Today I read this disappointing (and disappointingly paywalled) New Yorker article about cryogenic preservation. For those of you not steeped in science fiction as a child, cryogenic preservation is the idea of freezing your corpse in the hopes that someday an advanced civilization will use their futuristic technology to defrost and then resurrect you. This is a concept that most people (including the author of the piece, Jill Lepore) find ridiculous, and the reasons one might think that are obvious — the prospect of spending eternity stuck in an ice-cold metal canister in storage somewhere sounds pretty silly, and the eventual success of such a project seems dubious.
That said, the reason I was disappointed in the article was that I don’t find the idea of cryogenic preservation absurd; I was a bit surprised by the tone of the article (which talks about the silliness of the concept’s 91-year old chief spokesman and the absurdity of several mid-twentieth century sci-fi works that discuss the idea), since I wasn’t sure that cryogenics was that crazy.
So, out of curiosity about this, I thought I’d ask the readers of this blog to post comments about their thoughts on cryogenic preservation. Does it strike you as farcical? If so, why? Do you understand the motivation behind it but think its ultimately misguided? Any few brave souls willing to admit that they (like me) think it might be a good idea?
I’ll post a rundown of people’s comments as well as my own views this Friday.
isI say disappointing rather than bad because the author approached the subject in a different way than what I had hoped for.