Larry King Wants to be Frozen and Brought Back to Life After Death December 19, 2011

Larry King Wants to be Frozen and Brought Back to Life After Death

Larry King admitted on “CNN Presents: A Larry King Special: Dinner with the Kings” that he would like to be frozen after death, in hopes that he can be revived later on.

Brrr! Larry King is hoping for a cold afterlife. The former CNN host told his guests on “CNN Presents: A Larry King Special: Dinner with the Kings” (which aired Dec. 4th) that he wants to be frozen after death “on the hope that they’ll find whatever I died of and they’ll bring me back.”

King shared the news with his wife Shawn and a camera crew, with celebrity buddies Conan O’Brien, Tyra Banks, Seth MacFarlane, Shaquille O’Neal, Quincy Jones, Russell Brand and Twitter founder Jack Dorsey beside him, chowing down a dinner from Wolfgang Puck.

The talkshow-style banter turned serious (and to cryogenics) when MacFarlane, who created “Family Guy” asked King if he was “a little obsessed with his own mortality, like I am?” King replied:

“Oh, I fear death. My biggest fear is death, because I don’t think I’m going anywhere… And since I don’t think that, I don’t have a belief. I’m married to someone who has the belief, so she knows she’s going somewhere. And I wanna be frozen… in the hope that they’ll find whatever I died of and bring me back. And she [Shawn King] said to me, ‘If you come back in two hundred years, you won’t know anybody.’ Okay, I’ll meet new people.”

O’Brien said King’s desire to be frozen and then revived was “big news.” “You would like to be frozen? This is news to me,” O’Brien said incredulously. Cue Brand chewing loudly and MacFarlane quoting Mark Twain. O’Brien was still incredulous but later admitted he didn’t really know what was going to happen after death either. MacFarlane asked King if he wanted to live forever. King replied, deadpan, “Yeah, you bet your ass.”

Tom Chivers, the Telegraph‘s assistant comment editor, blogged about King’s quotes, admitting that he, too, is afraid of death:

There will come a time when not only do you and I not exist, but no-one exists, no life exists, and nothing of any kind remains that could, even hypothetically, suggest that it ever did. Then we, and all our loves, works and ambitions, quite literally might as well never have been.

Which is pretty depressing.

What do you think of King’s and Chivers’ views?

Personally, I don’t think atheists need to feel bad about an absence of pearly gates in our future. I also don’t think we need to make plans to have our dead bodies frozen. Hey, it’s kind of nice not to worry about a jealous, hateful god or good people suffering for all eternity. Focusing on the here and now can be rewarding enough, no human-sized freezer required.

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  • Rod Chlebek

    I always thought he was a little stiff.

  • Anonymous

    I think it’s an acceptable concern- but I don’t think it’s a fear in that they are afraid of what follows death, rather a dislike for the inevitable change of existence for nonexistence.  I’m more pleased that they aren’t deluded into thinking there will be praise, trumpets, and virgins waiting for them.  I completely empathize with the desire to live forever.  The world is a mindbogglingly interesting place, with far too much to discover to fit into one life-time.  Having existence, then not having existence, I’d rather keep existence (with the choice of ceasing existence on my own terms). 

  • Cutencrunchy

    I think energy is life and can’t be destroyed- there’s an article about the heart having neurotransmitters and being associated with intelligence and the material that is associated with the galaxy stars and all of life – I think our energy as such becomes the collective that is creation – I would like to call that collective God and unite and promote that – so I’m not really an atheist I just define God within a realistic science based extrapolation.

  • Newavocation

    “If you don’t know how to die, don’t worry; Nature will tell you what to do on the spot, fully and adequately. She will do this job perfectly for you; don’t bother your head about it.” – Michel de Montaigne 

  • Anonymous

    Doesn’t cryogenic freezing (which I assume King is talking about) destroy your cells beyond use? I always tough cryogenics was a scam.

  • Thomas Farrell

    It does. They like to say that they’ll just keep you frozen until somebody figures out how to fix that too, but when it comes down to “every cell in your body ruptured by ice crystals,” I think you’re pretty much toast. Or, anti-toast, as it were.

