It may catch a bit better because cryonics is very sci-fi sounding. There are a lot of sci-fi novels and movies using cryonics, and for many, those who believe in cryonics are just those who take sci-fi for reality. Plastination isn't used in sci-fi, it's something that most people just never heared about, so they don't have "it's just sci-fi" prior belief.

Also, cryonics are very expensive because of the high upkeep required to keep the temperature, so there is good hope that plastination could be made much cheaper, lowering the entrance barrier.

One public image advantage of plastination is that, if you're doing it on whole bodies, you could (Plausibly) put the plastinated patient on a standard bed (Maybe in a 2001-esque pod for extra effect (No, no need to mention Robert Nelson pulled the same stunt)) and make it look closer to real medicine. Though I'm not sure it's completely prudent to let a plastinated body out in the open collecting dust for show.

1gwern8yMy understanding from reading Darwin and various other materials is that the ongoing maintenance cost of LN2 (one of the cheapest fluids around) storage is pretty low, and the major cost in cryopreservation are the original procedures.

Mentioning cryonics to a dying person

by DanielH 1 min read9th Aug 201273 comments


My paternal grandmother is dying of cancer (not brain cancer). She is still relatively healthy, and is taking chemo, but there is little hope of remission (and even if that does happen, she'll probably die of heart failure fairly soon). Her current plan is to be cremated and have the ashes buried in a graveyard (in my opinion, the worst of both of the "standard" approaches, but that's not the point of this post).

I would prefer if she were cryopreserved, but am unsure how to even begin to broach the subject. I also have no idea how to convince her. She is not particularly religious, but is concerned with leaving as much money for my grandfather (and later my parents and me) as possible. I have previously discussed cryonics with my parents; my father brushed off the idea and my mom looked into it but dismissed the idea because the future isn't likely to want her (I find this argument ridiculous on several grounds). This means that I can't count on them to help talk to my grandmother. I may be able to talk to my grandfather first, but this would probably not be much of an asset: he is into several different conspiracy theories (the most recent ones center around the world secretly being controlled by the "elites" who use the U.S. President, U.K. Prime Minister, etc. as figurative puppets), but my grandmother doesn't seem to believe these and probably wouldn't listen much to his talk of cryonics either.

Any suggestions of how to broach the topic or convince her once the topic is broached would be appreciated. I am currently at my grandparents' house, but am leaving less than a day after posting this (most of which will be spent at the local nighttime, and thus asleep). I would prefer not to upset her, both for obvious reasons and because I may not be able to bring myself to bring it up on the day we depart if it will cause us to leave on a bad note.