# 28

The Less Wrong 2023 survey results are out. As usual, it includes some questions about cryonics. One is about what people’s level of interest in cryonics is (not interested, considering, cryocrastinating, signed up, etc.). Another asks about people’s subjective probability of successful restoration to life in the future, conditional on there not being a global catastrophe destroying civilization before then. This is also known as p(success). I thought it might be interesting to plot these (with the subjective probability estimates on a log scale, of course):

It is true that people who are more interested tend to give higher subjective probability estimates of success (median probability estimates: signed up = 17.5%, cryocrastinating = 30%, considering = 10%, not interested = 5%). But the difference is not very large. There must be other factors that are much more important than p(success) estimates in mediating whether someone is interested in signing up for cryonics and/or actually goes through with it.

This is crossposted from my blog's links post for the month, available here. I only posted this part because I thought it was less likely that people would be interested in the others.

New Comment

A log-odds scale might be more appropriate.

[-]Ben40

It is very interesting how weak the correlation is.

I like the use of the median, I can't remember what I put on the survey but it could easily have been 1%, 0.1% or 0.01% depending on what I was thinking at that moment (this I consider a big downside of asking for a numerical probability instead of forcing a choice of terms like "unlikely" etc). Median should avoid that issue.

people’s subjective probability of successful restoration to life in the future, conditional on there not being a global catastrophe destroying civilization before then. This is also known as p(success).

This definition seems relevantly modified by the conditional!

You also seem to be assuming that "probability of revival" could be a monocausal explanation for cryonics interest, but I find that implausible ex ante. Monocausality approximately doesn't exist, and "is being revived good in expectation / good with what probability" are also common concerns. (CF)

The arguments about about net-negative futures are in this section, especially here. I find the whole being revived as an emulation & forced to work example pretty unconvincing.

Thanks for the comment. I'm definitely not assuming that p(success) would be a monocausal explanation. I'm mostly presenting this data to give evidence against that assumption, because people frequently make statements such as "of course almost nobody wants cryonics, they don't expect it will work".

I also agree that "is being revived good in expectation / good with what probability" is another common concern. Personally, I think niplav has some good analysis of net-negative revival scenarios: https://niplav.site/considerations_on_cryonics.html

Btw, according to the author, 'Lena' is largely a critique of exploitive capitalism: https://qntm.org/uploading

Maybe try controlling for age? I think young people are both less likely to have signed up for cryonics (because they have less money and are less likely to die) and also have higher probabilities of cryonics working for them (because cryonics will improve by the time they need it).