Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.
You are viewing a comment permalink. View the original post to see all
comments and the full post content.
You are viewing a single comment's thread.
My critique of cryonics: other things are more important, and more worthy of my money, than preserving my own life.
Do you also donate all the money you would otherwise spend on health insurance?
I have three buckets of spending:
To note another contrast, the cost of a single full body preservation at Alcor, plus membership dues, appears to be close to the SIAI yearly budget.
The real cost of your "Frivolous pursuits" is time. Spend less time drunk or on WoW, use the saved time to work at Burger King and use the money from Burger king to pay for cryonics.
At that point, the equation would be, "work at Burger King and use the money <to donate to cause X>". The same for getting life insurance. And that option is currently not feasible due to the fact that I already have a hard time going to work at the job I have. There's a reason I called it wastage.
I know it sounds like a status grab and signalling and all that jazz, so let me explain: I consider my martyrdom to be a symptom of depression that just so happens to benefit certain organizations. I doubt they'd complain, despite its effects on my life. I used to tell people I didn't know what to do with my money (interesting aside: the dozen or so times I said this, the answer was always the same, nearly verbatim: "give it to me"), then for a while I told people I was going to live forever (cryonics, transhumanism, etc), now I tell people I'm going to save the world.
Ideally, I'd like to do both, but right now the cost of cryonics is outrageous when compared with the (lack of) funding put toward such important issues as existential risk. I honestly believe the values don't even fit on the same scale.
Power to you.
I'd only note that the monthly cost of WoW is roughly half as much as the monthly insurance cost for cryonics.
Yes. And if I had life insurance, I don't see why I wouldn't sign that over to the same organizations I donate to, since the cost is not the monthly dollar figure, but the amount spent on the process. For $150,000, you can preserve one failed human body with a low chance of success, or you can fund existential risk research for most of a year.
If I were some kind of perfect utility maximizer, I would be able to cut out all the non-essentials, but I have akrasia more strongly than I've heard it stated by anyone else on this site. I can actively look at a situation, say to myself, "Y is wrong. It will hurt me, it will hurt the other people involved, and produces no good in the foreseeable future. X is better in every way." And then I take action Y. If I were a theist, I'd say I was possessed, as I walk down the sidewalk ranting at myself, "What are you doing?! You know it's wrong! You don't even want it! Why are you doing it?!" on my way to do Y.
I take my victories where I can get them. I consider the value equation to be very rational - existential risk is far more important than one life. The possibly rationalized part is where I don't do both to mitigate uncertainty. I can see this as potentially a form of cryocrastination brought on by low self-esteem. I can also see it as counteracting the abnormally large emphasis we place on our own continued existence, bringing the value comparison more fully into view... it's just a good thing not everyone feels that way.
That's for term life insurance that becomes worthless if you don't die within a specified time period. After that time period, if you don't have $50,000 in the bank, you'll have to pay a much higher premium because you're older.
Would you say you are a utiliarian - or aspire to be one? [edit: thanks for your reply]
I try not to apply labels to myself since they limit options. I currently have strong issues with the concept of value / utilons.
All it takes is a username and password
Already have an account and just want to login?
Forgot your password?