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What are the merits of signing up for cryonics with Alcor vs. with the Cryonics Institute?

by elityre1 min read11th Sep 20199 comments

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I am signing up for cryonics this year, and I need to figure out if I should pay extra to do it with Alcor instead of CI.

What's the balance of evidence on this question?

With which organization have most cryonicist LessWrongers gone? [edit: I made a google form for this more specific question here.]

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3 Answers

I picked CI, and have stuck with it, partly due to the cost, and partly because its board is elected by the membership; while Alcor's board selects its own successors, which seems to me to be much less democratic and to be more likely to have something go terribly wrong organizationally before revival becomes possible. (You may have different theories about long-term organizational survival, but given the scarcity of evidence to work with, it's all-too-easy to rapidly run into 'politics is the mind-killer' level arguments.)


Skimming the top of the thread at https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/PdcpEih96tqrt2waM/alcor-vs-cryonics-institute , one relevant thing I've learned is that Mike Darwin is both heavily involved in and quite experienced with the cryo community, and always seems to be willing to tell everyone what they're doing wrong. This approach has caused some social friction, and as far as I know, he spends his time these days in the cryonics subreddit instead of the mailing lists.

You might want to join the New Cryonet mailing list at https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/New_Cryonet/info , which has members of both Alcor and CI.

I chose Alcor based on a few things:

  • Alcor has a history of fighting and winning legal battles to preserve patients when patients wanted to be preserved and living relatives did not.
  • Alcor has a history of taking in patients from failed providers.
  • Alcor has been around longer.
  • I worry that CI's lower cost means they are creating externalities that need to be picked up by other parts of the system, in particular around funding research.

On net I think of Alcor as the more trusted option, and consider it worth it if you can afford it (and if you can really afford it, you can sign up with both as I know a few people have).

I'm planning to go with ACS, which is a lesser known cryonics organization that has been around longer than Alcor and CI. The price for a full suspension is $155,000 which is in between the CI and Alcor prices.

They don't actually run their own facilities, instead they contract with other organizations, currently CI to hold the vitrified bodies. For doing suspensions, they seem to have their own procedure, and you can additionally choose to have them contract other organizations such as Suspended Animation Inc. (which is the one Alcor uses).

Since they contract, they have increased flexibility which seems quite valuable. In particular, it helps against organizational incompetence which both Alcor and CI seem to have their fair share of. It's harder to find info about the competence of ACS themselves, but the fact that they've been around a long time bodes slightly well.

They also sponsor cryonics research, which is really cool.

Anyway, I'd really appreciate having more people analyze them as a cryonics option before I commit to them!