Would you want to be
if there was
a guarantee of
waking up in
There is a company called Alcor in Scottsdale, Arizona that is dedicated to mastering the science of reanimation. Well, for now it’s dedicated to preserving “legally dead” (murdered individuals are out!) people in hopes of reverse-zombie-ing them.
And! There are real people, yes, real human-persons, that have shelled out cold, dead, cash to maintain their lifeless bodies for the mere HOPE of being brought back into this world at a later date.
At this time, there is no technology that allows a ‘frozen’ loved one to RSVP to your family BBQ reunion at Ibach Park, so don’t order them a screen printed shirt just yet. What cryogenics does do now is collect your 100% legally deceased remains and attempt to preserve your personality, body and brain by replacing the water cells with “protective chemicals” that slow the body’s chemistry until it stops–much like a sled down a hill with no driver. They are then placed in a protective, silver non-coffin presumably until Fry comes from the future to give us the secret of talking heads in jars.
Sounds like a massively expensive gamble to me. But, what if the ‘hope’ part of this equation was deleted and it became an absolute to Rip Van Winkle yourself 200 years after your life-party ended?
Would I do this?
H, E double hockey sticks no.
And here’s why:
You know that feeling when you wake up from sleeping and forget where you are for 2 seconds? Times that by 10,000,000 and then punch yourself in the face. It would be like your family lovingly tucking you into bed and kissing you goodnight only to wake up in a technology orphanage where your alarm clock is finding out all your friends are dead and you are wearing last-last-last-last-last season’s style. The horror.
I’m curious about the future as much as the next person, but let’s be honest, it is humanity’s calling card to throw a crazy house party forgetting that the future is coming home in ten minutes. Wall*E might as well have been a documentary.
And, more importantly, I don’t want to wake up from the most terrifying dream I’ve ever had–DEATH–to a bitchy robot who doesn’t understand why I’m crying when they say Ben and Jerry’s hasn’t existed for 100 years.
I know, I know, I hear you, you future-crazy-pioneers: I’m going at this from the worst-case scenario, (which as your life’s last gamble, I think is nothing short of prudent…) but, okay, what if it isn’t awful?
You wake up from the greatest nap of your life in room dimly lit by cupcake-smelling candles, and digitized whale sounds. A friendly scientist that looks like Tom Hanks as Walt Disney takes your hands, explains what year it is and sings your favorite song. You are slowly acclimated to the current culture and then hailed as a time warrior by all news media. You spend your days going on all expenses paid adventures in flying cars, learning and recounting stories about the early 2000’s, what an iPod was, and horrors of this thing you called traffic. Sounds pretty great, until you realize you have become nothing more than a novelty, and after they’ve plucked all the information from your old squishy brain, you are left with no friends or family, unnoticed and discarded with the rest of the elderly– something society still hasn’t improved. Zing.
It is as natural and normal for humans to die as it is for humans to try to escape that fact, but all it does is prolong the inevitable. In short, the only thing I want frozen when I’m dying is my brain after eating Ben and Jerry’s.