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Cryonics and Cryogenics News and Discussions

Cryonics Cryogenics immortality lifespan death transhumanism

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#1
wjfox

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In Cryonics Lawsuit, Son Fights for Father’s Frozen Head

By Tyler Hayden

Dr. Laurence Pilgeram didn’t believe in heaven, but he did believe in life after death.

In 1990, at the age of 66, Pilgeram signed a contract with the Alcor Life Extension Foundation to freeze his body upon his death with the hope that, decades or centuries from now, medical science would resurrect him. Alcor, headquartered in a sand-colored business park in Scottsdale, Arizona, offers two types of “cryonic suspension” services: full-body for $200,000, and head-only for $80,000. It’s a bargain for a shot at immortality. Clients typically pay by signing over their life insurance policies.

The head-only option, the company explains, is the most cost-effective way to preserve a patient’s identity; using future nanotechnology, a new body might be grown around the brain. But Pilgeram never liked the idea of “Neurocryopreservation,” his family has said, so he chose “Whole-Body Cryopreservation” by initialing the appropriate box in the contract with his characteristically ornate handwriting. He also requested that Alcor freeze all of his remains, regardless of any damage caused to them by trauma or decomposition.

In 2015, when Pilgeram was 90 years old, he died of an apparent heart attack on the sidewalk in front of his Moreton Bay Lane home in Goleta. Alcor was contacted and preparations for Pilgeram’s suspension began. But things didn’t go as planned. Alcor dispatched two of its technicians to the morgue, where they removed Pilgeram’s head, packed it on ice, and drove it back to Scottsdale. The rest of his remains were cremated and mailed to his son Kurt in Montana.

When Kurt demanded to know why his father’s whole body hadn’t been preserved, he received conflicting accounts from Alcor, according to court records. First, the company said Laurence’s body had decayed beyond saving. Then, it claimed he hadn’t kept up with his yearly $525 membership dues. Finally, it suggested the technicians didn’t want to wait for the permit necessary to transport a full body across state lines.

Not satisfied with any of those answers and incensed by what he considered a dismissive attitude by Alcor throughout the process, Kurt blocked the payout of his father’s life insurance and demanded the company relinquish his head. Alcor refused and sued Kurt for the money; Kurt sued back. Thus began a tangled, four-year legal battle that will go to trial in Santa Barbara Superior Court next year.

 

Read more:

 

https://www.independ...rs-frozen-head/

 

 

tRDcnDa.jpg


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#2
starspawn0

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I recommend reading this:

 

https://thebaffler.c...ody-freeze-pein

 

It is a deep look at the people and philosophy (Extropianism) behind Alcor.  It also discusses the Kim Suozzi case.  I had tried to find an article I remembered reading about it by doing a search on the word "football",  as in "dropped her head like a football", but couldn't seem to locate it.  

 

....

 

If people are eventually resurrected, they will have to confront the fact that all they care about fades with time.  J. R. R. Tolkien understood this.  In his tales, the elves became weary with the world, and sought refuge in the Undying Lands.  I would say that, even there, they would find life unbearable, eventually.


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#3
wjfox

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Any predictions as to when a human revival will be achieved?


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#4
starspawn0

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It's distant. It's going to take nanotech and other technologies far beyond what we have available today. I'd say a minimum of 40 years, probably more like 80+.

A nearer-term approach might be to scan the brains of the people in storage, and attempt to transfer some of the memories and personality to an AI. That also is decades away. Doing this on a dead brain at the level of resolution required will require technologies not even yet on the drawing board.
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#5
Yuli Ban

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Any predictions as to when a human revival will be achieved?

Really depends. There are cases of people being frozen, presumed dead, and then thawed with no physical or mental damage. But there's a difference from cryonics because, in those cases, biological processes were merely slowed and then brought back up to healthy levels at a safe pace.

