Many of you have written back in defense of cryogenics (be sure to read Robin Hanson’s appended response). But reader Michael Goodfellow offers a more negative view:
Robin Hanson’s comment implies cryonics will continue to be used even after the first set of people is revived. This is unlikely.
There are few diseases (including aging) that could damage your brain more than having your head cut from your body and frozen. The ability to repair this huge damage implies the ability to repair nearly any damage in a living person. So no one will be frozen after the point where revival becomes possible (because no one will die!) In fact, since repair of lesser injuries would be possible before
that, cryonics would already be an unused technology (no new brains frozen) long before revival is possible.
This has some consequences — if you are revived, it will be to a society of immortals. Second, cryonics will stop being used before it has been proven to work, even if it does work (because no one dies and is frozen.) So only a limited number of people will ever be frozen, and they will all have to take on faith that the technology can work.
My take: I’ll stick with my original pessimism, albeit for simpler reasons. Despite recent efforts, it remains hard to buy insurance against the price of your home falling five years from now. And how many companies issue fifty-year bonds? Can I expect that anyone will maintain my web page long after I die? How much capitalization is needed to insure that an organization lasts even as little as fifty years?
In reality the series should be called "Spot Markets in Everything."