  • Thomas Farrell

    I would argue that you just redefined a bunch of words to the point of being meaningless and made up a bunch of evidence-free mumbo jumbo, and that is in no way a “realistic science based extrapolation” because it contains no testable hypotheses.

  • Thomas Farrell

    I think it’s perfectly normal to fear death – after all, that’s a good instinct for a successful species.  I just think it’s funny that his answer to it is to be frozen – which is to say, to die – in hope of being brought back. It never occurs to him that once he’s dead and frozen, he won’t *care* if he’s brought back any more – he’ll be dead meat, an icicle, unable to care.

  • Kathy Orlinsky

    I’ve always thought the problem with cryogenics isn’t that the technology won’t one day exist to reanimate people and cure them, but that those future people won’t want us back.  I mean, sure they might revive a few people as living history exhibits, but why would they want to add a bunch of primitive freeloaders to their society?  Would we?  

    Just on that basis, I think the whole thing is a waste of money.

  • Even if they could cure what ailed him, and even if the cellular damage could be dealt with, whatever makes people think that other people would be motivated to bring them back to life? Like somebody 250 years from now will care enough about Larry King to want to revive him? 

  • A Portlander

    Energy is not life. Energy is the quantifiable exertion of force in a physical system.

    Life can be destroyed. Life is a precarious emergent complex property of matter, prone to disruption in more ways than anyone has ever fully catalogued.

    The heart contains neurotransmitters because circulation is regulated by the parasympathetic nervous system.

    The statement that the heart and/or neurotransmitters is/are associated with intelligence is open to broad interpretation, most of which is trivial (e.g. blood carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain, sustaining intelligent thought).

    “Star material is associated with all life” is also trivial–all the chemical elements needed to form planets and ecosystems were forged in stellar furnaces.

    Our energy returns to “the collective that is creation” [Created by whom/what? How do you know this?] when our bodies decompose or rapidly oxidize.

    The collective you speak of already has many names: the universe, the cosmos, nature, existence, reality. These terms are roughly synonymous (except perhaps nature); unless you’re a pantheist, none of them are synonymous with God.

    There is no necessity (some would argue, no room either) for God in anything you just described. I think you should ask yourself why you’re holding on to that word so tightly.

  • A Portlander

    Do you have a favorable (or not immediately dismissive) opinion of any of the transhuman-utopian mortality offramps? Uploading? SENS? Jason’s Ship?

  • Anonymous

    Didn’t someone cover this?

  • We can comfort each other all we want on this issue, but in the end there is no evidence that the universe cares how we feel about death or that any of our platitudes are true. It may just be that we die and there is no “purpose” to that. I think it’s better to accept this apparent reality at this time.

  • chris w.

    Actually, they remove all the “freezable” stuff from your body beforehand and pump you full of what is essentially antifreeze instead.  Obviously that doesn’t sound healthy, but it actually keeps the cells from rupturing as you freeze, and in the future it may be that you could just clean out that liquid and restore blood and other fluids back into your body.  Either way, cryogenic technology has moved far beyond the old issue of cells rupturing.  Cryogenics aren’t a scam in the sense that they do exactly what you will be paying them to do–preserve your body with the best of modern technology.   No guarantee is made about future revival, but that’s the gamble you make.  Cryogenics has gotten a bad rap because of the Chatsworth scandal, in which a man claimed to be running a reputable cryogenics business but was actually just dumping the bodies in dry ice, and then he stopped doing that altogether and the bodies liquefied.  Alcor Life Extension Foundation is the most reputable cryogenics company today, their website has a lot of useful information.  

  • The Vicar

    I’m kind of looking forward to being dead. Not dying — that’s going to suck. But after that, there’s nothing more to worry about. No more bills to pay, no taxes, no having to catch buses or trains or getting stuck in traffic, no hunger, no pain, no illness, no social anxiety under any circumstances, no more feeling of needing a few more hours of sleep, no snow to shovel or leaves to rake… sure, it’ll be a little boring, but since I won’t be able to tell that’s hardly a downside.

    I can’t imagine why anyone would want to trade that for temporarily being brought back and having to worry about dying again.

  • Anonymous

    I know I wouldn’t. Terrible interviewer.

  • William Garvey

    My thoughts exactly.  How big does your ego have to be to assume that someone in the distant future will go to great lengths to reanimate your body?

