All of Synaptic's Comments + Replies

Putting aside the specifics about Alcor for a moment, what about this would this make you want to drop out of Cryonics entirely? There are other options.

  1. Cryonics Institute is another reasonable organization.
  2. Oregon Cryonics has fairly cheap choices if that is your concern.
  3. You could try to advocate for better options and/or wait for others to emerge before “giving up”.
Good points!  I'm going to continue with Alcor for now (see other comments), but if they don't work out for any reason, I should probably give CI another look (and the others you mention) before giving up.  Thank you.

This is from Wikipedia and doesn't really explain the full context. Cryonics in the 1960s/early 1970s was an absolute failure, but within the US, they learned hard lessons since then. Alcor and Cryonics Institute are both non-profits and seem like pretty stable organizations. If you disagree about that please let me know why. 

FWIW I actually recently updated Wikipedia to reflect this fact (that Alcor has been in continuous operation since the 70s).

A relevant data point is that, as of a few years ago, I believe Mike Darwin wrote that he was still signed up with Alcor. As he pointed out, despite the problems with existing organizations, cryonics is the only game in town for avoiding death. 

I was gonna point out the same thing

Thank you for all of your work on doing this. I really appreciate it. 

Sure there is plenty of evidence. 

Here is a good starting point:

I think nanotech is "magic" in the same way that uploading is "magic". Neither exists but there's no good reason to think that either wouldn't be possible imo. 

What am I missing about this? 

However, several of the parameters would be likely to be unaffected by increased funding: 

  • Cryonics is continuously legal
  • Cryonic revival is permitted

On the contrary, I very much expect that more funding would help with these factors. The success of cryonics is limited by sociopolitical factors, and the more people who have buy-in, the more likely people are to be protected when in long-term cryopreservation. 

The intention of my post was not to encourage reductions in funding into cryonics; rather, to increase awareness among LessWrongers readers about anti-aging. 

This is an admirable goal. =) 

  Yeah, that seems likely. Certainly 'the social problem' (which combines several of the parameters) in general will reduce in likelihood the more funding cryonics receives.  

I strongly support anti-aging research. I'm not clear on what your criticism is of cryonics. Perhaps I missed where you explained why you think that cryonics will not work? For example, where in the Drake equation does your probability differ from Steve Harris's or Mike Perry's? 

Also, you point out the large number of organizations and companies involved in aging research. Surely the fact that there are way fewer in cryonics means that it is has merit from an underfunding perspective? 

The estimates of Harris and Perry that cryonics doesn't work range from 23% to 99.8% - which are potentially quite high (as I phrased it in the OP). Cryonics might work, but there's a potentially very good chance that it doesn't. I agree that cryonics is underfunded even more than aging research. It seems likely that an increase in funding to cryonics could increase the probability that cryonics works, by improving the chance of success of the following variables: * Favorable conditions for suspension * Suspension preserves enough information * Mishap-free storage * Nanotechnology is perfected  * Cryonic revival is "cheap enough"  At the very least, it would help to reduce the uncertainty regarding some of the parameters, providing as a clearer picture of the feasibility of cryonics.  However, several of the parameters would be likely to be unaffected by increased funding:  * Materialism is correct * Identity encoded in structure * Sufficient social stability * Cryonics is continuously legal * Nanotechnology is physically possible * Cryonic revival is permitted Ideally, both cryonics and anti-aging would receive more funding.  The intention of my post was not to encourage reductions in funding into cryonics; rather, to increase awareness among LessWrongers readers about anti-aging. 

You might get better responses at New Cryonet or r/cryonics. The cryonics community doesn't seem to be very active here.

It's a tricky question and depends a lot on your circumstances.

First, there are often cheaper options available. For example, CI is cheaper than Alcor. See

If you have a terminal illness and don't have enough money for even cheaper options like CI, you can try to get in touch with the Venturists, who might be able to vouch for ... (read more)

Upvoted -- I agree that the probability is higher if you do cryonics.

However, a lot of the framing of this discussion is that "if you choose cryonics, you are opening up Pandora's box because of the possibility of worse-than-death outcomes." This triggers all sort of catastrophic cognitions and causes people to have even more of an ugh field around cryonics. So I wanted to point out that worse than death outcomes are certainly still possible even if you don't do cryonics.

