Civil Liberties

Reason Writers Around Town: Kerry Howley on "Until Cryonics Do We Part" in The NY Times Magazine


Writing in The New York Times Magazine, Contributing Editor Kerry Howley reports on cryonics and marriage:

It has not escaped the members of the often sappily life-affirming cryonics community that their practice, so often thought to be the province of either misfit loners or rugged individualists, involves great faith in the competent benevolence of other people. Nor is Robin Hanson blind to the extent to which he depends on his tribe. Marriage, despite its lack of clean edges and predictable outcomes, is one of the few institutions he seems to have no interest in reforming. Peggy describes their conflict as akin to a deep religious difference, bridgeable by some core shared belief. "Robin and I have been together for 28 years," Peggy says. "We've always loved spending time together. He is an excellent father. He devotes an enormous amount of time and energy to family life. And that has to be there."

Robin and Peggy remain silent on the issue of how, exactly, death will part them, but earlier this year a stray bit of chatter glanced past the conversational barricade. Sitting at their kitchen table, Peggy told Robin about a funeral tradition she'd heard about: after a cremation, the ashes of the dead are separated among family members. The children and surviving spouse each get a handful, to save or dispose of as they see fit.

"You're not getting any part of me," Robin said. "I'm being frozen."

"No." Peggy said. "Your head is being frozen. I get the rest of you."

Read the whole thing here.

Howley's Reason archive.