This is an edited Rant that I had published in Wired Magazine's "Rants and Raves" section in the Summer of 1999 in response to an article on "Conspicuous Consuption."

Date: Wed, 25 Aug 1999 13:45:35 -0500 (CDT)
From: Matthew Gress
Reply-To: matthew@gress.com
Subject: Edited Rant for answering any Classist representation of Cryo Costs

I take strong exception to the statement or implication that cryonic suspension would be (or is) only affordable for the rich. Examples illustrating that suspension costs seem large ignore that almost every person signed up for suspension uses a rather small life insurance policy, with the suspension organization as the benefactor of the "death" benefit, to pay for their suspension.

Term life insurance policies especially, cost very little. $50,000 for 10 years at $97.50 a year or $8.48 a Month, $119/year for 20 Years, $142/year for 30. Whole life is somewhat more, but certainly not onerous compared to common life insurance comprehensive enough to cover loved one's expenses after your death, and with no possibility of ensuring life. Certainly cryonic arrangements are cheap compared to the cost of funerals, burial, and maintenance which frequently represent a real economic hardship for the families of the vast majority of people currently abandoned to oblivion after undergoing a crude physical malfunction currently unsolvable by medicine. Including the cost of current membership and upkeep dues of $90 a quarter (Alcor) a common neurosuspension (Head-Only) comes out at about $38.48 a month plus a one time application charge of $150.

This cost, misrepresented as a wealthy person's luxury and conceit covers the costs of suspension and patient care in perpetuity (much longer than needed, in other words) with a large margin of error. Additionally, this figure is certain to be considerably lower as more people sign up in the growing light of evidence that this procedure is merely an ambulance that takes you to a hospital in the future. This gives you a life insurance policy that actually has a chance of ensuring life. Naturally it is considerably preferable to remain alive, but dying and being suspended is merely the SECOND worst thing that can happen to you. It makes economic sense to avoid the worst.

Matthew Gress