I think the argument is more "if I'm going to consider beneficial but unlikely outcomes such as successful cryonic revival, then harmful but unlikely outcomes also come on to the table". A normal life may have a small probability of a worse-than-death scenario, but we're not told to consider small probabilities when considering how good a normal life is.

Well, this is certainly a reasonable response. But if there is a mechanism to decrease the probability that a worse-than-death outcome would occur so that people who had expressed these concerns are more likely to want to do brain preservation and more people could be a part of the future, that seems like an easy win. I don't think people are particularly fungible.

I think I did not explain my proposal clearly enough. What I'm claiming is if that you could see intermediate steps suggesting that a worst-type future is imminent, or merely crosses your probability threshold as "too likely", then you could enumerate those and request to be removed from biostasis then. Before those who are resuscitating you would have a chance to do so.

Ah, got it. Yeah, that would help, though there would remain many cases where bad futures come too quickly (e.g., if an AGI takes a treacherous turn all of a sudden).

it is very likely that my ticket out will be Alzheimer's or another neurodegenerative disease. In that case, cryopreservation will only make sense if I commit suicide at the very onset of the disease and am frozen right away which may not be possible. If I get Alzheimer's I may as well donate all my money to SIAI or Africa.

Consider two possibilities:

1) Alzheimers breaks long-distance communication more than it does actual information such as memories. Cf moments of lucidity. It's not clear how true this is, though.

2) It may in fact be possible to under... (read more)

Can you describe the reasons are that make you think it is not likely enough to work? Totally understandable if you can't articulate such reasons, but I'm just curious about what the benchmarks are that you might find useful in informing your probability estimate.

That is to say, it's unlikely that actual reversible cryopreservation would be possible; if it were, the technique probably wouldn't be called cryonics anymore. So, other more intermediate steps that'd you'd find informative might be good to know about.

"Brain degradation after death" is the key point in this list that I'd be interested in learning about. I'm not sure if it's proper to ask this in a comment now or should I be studying diligently around the issue, but I think it's also an interesting subject so excuse me.

Yes, good intuition. This is what Mike Darwin considers the largest problem in cryonics:

simply long-term structural changes in the brain to seeing memories as the products of "continuous enzymatic activity"

Long-term structural maintenance requires continuous enzymatic activity. For example, the average AMPA receptor lasts only around one day: The actin cytoskeleton, made up of molecules which largely specify the structure of synapses, also requires continuous remodeling. If a structure is visibly the same after vitrification (not trivial), that means the molecules specifying it are likely to not have changed much.

but another large part of it is mediated by hormones going to and from the rest of your body

Upvoted the post. Worthy thing to discuss.

A reply to kalla724 that you did not mention is here:

Kalla724 claims that it is not possible to upload a C. elegans with particular memories and/or behaviors. I think that this is a testable claim and should shed light on kalla724's views on preserving personal identity with vitrification. I also think it is likely wrong.

Whether C. elegans can be uploaded with particular memories and/or behaviors has no bearing on whether human personal identity is preserved, since the C. elegans nervous system is completely identified [] - every C. elegans brain grows identically to every other C. elegans brain, so there is no structural wiring differences between one C. elegans and another. "Memories" (better thought of as stimulus-based behavioral divergences in something so small) are not encoded in the C. elegans' neural pattern at all, the way they are encoded in the human brain; they're merely held in a sort of 'active loop' of neurochemical feedback mechanisms. It's certainly possible that the same sort of thing happens with human brains, but on a much more complex scale - but it definitely seems true that human brains actively re-wire our neural interconnections in a way that C. elegans doesn't.

There is an experiment testing something similar to this in rats. They retain their ability to navigate a maze following hypothermia. Andjus, 1956:

The differences in retention of the maze habit among experimental and control groups were very small and in no instance were they statistically significant, although there was a consistent trend towards poorer retention following hypothermia. These small differences may be functions of the technique used to reduce deep body temperature rather than of the effects of hypothermia per se.

These results are based u

... (read more)

I think it would teach us whether freezing and reviving with learning preserved was actually possible or not. This strikes me as important and useful information. That C.elegans has some inbuilt ability to survive freezing would confound it slightly, but I still think it's a necessary thing to at least look at.

I agree it would be useful. My wording was less charitable than it should have been. Still, the second test seems more definitive.

