I’ve long been a fan of Wait But Why, a blog about technology, the future, psychology and more. The site’s recent piece on cryonics blew me away.
The long-form post takes us from this erroneous, though widely-held, perspective:
Cryonics, or cryogenics, is the morbid process of freezing rich, dead people who can’t accept the concept of death, in the hopes that people from the future will be able to bring them back to life, and the community of hard-core cryonics people might also be a Scientology-like cult.
… and arrives at this supported definition:
Cryonics is the process of pausing people in critical condition in the hopes that people from the future will be able to save them.
Can you imagine the possibility of seeing the world a few hundred – or a few thousand – years from now?
Can you imagine what it might be like to flash forward from the 1600s – when heliocentric models of the universe still prevailed and superstition and belief in witchcraft were the authority – to today? What would another massive paradigm shift forward look like?
Most importantly: can you imagine being at the end of your rope – losing a battle to a terrible disease, let’s say – and being given another chance to live a new, love-filled life?
The science behind cryopreservation is sound and its practice is already widespread (tens of thousands of living humans were once embryos stored at liquid nitrogen temperatures [−196ºC]).
The application, then, of similar technologies to pausing death and deterioration for possible later retrieval no longer seems so far-fetched.
I wonder what the toilets will look like.