  • Robert

    Emileigh, have you seen this?

  • Nena

    I was much more terrified of death as a christian than I am as an atheist. Which is weird, because as a christian I was promised this everlasting paradise after death. Why would I fear that?

    I still don’t know the answer to that question, but I do know that now I do not fear death so much as dread it. I hate the idea of all the cool stuff I will miss out on after I’m gone. But now I believe that since I simply won’t exist anymore, it won’t be a problem.

    Sure, I’d love the opportunity to have a few more hundred years. But the main reason I don’t think I’d go the cryogenics route is that I plan to donate usable organs to those who need them and have a shot at a few more years of life if they get them, and short of that (if I’m too sick for my organs to be useful), to donate my body to scientific and medical research, in hopes of aiding some scientific breakthrough, prolonging the life of some other brilliant people who can then go on to do awesome things. That’s what I hope for.

  • There will come a time when not only do you and I not
    exist, but no-one exists, no life exists, and nothing of any kind
    remains that could, even hypothetically, suggest that it ever did. Then
    we, and all our loves, works and ambitions, quite literally might as
    well never have been. Which is pretty depressing.

    I don’t look at it that way.  We might have never existed at all, and because we are here right now, I consider that a reason to celebrate. 🙂

  • Robert

    This future might not be as far off as you imagine.  Your grandchildren might want to see grandpa again.

  • Robert

    See my comment above.  Some of your descendants might want to meet you.  They might have the motivation that you believe others will not.  A portion of your life insurance goes to fund the re-animation, if the technology develops.

  • chris w.

    I don’t think it has that much to do with ego…at least for me.  I don’t think I’m that special and that the future will benefit from having me around, but I just really enjoy being alive and would love to see what happens next, and I am willing to take a chance that maybe someone in the future will reanimate me.

    I’m assuming reanimation is going to occur in a society that is probably more utopian than dystopian, since I doubt a dystopian society will have the resources/time/technology to revive cryopreserved individuals, and even if they did they probably wouldn’t do it.  Thus, we don’t get revived if the world goes downhill, small chance we do if it goes uphill…it may seem silly, but I’ll take it.  I just really like living.

  • All observed life eventually dies. DNA becomes corrupt over time and the only way to reset the clock (with the DNA) is to have children and the resetting only works for the children. The only way the resetting works is for the organism to grow up again from a single cell. Of course when this happens, there is no consciousness or sense of self preserved from the parent organism. I think Larry is wasting his money in being frozen. Perhaps he has money to waste. The best he could do is to have some sperm frozen to pass on his DNA for the future. But “the future” may not want his DNA.

  • Cryogenics is a long shot, but you’re a hell of a lot more likely to get revived that way than getting buried or cremated.

  • Dan W

    The main reason I’m a transhumanist is because I think there’s no afterlife, and I’d rather pospone my own eventual death for as long as possible.

    I’m not sure cryogenics is the way to go just yet. They still haven’t figured out how to keep the freezing process from rupturing your cells to badly for you to be successfully revived. Effective cryogenics remains the stuff of  science fiction. I’d rather consider things that we have that we know work, like cybernetics, and see if there are ways we can prolong the human lifespan that way.

  • Cheepak Dopra

    If life is energy, it can be converted into another form of energy – heat, for instance.

  • You, and also, Richard Dawkins.

  • The great  baseball Hall of Famer/ atheist Ted Williams
    is in a cryogenics tube right now. Hope it works out for him.

  • Dan W

    Okay, having done some quick research, I realize I was wrong on the cells rupturing bit. Apparently they’ve gotten better at freezing people now. Still, I’d rather find ways to prolong my existence before I die, rather than be frozen shortly after death. If it comes down to it though, I’ll take cryogenics if I can’t avoid death by other technological means.

  • Beau Quilter

    Christians are conditioned from birth to worry about forever,
    to worry about what imaginary fate awaits us after death. We don’t need heaven
    or hell to give our lives meaning. We provide our own meaning. Think of time as
    a dimension, like length, width, and depth (it is in many ways). We will always
    have this time, now, the present. The chance to live and love, right now, at
    this moment, is ours, and no future person or event can steal this moment from us. Why bind our hope to what happens after we die? That is not our time; we won’t worry about it then, why worry about it now? 