I really doubt the scientific exploitation of C.elegans is as hard as that would imply, compared to the numbers of

... (read more)

the experiment to do is obvious

Two experiments:

a) Teach a bunch of C. elegans the tap-withdrawal reflex, freeze them, thaw them, and see if they still know it. This is what I'm assuming you were referring to. I actually don't think this is all that useful for testing the preservation abilities of cryonics. C. elegans have vastly different life cycles from humans and the ability to freeze them isn't that generalizable. See Casio's comment above:

b) Teach a bun... (read more)

I actually don't think this is all that useful for testing the preservation abilities of cryonics. C. elegans have vastly different life cycles from humans and the ability to freeze them isn't that generalizable. See Casio's comment above:

On the contrary, I think that given Casio's comment, such an experiment constitutes powerful evidence if it finds that nematodes don't remember after freezing - evidence for falsifying cryonics.

If it finds that nematodes do... (read more)

Yes, that first one is the experiment I thought was obvious (I was about to come back and edit my comment to detail this, but you responded first). I think it would teach us whether freezing and reviving with learning preserved was actually possible or not. This strikes me as important and useful information. That C.elegans has some inbuilt ability to survive freezing would confound it slightly, but I still think it's a necessary thing to at least look at. That little? (I can believe it, though.) Has this experiment, or something like it, even been postulated anywhere in the past 20 years, or is it not as obvious to everyone else as it is to you and me? I really doubt the scientific exploitation of C.elegans is as hard as that would imply, compared to the numbers of mice and rats killed daily for science.

Do you have a link to the video?


As for p=10^-22, that's an unserious number

I agree. It's not my number. It's kalla724's. It would be difficult for me to assign a precise numerical probability.

I understood it was the other guy's number. And right you are about a link for the De Brey video. Lazy of me. Starts at 13:40: []

I am pleased to see that you agree that these ideas are testable.

Why would I not? So why, in twenty years, has no cryonicist apparently done the experiment? How has this not happened yet?

This is a good point. However, the post only discusses the substrates of personal identity in C. elegans.

Post-translational modification of proteins is involved in some types of memory. Sustained post-translational modifications are likely to involve changes in gene expression. Otherwise, the system would not be very robust.

Changes in gene expression are likely to involve changes in the cell's epigenome.

Even if the post-translational modifications are gone after you replace water with cryoprotectant, the epigenome might be still stable. This would allow you to see what the changes in gene expression were. So, you might be able to tell what the memory was.

T... (read more)

Saw a recent youtube with Aubrey De Grey where he expressed confidence in cryonics, and said a lot of recent progress had been made. As for p=10^-22, that's an unserious number. That can only come about analytically, premised on your assumptions. Ask yourself which assumptions, proven false, would overturn your conclusions. Are you confident in them with p>1-10^-22? I say no. Jaynes had a nice practice in this regard. Always include a "something else I don't know about" as an hypothesis in hypothesis testing, and assign some reasonable value for your ignorance of how the universe runs. That will keep your calculated confidence in your other hypotheses from reaching absurd levels. Creationists will claim that it is impossible for evolution to have produced such and such feature in living creatures. Really? You've enumerated all the possible things that could happen in the universe, and understand the functioning of the universe so well, that you can rule it out and call it impossible? They don't just believe in God, they believe in their own godhood.

It's useful to distinguish between types of skepticism, something lsparrish has discussed:

kalla724 assigns a probability estimate of p = 10^-22 to any kind of cryonics preserving personal identity. On the other hand, Darwin, Seung, and Hayworth are skeptical of current protocols, for good reasons. But they are also trying to test and improve the protocols (reducing ischemic time) and expect that alternatives might work.

From my perspective you are overweighting credentials. The reason you need to pay att... (read more)

Thank you for this reply - I endorse almost all of it, with an asterisk on "the more important credential is knowledge of cryobiology", which is not obviously true to me at this time. I'm personally much more interested in specifying what exactly needs to be preserved before evaluating whether or not it is preserved. We need neuroscientists to define the metric so cryobiologists can actually measure it.

There are skeptics, such as Kenneth Storey,

Wow. Now there's a data point for you. This guy's an expert in cryobiology and he still gets it completely wrong. Look at this:

Storey says the cells must cool “at 1,000 degrees a minute,” or as he describes it somewhat less scientifically, “really, really, really fast.” The rapid temperature reduction causes the water to become a glass, rather than ice.

