Better Living Through Not Dying: Cryonic / Belief Suspension

This American Life: Mistakes Were Made
originally aired April 18, 2008.

This American Life does it again. “Mistakes Were Made” looks at the rise and fall of cryonics—the freezing of people at the moment of death with the hope and belief that death in the future will be merely a disease: curable if not entirely preventable. Interviewing Bob Nelson, president of the Cryonics Society of California in the ’60s, this podcast superbly captures the optimism, naivete and undeniably quirky drama of the cryonics movement.

Hard science and religion tend to dominate discourses of death; cryonics goes to show that imaginative, techno-magical thinking—that technology and the future will save us from biology—makes an equally fascinating contribution to our ideas about the natures of both life and death.

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