    Our experience of time is an illusion, really, as is our
    sense of “I”. My consciousness is not the same “person”,
    that existed in my body 10 years ago. (most of my body’s cells have all
    replaced themselves). I’m not really even the person I was a moment ago.

    Our experience of the passing of time is as much an emergent property as our consciousness. Why not enjoy this moment, rather than waste it worrying over moments that do not exist?

  • Robert

    Saying “emergence ” tells us as much as consciousness as the saying “magic”.   See here.

  • Robert

    Fixing the Typo …

    Saying “emergence ” tells us as much *about* consciousness as the saying “magic”.   See here

  • Russ

    That’s right.  Who gives a crap about the heat death of the Universe.

    We shape the times we live in, and when we’re gone those times remain a part of history.  That’s a grander vision of immortality than I ever got from church.

  • Bob Becker

    I don’t care how slow a news day it was on the atheist front, there had to be something more substantive than this to put up. 

  • Think about the practical problems you might face with cryogenics:

    You die of something that is not yet treatable. You have paid a lot of money to be frozen and stored. Decades go by, and still no cure. The cryogenics company owners die, and their successors die too. Maybe they’re frozen too. There’s a trust fund, but such things don’t last forever. The storage facility changes hands several times. The economy goes up and down several times. Many more decades go by. Contracts are renegotiated, then voided completely. Nobody is left who wants to enforce the promise made to you, and nobody remembers. The facility and its contents are finally sold to an investor.

    Eventually there is a cure for your illness, but it will be very very expensive to revive and cure you, plus there’s the cost of having stored you.  It comes to 100 million Euro-Yuan. That’s what money will be called by then. Nobody wants to pay for that; there’s way too many people alive already.  Somebody gets the bright idea of making it legal to give the bill to the revived patients, and they will be indentured until they pay it off.

    So you wake up in a bizarre techno-Alice-in-Wonderland world, and you’re given an orientation by a partly human attendant. He-she-it briefs you on all the historical events you’ve missed, and very kindly explains that you now owe your life and a large medical bill to whoever bought your contract.

    You have no skills that will be of any use in this almost unrecognizable world, assuming that skills and work are concepts that still apply.  They don’t really need any more anecdotal historians from your original lifetime, and besides, that wouldn’t pay for much of your 100 million E-Y debt. 

    Fortunately for you, the curator of the Museum of Living History read your profile, and thought you would round out the collection of  “revies” as they’re impolitely called, from that particularly barbaric period in 21st Century Old America.  You’ll live in a habitat group with  authentic furnishings and a natural-looking outdoor area for exercise. You’ll have a few companions  from roughly your era, and thanks to medical progress while you were frozen, you’ll live there a very long time…


  • Gordon Duffy

     I feared death as a christian, now I do not. Living is lovely, but evntually the show will go on without me. That’s fine. It started without me. I get my moment in the sun and that is enough.

  • “I think it’s an acceptable concern- but I don’t think it’s a fear in
    that they are afraid of what follows death, rather a dislike for the
    inevitable change of existence for nonexistence.”
    Glad someone else “got it”. This has nothing to do with feeling bad “…about an absence of pearly gates…”.

  • Robert

    Your just-so story is implausible in several ways.  I’ll point out one: 

    If technology improves so much that we can reanimate frozen people or upload their minds, then the scarcity of resources problem will be essentially solved.  Future humans won’t need your labor.

  • Huh???
    You lost me. How does one necessarily follow from the other?

  • Robert

    It does not necessarily follow, but reanimation or mind uploading will probably depend on advanced nanotechnology .  Being able to build things and control things at the atomic level would change everything.

  • Charles Black

    I have no intention of dying permanently. My goal is that if death ever comes to me it will be temporary, have it your way.

  • No, you made a statement that made it clear that one (the scarcity of resources) would be solved by the other (reanimation of humans). That means you feel that one would follow from the other. How can it be otherwise?

    ” Being able to build things and control things at the atomic level would change everything.”

    Really? How would it change everything?  How do you know these things to be true?
    We have control over the atom to the extent that we can create nuclear energy, yet people are still starving in this world.
    Not to be nit-picky, but you made some extraordinarily specific claims without substantiating them.

