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David Ettinger on Singularity 1 on 1: Take Steps and Be Prepared!

David EttingerDuring my recent visit to the Cryonics Institute I had the chance to do a video tour of CI and learn more about their vitrification procedures and membership policies. I also had the unique opportunity to interview David Ettinger, whose father Robert Ettinger is the “father of cryonics” because he pretty much started the field with his seminal book The Prospect of Immortality. I was also happy to interview David for my Singularity 1 on 1 podcast because we had not only an informative but also very frank and deeply personal interview as to his own story and motivation.

During our 1 hour discussion with David Ettinger we cover a variety of interesting topics such as: what is CI, how and why he got involved in it; how his father – Robert Ettinger, came up with the idea of cryonics; my wife’s journey to embracing the idea and my evil plan to sign up the rest of our family; the definition of cryonics and the process of vitrification; why people are often cryo-convinced but unfortunately not cryo-committed; prices and procedures for joining the Cryonics Institute as well as options for people outside of the US; the slow pace of progress in cryo-biology and related research; betting on life vs betting on death; volunteering and the CI business model; David’s take on transhumanism and the technological singularity…

My favorite quotes that I will take away from this interview with David Ettinger are:

“Being frozen is a horible thing, it’s just that the alternative is even worse.”


“If you’re counting on something other than cryonics extending your life, you are not covering your bets.”

As always you can listen to or download the audio file above or scroll down and watch the video interview in full. To show your support you can write a review on iTunes or make a donation.


Who is David Ettinger?

ETTINGER, DAVID - high resolution pictureDavid Ettinger is an attorney, a founding member of the Cryonics Institute and the son of Robert Ettinger, the founder of the cryonics movement. David has served as CI’s attorney since 1977, and has been an advocate and spokesperson on cryonics issues since he was 15 years old (when he did his first television interview on the subject).

In his “day job”, David is an antitrust lawyer who has litigated a wide range of major cases in more than 30 states. Among his achievements, David may be the only lawyer in the United States who has won antitrust merger cases on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants.


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  • Mainarynox

    I sure do wish cryonics was cheaper…

  • I do think that cryonics is very affordable as it is: First of all anyone who is a full time employee is guaranteed to have life insurance. Secondly, if you are not, then you can buy private life insurance for the price of a cup of coffee per day. Thirdly, in those rare case when 1 or 2 do not apply, you have the Cryonics Institute which is a volunteer organization which has not changed its prices since its founding in the 1970 and thus for about $28,000 or the cost of a car, you can get a shot at eternity….

  • Baktash Babadi

    Hi Socrates,

    There are a few institutes in the US that provide cryonic body preservation, such as Cryonics institute, and Alcor Life Extension Foundation, and few others. Have you ever compared their services? Which one is better or more reputable? Are they related to each other? For example, why Ray Kurzweil, Aubrey De Grey, Marvin Minsky, and Eric Drexler are members of Alcor but not Cryonics institute?


  • Hey Baktash,

    If you see the “Related Articles” links above you will see my Alcor video tour and the interview with CEO Max More. Ken Hayworth provides an interesting and somewhat alternative point of view to cryonics. At any rate, my goal here is not to tell you what to think but rather to provide the tools and information for you to make your own decisions. That’s why my alias is Socrates, who said he never thought anyone anything but merely acted as a midwife to people giving birth to their own ideas. Plus, each of us in a unique personal situation and what is good for me is not necessarily good for you…

  • Baktash Babadi

    Thanks for the info. Just to clarify, I am not going to chose a cryonics provider at least yet! Because as as a Computational Neuroscientist and Physician, I am not yet convinced that Cryonic works. I am just curious to know what are the differences in terms of viewpoints and techniques among different institutions in this business. Thanks again, B

  • Very well then, I’d say best way to find out is to start by watching all related links from above. I’d say 95% of what you are looking for is already there. The other 5% you may have to seek on the respective sites of Alcor and CI because it is always best to go to the source. Finally, you can see on-line discussion forums of members of each organization and either learn from their discussions or contact them directly for their own point of view. This way you will certainly get the full picture.

  • Baktash Babadi

    Great. I have watched your Alcor tour before, but I missed your Cryonic institute video. I am watching it now. Thanks for providing these.

  • You are most welcome Baktash – it is why I do it!

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  • Cryo will forever be financially out of my reach. And I am not alone, I think 75% of all people in my country and 99% of all people world wide will never be able to afford Cryo. The concept is an extreme nonentity of zero relevance.

    In the Netherlands life insurance becomes claimable by law by heirs – I can try concoct all constructs I want, my heirs will still be able to sue for the counter-value and demand it back from whomever I gave it to. So “dynasty funds” are categorically not an option for me.

    BUt what’s more – the original creators of the current state-of -the-art cryo say the invesment currently made will only produce mush. Cyro isn’t a real science yet, it’s cargo cult. Ask Mike Darwin.

  • You just made my point. 28K is for 99% of humanity (and currently for easily 75% of all people in developed nations) completely unattainable, And the direction world economies are moving that’ll only get worse every year.

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