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Johnny

Cryogenic Freezing

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Ever since I became an atheist I've been obsessed with theoretical physics. I feel like I absolutely need to know how the universe operates--nothing is more interesting to me than reading about all things related to string theory. Recently I came across some info on cryogenics and got extremely excited. This seems to be the only answer to being able to learn a 100% complete form of physics. Can you imagine being alive in the year 20,000, or even 500,000? This makes me want to freeze myself at around age 70 (assuming I live that long) and then be unfrozen at some insanely far time into the future. That way I can live out the next few years I have left, learn what I want to know, and then be able to die content.
I'm not seriously considering this right now. Maybe I'll change my mind later in life. I think it would be really badass, but it would also be a complete mindfuck knowing that everyone I ever knew was dead. There's also the chance that things will be so unbelievably advanced I'd just instantly go nuts.

What say you, internets?

Links:
Totse article on Cryogenics
Live Cryogenic Freeze to be shown on TV
Alcor Site

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When this frail body falls to bits
I'm prostrate gasping like a fish...
Remember that my dying wish is:
Freeze me!

Doesn't matter where I am:
Upon this bed, a frying pan!
I'll pay you if you'll be a lamb and
Freeze me!

The rotor blades sure made a mess
But still they did their level best -
They wrapped her in her favorite dress and
Froze her!

As centuries passed,
So we evolved.
We walked on clouds...we hid in holes...
The ocean claimed the land...behold!
We now live under water!

One fine liquid morning came an iceberg to my door...
Inside an ancient princess pleaded: "Let me thaw!"

Now she's balanced on my head...
I swim on high...she takes a breath...
The conversation's living death...
It's all beneath the surface!

Sometimes, I can touch her hand...
Sometimes I'm a holy man!
She's even got a stunning tan...
I'm glad to be of service!


Lisa Goes Surfing, by The Legendary Pink Dots

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"Complete" physics, you say? That's an enticing thought. However, I think that may be fundamentally impossible. We can't prove that a theory really represents the workings of the universe - all we can do is show whether a theory's mathematical predictions are helpful or unhelpful. I think society in general is getting too carried away with subjects like "many worlds" theory, because we don't know that the universe operates that way. All we know is that, mathematically, the theory is useful. If humanity's scientific advances continue, I'm sure that another 100,000 years of progress will do wonders for our knowledge of physics, but I don't see how this fundamental disconnect could be resolved.

To look at it another way, consider this: There is no point at which a human being can definitively say he is not a brain, wired up, floating in a vat somewhere. No amount of knowledge can trump total skepticism.

I've essentially resigned myself to the fact that I won't get to see how the story ends. I wish you luck, but I expect that when you emerge from your cryo-tube you'll find another old atheist, looking for the real answers, who has reserved your tube for the next few precession cycles.

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is currently impossible, freezing water (i.e; the contents of your cells) causes water to expand, thus rupturing cellular structure. See Frostbite for details, and imagine it in your brain.

You want to thaw someone out you'd have to repair all those billions of cells.

Best we can do is put your head in a fridge, which will stop it stinking up the house for a few weeks *and* improve the genepool.

In the future there will be immortality. But rest assured even with the technology avalible then, no one is going to take the time and effort to reanimate a bunch of retards from the 21st centuary.

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darknation said:

is currently impossible, freezing water (i.e; the contents of your cells) causes water to expand, thus rupturing cellular structure. See Frostbite for details, and imagine it in your brain.

You want to thaw someone out you'd have to repair all those billions of cells.

Any scientist worth his salt has already tackled this problem. Before the body is frozen, the patient's blood is drawn out and special liquids are pumped in to draw water from the body and to prevent expansion when the body is frozen. It's basically a special antifreeze.

The problem as far as I can tell isn't freezing the person. Even modern medicine can put a patient under a light chill to slow down their bodily functions to give surgeons or doctors more time. The problem is thawing them.

No one has yet to revive a patient that has undergone cryogenic freezing. At least, not a human patient. Some frogs and even dogs have been revived after being frozen. Whether it is possible for a human to survive or not is debateable.

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The possibility that they would look out for my corpsicle until is the only reason I would have kids. Of course I should delete this post if I were to do so.

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im religious and my entire life i have been obsessed with theoretical physics, the universe, quantum mechanics and the like. don't really know why since becoming an atheist you have suddenly found it interesting.

anyways, i dont see why cryogenics are impossible, and i agree with you that it would be damn cool to awaken far in the future.