Rapid temperature reduction? No! Cryonics patients are cooled VERY SLOWLY. Vitrification is... (read more)

Somewhat positive:

Ken Hayworth:

Rafal Smigrodzki:

Mike Darwin:

It is critically important, especially for the engineers, information technology, and computer scientists who are reading this to understand that the brain is not a computer, but rather, it is a massive, 3-dimensional hard-wired circuit.

Aubrey de Grey:

Ravin Jain:

Lu... (read more)

Thank you for gathering these. Sadly, much of this reinforces my fears. Ken Hayworth is not convinced [] - that's his entire motivation for the brain preservation prize. Rafal Smigrodzki is more promising, and a neurologist to boot. I'll be looking for anything else he's written on the subject. Mike Darwin - I've been reading Chronopause, and he seems authoritative to the instance-of-layman-that-is-me, but I'd like confirmation from some bio/medical professionals that he is making sense. His predictions of imminent-societal-doom have lowered my estimation of his generalized rationality (NSFW: []). Additionally, he is by trade a dialysis technician, and to my knowledge does not hold a medical or other advanced degree in the biological sciences. This doesn't necessarily rule out him being an expert, but it does reduce my confidence in his expertise. Lastly: His 'endorsement' may be summarized as "half of Alcor patients probably suffered significant damage, and CI is basically useless". Aubrey de Grey holds a BA in Computer Science and a Doctorate of Philosophy for his Mitochondrial Free Radical Theory. He has been active in longevity research for a while, but he comes from an information sciences background and I don't see many/any Bio/Med professionals/academics endorsing his work or positions. Ravin Jain - like Rafal, this looks promising and I will be following up on it. Sebastian Seung stated plainly in his most recent book that he fully expects to die. "I feel quite confident that you, dear reader, will die, and so will I." This seems implicitly extremely skeptical of current cryonics techniques, to say the least. I've actually contacted kalla724 after reading their comments on LW placing extremely low odds on cryonics working. She believes, and presents in a convincing-to-th

But are they less probable than the positive high-payoff scenarios (in just, happy societies that value freedom, comfort, and the pursuit of knowledge)? Evidence? Are you keeping in mind optimism bias?

Adele_L in a comment in this thread:

based on the general trend that societies with higher levels of technology tend to be better ones to live in

While I admit that a theocratic torturing society seems less likely to develop the technology to revive people, I'm not at all sure that an enlightened one is more likely to do so than the one I assumed as the basis of my other examples. A society could be enlightened in various ways and still not think it a priority to revive frozen people for their own sake. But a society could be much more strongly motivated if it was reviving a precious commodity for the selfish ends of an elite. This might also imply that they would be less concerned about the risk of things like brain damage that would interfere with the revivee's happiness but still allow them to be useful for the reviver's purposes.

This has been discussed here. Enoosti:

Yes, the paper clip reference wasn't the only point I was trying to make; it was just a (failed) cherry on top. I mainly took issue with being revived in the common dystopian vision: constant states of warfare, violence, and so on. It simply isn't possible, given that you need to keep refilling dewars with LN2 and so much more; in other words, the chain of care would be disrupted, and you would be dead long before they found a way to resuscitate you. And that leaves basically only a sudden "I Have No Mouth"

... (read more)

Do you have any information about the relative level of detail both groups went into in their arguments? There is little to go on here.

Marginal costs could go down with scale, but there is a lot of evidence that it is difficult to scale up, and costs would need to fall a lot.

Would you mind going into details?

Plastination is a route that has been discussed but has had in my understanding zero research devoted to actually understanding whether it would work in humans for preserving personal identity. Ken Hayworth says that it could cost just a few thousand dollars.

Right now it may seem like there is no cheap route for effective brain preservation, but it is also clear that we as a spec... (read more)

For those interested, my notes on plastination: [] (Also, Darwin has provided me a lot of material on plastination I have lazily failed to get around to incorporating.)

Would you mind going into details?

I was referring to the difficulty cryonics organizations have had in recruiting customers, and their slow growth. I was contrasting this to the rapid growth of cost-effectiveness oriented efforts in private charity in aid, and the sophistication and money moved of groups like GiveWell (with increasing billionaire support), Giving What We Can, Life You Can Save, etc.

