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[ALCOR] Does cryonics mean I have to change the way I live?

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#1 ImmInst

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Posted 30 July 2020 - 10:08 PM

Q: I enjoy activities that are fun but maybe dangerous sometimes, like mount climbing, scuba diving, and wilderness exploration. I understand that these activities could cause me to die in a place where I may not be retrieved in time for a good cryopreservation, or at all. Would signing up for cryonics mean that I must change the way I live?

A: Having cryo arrangements actually does NOT require you to avoid risks. You can live exactly as you did before. You may decide to change some aspects of how you live. You may instead decide to live the same way but with a backup plan in place (cryopreservation should all else fail).

If you are thinking of physically risky activities (riskier than driving a car), it’s true that a fatal accident could damage you in a way that could never be fully repaired in the future. If you fall from a motorcycle or a mountain, you may suffer loss of brain structure (not simply loss of function). If you have a fatal accident (or heart attack or stroke) while hiking in remote wilderness beyond anyone’s easy reach, it may not be possible to cryopreserve you well or at all. But does it make sense to pass on cryonics because you want to take some risks? You don’t say you won’t wear a seat belt because you sometimes go mountain climbing, right?

Even for the less adventurous, this kind of disastrous outcome is always possible in today’s circumstances. There are car crashes, suicides, homicides, airplane crashes (occasionally), and falls from roofs. But put the risk in perspective. The fact is that you’re more likely to die of a disease. Cryonics is far more likely to provide a promising path forward in those cases.

You might decide to take fewer physical risks over time because you are not as physically resilient or because you now think you have more to lose. So do others with whom you interact.) It’s possible that the act of making cryopreservation arrangements encourages you to think about your life in more long-term ways. That may or may not lead you to pull back on stimulating but risky activities. Any change will be a choice you will make based on what you understand at the time.

So, we can’t know whether or not you decide to do fewer things that you find fun now. But we can say that signing up for cryonics won’t stop you from enjoying the wilder parts of your life. For you, those activities may be a large part of why you want to live longer.

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