Cryonics: Humans best served chilled

Doctors hands removing embryo samples from cryogenic storage, Fertilized embryos are stored in liquid nitrogen filled tanks to keep them as new if patients require them at a later date. (Photo by Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
A doctor removes embryo samples from cryogenic storage. Fertilized embryos are stored in liquid nitrogen to keep them as new if patients require them at a later date. Credit: Universal Images Group

Anders Sandberg made waves when he and two colleagues from the Oxford University Future Humanity Institute revealed plans to be cryogenically frozen after death, in the hope of being reanimated after. Sandberg explained why he spent £28,000 on the spooky move.

What era do you want to wake up in?
It’s not that I would prefer another time period , but I would rather not die. The point of cryonics is you get a second chance. I would be happy to be woken up 10 minutes after if the technology is ready.

Would you expect to wake up with one hell of a headache?
That’s the problem. Even the best freezing methods do a lot of tissue damage, so you would need a lot of work to be restored and repaired.

Are you worried about what might happen to you in the freezer?
To be honest bodies are not worth much; there are plenty of living people around to steal from more profitably. There is a 1 percent chance of nuclear war every year so the chance of the facility being destroyed is not so much.

And after you die in the next life would you just get frozen again?
That shouldn’t be a problem, given the assumption of awesome medical technology we will have then. I would love to have back-up copies of myself.

Shouldn’t we try on lesser organisms first?
Yes – if we could restore a mouse that would convince a lot of people to try. The best we have done is rabbit kidneys so far.

Because of the cost would the result be millions of super-rich businessmen taking over the next century?
If so they would have do all the menial jobs.

As a percentage, how confident are you that you will be reanimated?
I’d say 10 percent, and growing.


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