Stan [Abstract]

Cryonics suspension – debating life finitude, extending time capital and cancelling death
[Full text]

Oana Mara Stan [1]

Abstract:  The study discusses the anti-death movement inside the life extension paradigm and its social implications in terms of enhanced permeability of life-death boundaries, by reconciling mysticism, theology, technology and scientific innovation. It analyses current debates, the transmission of polemic information over extreme life extension by cryogenic suspension through vernacular knowledge. Ethical, scientific, financial and spiritual controversies come into consideration, as pro and counter-arguments emerge from ongoing debates investigated by netnography of themed blogs and forums. Digital platforms facilitate in-depth access to beliefs and attitudes expressed in relationship to continuity of stream of consciousness across the projected post-self project. The study calls for the questioning of agency and performativity in the context of transcending time dynamics and achieving biological and chronological time suspension. Solutions for extending longevity are explored in terms of critical reflection as to providers’ market, financial impact (e.g. creation of new niche products such as afterlife insurance to cover expenses of cryogenic suspension or fundraising for cryo-preserving young persons who died tragically) and relocating the burden of proof in arguing whether human cryonics is potentially viable in the future. It brings a new perspective on the traceability and sustainability of time capital (Preda, 2013), while discussing the impact of the belief that death is ultimately curable and avoidable, by future medical progress and overall scientific and technological advancement.

Keywords: Anti-death movement, post-self project, time capital

[1] Faculty of Sociology and Social Work, University of Bucharest, Romania,