AI Foom Debate Postscript: Post 53 – 54

53. We Agree: Get Froze (Hanson)

54. You Only Live Twice (Yudkowsky)

Both posts argue that not signing up for cryonics is pretty stupid. I agree to a large degree. Most people reject cryonics only due to the absurdity heuristic and because they don’t want to leave the pack.

And it is ridiculous that we spend billions of dollars on old and demented people so that they can live a few months longer and endure more pain and lose their dignity. But as long as this torturous practice serves as a good method for signaling altruism it will continue. OTOH signing up for cryonics is really not that expensive; you only have to sign up for life insurance which costs 300 € per year or so.

So why am I not signed up for cryonics?

1. I’m lazy and 300€ per year is not that insignificant.

2. My parents would know about it and this would lead to further alienation and possible bad consequences.

3. I don’t value my identity that much. If killing myself would create a copy/clone of (or would safe the life of) e.g. Yudkowsky, Wei Dai, Shulman, etc. I would do it.

4. E.g. this comment by Carl Shulman:

A life insurance policy for 50k-120k could be used to save dozens to hundreds of lives funding medical services in Africa  or to reduce existential risk.

Which is of course also true for buying books, going to the movies, etc., but for me “signing up for cryonics” is in the same mental bucket as “being rational and altruistic and stuff”.

5. The risk of dying is really low for me right now.

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