Cryonics involves literally freezing all organs and tissues. All water in the body is turned to ice. In which case, either someone has to volunteer to see if thawing actually works (which means a high chance of death) or we have to wait for advanced nanotechnology (or at least deep advancements of stem cell technology). So either a volunteer takes the plunge and we prove that saw thawing is possible with current technology (which it almost certainly isn't) or we have to wait for molecular nanotech and extremely advanced biotechnology, which could easily take 50+ years even with AI figuring out most of the details.


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And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#6
kjaggard

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unless they change their methods in the next decade I don't foresee the current path ever resulting in anybody coming back. We might as well be removing their organs into ceramic jars and brining their bodies before wrapping them and drying them out like dried apricots. Mummification is about as likely to succeed.

 

the solutions for vitrification haven't changed in decades, despite better ones having been worked out. The methodology of the early stages of perfusion is complete crap. The legal requirement for declaration of death first, followed by the cooling, perfusion etc processes still take more than a day while the break down of the tissues of the brain (even cooled) without oxygen, blood, etc means that you've long passed the irrepareable damage faze, the chemicals they use chemically change the cells and are also insanely toxic, so even if you could thaw a body it's been pickled in poison.

 

the core areas of the brain that we see effect changes in self awareness or can even result in destruction of consciousness... are in an area of the brain that the preservatives don't usually penatrate far enough into and which take far longer to get brought down to temperature and thus are far more prone to being completely lost, and they are also more likely to suffer freezing damage and fracture in even vitrified states, and reversing the freezing process there isn't a clear way to get those areas to thawed state fast enough for the blood and oxygen to get to them again before damage for their lack begins to set in on that end.

 

Honestly if they want to have any hope we need new chemistry for the process, a greater understanding of the brain, so that we can even record memories and motor cortex data and carve those areas away while the patient is in a coma isolating the most important part of the brain, likely about the size of a golf ball, and start the preservation process while live before vitrifying it as quickly as we can and safely as we can. Getting the temperature right and steady. and even then we are going to need active nanotech to reverse some of the effects on the important parts and the ability to rebuild the memory and motor cortex and eventually the whole body again.

 

If I had to make a guess I'd say we are likely 130 years away. we could develop solutions to all of this with a focussed well funded effort but nobodies really working on it.

 

But I'm sure we may get good enough for everybody else results in less time (maybe 80 years). By that I mean you could put sombodies memories and a consciousness into a copy of their body. But it'd be a bit more like creating a new person, giving them the memories and body of somebody you aren't reviving anyone.


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#7
CyberMisterBeauty

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Any predictions as to when a human revival will be achieved?

 

This is a very interesting thread for me because I desire to get cryogenically frozen when I get much older and only be revived centuries later.

 

Will cryonics be permormed on living people in the future, so a person will not have to wait to die to get the procedure?

 

There is a post in the year 2025-2035 in the timeline talking about cryonics startups beginning to freeze ordinary people. Could such people be alive or would they be still legally dead?



#8
Sciencerocks

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Any predictions as to when a human revival will be achieved?

 

Depends on the level of cell death we're talking about and rather that can be prevented.  we may find something that allows us to freeze the body without causing blood vessel damage within the next 20 years is my guess and once we do that we have a chance to do it safely.



#9
Alric

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One thing to keep in mind is when you get frozen and what technology they are using at the time. Let's say hypothetically someone who undergoes cryonics today can be revived in 100 years. We would expect a person who undergoes cryonics 50 years from now, wouldn't take another 50 years before they revive. At that point it might only take 10 years. The better the technology used to perverse you, the less advanced the technology required to revive you.

 

Right now the problem is you have to drain all the person's blood and the stuff put into their body is very toxic and damaging. If we had a much better process, it would be a lot easier to revive people.



#10
wjfox

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technology used to perverse you

 

 

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#11
kjaggard

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One thing to keep in mind is when you get frozen and what technology they are using at the time. Let's say hypothetically someone who undergoes cryonics today can be revived in 100 years. We would expect a person who undergoes cryonics 50 years from now, wouldn't take another 50 years before they revive. At that point it might only take 10 years. The better the technology used to perverse you, the less advanced the technology required to revive you.