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The problem with cryogenic storage as it's currently practiced is that your bid for immortality or a cure only lasts as long as it takes the shysters operating the freezers to go bust. While problems associated with thawing and reviving can be solved the smart money currently seems to be on research into extended longevity. That sort of therapy - once proven viable - most likely won't come cheap, so apart from the odd third-world despot most of the people taking advantage of that research will be billionaires who've decided "if I can't take it with me I'm not going".

@exp(x) - the answer is 42.

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exp(x) said:

Waste. Of. Fucking. Time.


I wouldn't say that. I'm positive it would be possible to revive someone in the future, provided a few things:

1) The human race has existed long enough to even develop the technology. Could be hundreds, thousands of years, or longer. Ooops, meteor wipes out the earth, there goes all organisms on Earth and their technology with them.
2) Someone cares enough to bring you back to life, and the method used for freezing your body hasn't destroyed your cells beyond recovery.
2) Your frozen body hasn't been discarded 100 years down the road because some jackass executive decided it wasn't worth the expense of keeping you around any longer.

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It's a nice idea, the problem is finding someone who will keep your body frozen. Even if you find someone trustworthy who isn't going to go bust, they'll be dead in less than 100 years themselves, so your future would be dependent on whoever inherits the company from them ... etc.

Probably the only way it could work is if you were frozen and launched into space (Space Quest II style!) aboard a spaceship kept perpetually within the shadow of the Earth, never receiving any light from the sun. Then you wouldn't need a freezer, as the vacuum of space would keep you frozen.

I wouldn't even do this unless there were huge improvements in cryogenics to stop the problems of cell damage. And of course you'd need an enormous amount of money to do this.

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Despite Snarboo's comments, the technology to reliably freeze someone and not cause gross tissue damage does not yet exist. Which is why it amuses me whenever I hear talk of the rich and famous being frozen so that they can be cured in the future (especially if the freezing was done some time ago when the technology was even more primitive). Really what they are doing is paying someone a vast sum of money to damage their body tissues for them, then hang on to a slab of frozen meat.

As for the timescales mentioned in the original post - as has been pointed out already - who is going to look after the body and can it be guaranteed? Lets face it 10,000 years ago, most of humanity were living in caves, the great civilisations were yet to start and, frankly, we don't really have a very good idea of what most of humanity was doing. The last of the woolly mammoths were still wandering the planet at the tail end of the last glacial period was providing a more natural way to freeze us. Now Johnny wants to go twice that far into the future, as a minimum, and possibly as much as half a million years. Those kind of timescales are... considerable to say the least.

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If I were to freeze myself, it wouldn't just be for the accumulation of knowledge, but to see how far humanity will actually come as a species. Though I'd probably end up disappointed. Technology might improve but people will still essentially be the same stupid, territorial, discriminative, exploitative, materialistic, etc bastards we've always been.

Or it could be like Futurama, which would be cool.

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Personally, I'm not too concerned with the future. I'd rather go back in time than forward, but that's me. Being frozen doesn't sound too fun, either.

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I would have made a joke about becoming my own grandfather but I kept remembering what my grandmas look like.

Yeesh.

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I think cryogenics would be rather counterproductive unless combined with a form of regeneration using genetic material (that is, by cloning). Unless it's relatively simple, it isn't viable.

Reproduction is the poor man's immortality, anyway, and life on earth has lived for millions of years.

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myk said:

Reproduction is the poor man's immortality, anyway, and life on earth has lived for millions of years.

According to those who believe in genetic memory, it's true immortality. The sleeper has awakened.

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fraggle said:
Probably the only way it could work is if you were frozen and launched into space

KHAAAAAAAAAAN!!!!!!!!!

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Butts said:

im religious and my entire life i have been obsessed with theoretical physics, the universe, quantum mechanics and the like. don't really know why since becoming an atheist you have suddenly found it interesting.

Generally speaking, being religious and being interested in the how the universe works is a kind of contradiction.

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I don't want to experience the insanely far future. I'm pretty sure it'll be quite a negative experience.

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The contradiction between religion and science only exists if you have a narrow definition of one of the terms, and I bet you're thinking religion andrewB. I don't see why someone who believes God created everything can't realize they still don't know how that everything operates, and thus be interested.



Back to the point, I want to die.

(It's the meaning of life)

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AndrewB said:

Generally speaking, being religious and being interested in the how the universe works is a kind of contradiction.

Try explaining that to Isaac Newton - who allegedly calculated 2060 as the year of Armageddon.

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Cybernetics is a more worthwhile and profitable road to immortality, one I hope to travel down with tank treads.

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