The Tribe, Immortality and Cryonics

At the end of Tribe IV, Ram’s great plan is revealed. The purpose of ‘The Game’ is to create a population of silent and subservient virts, who will work year upon year to maintain him in cyber – paradise.

Where is cyber paradise for Ram?

It appears to be the scene of childhood memories, free from his disability and the illnesses, which dog him in the present, real world.

Once in cyber paradise Ram’s body will live on but will not properly be able to be inhabited. There is no going back once he enters this virtual world.

So what happens to Ram’s real body once he is in cyber- paradise?

His body is frozen and preserved using a method known as Cryogenics or Cryonics. He is hooked up to a life support machine. Java and Mega promise that the Techno race will continue to keep Ram’s legacy and body alive.

Of course, all does not exactly go to plan for Ram who, instead of entering cyber paradise, finds himself in a derelict part of the real city. He is still disabled in his chair and finds himself in the equivalent of hell instead of his expected heaven.

What is Cryonics?

Cryonics is the scientific or medical practice of preserving living beings at near absolute zero.

The cryogenic temperature range has been defined as from -150°C (-238°F) to absolute zero (-273°C or -460°F) – very, very chilly in other words.

The idea, which has been around for about 40 years, is that at this freezing cold temperature, decay and metabolism actually stop. If a body is frozen cryogenically it is hoped that at some stage in the future, the body will be able to be revived and restored to perfect health. This, of course, relies on technological advancement – having the right machines and procedures to be able to revive people from this state.

Remember Austin Powers – how his body was supposed to have been frozen since the 1960’s and how he is revived.

Cryonics is believed by many people and some have even paid massive sums to have their bodies cryogenically frozen once they die (The price tag can be many thousands of dollars) What do you think?

Is it worth it to spend all that money on the off chance that you will be revived?

I suppose many people think -“I can’t take the money with me, so why not have a punt?”

A lot of doctors and scientists today doubt cryonics and the whole idea of bringing humans back to life. But then cloning was doubted until a few years ago as well, and look at the advancements in that field. Many human inventions have occurred from just speculation – why should reviving humans be any different?

What do you think?

Why does Ram want out of the Real World?

The idea of being frozen indefinitely doesn’t sound too appealing at first glance. Ram, is of course, living a different life simultaneously – one which he thinks will give him much more pleasure and satisfaction.

What were the main factors that caused Ram to take this rather drastic action?

It is obvious that he had been planning it for quite some time. However, it would be fair to say that a number of events precipitated and confirmed Ram’s final decision. These were:

  • His continuing sickness, not helped by his paranoia and hypochondria
  • A continuing frustration with his disability and the thought that life would be better without it
  • The betrayal of Jay
  • Ram’s love for Ebony, her ‘hard to get tactics’ and her ultimate betrayal – choosing Jay over Ram
  • The dogged resistance of the Mall Rats

Ram is attracted to the concept of immortality – it is the final proof of his greatness and omnipotence.

Why live forever? What is it about living forever or in the future that attracts some people?

  • A genuine curiosity with what the future holds
  • A thought that life will be better in the future
  • A fear of dying
  • Maybe it is, like in the case of Ram, a product of ego and power, a refusal to let go or to lose control.

A chilly future

The hope of the 100 or so patients who are already cryogenically frozen is that they will be revived in a time when there are advanced machines that are able to analyse and rearrange atoms.

These technological advancements may be able to reverse health and disease, youth and old age, even life and death.

The whole subject of cryonics is a bit of a hot potato. It is a bit like cloning in that regard. Many are sceptical about changes in what they consider is ‘the natural order’ of things.
Overpopulation is an issue that often comes up when cryonics is discussed. If people could be revived, what of the world’s population which is already bulging at the seams in many parts of the globe?

Other people are opposed to the subject on moral or religious grounds.

It may be a subject that becomes more hotly debated in the future. It would be an interesting one to give some more thought.