conversation with a rationalist

“How do you know Tania?”

“Oh, from the rationalist sphere, of course.. How about you?”

“Oh, well we’re both in the same PhD program.”

“Oh, nice,” he nodded.


“Cool dog tag necklace,” she pointed.

“It’s for the Cryonics Institute.” He held it up, so she could read the engraving detailing the number to call in the case of death.

“Wait, cryonics? Like, freezing yourself?”

“Yeah. You should consider it.”

“Uhhhh… you believe they’re going to be able to revive you?”

“I believe there’s a non-neglible probability that one day we will have the technology to do so, yes.”

“Why would they care about keeping their promise to you if you’re dead?”

“That’s a common critique. But presumably, family members of people who had just died would rally to revive their loved ones. Then the people who got revived would want to revive their loved ones and so on.”

“So… you pay for this?”

“Yes,” he answered back (leaving the “isn’t it obvious?” implied).

“How much?”

“It’s $120 per year and a $35,000 one-time fee.”

“What?! Are you serious? That’s so expensive.”

“No, it’s actually really cheap. Even if you discount future years, it would be rational to pay a small $35k, for the chance of infinite future life.”

She stared at him, shaking her head in disbelief.

“Plus, it has great signaling value,” he said gleefully.

“Well… that makes sense.” She leaned back. “I’m going to get a drink.”