During 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.”
Who is David Ettinger?
David 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.