Right now it may seem like there is no cheap route for effective brain preservation, but it is also clear that we as a species have not tried very hard to

... (read more)

Thank you for the clarification of your stance. The best counterargument seems to be that brain preservation has the potential to save many more lives than are lost due to malaria, if properly implemented, and yet receives very little if no funding. For example, malaria research received 1.5 billion in funding in 2007, whereas one of the only studies explicitly designed as relevant to cryonics is still struggling to reach its modest goal of $3000 as I write this.

they have a nontrivial chance of living to see a positive singularity/radical life extension

... (read more)
Life expectancy figures for young children (with some expectation of further health gains in Africa and other places with malaria victims in coming decades, plus emigration), combined with my own personal estimates of the probability of human-level AI/WBE by different times. I think such development more likely than not this century, and used that estimate in evaluating cryonics (although as we demand that cryonics organizations survive for longer and longer, the likelihood of success goes down). We can largely factor out the risk of such development going badly, since it is needed both for the vast lifespans of the malaria victims and for successful cryonics revivification. We can save many malaria victims for each cryonics patient at current prices, which are actually less than the cost (due to charitable subsidies). Marginal costs could go down with scale, but there is a lot of evidence that it is difficult to scale up, and costs would need to fall a lot. People saved from malaria can actively take care of themselves and preserve their own lives (and use life extension medicine if it becomes available and they are able to migrate to rich countries or benefit from local development), while cryonics patients have a substantial risk of not coming through due to organizational failure, flawed cryonics, conceptual error, cryonics bans, religious interference, etc.

This was the quote I was referring to:

So, I often have a nagging worry that what I’m working on only seems like it’s reducing existential risk after the best analysis I can do right now, but actually it’s increasing existential risk. That’s not a pleasant feeling, but it’s the kind of uncertainty you have to live with when working on these kinds of problems. All you can do is try really hard, and then try harder.

I was referencing how it is difficult to effectively lead an organization that is so focused on the distant future and which must make so many difficult decisions.

I should have been clearer.

Oh! Well I feel stupid indeed. I thought that all the text after the sidenote was a quotation from Luke (which I would find at the link in said sidenote), rather than a continuation of Mike Darwin's statement. I don't know why I didn't even consider the latter.

And you are talking as if Jobs's moral stances do not hold especially more weight than other's do, as if his opinions were just the opinions of another guy, not something special. That is, when Steve Jobs says "don't mind death, it's ultimately a good thing," people listen.

If he had said "when people develop dementia, they are no longer able to contribute to society and thus we should accept their passing," I would still disagree, but at least his (near mode) actions would not be inconsistent with his (far mode) words.

But no, he makes... (read more)

One funny thing is that "cryogenics" and the singularity are so often lumped together, even though interest in them is for many people inversely correlated--if you believe in a near singularity (and are relatively young), you don't need cryonics for personal survival, and if you don't believe in a near singularity, you do need cryonics.

If you believe that technology is going to get vastly better before you're in serious danger of death, you don't need cryonics. If you believe that technology isn't going to get vastly better at all, or at least not for hundreds of years, you probably shouldn't bother with cryonics. There's a region in the middle where it looks much more appealing: you expect huge progress, but fear that it'll happen after your death. One outside-view reason for adjusting one's optimism about cryonics downwards would be that predictions of Big Dramatic Changes on a timescale of, say, a few decades, are very common and almost always wrong. AI and fusion power have been about 50 years away for at least 50 years. (Cheap space travel, too?) Looking outside the domain of science, this is also a common timescale for end-of-the-world cults. (For the avoidance of doubt, I am not claiming that everyone who thinks cryonics worth while is overestimating the probability of huge technological progress in the 30-to-300-year range, nor that cryonics is not in fact worth while.)

The patients have heart rate monitors with GPS signalers that signal the cryonics company as soon as the patient flatlines. This is just obviously the way things should be and it is regrettable that the market is not yet broad enough for 'obvious' to have been translated into common practice.


"For over fifteen years I have been hearing that the kinds of systems cryonicists would want for vital signs alarm systems will be commercially available within a year or two. In that sense, December 2010 is not ... (read more)

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 (

$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 (, and http://www.cryonic... (read more)

I'd guess close to existing applications & technology. If you flip either of the others, I don't see much of a backlash. Consider instead preserving stem cell from common species like dogs. Not much of a reaction there. Consider the suggestion that entire endanger species samples be frozen per cryonics; wouldn't people regard it as a waste of space? But again, not much of a reaction.

I'll upvote if you can explain to me how reading one line of this post is like being chased by a velociraptor.

