08 October 2015


Alcor, the enthusiasts for cryopreservation of people (what one mordant friend cruelly refers to as the 'faith-based meat-based popsicle movement') has breathlessly announced that "James Bedford, first cryonaut, is now the longest-surviving human being ever".

To a point, Lord Copper, particularly if your point of reference is Australian statute and case law regarding death.

Alcor's blog indicates that the the record for "the longest-living (verified) human being in history"
 has been broken by cryonaut Dr. James Bedford, who is maintained in cryopreservation by the Alcor Life Extension Foundation.
Bedford was born on April 20, 1893. As of today, October 6, 2015, he has survived for 122 years, 167 days.
It is true that Bedford is not currently alive. But neither is he dead. When Alcor transferred him from an old, customized vessel back in 1991, it was clear that the original ice cubes were intact. We have no good information on the quality of his ultrastructural preservation. But we can say that he has remained cryopreserved since 1967, and so deserves the title of LONGEST-SURVIVING HUMAN BEING IN HISTORY!
From a legal perspective the claim that "Bedford is not currently alive. But neither is he dead" is unpersuasive, irrespective of the all caps. The ice cubes may well have been intact but so far we haven't seen revival - if that's the word for reanimation of the undead - of anyone who's been parked in a vat for a decade or so.

It's unlikely that the supposedly neither dead nor alive Bedford will shortly be dancing a jig, answering questions from irreverent law academics, cooking dinner, issuing instructions to his broker or otherwise behaving in ways that Australian law regards as indicia of being alive.

I'm unimpressed by 'It's Child's Play: Contemplative Anthropocosmic Creativity' by Guy Burneko in (2014) 70(8) World Futures: The Journal of New Paradigm Research, which breathlessly proclaims
The implicate or quantum connectivity of the coevolving phenomena of the cosmos, the ontohermeneutic complementarity relations between ourselves and the vast and minute systems we coconstitutingly participate, observe, prolong, and contextualize, and the eco-reciprocities among all forms of life afford us an understanding of ourselves as fractal or microcosmic embodiments and performances of what is irreducibly nondual anthropo-cosmogenesis. And if cosmogenesis is a self-referential process having nothing external to itself from which to obtain gain or satisfaction, we may analogously interpret our noninstrumentalizing contemplative experiences in complete attentiveness without regard to external payoffs as the fractal play of its creatively emergent self-delighting anthropocosmic self-awareness in the human dimensionality. Our attentive, noninstrumentalizing, and nonobjectifying contemplativity aconceptually presences connectivity and reciprocity in an aperspectivally transparent enactment of anthropocosmic ongoing-wholing whose meaning is the being of its own self-delighting. The sustainability of cocreative anthropocosmogenesis on Earth flourishes where our conduct and intrinsically rewarding contemplativity are consonant with and recreate the spontaneous coevolutionary play of intrinsically rewarding creatio continua unreduced, unobstructed, unfragmented, and uneclipsed by partial, excessively dualizing perspectives and related efforts for extrinsic gain.
Law scholars might gain more sustenance from ‘The decline and fall of french nietzscheo-structuralism’ by Pascal Engel in Barry Smith (ed.) European Philosophy and the American Academy (Hegeler Institute, 1994) 21-41, a nice critique of Deleuze.