Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

August 10, 2013

It's cryogenics time again

I recently saw a show on TV about cryogenics — the science of freezing your brain after you die so that someday, when they find the cure for whatever killed you, they can insert your brain into a new body and you can pick up where you left off. Riding that motorcycle.

I’m not a doctor or a scientist, but it seems to me that there are two big problems with this idea, even if they ever figure out how to do it. One: What body are they going to put your frozen brain into? Maybe I’ve missed something, but don’t most bodies already have a brain in them? Are they going to take out my brain so they can put in yours? That doesn’t sound fair, even if they freeze my brain to reinstall later. Excuse me, new brain, but I was here first.

And if they use clones, well, it seems to me the clone might have a few things to say about it, like “You’re not taking my brain!” It seems we’d be back to square one — they’d have to take out one brain to put in another. And, really, is your brain that much more wonderful than anyone else’s? Now, there is some debate about this. Half the time Sue doesn’t think I have a brain, but other times she wonders if I only have half a brain. Either way, I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t pay to have it frozen. She’d rather spend the money on HBO or Starz or Netflix. It would be cheaper and certainly more entertaining.

And what would I do while my brain’s frozen? What if it takes 50 years, or 100, to cure me? Would I have to answer 50 years’ worth of email when I woke up? What if they put me in a body that’s worse than the one I had when I died? Will I have to learn how to use an even smarter phone than I have now? What will a house cost 50 years from now -- a hundred million dollars? Where will I make that kind of money? As a greeter at Space Mart?

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