Why are you in such a hurry?

From HPMoR, chapter 66, paragraphs 1-4:

Hessitation iss alwayss eassy, rarely usseful.

So the Defense Professor had told him; and while you could quibble about the details of the proverb, Harry understood the weaknesses of Ravenclaws well enough to know that you had to try answering your own quibbles. Did some plans call for waiting? Yes, many plans called for delayed action; but that was not the same as hesitating to choose. Not delaying because you knew the right moment to do what was necessary, but delaying because you couldn't make up your mind - there was no cunning plan which called for that.

Did you sometimes need more information to choose? Yes, but that could also turn into an excuse for delaying; and it would be tempting to delay, when you were faced with a choice between two painful alternatives, and not choosing would avoid the mental pain for a time. So you would pick a piece of information you couldn't easily obtain, and claim that you couldn't possibly decide without it; that would be your excuse. Although if you knew what information you needed, knew when and how you would obtain that information, and knew what you would do depending on each possible observation, then that was less suspicious as an excuse for hesitating.

If you weren't just hesitating, you ought to be able to choose in advance what you would do, once you had the extra information you claimed you needed.

I've previously looked a bit into cryonics, and flinched at how expensive the full package from Alcor was, especially given my fixed income. I thought something along the lines, "I want to sign up, but there's no way I can afford that. Maybe if the prices drop before I die.", and turned my attention to other matters. During my most recent looking into the matter, I looked more thoroughly into the matter. For example, I ran a few online insurance-quote generators, and found that, given my age and non-smoker status, the necessary life-insurance would only run me around $15/month.

If a better option materializes while I'm still alive, then it seems unlikely that my having signed up for cryonics now will prevent me from taking advantage of it. So, by signing up now, I have the advantage of not having cut off my future options, as well as having the cryonics package in case I do kick the bucket before then. If the LW arguments for cryonics add up, then I no longer have any good reason to delay; and, as far as I can tell, they do.

From HPMoR, chapter 66, paragraphs 1-4:

Well, since you are citing Yudkowsky...

[ ... ] If you weren't just hesitating, you ought to be able to choose in advance what you would do, once you had the extra information you claimed you needed.

That would be useful advice only for an agent with unbounded rationality. A boundedly rational agent like an human can't possibly plan in advance for every possible contingency.

Hesitation is not necessarily, or even usually, a bad thing: it's an emotion that warns you against making important decisions without having... (read more)

Finally Ending My Cryo-Crastination

by DataPacRat 1 min read24th Sep 201244 comments


I've finally decided to take the plunge and make the arrangements for my eventual cryonic preservation. To help myself make sure that I actually follow through with everything necessary, I'm publicly pre-committing myself here to accomplish that.


As initial evidence that I'm actually serious about doing this, I've sent an email to The Cryonics Institute today, whose contents were as follows:

I have decided to finally stop procrastinating and make the necessary arrangements for my eventual cryonic preservation, and I have chosen CI to make those arrangements with.

I have looked through your membership pages and online sample forms, and I believe that I can work through my end of the paperwork without any real trouble, although I would still appreciate any advice you have to offer. For example, I live in Canada, about an hour's drive from Toronto, which might affect which forms are necessary.

Before I send my initial payment, I would at least like to confirm the basic details, and let you know who the money is coming from. It appears that, to start things off, I can Paypal you USD $110, for the yearly membership fee plus the first quarter's dues; after which I would mail you a physical, signed copy of the yearly membership application. After that, there will be a variety of documents to sign and have witnessed; and the insurance plan to arrange for. Is that a reasonable summary?

For the life insurance, I am thinking of a 20-year term policy with RBC (Royal Bank of Canada). Have you had any dealings with them previously, to know whether or not there will be any problems in setting the Cryonics Institute as the beneficiary? Do you have any recommendations about how large a benefit in excess of the basic USD $35,000 amount the policy should pay out, such as to cover currency-exchange fluctuations or the 'local help' rider?

Is there anything else you would recommend be discussed before I make that initial payment and set the ball in motion?