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Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to

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62 Responses

  1. Wardsmith says:

    I was really hoping you’d have tied this into ACA there JB 😉Report

  2. James K says:

    One of the reasons they get so bitchy about how long it takes to remove someone’s head is that time is a critical factor in the preservation process. Once decay destroys information in the brain it’s gone forever and if too much time passes then you can never be restored short of time travel because there’s not enough of you left.

    One of the reasons I haven’t signed up for cryonics is that the nearest facility to me is the Alcor one. It would take days to get my head to their facility, by which time I doubt there’d be much of me left.Report

  3. BlaiseP says:

    The immortality problem has been solved. The technology is superb, the techniques delightful in application. We now know that dual-strand DNA cloning has serious problems. My proposed system uses precisely one-half of the donor DNA, unspooled and combined with another such donor’s DNA, thus restoring the full complement of human DNA.

    There is no need to freeze your head. Recent research now conclusively demonstrates entire value systems, indeed multiple value systems can be transferred into these immortality vehicles, though this is not always a perfect process. It only takes a few years and soon enough, your immortality vehicle will be on its way into the bright shiny future, capable of reproducing itself. It is a marvellous system, let me tell you. I’ve done it three times, believe it or not. I am told this system of value transfer can even be applied without any DNA transfer at all, thus allowing same-sex couples and even single persons to enjoy the enormous benefits of immortality.

    The advantages of this system are numerous. My research has concluded these little immortality vehicles were greatly affectionate and faultlessly duplicated many of my more eccentric mannerisms, to their delight and my consternation. The system works rather better than I expected. In my opinion. everyone should be given a crack at immortality. Raise a child.Report

  4. Burt Likko says:

    I certainly get the Ted Williams reference.

    But I have to admit that absent your question, I would never have thought to ask, “do people still do cryonics?”. Apparently, people do.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Burt Likko says:

      In the show, shapeshifters from another universe were stealing cryogenically frozen heads.

      I found myself wondering “how many of these places are there?”

      I mean, if I wanted to steal all of the frozen heads, surely there aren’t *THAT* many places I’d have to rob… then I found out that there are not only tons and tons of biobanks around, they’re called “biobanks”.Report

  5. The only purpose of making new friends in the future would be to help me survive the crushing grief for all the ones I had known before.

    I’ll pass.Report

  6. We’re all uploading our minds to the League of Ordinary Gentlemen comments section at this very moment.Report

  7. Katherine says:

    I’m quite comfortable with “statism” if its essence is “you can’t have your head cryogenically frozen before you die”.

    Fascinating post, Jaybird. I like fun random information like this.

    I’m still young, so I’m hoping to live to see major medical advances without needing to be frozen.Report

    • Would it be that different from an Ottawa winter?Report

      • Katherine in reply to Jonathan McLeod says:

        Ottawa was quite pleasant this winter; we had less than a dozen really cold days. A good coat, and a warm pair of tights under your pants, is all you need to be comfortable. It amused me, because I’m from the west coast, and everyone I know talked up how freezing cold it would be in Ottawa.

        Although, supposedly the winter we had was unusually mild for the region.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Katherine says:

      I see this falling under both the “right to die” umbrella as well as the “my body, my choice” umbrella.

      Sure, a 24-year old in perfect health who wants it done? Sure, tell him to go walk. A guy in his 60s or 70s who wants another go (when the technology allows)? If we’d allow him to give Doctor K a call, I don’t know why we should forbid him from calling Alcor.Report

      • A Teacher in reply to Jaybird says:

        Okay so it’s permissible in some but not others…. who gets to decide which is which then? Do we have a panel that votes? Is there an appeal process? What role does legal counsel play? Should quality of life before freezing play into the equation and how much should potential quality of life post freezing factor in?

        If it’s okay for the “rule makers” to let a 70 year old with a failing heart do it ~by choice~, then the principles have to allow for a 24 year old in perfect health to also make that choice. Otherwise we’re saying that 24 year olds can’t make choices for themselves….Report

        • Jaybird in reply to A Teacher says:

          Well, to be honest, I’d read a 24 year old’s desire for something like this as irrational to the point of indicative of mental illness.

          Now, if he was 700 pounds and said that he wanted it done at some point in the future where he could start over? Eh. I suppose I could see that. If he had a spectacularly degenerative disease? Eh. I suppose I could see that. (Freeze Hawking!)