Both reading the post and having an encounter with a raptor [] make one think about cooling things. I wouldn't call it a "chase" though, more of "an informal joint koan meditation during which there is mutual respect and the eating of one participant by another is considered particularly bad manners and is expressly forbidden.

First, I think this post was a good idea, and thanks for taking the time to write it and for putting yourself out there.

Consider reading about, and see whether that was the strategy which your therapist used. If not you might want to broach the topic with your parents and see whether they'll find you a therapist who will use CBT. Worth a shot, although it's [not necessarily efficacious in depression].

On the other hand CBT does not work for all people. I'd really suggest for you to have and/or &quo... (read more)

It is also illegal in France. See : "In the late 1960s the Cryonics Society of France was the largest cryonics organization outside of the United States. Roland was the President and Anatole Dolinoff was Vice-President. Roland showed me a list of officers and directors of the organization, pointing-out who had been fighting with whom, and the fact that virtually all were dead without having been cryopreserved. Dolinoff believed that cryonics was illegal in France... (read more)

OK, I update my "surprise" based on this info that you donate so much to charity. Good stuff.

I was using that as an example of how 1) donations to well-meaning and efficacious current charities can have unintended negative consequences in the long run (i.e., make people dependent), and 2) investments in scientific research (including the societal infrastructure to support it) tend to pay off great dividends in the long run.

I've never heard anybody claim welfare was "efficacious." Comparing public health charities to welfare rather than antibiotics seems pretty goofy to me.

I agree that $300, with no concomitant time investment, would probably not be enough.

I guess I'm just surprised that a (smart) person could read all of this information about a potentially hugely transformative technology, assign such a low probability (20%) to the likelihood that "not all of what makes you you is encoded in the physical state of the brain," and still just generally not care much and prefer to go play music instead. I just don't get it. Maybe I'm weird.

It seems unlikely to me that I can have a large effect on the probabilities; they will probably stay very small even if I put in a lot of work. So I think time spent on music will make me happier than time spent on cryonics.

Similarly, does it take more than an additional $300/year to double my chances of revival?

I don't know, what do you think? It seems to me that if you can figure out some way to help the brain preservation foundation ( develop a non-cryogenic (i.e., room temp) method of preservation, it could much more than double your chances.

Unfortunately for cryonics, it has tough competition as a charity. I don't think it comes anywhere close to givewell's top charity.

Looking back on it, which activity has had more benefit over ... (read more)

I don't understand how this is relevant. The money I donate (1) does not go to the US welfare state. Do you think that $1K spent on cryonics saves an expected life? If not, I don't think it beats village reach [] as a charity. (1) I take donation and charity seriously. I believe I should earn as much money as I can so that I can give away as much as I can. In 2010 my wife and I gave away $45K, spending $22K on us.
I agree that plastification or something existing would more than double my chances. But a lot of work needs to go into that. I'm not at all convinced that me giving them $300 would come close to doubling my chances.

I think it is going to have to be a slow process.

First, you should try to convince him on the intellectual level that cryonics is feasible. If he is willing to read and likes science, this might be a good post to send him a link of: I also might send him a link to the wikipedia page:, which is pretty balanced. Frame it is an academic exercise. Who knows, maybe he can poke some holes in it? (And if he does, please report them ... (read more)

If I can get him to the point where he's wondering if it is feasible, I've already won. What I need is something to get him passed the Cached Belief that he already knows that it isn't feasible. As I said in my original post, I'm confident that if he'd never heard of cryonics before, he wouldn't need anyone to talk him into it. I could just present him with the information.

I upvoted because this is a good effort to make your probabilities explicit.

One meta point: A lot of this seems a bit too nihilistic. Cryonics is small, very small. If you, Jeff Kaufman, decide (and actually go through with the process) of signing up, that act non-trivially decreases the probability that cryonics will be outlawed. If you decide to contribute even in some small way to the (non-profit) org, that act decreases the probability that the org will fail, scaled (enormously) by how actively you engage. If you move closer to the org you sign up wit... (read more)

Most of the activities you propose increase the cost (non monetary) of cryonics to me. If I actively engage in cryonics organizations, it becomes more likely to work, but I'd rather spend the time playing music []. Similarly, does it take more than an additional $300/year to double my chances of revival? If not, it's still not worth it for me. Treating it as a charity make sense to me. Me signing up helps other people who sign up. Unfortunately for cryonics, it has tough competition as a charity. I don't think it comes anywhere close to givewell's top charity [].