I want to sign up for cryonic suspension. I haven't done so yet because I haven't been able to decide which organization to use. I'm not expecting you guys to choose for me, but it would be very helpful if those of you who are signed up (or will sign up) would say which organization you went with and why.

I've found the following three organizations. Did I miss any that I should be considering?

I'm in the US midwest area, if that will make a difference. My goal would be to maximize the chance of this working. My sub-goal would be to spend the least amount of money. I'm not old yet, so I expect to be able to get funding from life insurance.

16 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 7:33 AM
New Comment

Here is a relevant discussion.

I went with CI because it's cheap. I'm also in US Midwest area, but it doesn't really make any difference. Whoever you go with, I - and many other people here too - would highly recommend Rudi Hoffman as you insurance agent.

Thanks, I searched but missed that discussion.

[-][anonymous]11y 8

Upvoted because I'm in a similar situation. I'm particularly interested in hearing what the LW community thinks about the difference between Alcor and other providers: is the increased likelihood of revival worth the increased cost?

The relevant question seems to be Alcor vs CI. Form what I can tell, ACS is expensive and does its storage with CI anyway.

Alcor costs (http://www.alcor.org/BecomeMember/scheduleA.html):

$200,000.00 Whole Body Cryopreservation ($110,000 to the Patient Care Trust, $60,000 for cryopreservation, $30,000.00 to the Comprehensive Member Standby (CMS) Fund),

OR $80,000.00 Neurocryopreservation ($25,000 to the Patient Care Trust, $30,000 for cryopreservation, $25,000.00 to the CMS Fund).

CI + SA costs (http://www.cryonics.org/comparisons.html, and http://www.cryonics.org/SA/SA_CI_Attachment_2.html):

$28,000 CI whole body preservation, with personal shipping,

OR $28,000 + $52,500 cost for SA ($7,500 deployment, $30,000 transport, $15,000 air transport) = $80,500.

Note that this is a minimum for the deployment costs of SA. If the personnel are deployed for longer than 2 days or more than once, the costs rise.

From what I can tell, CI does not mention putting money aside for a patient trust.

Summary:

If you live in Michigan, prefer whole body preservation, and/or your associates are willing and able to competently deal with your transport, then CI would be a relatively better deal.

If you don't mind neurocryopreservation, prefer SA for skilled transport, and/or are more concerned about the long-term stability of the organization (due to the patient trust fund), then Alcor would be a relatively better deal.

Note that the annual dues of Alcor are much higher, $800 (if you get CMS, which is pretty much essential) to $120. This adds up, and if you live 40 more years, is equal to $32,000 (and more once you inflation-adjust).

Given this annual fee structure, it might make relatively more sense to sign up with CI when you are younger and switch to Alcor when you are older.

My main advice is to start on life insurance first. I also recommend Rudi Hoffman.

My naively skeptical approach to cryonics hinges on the question of "what happens when (not if) there is a financial failure?"

"When", because nearly every business enterprise fails in the long term and even those lasting for centuries, like Lloyd's of London, often experience significant turmoil. What assets does a cryo storage have that are attractive enough to others to take over and keep the existing cryos going? Given that there is no money to be made from it, and there is no penalty for disposing of the (legally dead) bodies stored in the vaults of the bankrupt organization, why would anyone bother? I could find no information on any of the three sites as to the contingency planning for an actual financial failure, only the steps to make it less likely, which is completely unsatisfactory.

Until I find a convincing evidence that entities such as the Alcor Patient Care Trust can survive the relatively likely downfall of the US dollar/economy in the coming decades, as well as many other inevitable white and black swans, believing in the simulation argument and that the afterlife is a part of the simulation seems to be a far cheaper and just as rational a way to get the desired peace of mind.

Down-voted for being off-topic.

Meanwhile, I'm sitting in Europe - Ireland at the moment, though I will likely go back to Scandinavia in a few years - and completely failing to find anything that looks halfway respectable.

Moving to america would be an absolute last resort. Meanwhile, am I overlooking something? If there really isn't a good European one.. well, there should be quite a few LW readers here. Perhaps we should start one?