  • IMO, religion conditions people to want to live forever one way or another. The way religion offers eternal life is to have it happen supernaturally. Since there is competition amongst supernatural belief sets, the various religions often add in preconditions for who gets to have the eternal life or how it will be spent.

    I think people who are interested in cryogenics have also been conditioned to want to love forever but don’t buy into the supernaturalist mechanism. They look to some other way.

    I don’t think the science supports dramatically increasing someone’s lifetime. You can freeze a frog and later though it out but the frog still gets old and eventually dies. I don’t think there is a fountain of youth.

  • To be more specific, you implied that the technology necessary to reanimate humans would directly effect the availability of resources in a positive way.

  • I think if we were already successfully reanimating people who have been cryogenically suspended, it would just be seen as just another medical service. Isn’t it more about continuing to enjoy life, rather than fearing death?

  • I’ve been looking into cryonics and am strongly considering it. While fear of death can be a relevant motivator there are other motivators also. If humans end up going to Mars I want to see that. If we figure out whether P != NP or if the Riemann hypothesis is true, I want to find out that. There are two many interesting things out there that aren’t likely to happen in my life time.  The ability to revive preserved humans is an interesting enough technology by itself that even if almost nothing else has changed I will be able to look at that and go “huh, that’s pretty cool.”(Of course this technology is so far beyond anything we have now that if we get to that point we’ll likely have a lot of other interesting stuff.)

    One of my main concerns is that cryonics and organ donation aren’t very compatible. So if I sign up for cryonics I may be taking a gamble that effectively kills other people. However, there are ways to do both. Moreover, the most likely forms of death where organs can be harvested are situations where there’s severe brain trauma which makes cryonics pointless.


  • Anonymous

    Why would I want to live forever?  I’m sure I can get most of the stuff that I want to do done in two or three thousand years.  Probably.  Maybe four.

  • T-Rex

    I thought the crypt keeper was already dead? Ba-dump-bump.
    Larry King looks like he’s already been frozen and revived. I think he’s lived long enough. Who the hell wants him revived anyways? I mean, besides himself.

  • Thanks for spoiling our Christmas.

  • The Other Weirdo

    I think Larry King’s watched way too much Futurama. I hope he gets brought back as a pickled head in a jar, bobbing for fish food.

  • The Other Weirdo

    Wait, isn’t this essentially the plot to the series premier of Futurama?

  • The Other Weirdo

    You’ve never watched The Sleeper, have you?

  • Thackerie

    What constitutes a topic being substantive is clearly a subjective call. So far several readers (including you and me) must have thought it substantive enough to comment on — 55 responses so far.

  • Drakk

    “I think energy is life”

    Assume this statement is true. Therefore, cars alive because they move and therefore have kinetic energy? Is a cloud of gas alive because of the thermal energy contained in it? What about a circuit with current flowing in it, is that alive? Light itself must also be alive because photons carry energy?

    “and can’t be destroyed”

    Oh, it is pitifully easy to end life, human, animal or microscopic. Do you wash your clothes? Millions of bacteria die when you do. If you mean energy cannot be destroyed, then yes (to an extent), conservation of energy does imply this. There is no principle of conservation of life, if you were wondering.

    “there’s an article”

    [citation needed]

    “about the heart having neurotransmitters”

    Neurotransmitter: “a substance…that is released from…a presynaptic neuron…and that travels across the synaptic cleft
    to…the target cell.” (Dorland’s Medical Dictionary, paraphrased)

    Given that heartbeat is regulated by brain signals, I would very much hope that there are neurotransmitters in it. This isn’t a revelation.

    “and being associated with intelligence”

    Containing neurotransmitters does not associate that organ with intelligence. The nervous system extends throughout the entire body, so your argument could equally well be applied to the pancreas, the spleen, or the left breast.

    “and the material that is associated with the galaxy stars and all of life”

    What the fuck am I reading.

    I’ll tell you what IS associated with stars, it’s where the heavier elements in our body (anything above helium in atomic mass) come from. They must be made by nuclear fusion, because no other process is energetic enough to do so. Anything above iron in atomic mass is even harder to create – supernova is required.

