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Cryogenically Frozen Humans - Why I Want to Become One
Err, What is Cryogenics Again?
Cryogenics is a sub-field of physics dealing with extremely low temperatures. Have you ever put something in the freezer too long, like a soda perhaps, and something (probably unfortunate) happens? Well it's kinda like that, except the temperature is much, MUCH lower than your typical freezer. Really though, what I'm interested in isn't all the applied fields of crogenics, it's in the medical application to humans, which is called cryonics.
Okay...Cryonics it is. So What?
...If you lived about 100 years ago and you had an abnormal heart rhythm or a stroke you would die, well, soon. Now we have the luxury of professional medical specialists and surgeons that can 'fix' fatal medical emergencies. So, right now it could be said that cancer is the modern stroke. Why? Well, cancer is a serious problem and we don't know much about it, or how to cure it. In about 100 years, do you think that there will be a cure for cancer? I have to say that I would definitely think that there will be a cure before then. I use cancer as an example, but any terminal disease to humans right now might not be so fatal in the future.
The allure of cryonics is that it might be possible to freeze humans as they are in the present and thaw them out sometime in the future. If you take a second and think about it, cryonics is a one-way time machine to the future!
How Does it Work?
The major 'player' of the cryogenic world is liquid nitrogen. Super cooled liquid nitrogen makes things...different. Certain things gain (or lose) their normal physical properties at really low temperatures. The theory is that you can cryogenically freeze humans and when technological advancement reaches the necessary level, it will be possible to fix any medical conditions you had and reanimate you!
In a way, this could mean immortality. If every time you were faced with a fatal condition you were cryo frozen, you could live pretty close to forever.
What About Your Soul? Ethical?
Some people consider this to be highly unethical and immoral, but I would disagree. There are two kinds of dying, physical death and clinical death. If your body simply can't function properly, then that's physical death, if your brain stops working, that's clinical death (in simple terms). You can't be cryo frozen if you experience clinical death..so you never really died, so your soul (if you believe in them) never left you, at least, that's how I imagine it to work.
This could branch off into a lot of different discussions, such as what about cybernetic enhancements, what if the world ends, and more, I'm sure.
But You Can't Get Cryogenically Frozen Yet - Or CAN You?
This is the exciting part (or scary to some) is that Cryonics is already commercially available! Alcor (http://www.alcor.org) is one of the leading providers, and you can get affordable insurance policies through services such as the Cryonics Institute (cryonics.org).
In general this is all just food for thought, I find this subject to be extremely interesting and have considered potentially taking part in it in the future.
What are your thoughts?