11.20.2014

1964: 'The Prospect of Immortality'



Robert C.W. Ettinger's book about the promise of cryonics is published by Doubleday. From the opening chapter:

     Most of now living have a chance for personal, physical immortality.
     This remarkable proposition -- which may soon become a pivot of personal and national life -- is easily understood by joining one established fact to one reasonable assumption.
     The fact: At very low temperatures it is possible, right now, to preserve dead people with essentially no deterioration, indefinitely. (Details and references will be supplied.)
     The assumption: If civilization endures, medical science should eventually be able to repair almost any damage to the human body, including freezing damage and senile debility or other cause of death. (Definite reasons for such optimism will be given.)
     Hence we need only arrange to have our bodies, after we die, stored in suitable freezers against the time when science may be able to help us. No matter what kills us, whether old age or disease, and even if freezing techniques are still crude when we die, sooner or later our friends of the future should be equal to the task of reviving and curing us. This is the essence of the main argument.
     The arrangements will no doubt be handled at first by individuals, then by private companies and perhaps later by the Social Security system.

* Complete text of book: @
* Ettinger biography (from Cryonics Institute): @
* "Can 'Deep Freeze' Conquer Death?" (Ettinger, Ebony magazine, January 1966): @
* "The Iceman" (Jill Lepore, The New Yorker, January 25, 2010): @ 

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