In The Baffler, Corey Pein pours scalding hot water on the frozen corpses of the many celebrities and billionaires who’ve hoped to cheat death through cryonics.
What rescued the reputation of cryonics from the graveyard of forgotten boondoggles? It wasn’t the march of science. Breakthroughs in medicine and neuroscience had not brought the freeze-dried dream of immortality any closer to reality… What did change, thanks to the tech bubble, was the combined net worth of the Silicon Valley software engineers who are in the demographic sweet spot of the Alcor business model. Here were young people possessed of the lust for eternal life, who required no PR blitzes to persuade them of technology’s ability to overcome the brute empirical facts of the human condition—many with the outsize ego to cast themselves as Christlike figures awaiting resurrection and the ample self-confidence to ignore all naysayers.