There is one immutable law of life on Earth – no creature big or small gets out alive. But with medical science advancing, humans are plotting to change that equation. Some of them work at the Alcor Life Extension Foundation, a nonprofit based in Arizona that has 147 brains frozen in liquid nitrogen.
CEO Max More, as quoted by CNBC.com: “If you think back half a century or so, if somebody stopped breathing and their heart stopped beating we would’ve checked them and said they’re dead. Our view is that when we call someone dead it’s a bit of an arbitrary line. In fact they are in need of a rescue.”
The theory is that doctors of the future might be able to wake the dead. Mortals who want that lottery ticket pony up $200,000 to Alcor to have their entire bodies preserved. (The head-only fee is $80,000; presumably DNA could be used to regenerate the rest.)
Some will be surprised that few legalities are at play. More from CNBC: “Alcor is under no commitment to deliver life after death. In fact, after legal death has been declared the government views Alcor’s 147 ‘patients’ as nothing more than bodies and organs donated to science under the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act, which means even though Alcor signs a contract with its members saying it will deliver its cryonics services, it is under loose obligations to do so.”
Of course, Alcor says it will deliver — if it can. In the meantime, clients can dream about being revived in 2150 and asking at what point the United States became a third world country. Or why robots run everything. Or why it’s so damn cold when Al Gore once assured us the oceans would soon be boiling.