If it's not too personal a question to ask, what's the order-of-magnitude of your discretionary income? (Or, if you prefer; does $300/year fall within the range of any of your described spending amounts?)

It falls within the 1/10 range, not within the 1/1000 range.

I try to think of probabilities in terms of logarithms these days. 0.05% is roughly -26 decibans of confidence, which might help you look at it in a way that avoids the significant-figure difficulty.

But what is the uncertainty on the probability itself?

I can say that the probability of winning a certain lottery is 1/700,000,000. This is a very low probability but its very accurate. I can also say that probability that space aliens visit me and give me a large sum of money is 1/700,000,000, but that's just a number I made up.

But what is the uncertainty on the probability itself?

Let's see; in this post is a link to this spreadsheet, which gives various people's estimates, and, unless you have any better data to use, can serve as an overall initial 'wisdom of the crowds' estimate along the lines of a futures prediction market. The predicted odds of success are one in 3, 4, 15, somewhere from 7 to 435, and 1010; for a naive average of 1 in 250, or about 0.4%.

Do you have any reason to believe that you will be able to acquire a more accurate estimate at any time in the near futu... (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?