[extropy-chat] cryonicist's nightmare

spike spike66 at comcast.net
Mon Sep 4 14:57:28 UTC 2006

> Subject: Re: [extropy-chat] cryonicist's nightmare
> On 9/4/06, spike wrote:
> >
> >
> > http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,212008,00.html
> >
> >
> > Oy vey, damn.  {8-[
> >
> This has already happened to human bodies.
> <http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/story/0,,1732947,00.html?>
> Freezer failure ends couple's hopes of life after death
> Raymond Martinot and his wife were the toast of the world cryonics
> movement...their son discovered the freezer unit had broken down and they
had started to thaw.

This comment explains a lot:

"I realised in February that after a technical incident their temperature
had risen to -20C probably for several days. The alert system [on the
freezer] had not worked and I decided at that point that it was not
reasonable to continue," he told Agence France Presse. "I don't feel any
more bereaved today than I did when my parents died, I had already done my
grieving. But I feel bitter that I could not respect my father's last
wishes. Maybe the future would have shown that my father was right and that
he was a pioneer."

Their son decided it was not reasonable to continue, but I suspect Dr. and
Mrs. Marinot would have strongly disagreed.  At -20C for some unknown time
(how does Junior know it was several days?) I would assume a good chance
there was information in those still-frozen brains.  -20C is still fairly
cool.  His decision could have been influenced by an incorrect understanding
of future data retrieval mechanisms.

Then the comment "I don't feel any more bereaved today..." makes me
suspicious that Junior thinks cryonics is really all about his bereavement.
Perhaps it would make him feel less bereaved if the cost of running this
freezer went instead for payments on a new Porsche.  Did the the Martinots
set up a trust fund such that the cost of maintenance comes out of what
Junior has already begun to think of as his own money?  Did they set it up
to where the fund actually pays the custodian descendant so long as the
corpsicles stay frozen, a fund that the descendant does not inherit under
any circumstances?     

> This is another point that worries me about cryonics companies. If
> they did get a freezer failure there would be a very strong temptation
> to just refreeze the bodies, keep quiet about it and carry on taking
> the maintenance fees. After all, nobody is going to find out until
> long after the present company employees have died themselves.
> BillK

There is that risk BillK, but I would be much less worried about that danger
than in leaving my frozen corpse in the care of my own descendants.
Eventually my ever more diluted genes will spawn some irresponsible slacker
who thinks of me only as some deluded kook or a financial burden, who in
fact does not want me coming back into her world possibly claiming part of
her inheritance.  She might think of me as unable to cope with the modern
world, so that I would need everything, at her expense.

Martinot Junior appears to me to have made a most unfortunate decision here.
I want to set up my cryonics contract in such a way that my descendants have
*no say* in what happens.  They may have too much vested interest, or more
precisely, vested disinterest in my future.



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