          If we could rule out mental illness on the part of the 24 year old? Sure, why not? For the most part, however, I’d immediately suspect that something was wrong.

          Or, I suppose, a particularly bad breakup.Report

          • DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird says:

            Isn’t this basically the plot of The Time Machine?Report

          • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

            And lord knows the best indication of sanity is NOT wanting to freeze your 24-year-old head…


            • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:

              I wouldn’t use “best” but, gotta say, it’s a good one.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

                And thus the cyclical logic is complete!

                24-year-old: I want to freeze my head.
                Jaybird: You can’t. We don’t let crazy people make such decisions.
                24: What makes you think I’m crazy?
                JB: You want to freeze your goddamn head, for cryin’ out loud!
                24: How can I prove to you I’m not crazy?
                JB: Stop trying to freeze your head.
                24: Hm.Report

              • MikeSchilling in reply to Kazzy says:

                “That’s some catch, JB.”

                “It’s the best there is.”Report

              • Stillwater in reply to MikeSchilling says:


              • +1
                Well played.
                (also… good book)Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:

                Allow me to reframe slightly.

                Cryogenics, at this point, is a bet. This bet is far from being a sure thing. Heck, at this point, I think it’s charitable to call it a long shot.

                For the average, in perfect health, 24-year old, whether they’d see 34 is pretty close to a sure thing. Barring accidents, fluke diseases, and crime, I don’t think that it’s outlandish to say that the kid is going to see 34. There isn’t *THAT* much difference between those odds and the odds that the kid will see 44. Once you start taking 54 into consideration, the needle starts wobbling. 64? 74? 84? There’s a point at which the “long shot” of going from 5’8″ to 4’10” has a better return than staying 5’8″.

                24 is such a bad bet, with such a high downside and such a low upside, the willingness to make it indicates some disconnect.

                I oppose suicide for 24 year olds but hem and haw about 84 year olds making that choice. There’s a similar dynamic at work here… though, of course, change in the downside/upside ration will also change the dynamic.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

                First, I will say I was a bit confused. I didn’t realize we were talking about people ending it voluntarily at a given age in order to be frozen. I presumed you meant that the freezing process had to begin before the person was “officially” dead and that we were talking about people whose death was imminent and who might opt to be frozen before it was actually realized. So, I would be okay with a 24-year-old checking the “Freeze my head” box on his license application, so that in the event he gets into a car accident and is about to die but there is the possibility of freezing him, he is opting to take it.

                Second, I was also being a bit tongue in cheek.

                Third, I’m still not sure I agree that suicide is different at 24 versus 74. I’m not sure I disagree either thought. I tend not to think about suicide because it is a pretty squishy topic and I have been fortunate enough to have no first hand experience with it that has forced me to think about it.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:

                I’m 100% cool with signing up with Alcor for the “in case of emergency, remove head” policy. It’s the walking up to the counter and telling the receptionist “get your bonesaw, I’d like to press fast-forward” that I have a problem with.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:

                I hear ya. Especially because of all the legal implications. Suppose it was a guy who just murdered his wife but hadn’t yet become an official suspect. Could he be “extradited” from the deep freeze?

                On the flip side, if you are someone for whom the current time period is less than ideal and have reasonable hope that things will be better for you in the future, pushing “fast forward” might be the sanest course of action. Suppose this technology existed 200 years ago. Would you tell the fugitive slave with hopes that 100 years from now things will be better than he’s just going to have to wait and hope like the rest of ’em?

                Shit makes your head spin.Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to Kazzy says:

                “in case of emergency, remove head”

                best sentence ever!Report

        • Kazzy in reply to A Teacher says:

          Yea, I don’t really get the logic in allowing some but not others. At least from a legal perspective. Alcor could certainly refuse to perform the process, just as a doctor could refuse to perform an elective heart transplant on a completely healthy patient. But I’m not sure why the law should differentiate.Report

      • MikeSchilling in reply to Jaybird says:

        And if someone who can’t afford Alcor goes to HacksawsAndPicnicCoolersRUs, who are we to say no?Report

    • Dan Miller in reply to Katherine says:

      Wait, really? I’d say that people should absolutely be allowed to do this. It’s their body, after all.Report

      • James Hanley in reply to Dan Miller says:

        On their heads be it.Report

      • Katherine in reply to Dan Miller says:

        Up until the point where we successfully unfreeze a person who has been cryogenically frozen in such a way that they are physically and mentally intact, proving that the technology actually works, it is equivalent to suicide – and, if someone else does it to you (as is necessary), equivalent to homicide. I’m uncomfortable enough with the idea of euthanasia for the very ill; healthy people being frozen as a gamble in hopes of seeing what the future will hold is far more disturbing. It treats life cavalierly.

