What plans could a prospective cryonicist try out, beyond simply signing up, that could increase the odds of eventually having a pleasant re-animation experience?

To show what I mean, here are the main ideas I've managed to come up with so far. None of these particular ideas are a standard part of a cryonics preservation package. Some are easier to implement than others, some are more likely to have an effect than others, some have potentially greater effect than others.

* Arranging for as much information about oneself (photo albums, emails, grade school report cards, etc) as possible to be placed on archival media and stored along with one's body. Reasoning: If the cryo-preservation procedure causes brain damage, and technology advances sufficiently before re-animation, then this information potentially allows for that damage to be at least partially reconstructed.

* Requesting additional data about the cryo-preservation procedure used on oneself be archived. Eg, requesting that, to whatever degree doesn't interfere with the procedure, it be videoed.

* Making arrangements for an animal body to be cryo-preserved with the same procedure one's own body was preserved with. A lab chimp would be ideal, but difficult to arrange for a number of reasons; more likely, a more common animal of around human mass would be feasible, such as a dog or goat. Even a few lab-rats might help. Reasoning: It gives future re-animators an additional opportunity to experiment with re-animation techniques, before attempting to re-animate a person.

* Noting down one's preferences and requests for future re-animators. Eg, from "I'd appreciate having a cat nearby to pet and calm down as I wake up" to "If you have to rebuild my body from scratch anyway, and it's within cultural norms, I would appreciate being gender _____" to "If you create a digital/electronic/computer/data copy of my mind, I would like a copy of that to be placed in offline, air-gapped storage, so that if every active copy of my mind is destroyed, there will always be that original backup available to re-instantiate myself." Or just more general ideas, such as, "My goal is to live forever, and I would prefer whatever means most likely lead to that happening to be tried."

I'm not nearly as creative as I wish I could be; so I'm hoping that the local group-mind here might be able to offer further ideas, or improvements or refinements to the above ones.

So: What extras can you think of?

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Are there any cryonics facilities in countries where euthanasia is legal? If not, what's stopping them?


Would you rather wake up with hundreds of years of debt or wake up to be the most wealthy man in the world? If the later, put money in a savings account, drawing compound interest, payable to yourself. If the former, do nothing.

An aside: H. G. Wells wrote 'The Sleeper Awakes' in 1910 (serialized in 1898 and 1899). In it a man falls into a drugged sleep for 200 years. A bank account established by his friends and family draws compound interest, a committee is established to guide his wealth, the committee gets wealthy and gains global political power, and the rest you can read for yourself. A quick search of LW finds no previous mention of 'The Sleeper Awakes.'


This topic of compound interest has been discussed on OB extensively; search for 'compound interest' and 'perpetuities'. There are serious reasons why the strategy is highly unlikely to work in the real world; Hanson covers some on OB and I cover some more in http://www.gwern.net/The%20Narrowing%20Circle

It's a bit more complicated than that; there's a common-law concept, usually called the rule against perpetuities, to prevent exactly that sort of permanent interest-gathering account. There are ways to try to get around that rule, such as setting up a very specialized trust; but even making the attempt requires a bit more than just opening a bank account.

That said, if a cryonicist is up to making the effort, it's at least potentially worth the effort.

I have my doubts about this. You're optimizing for a very narrow gap between societies with insufficient revivification tech and societies that are either too post-scarcity or Singularified or have undergone enough cultural or political drift that the money is worthless. And both the slow and fast routes to revivification seem like they would involve a LOT of that.

One thing I would like to be mentioned is why these methods might work.

Assume the best possible scanning method is used, such that the future reanimators have a map of where every atom was bonded in your brain.

There's going to be frost damage, even if cryoprotectant is used - there will be areas it didn't reach, cracks from low temperature stresses, oxidation damage from time spent in the cryostat, and so on.