 

Right now the problem is you have to drain all the person's blood and the stuff put into their body is very toxic and damaging. If we had a much better process, it would be a lot easier to revive people.

it's usually stated as first in last out. basically if you get vitrified 5 years before they manage to figure out how to revive somebody, you will be in better condition and better methods to allow for easier revival. Somebody that went in in the 1950 may well be so badly damaged by primative methods and damage over time... may take decades more advancement to revive, if it's even possible at all.


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Live content within small means. Seek elegance rather than luxury, Grace over fashion and wealth over riches.
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#12
Erowind

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One thing to keep in mind is when you get frozen and what technology they are using at the time. Let's say hypothetically someone who undergoes cryonics today can be revived in 100 years. We would expect a person who undergoes cryonics 50 years from now, wouldn't take another 50 years before they revive. At that point it might only take 10 years. The better the technology used to perverse you, the less advanced the technology required to revive you.
 
Right now the problem is you have to drain all the person's blood and the stuff put into their body is very toxic and damaging. If we had a much better process, it would be a lot easier to revive people.

it's usually stated as first in last out. basically if you get vitrified 5 years before they manage to figure out how to revive somebody, you will be in better condition and better methods to allow for easier revival. Somebody that went in in the 1950 may well be so badly damaged by primative methods and damage over time... may take decades more advancement to revive, if it's even possible at all.

Do you think someone preserved today is revivable at all on any reasonable timescale, say a few centuries?

#13
wjfox

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"Criogenic Vault", by Alejandro Burdisio

 

 

3oIHT4u.jpg



#14
Sciencerocks

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"Criogenic Vault", by Alejandro Burdisio

 

 

3oIHT4u.jpg

 

 

I don't expect to see this in my life time but I believe it is possible once we find the right method to preserve the "organs and blood vessels".



#15
Sciencerocks

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One thing to keep in mind is when you get frozen and what technology they are using at the time. Let's say hypothetically someone who undergoes cryonics today can be revived in 100 years. We would expect a person who undergoes cryonics 50 years from now, wouldn't take another 50 years before they revive. At that point it might only take 10 years. The better the technology used to perverse you, the less advanced the technology required to revive you.
 
Right now the problem is you have to drain all the person's blood and the stuff put into their body is very toxic and damaging. If we had a much better process, it would be a lot easier to revive people.

it's usually stated as first in last out. basically if you get vitrified 5 years before they manage to figure out how to revive somebody, you will be in better condition and better methods to allow for easier revival. Somebody that went in in the 1950 may well be so badly damaged by primative methods and damage over time... may take decades more advancement to revive, if it's even possible at all.

Do you think someone preserved today is revivable at all on any reasonable timescale, say a few centuries?

 

 

 

wouldn't attempting it now end up destroying the blood vessels and make any future advancement next to impossible to pull the the body through the otherside.(aka bring it back to life!)



#16
Alislaws

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One of the things i keep seeing references to is that the technology being used to preserve people is not advancing. 

 

I expect this is due to a lack of competition. (if you had a chice between a company using 1960s methods and one using 2010s methods, you'd pick the modern one!) However if someone started a new company using revolutionary new methods, the others would need to compete but more likely they'd go out of business and all their frozen people would be dumped somewhere.

 

someone is going to need to come up with new tech and then disrupt the whole industry in a big way, ideally by getting some changes made to the law, which would need massive scale marketing to generate interest from enough people to make it worth acting on.



#17
wjfox

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Actually, some progress was made in the 2000's.

 

https://www.futureti...ryopreservation

 

"In the past, among the most serious challenges to overcome had been damage from crystallisation as a result of the freezing process. During the first decade of the 21st century, this problem was comprehensively solved by the development of cryoprotectants offering complete vitrification. In other words, the body being preserved was turned into a glass, rather than crystalline solid."


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#18
Alislaws

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 I was under the impression (mostly from other people's comments) that the big cryopreservation companies are not actually using these techniques when people d... need preserving. 

 

but I've probably misunderstood someone somewhere along the way. 







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Cryonics, Cryogenics, immortality, lifespan, death, transhumanism

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