        There’s no clear gain for anyone, based on all that we know, at this point any person who engages in it is killing themselves, so I don’t have any problem whatsoever with it being illegal. It really doesn’t strike me as a serious violation of personal integrity rights. If, in the future, we can be sure that this works, then the issue will change.Report

  8. Jaybird says:

    One of my buds pointed out “why would you want to do this? You wouldn’t qualify for any jobs in 2112.”

    While I don’t *KNOW* that this is necessarily true, it’s an excellent point which leads me to how there are cultural things to take into consideration.

    Assuming that you’re more or less pretty centrist, I’d say that you’d wake up being the most conservative person on the planet when you open your eyes again. If you’re one of the most progressive people on the planet right now, I’d just ask you to look at the #1 issues of Progressives in 1912 and imagine someone waking up and arguing for those points today… the centrist would be the reactionary and the progressive would be… I don’t even know what they’d be. There would be a lot of catching up for them to do, at the very least.

    And, of course, at the end of the day, goodness only knows what jobs would be available and would match the skillset of the person in question. (Again, imagine plucking a person from 1912. At which of today’s jobs are they most likely to excel?)Report

    • James Hanley in reply to Jaybird says:

      You may not be qualified for any jobs, but if you’re invested well, you may not need to work at all in the future, which is about all that makes the idea remotely attractive.Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

      This makes me think of Louis CK’s time travel rant… Black people never want to go back in time… “Nothing before ‘Thriller’!” White people can go back in time to anywhere… but lord helps them if they go forward…

      (I REALLY hope someone somehow insists I’m playing the racecard here…)Report

    • Dan Miller in reply to Jaybird says:

      It’s also possible that by 2112 we’ve instituted a universal basic income, and finally seen the end of work.Report

      • MikeSchilling in reply to Dan Miller says:

        “And the North American Union is on a sound fiscal basis, with no governmental debt.”

        “Geez, in my time, the debt was 14 trillion and getting bigger all the time. Where did you find the money to pay it off?”

        “Oh, a bit here, a bit there. Just takes discipline.”

        “Well, I’m impressed. Anyway, what’s the balance in my account?”

        “Funny thing about that.”Report

      • DensityDuck in reply to Dan Miller says:

        It isn’t work. It’s task-oriented personal actualization activity. It’s been proven by peer-reviewed and scientificated exegation that lack of personal actualization results in overabundance of ennui, leading to poor moral health and the resultant overconsumption of physical resources. The optimal balance has been shown to obtain when every Earth Citizen spend at least forty percent of their available energetics on personal actualization, and it’s easier to reach that goal when the activities are task-oriented.

        So, anyway, here’s your shovel. Get diggin’.Report

      • Katherine in reply to Dan Miller says:

        Don’t get your hopes up. It’s fascinating to read the late-1800s/early-1900s utopias and see how perfect they hoped the world could be in 100 years. In general, they overestimated technological progress in some areas, underestimated it in others (no idea of anything like the Internet), and greatly overestimated social progress.

        If we were going to eliminate the employment = income equation, we would have gotten a start on it already. There’s something ridiculous to me about a world in which we can, thanks to technology, mass-produce basically any good in large enough quantities for it to be universally available, and where one of our greatest problems is unemployment, and yet employment and consumption remain tied together. If we don’t need additional people working to increase the number of goods and services available, why require everyone to have regular employment? When work becomes something you are given (“job creators”) rather than a service which you provide, linking it to merit and income becomes more questionable.

        Does having people work as supermarket cashiers rather than implementing universal self-checkout and providing everyone with money anyway really raise the level of overall human happiness?Report

    • Jesse Ewiak in reply to Jaybird says:

      Yup. As I think I’ve said in the past on here, one of my goals as a commie-Dem socialist is to be seen as a crazy right-winger by my grandkids despite having the same political views as today. 🙂Report

      • DensityDuck in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

        “Grandpa, you’ve got to get over your hangups about these underage-human simudroids. They’re a necessary part of expressing our active emotions in a controlled, healthy manner. I mean, it’s not like that’s real blood coming out.”Report

    • Rod in reply to Jaybird says: