Married to a Mortal

Last month the NYT had an article about the marital strain a couple will experience when the wife expects to die someday, but the husband has other plans…

“You have to understand,” says Peggy, who at 54 is given to exasperation about her husband’s more exotic ideas. “I am a hospice social worker. I work with people who are dying all the time. I see people dying All. The. Time. And what’s so good about me that I’m going to live forever?”

The provenance of this disagreement remains somewhat hazy, as neither Peggy nor her husband, Robin Hanson, can remember quite when he first announced his intention to have his brain surgically removed from his freshly vacated cadaver and preserved in liquid nitrogen.

Maybe Peggy’s close collaboration with hospitals has left her with less optimism about the miracles of medical science than Robin, who is a college professor.

Some people just go for broke and get their whole body frozen, which looks like better odds than just the brain, but I’m guessing that Robin and Peggy don’t have unlimited bucks to invest in a hypothetical health plan. I can say that in my observation, what happens to the body affects the brain and the personality, and no one is so cerebral that they can operate on intellect alone. Even Spock was relieved to get his brain out of that box.

I think that the odds of being defrosted in some glorious future where the nine billion humans on the planet dedicate their technology to dead people whose distinguishing quality was having the means to get themselves preserved–whew!

Slightly less than if you invest that money in Megabucks tickets, I would guess.

It does bring up fascinating questions of how you live your life if you think today is just a prelude to a future immortal career. If you were separated from family, friends, culture and even your own body, what would be left of you? Where is your soul?

For more about Peggy and Robin and other immortals among us, follow the link here.

One thought on “Married to a Mortal

  1. There ya go-college professor vs.those who live in the real world.
    They can cremate me and throw the ashes in the garbage for all I care.I definitely will not take up space and I’m medically barred from being an organ donor.

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