Cryocrastinating? Send me (or someone else) money!

by Stuart_Armstrong2 min read17th Apr 201343 comments

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Personal Blog

I know from personal experience how hard it is to actually go through the final process to sign up for cryonics - no matter how theoretically in favour one is. For me, it was Robin Hanson's offer of an hour of chat that sealed the deal - it seemed much easier to focus on getting to that interview, than on potentially saving the whole of my future :-)

Anyway, I'm offering my services to help out others who might want to get that final push over the line. What am I offering? Well, the opportunity to send me money! Simply pledge something like "if I don't get signed up for cryonics by such and such a date, I will send Stuart Armstrong $X".

This sounds incredibly mercenary - I'm offering you the possibility of sending me money? This seems to be a misunderstanding of the whole meaning of the word "offering". Well, for a start, I'm certain that I will never receive that money - if someone pledges "in a year's time, I will have signed up for cryonics, or I will send Stuart Armstrong $200", then I read that as "in a year's time, I will have signed up for cryonics". Because no-one likes losing money they could keep by doing something they want to (want to) do. So what I'm offering is the possibility to make yourself sign up for cryonics.

In fact, I'll do it this way: if I ever get any money from such a pledge, I'll redistribute that money to other people who took the pledge and did sign up. If it's not too many people, I can probably offer one hour chats as well, for those interested.

Of course, this works just as well if you pledge to give money to someone else, not just me, so I encourage you to pledge to whoever you like! Just make sure that:

  1. You don't pledge the money to a charity you approve of - you should have no justification for avoiding signing up. Failure is a failure, not an act of generosity.
  2. You pledge the money to someone who will take the money from you if you fail - or else the whole thing doesn't work at all. I promise to do so!
  3. You bear in mind that these things take longer than you expect (planning fallacy and all that). Pledge a year, aim to have it done in six months.

I already have one person pledged for £100 in a year's time, and I'm fully confident they'll be signed up before that. If I have their permission, I'll let you know as soon as it happens.

 

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42 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 12:27 AM
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I'll actually take you up on your offer. I pledge to send you $150 if I don't sign up for cryonics by 4 years time.

Noted! I've got an entry in my calendar for 18th April 2017. Do you want to send me contact info that you think will still be valid in 4 years time?

Considering the pain of all the forms (I have 4 final forms on my table, which need to be signed 200 times by me, wife and 2 willing witnesses), this sounds like a nice get-rich-quick scheme :-p

"This isn't even my final form!" - C.I.

You think you wouldn't get those forms signed double quick, if you stood to lose $150 otherwise? :-)

Alcor already does something similar, although I assume their motives are different.

Any applicant who is still in the application process after three months from the initial application date will be charged $100 every three months for extended application fees until all membership requirements are satisfied.

(source)

So, if you're going with Alcor over CI, then you can (in fact, must) commit to something like this when you start the signup process.

On reading the title, I was expecting something like "if you support cryonics but for whatever reason won't sign up, consider donating some of what you would have spent on it to those who would like to but can't afford it."

I was wrong, but since the thought came to mind, does such a service exist? (for individuals, I mean -- not the philanthropic arms of Alcor and/or CI.

The best term is "Cryocrastinating" Stuart. It's one of the best memes to be born here, don't let it die. Freeze it.

The term is "Cryocrastinating" Stuart. It's one of the best memes to be born here,

Excuse me. I coined the verb "to cryocrastinate" over 20 years ago: http://www.nanodic.com/Nanomaterial/Cryocrastinate.htm

Cryonicists also called cryonics "an ambulance ride to the future" way back then as well, despite the phrase's current imputation to Eliezer: http://www.alcor.org/Library/html/casereport9209.html

Yet people wonder why I find Eliezer and other LessWrongers annoying because they've moved into the cryonics community and now act like they invented its key ideas and phrases. James D. Miller's presents such a one-sided, narrow and frankly preposterous view of cryonics in Singularity Rising that I literally threw my paperback copy across the room in frustration with it. Does Miller describe the contributions of people who actually had something to do with cryonics, namely, Bob Ettinger, Saul Kent, Curtis Henderson, Art Quaife, Fred Chamberlain, Jerry Leaf, Hugh Hixon, Mike Darwin? No, instead he invokes Eliezer and Robin as the current go-to authority figures on the subject, yet these guys' experience with cryopreservaiton probably hasn't extended beyond putting groceries in the kitchen freezer.

