Just in case you were thinking of cryogenically freezing yourself until technology exists to stop you from dying of whatever ailment you think will terminate your current existence, Gizmodo suggests it may not be such a great idea:
What happens after we die? It’s a question that has plagued the human mind since we first developed the concept of “death.” The search for an answer—and, more importantly, a means of circumventing its effects—has encited organized religion and served to shape one of the foundations of human culture.
We’ve built pyramids to house our dead in the afterlife, constructed terracotta armies to protect them, sacrificed the living in their honor, and even developed preservation techniques to ward off decomposition—all in the effort to somehow defy the permanence of death and resurrect at least a part, however intangible, of the deceased person. Ignoring the mysticism and religious fervor of these practices, they represent little more than elaborate burial techniques, which stubbornly remain a part of modern society.
But unlike the miraculous rebirth of one’s soul at the hands of Osiris, the practice of cryonics promises the rebirth of a younger, fitter, and not-dead you—all through the miracle of future scientific progress.
What Is Cryonics?
Cryonics is the practice of preserving “legally dead” human bodies in extremely cold temperatures with hopes that future advances in medical science can revive their corpses and cure what ails them—or, at least, extract their memories and consciousness.
The basic idea is that by rapidly cooling the body after the heart has stopped, but before the brain begins to die from hypoxia, the body is rapidly cooled to extinguish the metabolism and halt decomposition. However, unlike short-term suspended animation techniques that are currently being developed to aid in cardiac and neural surgery, traumatic injury, and similar life-threatening emergencies, cryonics freezes you for the long haul…
[continues at Gizmodo]