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Cryonics Movement Loses Founder (Temporarily)

Fred Chamberlain was declared legally dead around 12:50 a.m. on March 22 in Scottsdale, AZ. Chamberlain founded Alcor Life Extension Foundation.


(Fred and Linda Chamberlain)

Moments later, a specially trained team from Alcor began preparing Chamberlain — who founded Alcor with his wife, Linda, in 1972 in Southern California — for his next destination: a gleaming silver canister filled with liquid nitrogen, where he would be kept until the cryonics movement that he was instrumental in building developed the technology to allow him a new life.

Cryonics also has given Chamberlain the pleasure of envisioning, and believing in, what will come: a continuation of her life with Fred and others, in ways and in places that will elevate their time to something beyond just existing.

“I’d like to be able to have a body which is changeable, which you can do with nanobot swarms,” she said. “If I want to ski on Mars, I would have a very durable avatar which will allow me to do that. If I want to go swimming in the oceans of Europa, I can have a body like a killer whale or one of the life forms that might be in the oceans of Europa.”

Science fiction writers have thought about this idea for generations. The word "corpsicle" was probably coined by Frederik Pohl in the mid-1960's. Larry Niven used it in stories like A World Out of Time:

"Your newspapers called you people corpsicles," said the blond man. "I never understood what the tapes meant by that."

"It comes from Popsicle. Frozen sherbet." Corbell had used the word himself before he became one of them. One of the corpsicles, the frozen dead.
(More about corpsicles)

Also, Robert Heinlein wrote about the idea in his 1956 novel Door into Summer:

If a man had an incurable disease and expected to die anyhow but thought the doctors a generation might be able to cure him - and he could afford to pay for suspended animation while medical science caught up with what was wrong with him - then cold sleep was a logical bet...

And there was the usual straightforward financial appeal, the one the insurance companies borer down on: "Work while you sleep." Just hold still and let whatever you have saved grow into a fortune..."

Via Kurzweil AI.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 9/16/2012)

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