Survey: What’s the most negative*plausible cryonics-works story that you know?

Warn­ing: peo­ple will be try­ing to be pes­simistic here. Don’t read this if you don’t want to be re­minded of scary out­comes.

Re­quest: if you get an idea that you think might be too scary to post pub­li­cly even un­der the above warn­ing, but you are will­ing to send it to me in a pri­vate mes­sage to aid in my per­sonal de­ci­sion-mak­ing, then please do :)


I like cry­on­ics. Ac­cord­ing to my par­ents and grand­mother, I started talk­ing about build­ing an AI to help with med­i­cal re­search to re­vive frozen dead peo­ple when I was about 10 years old, and my mem­ory agrees. I be­gan ex­per­i­ment­ing with free­ing and un­freez­ing in­sects, and figured based on some pos­i­tive re­sults that it was phys­i­cally pos­si­ble to pre­serve life in a frozen state. Cool!

But now that I’m in mid­dle of con­vinc­ing some folks I know to sign up for cry­on­ics, I want to do due-dili­gence on some of the vague, hard-to-ver­bal­ize aver­sions they have to do­ing it. This way, I can help them plan con­tin­gen­cies for /​ hedges against those aver­sions if pos­si­ble, thereby mak­ing cry­on­ics more vi­able for them, and maybe avoid ac­ci­den­tally per­suad­ing peo­ple do cry­on­ics when it re­ally isn’t right for them (yes, I think that can ac­tu­ally hap­pen).

There’s already been a post on far nega­tive out­comes, and an­other one on why cry­on­ics maybe isn’t worth it. But what I re­ally want to do here is con­duct an in­ter­ac­tive sur­vey to com­pute which di­su­til­ities should be taken most se­ri­ously when talk­ing to a new per­son about cry­on­ics, to avoid ac­ci­den­tally per­suad­ing them into mak­ing a wrong-for-them de­ci­sion.

And for that, what I re­ally want to ask is:

What’s the most nega­tive*plau­si­ble cry­on­ics-works story that you know of?


(1) A well-mean­ing but slightly-too-ob­sessed cry­on­ics sci­en­tist wakes up some sem­blance of me in a semi-con­scious vir­tual delirium for some­thing like 1000 very un­pleas­ant sub­jec­tive years of tin­ker­ing to try re­cov­er­ing me. She even­tu­ally quits, and I never wake up again.

(2) A rich sadist finds it some­how legally or lo­gis­ti­cally eas­ier to lay hands on the brains/​minds of cry­on­ics pa­tients than of liv­ing peo­ple, and runs some vir­tual tor­ture sce­nar­ios on me where I’m not al­lowed to die for thou­sands of sub­jec­tive years or more.

I think on re­flec­tion I’d con­sider (1) to be around 10x and maybe 100x more likely than (2)*, but de­pend­ing on your prefer­ences, you might find (2) to be more than 100x worse than (1), enough to make it ac­count for the biggest chunk of di­su­til­ity that can be at­tributed to any par­tic­u­lar sim­ple story or story-fea­ture where cry­on­ics works.

[* I would have said (1) was definitely more than 100x more likely be­fore so many of my fe­male friends have, over the years, men­tioned that they were sub­ject to some pretty scary sex­ual vi­o­lence at some point in their dat­ing lives.]

(Note: There’s a sep­a­rate ques­tion of whether the out­come is pos­i­tive enough to be worth the money, which I’d rather dis­cuss in a differ­ent thread.)

How to par­ti­ci­pate:

  • Top-level com­ments = sto­ries. Post your most nega­tive*plau­si­ble story or story-fea­ture as a top-level com­ment.

  • A top-level up­vote shall mean “es­sen­tially in my top-three”. Upvote sto­ries that you’d con­sider es­sen­tially the same as one of your top-two sto­ries, ranked by nega­tivity*prob­a­bil­ity. This means you can vote more than three times if your top sto­ries get rep­re­sented in va­ri­ety of ways, so don’t be shy.

  • Lower-level com­ments = dis­cus­sion! Let’s dis­agree about the rel­a­tive prob­a­bil­ities and nega­tivi­ties of things and maybe change some of our minds!

Thanks for play­ing :)

PS I hope folks use these ideas to come up with ways to de­crease the like­li­hood that cry­on­ics leads to nega­tive out­comes, and not to cause or ex­pe­rience pre­ma­ture fears that de­rail pro­duc­tive con­ver­sa­tions. So, please don’t share/​post this in ways where you think it might have the lat­ter effect, but rather, use it as a part of a sane and thor­ough eval­u­a­tion of all the pros and cons that one should rea­son­ably con­sider in de­cid­ing whether cry­on­ics work­ing is on-net a pos­i­tive out­come.

ETA—What not to post:

Some non-ex­am­ples of what this sur­vey should con­tain...

  • Ex­am­ples where you don’t get re­vived in any way. Th­ese sce­nar­ios fac­tor into the “will cry­on­ics work for me” ques­tion, a ques­tion of prob­a­bil­ity that does not de­pend on your val­ues, which I’d pre­fer to dis­cuss is a sep­a­rate thread be­cause prob­a­bil­ities are eas­ier to con­verge on with­out dis­tract­ing our­selves with val­ues ques­tions.