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ERIC Number: EJ897106
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Aug
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 64
ISSN: ISSN-0270-4676
Freeze, Wait, Reanimate: Cryonic Suspension and Science Fiction
Shoffstall, Grant
Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, v30 n4 p285-297 Aug 2010
This essay takes as its chief point of departure Jacques Ellul's contention that imaginative treatments of malevolent technology in antitechnological science fiction, by way of inviting rejection, refusal, dismissal, or condemnation, conspire in facilitating human acceptance of and adjustment to technology as it otherwise presently is. The author extends Ellul's argument to accounts of cryonic suspension, or "cryonics," the practice of freezing human corpses, by way of gradually subjecting them, at the moment of legal death, to extremely low temperatures in hopes that medicine will at some future point achieve the necessary kinds and levels of technology to facilitate "reanimation." The author maintains that, analogous to Ellul's treatment of science fiction, most extant accounts of cryonic suspension, by focusing almost exclusively on issues pertaining to the scientific legitimacy and technological feasibility of the practice, fall prey to the performative conventions of a discursive-"cum"-epistemic trap, one that ultimately works to facilitate the acceptance of and adjustment to technology as it otherwise presently is. (Contains 10 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A