    Just because your constituent elements were made in stars does not mean stars can think. Or whatever your point is, you’ve presented it rather incoherently here.

    “I think our energy as such becomes the collective that is creation”

    So you have reasoned that the universe contains energy. I’m not sure what you mean by “our energy”. On the assumption you mean the chemical energy stored in human bodies, I think I can say to a reasonable degree of certainty that the entire universe does not consist of adenosine triphosphate. I have made here the further assumption that the universe is what you refer to with the phrase “the collective that is creation”.

    I will also say with equal certainty that molecules of ATP did not become the universe.

    “I would like to call that collective God and unite and promote that”

    A: God is the universe
    B: The universe exists
    C: Therefore, god exists

    I’ll admit this is internally consistent logic, A and B do imply C. If you want to define your god this way be my guest, I think Einstein had similar views. I only object to the label “god” because it’s a loaded word that conjures up the idea of something that takes a personal interest in human life, which we all know the universe at large does not. I’ll remind you that this is not a theist’s definition of god, far from it.

    “so I’m not really an atheist”

    Your worldview has a name, it is called pantheism. I do not generally consider pantheism to be atheistic, others differ. If you ascribe any “spiritual” aspect to reality, I don’t consider that atheism.

    “I just define God within a realistic science based extrapolation”

    So you’ve taken physics, neuroscience and stellar evolution, and thrown them together after completely misunderstanding the concepts defined in each discipline. You don’t make any testable hypotheses, nor do you offer evidence for any of your claims. This is what you advance as a realistic, science based extrapolation.

    Not only is this not right, it’s not even wrong.

  • Bob Becker

    Granted, it’s a judgment call… but counting replies that say “this isn’t much of a topic” as evidence that it is seems a stretch to me. 

  • Mike Williams

    That’s one possibility.  Another is that once they figure out how to revive me the world has become a technological utopia and even the idea of “money” is outdated.  Then I get to live again, for as long as I want, in a world where I’m free to do pretty much whatever I like.

    Both scenarios are possible and probably each as likely.  Either beats the alternative of not existing ever again.  I’m a big fan of being alive; I’d like to keep this going for as long as possible.


  • Mike Williams

    But there’s no reason why we can’t taking that shaping-time from ~70 years to 1000 years or more.  As long as I’m still healthy, I don’t want to ever get off this train.

  • Mike Williams

     No more sex.  No more football games.  No more Assassin’s Creed. No more pizza buffets. No more sex.

    I’m happy to rake leaves if it means I get to do those other things.  And I want to keep doing those other things indefinitely.

  • You can freeze a frog and thaw it out alive?

    (We have no idea what science will be doing in future centuries.)

  • TychaBrahe

    There will come a time when not only do you and I not exist, but no-one exists, no life exists, and nothing of any kind remains that could, even hypothetically, suggest that it ever did. Then we, and all our loves, works and ambitions, quite literally might as well never have been.Which is pretty depressing.
    And that, my dears, is why Carl and Ann sent made the Voyager record.

    Look, eventually the Sun will go nova and all that is this planet (and us, if we haven’t managed to get off it) will be burned away.  And eventually all the stars will go nova and slowly burn out, and if they are right about the Hubble constant, the Universe will go dark.  But that doesn’t change the fact that today, right here, right now, we can teach something, learn something, comfort someone, love someone, achieve something, and make something beautiful.

  • Hitch

    Sounds like a nightmare to me. “It’s year 3924. This is Larry King Live from WNN. I am Larry King interviewing the 379 year old pop star YoungButt. How is that cell revitalizing therapy working out for you YoungButt? Also we revitalizers are blamed for the massive overpopulation problem. Don’t you think that’s unfair?”

    Geez, can’t people just live and let live. And die to let others have some of the fun. Yeah, we are afraid to die, but ultimately, dying and being born is already a working cell revitalizing therapy. And more it flushes out inflated egos after at least some expiration date, so it’s in fact strictly better.

  • Lamocla

    Check-out Sierra Sciences and Dr Bill Andrews work. Fountain of youth is closer than you think.

  • Look who just dropped in!

    “. . . but I am thrilled to be alive at a time when humanity is pushing
     against the limits of understanding. Even better, we may eventually discover that there are no limits”  (Conclusion of TGD)

  • Robert

    I think he’s lived long enough.

