative, then again it might help on the abandonment issue.
I don't really know, though; I have no experience in this area.
I see a lot of the same sort of thinking that goes on with cryonicists here--cryos seem to think that when it comes to cryonics, that people actually apply logic objectively. No way. In many areas of life, people do not apply logic. Why would they do so with cryonics?
In fact a lot of what people do is not driven by some independent free will or logic at all, but is driven by hormones, status-seeking behavior, need to conform, need to reproduce, etc. We may justify our actions with rationalizations, but really our actions usually will achieve some basic drive.
For cryonics to make it to the next level, to break out, cryonics needs to attach itself to, at least in some indirect way, to certain, already-established biological/social drives and institutions. For example, religion/spirituality. Also, adventure-seeking as a form of status seeking.
Everyone in cryonics seems to assume that humans are Homo Sapiens Rationalisticus, but it is more like Homo Sapiens Rationalizationicus.
I'm speculating, but I think your wife's fucking with you. In my experience, most people don't particularly care if you're going to cryopreserve yourself, other than to take advantage of their superiorly majoritarian position in the discussion to lightly mock you.
it's true one can't actively contribute while in cryonic suspension
Finish the thought, Carl. One cannot contribute -- no need for the qualifier "actively" -- while in cryonic suspension and one cannot contribute after cryonic suspension because any civilization able to revive a person from suspension is a civilization in which a human is obsolete in the same way that in our current civilization, a chimpanzee is obsolete. This is true even though David Ricardo's appeal to comparative advantage is correct when applied to most humans. I say "most" humans because even among humans free to engage in frictionless trade, more than a few individuals currently living are incapable of contributing more to our current civilization than the opportunity cost of keeping the individual alive -- which, again, is the same position the chimpanzees are in.
I hasten to add that I am firmly opposed to any policy by any government that would impede any individual or voluntary cooperation between individuals from keeping any individual alive on the argument that keeping him or her alive is not a net benefit or contribution to civilization. This is one of those rules, which on this blog has been referred to as deontological ethics, that is necessary because humans (and especially coalitions of humans in positions of power) cannot be relied on to make strictly consequentialist ethical conclusions.
In summary, the justification for cryopreservation rests on the proposition that the person being preserved has intrinsic value; it cannot be justified by the instrumental value of the person being preserved. Will you please concede that point, Carl?
"Anyone who doesn't want to waste resources or impose themselves on others should probably drop dead right now, because their very existence is opposed to their values."
That's surely not universally the case, intelligent life can save resources that would otherwise be wasted illuminating empty space and such, and the existence of many or most people benefits most others. Someone who engages in productive work and contributes to public goods is quite likely to be a net benefit for others. Now, while it's true one can't actively contribute while in cryonic suspension, the motivation to earn the funds to pay for it serves as an incentive for socially productive and beneficial activity.
I think the most likely factor is something along the lines of "What a horrible waste of money [that my spouse could leave to me or children] for such an unnecessary and ridiculous departure from how things should be."
I think opposition to a partner's cryonics plans might mainly be prejudice and an unwillingness to think things through. This could likely be coupled with a firm belief in souls and afterlife, which renders cryonics seemingly stupid. The cryonicist appears to obstinately want to remain stuck in this reality instead of "passing on" to bigger things, whatever those might be.
Then there's also the argument made by William, who opines that cryonics is rude. "Wasting resources", "imposing yourself on others" - as if these things were not intrinsic to life itself. Anyone who doesn't want to waste resources or impose themselves on others should probably drop dead right now, because their very existence is opposed to their values.