Cryonics - Episode 10

Life, death, and whatever's in-between

Cryonics - Episode 10

Life, death, and whatever's in-between


In this conversation we start on the topic of cryonics and Max gives a great summary of both the technology and the philosophy around what is involved. I challenge you to listen to that and remain convinced that life and death are truly binary concepts. It's more the case perhaps that we need a new criteria for death, one that covers the technicalities around neuro-preservation, issues of legal identity upon reanimation, and Alcor's approach to rehabilitation. We discuss misunderstandings or misinformation that surround transhumanism and endeavour to make the distinction between transhumanism and technocracy, with Max making it very clear that the two are in complete opposition. Transhumanism being a philosophy more concerned with preserving our humanity, our autonomy, and with individual potential. The wrong headedness of The Population Bomb, climate catastrophism and the fashionability of long-termism also get a look in.

As some of you may already know, Max is considered to be the founder of modern transhumanism, a philosopher and futurist who writes extensively on technology and humanity. He's also currently Ambassador and President Emeritus at Alcor Life Extension Foundation, having served almost 10 years as President and CEO there, and having been its 67th member. His 1995 University of Southern California doctoral dissertation, 'The diachronic self identity continuity and transformation', examined several issues that concern transhumanists, including the nature of death. He is the Co-editor of The Transhumanist Reader, and he's written many articles on transhumanism and extropianism, including the 1990 essay, 'Transhumanism: toward a futurist philosophy', in which he introduced the term transhumanism, in its modern sense.

This episode of The Future of You covers:

  • A definition of cryonics
  • Changing definitions of death
  • The process of cryogenic freezing
  • Memory loss and personality
  • Consent and cryonic preservation
  • What happens to identity after death and cryopreservation?
  • Rights on reanimation
  • Should world leaders be preserved for the good of their citizens?
  • Attitudes to cryopreservation around the world
  • Should we be thinking about the end of life at birth?
  • Why isn’t cryonics favourably received by the media?
  • Transhumanism
  • The future of states and capitalism
  • The problem of shrinking populations
  • Longtermism and utilitarianism
  • Climate catastrophism
  • Is a misunderstanding of transhumanism really just mischief?

The Future of You: Can Your Identity Survive 21st Century Technology?:

Max More website at:

Alcor Life extension Foundation at:

The Transhumanist Reader:


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