    If he had a medical emergency, would you not want to help?

  • Chelsea Butler

    Penn & Teller debunked cryogenics in their Death, Inc. episode. 

  • Xeon2000

    I’m a transhumanist. I’m also a skeptic. One thing I’m not is a cynic. There is unfortunately a large amount of woo that gives the movement a bad wrap. I ignore all that. I also accept that excited speculations of the future may be overly optimistic. One thing I do NOT do is discount all the associated technology. The fact of the matter is that we are making huge strides in the field of genetics, neuroscience, computer engineering, and molecular engineering. The brain is an organic machine. We can already interface computers and brains on a crude level. To say “X isn’t possible” is just as ignorant of a blanket statement as when it was said that manned-flight was impossible. Maybe I’ll die before it happens, but I’m hoping that I’ll get my mind uploading some day. I’ll be able to learn 1000 languages, master every instrument I want, play every song I want, see every movie I haven’t seen, read every book I haven’t read, write every book I haven’t written, finally (really) understand quantum mechanics, see the moons of Jupiter from an android body, experience what it’s like to distribute your consciousness, meet myself and see what others see, feel colors, live life as a woman, live life as an animal, live life as something I created. Hell… I could never get bored… And if I do? *shrug*. I just delete myself.

  • Robert
  • Robert

    In two thousand years, you might raise your ambitions.

  • Anonymous

    One’s descendants could sue the company for breach of contract

  • Anonymous

    Nanotechnology does NOT mean being able to take random atoms and putting them together into molecules at will. Being able to manipulate very small structures is not the same as having infinite resources or infinite energy.

  • Anonymous

    Cryogenics is very expensive. Especially when you freeze your whole body. You could only freeze your head or even just your brain. Much more affordable and you can donate the rest of your body.

  • Yes, head only is possible and cheaper. But in practice, head only preservation with organ donation is difficult. It would be nice if there were more cooperation between the organ donation groups and the cryonic groups so this was more doable. 

  • Anonymous

    Mhh, true. Didn’t think of that. Both are very time sensitive operations and cryogenics isn’t something that’s done at regular hospitals

  • I don’t get the concern that everything you’ve done in your life will go forgotten after you die. I mean, you’ll be dead. Why would you care? Even people who did worthwhile things are barely remembered by their own family a few generations down the line.  It’s like the obsession some people have with ensuring our species continues. What does it matter if you’re dead and gone anyway? Enjoy the time you have now because tomorrow you may not exist and that’s alright with the rest of us.

  • MurOllavan

    Even if they could restart your brain, it wouldn’t be you anymore. When your brain is dead you are gone. Total annihilation isn’t something to be welcomed, but its reality.

  • Anonymous

    Only some kinds of frog.  The special kind.

  • Anonymous

    I might and like the hundred years that I hope for at the moment, that gives me an incentive to do the important things in my life now.

  • Do you never go to sleep? In many senses your brain goes off during that.  Have you never been under general  anaesthesia? You brain goes off then too in a much deeper sense. But your memories and personality remain intact. If it is possible to “restart” the brain and keep your memories intact then how is that not you? 

  • Robert

    Talking about “you” is just going to confuse the issue because others might have a different label for what you label “you”. 

    Would “you” be the same person if your brain activity were severely reduced in a coma state for a few days?  How about a few years?  I think the post-coma “you” would have an experience of waking up with memories of the pre-coma “you” and that person sure would feel like they were you.   Likewise, the person who wakes up tomorrow morning will have memories of “you” and feel like they were you.  What is the real difference here outside of semantic word games? 

    If there is some ontologically basic soul that is you, then maybe you will be gone forever.  But if there is not such a thing, the preservation of your brain state looks like a next-best candidate.

    When your brain is dead, you are gone.

    Of course I agree with this, but why think that the brain is actually dead at the point where today’s medical community gives up?  Is it not possible that the brain would function again if vastly superior medical technology were applied?

  • Robert

    I’m not expecting infinite future resources or unlimited control at the atomic level, but if we are able to reconstruct a brain that has been pronounced dead by today’s medical community and then frozen to −196 °C — then yea, we’ll have plenty.

