Interest in Biostasis: Much More Than You Wanted to Know. (Results from the ACX 2021 Biostasis/Cryonics Survey)

by Synaptic2 min read11th Aug 20211 comment

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CryonicsLife ExtensionCommunityWorld Optimization
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Motivation

My motivation for doing this survey is simple: I’m continuously surprised that I’m one of the few people in the world who is obsessed with the problem of how to preserve people with the goal of reviving them in the future. It’s a potential solution to one of humanity’s oldest and most vexing problems and, yet, so few people seem to care. My goal with this survey is to better understand why people are hesitant towards or even against biostasis.

Note: Biostasis is a generalization of the term cryonics to include preservation technologies that don’t necessarily use cold temperatures. It’s also semantics; a bit of rebranding for a term with some unfortunate connotations. I use the terms biostasis and cryonics interchangeably.

Links: Main survey page, Demographic questions, Biostasis/cryonics questions

Previous surveys: Kaiser and colleagues 2014, LW 2016 Survey, Reddit 2019 survey, Melanie Swan’s 2019 survey, Gillett and colleagues 2021

Highlights

  • Replication of well-known associations of increased interest in biostasis: younger people; non-religious people; non-spiritual people; transgender women and cisgender men; and people in computer-related professions.
  • People who are actually signed up for biostasis have higher average scores on knowledge questions about cryobiology than people who are not signed up.
  • People with libertarian and liberal politics are the most consistently interested in and supportive of biostasis. People with conservative and alt-right politics are the most consistently uninterested and unsupportive of biostasis.
  • People with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder and autism are more interested in biostasis, while those with a diagnosis of depression are less interested.
  • There is a cluster of pro-biostasis and related beliefs all positively correlated with one another: being more likely to be signed up or interested in it, being more able to imagine it, assigning a higher probability it will work, assigning a higher probability of longevity escape velocity, et cetera. One could think of this as a type of “mood affiliation.”
  • Of people’s biggest concern about biostasis, religious reasons or selfishness are correlated with the least interest; people most concerned about lack of scientific validation or the possibility of unfavorable revival conditions are slightly more interested; and people most concerned with cost, logistic problems, social ostracism, or organizational stability are the most interested in biostasis.
  • About half of respondents are concerned about being revived in an unfavorable condition/state. People endorsing this concern are more likely to say that they would be more interested in biostasis if their closest friends/family signed up.

You can read the rest of the post here: https://synopticz.github.io/acx_2021_survey

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I’m unsurprised people who first learned about cryonics from Wikipedia have an unfavourable view of it, their page on the subject takes a fairly negative slant. I vaguely recall something about an editor having it out for the field.