I have never claimed credit for either phrase, and fully support all efforts to see them attributed appropriately.

Then again, if you present the thing with faces who got in relatively recently, people's two-second first impression might be more of a "hey, new thing, shiny" and not "if people were already going on about this stuff 20 years ago and and it still has very little traction, something must be wrong with it".

My book only briefly discussed cryonics but extensively discussed Eliezer and Robin and so when I discussed cryonics I connected it to these men. And yes since I only briefly discussed cryonics my discussion was narrow.

A intellectual history of cryonics doesn't really belong in a book focusing on the economic implications of future increases in human and artificial intelligence.

Isn't it better that the ideas get spread rather than who gets the credit?

One can do both, as in the case of OP who is both spreading the idea and also a claim about who deserves the credit for the idea.

(And credit is not neutral; if one hears that Darwin, rather than Eliezer or Hanson, coined a term or idea, one might go read Chronopause.com because of it and learn a great deal of things a cryonicists ought to know.)

One can do both, as in the case of OP who is both spreading the idea and also a claim about who deserves the credit for the idea.

I agree that ideally everyone should do both, but it seemed like advancedatheist was blaming LessWrong, Eliezer and Hanson for other people's failure to give credit to the correct people. Attacking Eliezer for getting too much credit for spreading the idea of cryonics seems counterproductive to the goal spreading this idea (which I presume is an actual goal of the cryonics community advancedatheist is a part of).

(And credit is not neutral; if one hears that Darwin, rather than Eliezer or Hanson, coined a term or idea, one might go read Chronopause.com because of it and learn a great deal of things a cryonicists ought to know.)

I'm confused by your point here. Are you advocating that credit for an idea should go towards the most famous person possible, so it gets the most exposure? Isn't this the very thing advancedatheist is complaining about?

I'm confused by your point here. Are you advocating that credit for an idea should go towards the most famous person possible, so it gets the most exposure?

My point here is that Eliezer gets read plenty on the topic of cryonics, perhaps more than he should, while people like Darwin get read too little, even by people who should be reading them. Allocating credit towards Eliezer and away from someone like Darwin exacerbates this.

My cryonics thesis was that if you think that any of the futures predicted by Kurzweil, Hanson, or Eliezer are plausible then you should sign up for cryonics.

yet these guys' experience with cryopreservaiton probably hasn't extended beyond putting groceries in the kitchen freezer

Hey, those cucumbers are gonna live forever.

Immortal cucumbers make the best salads.

If a moment of the cucumber's life is worth anything at all (epsilon > 0), and that worth doesn't converge towards 0 arbitrarily close (series has no limit), then the life of that single immortal cucumber is worth more than the existence of all currently living humans. You monster.

Not even taking into account the terrible torture of skinning the cucumber alive, making the salad.

You have me at a disadvantage! Enlightenment dawns. It would clearly be an act of greatest impropriety not to donate all of my proceds to a charity which evaluates charities which themselves purchase a maximal number of cucumbers for the lowest possible price per. Being quite dead myself, and thus bearing no particular cost of living, I estimate the full sum of my household income could be devoted to the task without breaking the bank, as it were. But, hold -- would it be better to direct my humble servant to the task of increasing the household income directly? Or simply turn her into fertilizer in which future generations of cucumbers might be grown? I estimate her mass at perhaps 43 kilograms. Being profoundly ignorant in matters of horticulture, I attempted to discreetly inquire whether that might not be enough fertilizer to sustain the growth of a plot yielding 3^^^3 cucumbers in all -- a quantity so great that their aggregate benefit would clearly justify parting her from the use of her flesh. She has become suspicious of my motives, I fear, and won't answer. I find this behavior profoundly selfish on her part!

Oh, but must we give up winter melon as well?

When I eat the cucumber it becomes part of me, a moment of my life times the part of me that is that cucumber is worth more than the life of a cucumber alone, and through cryonics I intend to live forever.

