I’m about a third of the way through “Debt: The First 5,000 Years” by David Graeber, and am enjoying the feeling of ideas shifting around in my head, arranging themselves into more useful patterns. (The last book I read that put together ideas of similar breadth was “Economix: How and Why Our Economy Works” by Goodwin.) “Debt” goes into the origins of debts, as compared to obligations; and related topics, such as exchanges considered beneath economic notice (“Please pass me the salt”), debts too big or unique to be repaid, peaceful versus violent interactions, the endless minor obligations that form the network of social connections, and even the basis of whole societies.
The reason I’m posting about this book here… is that it’s giving me some new perspectives from which to consider the whole cryonics subculture, and, for instance, why it remains just a subculture of a couple of thousand people or so. For example, a standard LessWrong thought experiment is “Is That Your True Rejection?”; and most of the objections people raise to cryonics seem to be off enough that, even if those objections were solved, those particular people still wouldn’t sign up – that is, they feel some fundamental antipathy to the whole idea of cryonics, and unconsciously pick some rationalization that happens to sound reasonable to them to explain it.