Obit of the Day: The Iceman Dieth
Robert Ettinger read a short science fiction story by Neil R. Jones. It changed the death industry forever. Titled “The Jameson Satellite,” Jones told the story of a dead man who was launched into space to orbit earth until he could be revived by an advanced alien species. From this Ettinger developed “cryonics,” the freezing of the dead in the hopes of resurrecting them sometime in the future when medical science advanced to the point of curing any disease.
But for Ettinger, a University of Michigan physics professor, this was more than a theory, he saw it as a way to improve society. He believed that family members would work harder to pay for the upkeep of their frozen relatives and criminals would be less likely to commit crimes knowing that they could be hunted down even after death. (Take a moment and think about all the holes in those theories…and we’re back.)
Professor James Bedford became the first cryogenically frozen person in 1967 only three years after Ettinger published his book on the subject: The Prospect of Immortality. Since then only 200 people have chosen the cryonics process. (The most famous “client” was baseball Hall of Famer Ted Williams, whose time in cryonics preservation did not go well.)
Ettinger, who called himself an “immortalist,” will be frozen and sent to stasis with his two wives and mother. His son and daughter will eventually join him.
(Image of a cryonically frozen body courtesy of Davidszondy.com)