One Way to Invest In Immortality
“I wish it were possible… to invent a method of embalming drowned persons, in such a manner that they might be recalled to life at any period, however distant; for having a very ardent desire to see and observe the state of America a hundred years hence, I should prefer to an ordinary death, being immersed with a few friends in a cask of Madeira, until that time, then to be recalled to life by the solar warmth of my dear country! But… in all probability, we live in a century too little advanced, and too near the infancy of science, to see such an art brought in our time to its perfection…”
Benjamin Franklin wrote this to his publisher in 1773.
But it would be two centuries later until his vision became feasible… when Alcor Life Extension Foundation was established in 1972.
Alcor held their 40th anniversary conference this past weekend at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort in Arizona.
There, they had a special guest.
She made her way in a leg brace to the front of the crowd and shared her story….
Kim Suozzi is 23 year old. She maintained excellent grades during her Senior Year in college at Truman State University, despite experiencing what she called “odd headaches.”
The headaches didn’t worry her until one day when she was traveling to school. She experienced a seizure that lasted a half hour, causing disassociation from her right arm and difficulty speaking. Later that day, she ended up at her local hospital where a large mass was discovered in her brain. It was a Blioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) tumor.
While all of her friends were graduating and job-searching, Kim sought out treatment options to fight GBM.
In time, her entire tumor was removed by Washington University’s Teaching Hospital.
Afterwards, there were the rounds and rounds of radiation and chemotherapy.
The whole time she was going through treatment, she didn’t give up on the chance at having a career. So she got a job assisting with cognitive neuroscience research in an EEG lab at the University of Missouri.
Unfortunately, despite a clean MRI after surgery, pathology showed that the tumor was highly aggressive. A second opinion from a top pathologist at M.D. Anderson confirmed what the more devastating news was. Her diagnosis was a more aggressive subtype of GBM than had been initially thought. She was given even less time to live, and the cancer was rapidly growing back in a spot that makes further surgery impossible.
She posted an article on Reddit titled, “Today is my 23rd birthday and probably my last. Anything awesome I should try before I die?” Within a few weeks, there were 1697 comments. Among them, a Cryonicist commented that maybe she would want to look into cryonics.
She remembered a book she’d read in Cog Sci her Sophomore Year, Ray Kurzweil’s Age of Spiritual Machines. She liked it so much that she got another book of his, The Singularity is Near.
“I had always planned on establishing cryopreservation plans through life insurance, I was caught off guard when I was suddenly diagnosed during my last month and a half of college.”
Whole body preservation requires a life insurance with a minimum policy of $200,000.
But after Kim decided that she wanted to try cryonics, many leaders within the cryonics community offered to help in various ways. Alcor offered to reduce the cost to cryopreserve her to $80,000., and the staff is donating their time for her cryopreservation. Eventually, she was chosen as a recipient of the Society for Venturism’s Cryonics Charity Fund. Hundreds of donors have reached out to help Kim, but she still lacks the funds and time is short (donations are welcome).
“I wish I could give a particularly compelling reason why I deserve another chance at life, but there’s not much to say. I’m still just a kid…Unfortunately the most interesting thing I have yet to do is get a terminal disease at a young age.”
She’s currently losing function of her right side, can’t use her hand or arm and, and is already walking with a limp. Her speech is already affected. Her tumor will cut off her air and kill her before it gets to her brain and “who she is”… one thing she felt helped her odds with cryonics.
“The only thing that I can think of that might let me live out my full life and make me feel a little more at ease with my death is to secure cryopreservation plans in the belief that they figure out how to revive people in the future.”
Kim’s story is one that shows how tantalizing it is for those with terminal diseases at this point in history. We have revolutionary new therapies for treating the worst known diseases… and they’re just waiting to be available. Proof has been brought to the table time and again by our own researchers, Patrick Cox and Ray Blanco, who tirelessly hunt down the scientists and entrepreneurs achieving these “miracles” for the benefit of humanity.
But there remain obstacles: webs of red tape… not enough of the right kind of capital… too much of the wrong kind of leadership. Will cryonics be a growing business as bureaucracy freezes progress? Or will the need be diminish as progress accelerates? And how should you invest in the meantime?
Is the idea of freezing yourself until more advanced technologies can save you so crazy? If it were, why have notables such as Ray Kurzweil or Aubrey De Gray or Ralph Merkel all signed up for cryonics?
Hope of suspending ones death only to be reawakened in the future is a human desire that goes back further than the time of Benjamin Franklin. It goes back thousands of years.
We’ve heard of accidental forms of natural preservation through unusual conditions, like ice mummies.
But it’s also evident in Ancient Egyptians’ deliberate preservation of mummies… who prepared royalty for the afterlife.
Some may start referencing the New Testament.
Transhuminists like Ray Kurzweil stir up a lot of controversy because they believe that the accelerating rate of technology will soon allow the “blind to see” and “the lame to walk”… essentially creating a kind of “heaven on earth”.
They may want to add another line from Matthew 20:16: “So the last will be first, and the first last”.
It’s sometimes been written that cryonics revival will be a “last-in-first-out” process.
People cryopreserved in the future, with better technology, may require less advanced technology to be revived…
They will have been cryopreserved with better technology that caused less tissue damage.
If that’s the case, it will take medicine’s most advanced methods (available further in the future) to reach back and revive people cryopreserved by more primitive methods.
Therefore, those first to be frozen will be the last to wake up in the new world. Those last to be frozen won’t have to be in one of these things for quite so long:
Success of survival depends on the degree a person’s identity, memories and individuality is restored, with amnesia being the final dividing line between success and failure.
Even if you’re skeptical of cryonics relative to human preservation, there are many other applications to consider… all of which contribute to a notable trend. If you want to invest in a solid public company with an impressive track record, check out Chart Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:GTLS).
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