It seems feasible to sign up in Europe for preservation with CI or Alcor. Costs are comparable. The #1 problem is transport, the #2 problem is funeral procedures and accidental death provisions. Here's a previous discussion.

Starting a local organization seems like a much taller order. Tiny chance of success, based on what I know of the legislative and economic issues. I'm up for discussing it though.

I am favoring Alcor, for two reasons.

First, they offer neuropreservation, which seems preferable to me.

A majority have in fact decided to concentrate all cryopreservation efforts on their brain. For these members, it makes no sense to preserve ten times more tissue than necessary. Nor does it make sense to compromise the condition of the brain while trying to preserve a large mass of aged, diseased tissue that may very well be completely replaced during revival anyway. Brains are compact, inexpensive to store, easy to move, and are a single organ for which cryopreservation protocols can be completely optimized.

Secondly, their standby service, which minimizes the amount of time between you're heart's last beat and preservation of your brain.

These two things seem, to me, likely to give patients notably better chances to be revived without any mental degradation.

I'm interested in this question as well.

  • One Alcor member told me that wealthy people like Peter Thiel are members of Alcor, and so they have a personal interest in Alcor's long-term survival.

  • One CI member told me that CI keeps the money for storage in an entity that is legally separate from the entity that administers perfusions, which makes it less likely that a lawsuit will result in their patients being thawed. This is confusing because the person seems to have been talking about Alcor's Patient Care Trust.

  • One CI member told me that they signed up for CI because they lived in the Midwest and were not wealthy.

I just thought I'd give an update: I've decided to go with CI, as it seems to have the best chance-of-working per $ ratio. In a few decades I'll reevaluate. I plan to obtain more life insurance than necessary, as I anticipate it becoming hard to get more later and I anticipate a chance that I'll want to switch to Alcor. I haven't yet acted on this and so am now officially cryocrastinating...

I'll add one point I just thought of that no one else has mentioned:

CI is so much cheaper than Alcor that, on the off chance I could convince a dying loved one to agree to be frozen, there is a chance in hell that I would be able to pay for it. I hope not to be in that situation, but the probability that everyone I care about will even survive until the earliest possible time the singularity could occur is extremely low.

Joining CI and then switching to Alcor later on to take advantage of perceived greater financial stability seems like defecting in the PD, unless the fact that people will do this is already priced into their admittedly quite high annual dues.

Considering that this is just a back-up plan, that I probably have as great of chance of surviving to see the singularity as of cryonic suspension working, the low cost of CI seems very attractive, but I think I should weigh that against the decreased chance that they'll survive the next 100 years or so.

Do you guys think Alcor is twice as likely to not fail as CI? Three times? More? They're 6-8 times as expensive.

Joining CI and then switching to Alcor later on to take advantage of perceived greater financial stability seems like defecting in the PD

I would hope their maintenance function is funded in a way that doesn't depend on new contracts. Otherwise I'd have very low confidence in their long-term viability. So if switching contracts undermines CI, you don't want to be registered with CI to begin with and your actions will have little likelihood of affecting someone who is already maintained by CI.

Actually, I was thinking the other way around-- paying dues at CI and then not using their services can only be good for CI, right?

But not paying a few decades of dues at Alcor and then using their services may break one of their assumptions ("X percent of people that want to be frozen will join for Y decades before actually getting frozen"). If that's the case, someone doing that would effectively be freeloading on all the people who did sign up early and pay dues for decades. I imagine that Alcor expects a lot of people to sign up later in life rather than earlier, and that is priced into their dues. However, I'd be surprised if they expect everyone to do that.

They charge a $25,000 or $50,000 fee for non-members - I would assume they would refuse you membership if you came to them very late in life. As far as their assumptions about at what age you can become a member, you may be right but I my guess is these fees are only used to support their front-office on a year-to-year basis.

Presumably I'd switch in time to avoid that huge penalty (which I wasn't aware of, thanks). If I have a chance, I'll try and dig around to see what those fees are for. If you're correct, then it would seem that there's no downside to signing up with CI and then switching in two or three decades.

(Other than the risk that I'd actually die between now and then and be frozen in an inferior way. But realistically, if I die between now and then it will most likely be a surprise and I doubt Alcor can do much better with surprises than CI; maybe I'm wrong.)