Yuyuko is a monster if and only if he has not signed up for cryonics.

a moment of my life times the part of me that is that cucumber is worth more than the life of a cucumber alone

Hopefully when the grey goo eats you, you'll appreciate the finer points of your argument.

[-][anonymous]9y 1

I think you're treating “worth” as an one-place word, while it isn't.

Being now quite thoroughly postmortem, it would seem an act of futile vanity to attempt it. Oh, but it does sound deliciously novel! Perhaps you would be willing to let me partake of your form instead, and preserve the least choice of parts in such a manner? I daresay it would take a full day of roasting and require a great deal of salt. You shall have the consolation of becoming a part of me, a moment of my...well, at any rate existence, times the part of me that is your mortal coil is worth more than your life alone (to borrow your eccentric phrasing!) Through basic inertia I expect to exist forever, so your finite loss is more than exceeded by infinite gain.

I do hope you consider my proposal, and solicit your opinion as to whether you would go better with rice or sweet potato.

I understand Yuyuko opted for an alternate suspension mechanism, as her local cryonics provider only accepts frogs.

By here I mean't "the rationalist community" or "among lesswrongers"

Both were correct. By all means I did not mean anything, that could ever be offensive to anyone.

Title adjusted, thanks!

I'm the one who pledged. And it was £100 as I remember, not just $100 -- you shouldn't decrease other people's precommitments like that, Stuart, it's bad for them :-)

I was thinking afterwards that I might have taken the planning fallacy into account more: If I have to travel to the US to get a health exam, I might postpone that to the next time I'll be in the US for other purposes, even if it delays signing up.

Oops, me bad - I shouldn't diminish the amount of money I'm owed! ;-)

I had exams in the UK, with my normal doctor, nothing special.

I already said this to Stuart in e-mail, but just to not leave the thread here hanging: Yay! Glad to hear that's not a problem, then! :-)

(More on why I thought it was in the cousin comment.)

By far the exam is the stupidiest requirement for cryonicists. Why not a test done elsewhere? I thought I was among the few who actually had to do it in the states.

As for why someone might think they may have to do this, from Rudi Hoffman's page on non-U.S. cryonics requirements:

First and foremost, the required blood and urine sample MUST BE DRAWN IN THE UNITED STATES. Blood and urine samples CANNOT be drawn in your country and shipped to the United States. Blood and urine samples CANNOT be drawn in your country and the results shipped to the United States.

Stuart, as it turns out, has used a UK-based company, 415 Independent Financial Planners -- fortunately there's enough cryonicists in the UK that there is actually a firm here that has some expertise (see here for some info), and at least Cryonics Institute has investigated and approved UK-based life insurance as a way of funding cryo with them (same link as above for more info). I don't know for sure whether Alcor accepts UK-based insurance, but they also refer you to 415 if you're in the UK.

[-][anonymous]6y 2

You clever mofo. If I can decide on an organisation, then move to a jurisdiction where they can operate, I am 10% confident from there I will pledge if I procrastinate over a long enough period of time to look back in regret of not signing up.

I'm not sure if I'm cryocrastinating exactly, but I haven't signed up for cryonics. At the moment I'm not sure if I can afford to, even if I don't give you $200. The Alcor site lists several fees, but I'm not sure what I'd have to pay up-front.

I went with CI (seemed to have lower upfront fees?) and have medical issues that increase the life-insurance costs for me, so I'm probably not the best person to ask. Can other people with cryo help out here?

I recently finished the Sequences, and I'm convinced about cryopreservation (well, convinced that it's a good idea; not 100% convinced it will work...) but I'm not sure what to do next.

Is there any known reason to sign up for Alcor vs Cryonics Institute (or some other org that I'm not familiar with)? I'm young (22) and healthy, if that matters.

I think Alcor is generally seen as better and more expensive. But it's all a bet on the relative stability of the companies; if one of them goes bust, I'm pretty sure you can redirect your insurance policy beneficiary, so the important thing is to get that setup early...

Any suggestions besides Rudi Hoffman for finding insurance policies? I requested a quote from him on Monday, but haven't yet heard back.