    The OP mused that future humans will want money from those who have been reanimated.  I said no, scarcity of resources will be “essentially solved”. Should I have offered a disclaimer that I’m not talking about more energy than the Sun?  In hind-sight, I guess so.

  • Sure you can freeze the frog and  it still eventually dies. But we’re improving technology. In a lab environment we already have strains of mice that can last far longer than mice in the wild. And lifespan has been going up in the last few centuries. We now have a variety of different potential attacks on human aging which look promising and their are a lot of doctors and scientists working on them.

  • I can how the wording would imply that. Maybe just interpret their point that if we have the technology to reanimate people and are willing to do so then it is extremely likely that the resource issues have been largely solved? 

  • Ugh, I’m terribly tired of the “isn’t this life enough?” meme. Yes, there are legitimate concerns about the technology; I wouldn’t necessarily bet the farm on cryonics. But does that really necessitate our pretending that death, while terrible and tragic and unjust under just about any other circumstances, is acceptable – or even *good* – after a certain age?

    “Grandma’s in heaven” is a comforting delusion. But isn’t “it was her time” comparable?

  • The Vicar

    Well, let’s see:
    – If you live to late middle age, chances are good you won’t be going to pizza buffets any more.
    – If you live to old age, chances are good you won’t be having sex any more.
    – Assassin’s Creed isn’t going to keep working forever; chances are good that 20 years from now you won’t be able to run it at all without spending a disproportionate amount of time and effort. And as you get older, newer games will be targeted at people who have younger, springier neurons and reflexes than you, so you’ll probably eventually have no interest in new games.

    On the other hand, I know plenty of elderly people who pay bills, rake leaves, shovel snow, pay taxes, catch buses and trains, get stuck in traffic, get hungry, get sick, go through pain — increasing amounts of it, in fact, suffer social anxiety… if you think football games — and by that I mean “watching them, probably from home” — are sufficient comfort to compensate for the rest, then more power to you, I suppose, but you don’t sound like you spend much time around old people.

  • If you wait until after you die to be frozen, it may turn out that dead is dead no matter how advanced the future is.  I think the current process is to quickly partially freeze you after you die.  Then basically drain your blood out and replace it with some kind of bio-compatible anti-freeze.  Then at some time in the future, “they” will drain out the anti-freeze, and replace it with real blood and zap you with electricity (like the Frankenstein monster) to try to revive you.   I’m not at all optimistic that this will work.  The combination of actually dying and then the two blood transfusions may proove to be too disruptive to your cells and all the delicate proteins inside.

    You may want to want to do the following alternative strategy.

    1.  Pick a time when you are still very much alive but are willing to gamble your remaining time for a shot at life in the future. 
    2.  Start a program of DNA treatment to insert frog-DNA that codes for anti-freeze producing proteins.  Hopefully you won’t develop any secondary frog-like physical characteristics.
    3.  Once your body is biologically producing adequate amounts of the anti-freeze within your cells, choose to undergo the freezing process while you are still very much alive. 
    4.  You will probably have to do this outside the United States for liability reasons.   
    5.  Then pray to the baby Jesus that you will successfully get revived at some time in the future and hope that the people of your sexual preference like frog-human mutants. 

  • MurOllavan

    It may indeed be possible, or inevitable given enough time. I think whatever freezing they’re doing is a dog to actually work or provide what is needed in the future. I’m also skeptical due to the fact most people can’t even accept more basic science today so I would think some of those transhuman advances are improbable. 

  • I agree that the preservation process likely is doing a lot of additional damage, but as long as that damage is repairable in the indefinite future it doesn’t matter that much. I’m confused by your last sentence. Do you mean that lack of acceptance of science will hold things back so much that some advances will never occur? 

  • Pierre

    Why does Larry King think that anyone would be interested in
    bringing him back to life?


  • Becky Shattuck

    I think it’s kind of a waste to worry about what will happen in the extreme future when life on this planet can no longer exist.  Assuming humanity is doomed to extinction and we cannot avoid it, then why should we spend much time worrying about it?  That basically sums up my feeling of death, too.  I don’t want to live forever, but I would like to live a long time.  I don’t look forward to death, but I’m not afraid of it.  I want to experience dying, but I don’t want to experience any pain. 

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