Future software could computationally reverse many of these damaging events - but there will be uncertainty in that there would be multiple solutions possible as to the "original" state. A video of the freezing process would allow you to calibrate the model used to computationally reverse the damage better.

Furthermore, this level of technology means it is probable that the reanimators would be able to "read" memories at some level of fidelity. If there are surviving notes about your life, they could potentially resolve ambiguities when there are multiple possible past memory states.

One thing that bothers me about this proposal is that the "reanimators" would have to be beings smarter than you ever were, and they would probably need to use more computational capacity to revive just one person than that person performed in their entire lifetime.

What plans could a prospective cryonicist try out, beyond simply signing up, that could increase the odds of eventually having a pleasant re-animation experience?

If one has Alzheimer, then one could sign up to a cryonics organisation (if not done yet) and then go to the nearest hospital to this organisation, call the organisation to tell them they will die, call the hospital telling them where they will commit suicide, and then commit suicide (by minimizing the damages to his/her brain). This will stop the Alzheimer to deteriorate their memory further and therefore having a more pleasant re-animation experience.

Note that I am not saying this is necessarily the best thing to do because I don't know what are the chances that cryonics will work, I am just saying that it would probably be a more pleasant re-animation experience.

It makes sense that Alcor would say that, to avoid getting into legal trouble.

If you actually could commit what is legally considered suicide and not have your brain damaged in an autopsy, why would Alcor advocate VSED? Why not just let people figure it out for themselves? Or hinted at suicide in a non-explicit, non-illegal way? VSED strikes me as the last thing you would ever advocate if you were just interested in PR.

They already had people who did VSED and it didn't get into any legal trouble. However, they had three cases of assisted death which caused some controversy, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcor_Life_Extension_Foundation#Controversies

I've heard that many places have laws requiring suicides to be autopsied...

You're right. So I would add one step. Go to a state (or a country) where the laws don't require autopsy.

For example, you can sign a "Religious Objection to Autopsy" in these five states: California, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Ohio (http://www.alcor.org/Library/html/certificateofreligiousbelief.html).

And of these five states, I'd chose California since it's near Arrizona where there's a cryonics organisation (ie. Alcor).

EDIT: or Ohio, since it's near Michigan where there's also a cryonics organisation (ie. Cryonics Institute).

I've heard life insurance doesn't pay for suicide, so if you have it set up so life insurance pays for your cryonics, you're going to have to abandon that and pay for it yourself.

It depends on the insurance plan. According to one plan I'm familiar with, it doesn't pay out if you suicide within two years of having initially acquired the policy. Presumably this is to prevent the more obvious forms of shenanigans while avoiding the bad PR that would result from someone who develops major depression twenty years later not having their insurance pay out.

DataPacRat is correct. In US, most insurances pay out even in the event of suicide, but only after a certain term. For some policies it's as short as 1 year.

Basically you'd have to get some other easily identifiable disease that kills you before Alzheimer's does it's damage to avoid autopsy.

I think a good way to ensure that you will be able to be revived sucessfully is to take matters into your own hands and work on improving brain preservation technology / awarness right now. For example, you could volunteer or otherwise help out the Brain Preservation Foundation (http://www.brainpreservation.org/). Or help out research into this technology directly. As we get more information about preservation and how it works (and why it doesn't), it will become more obvious what you can do personally to get a better preservation.

The idea of preserving an animal body alongside oneself is interesting.

Archiving a video of your cryopreservation probably wouldn't be very useful as preservation techniques are already highly documented.

The documents of a particular cryo organization are separate from, for example, the personal drawer a a Cryonics Institute member can arrange for. A few cryo organizations have passed by the elwayside while their patients have been passed to other groups to keep cold; it's not impossible that a cryo org's records of the methods of preservation may be lost or corrupted while an individual's personal copies remain intact. Adding a video record on top of the standard records seems to be unlikely to help directly, but it may help remind the people involved to make extra copies and backups of the relevant info.

Then again, I could be wrong.