The penultimate disruption to a nation is the threat of destruction, one such specific threat being invasion by a genocidal enemy. The modern example of this is the Nazi invasion of Soviet Russia in 1941. Russians had already suffered from revolution and then civil war, famine, and purges under Stalin that killed millions in the 20’s and 30’s. They now faced an adversary intent on simply making them disappear and taking over their land as lebensraum. The Russian people fought back with the entire population of over 150 million, with few exceptions, exerting themselves to the limits of human endurance, year after year. Imagine such a struggle now, at the end of 2019 or 2020. Instead of a few hundred million involved, imagine billions, the majority of the human race. How would it start? The more important question to ask, after the identity of the adversary is revealed, is why we would want to stop it.
Therein lies the “ultimate” conspiracy theory. But first, more about threats; my interest in space travel began with helping my wife with a class on situational ethics some years ago. I recommended the cold war for a paper and while doing some research for her I happened upon “Project Orion, the true story of the atomic spaceship” in the public library. And I was hooked. Space Travel led to Star Travel and that led to suspended animation which led to deeper questions and nothing has been the same for me since. The most fascinating part of all this is what strange beings we are. Instead of focusing on the possible future we can effect within the laws of physics, we seem to most often defect to magical thinking. It occurs to me often that by way of being distracted by fantastical constructs we may well go extinct. Nuclear warfare led me to other existential threats such as another dinosaur killer impacting Earth or a new volcanic epic or an engineered pathogen. And this led me to Gerard K. O’Neill and his plan to colonize space and incidentally stop global warming. Looking for why nothing seems to be going the way it should I discovered neo-liberalism. Now I know.
On to the conspiracy-
In the 1997 movie Abre los ojos, and the 2001 remake Vanilla Sky, a television commercial featuring a dog revived from suspended animation may be a futurological prophecy soon fulfilled. If tomorrow in some lab, a dog or some other animal is (by some electromagnetic or sonic technique preventing ice formation) reanimated after being frozen- then the most significant event in the entire history of the human race will have occurred. Not only the most significant but the most absolutely disruptive and paradigm changing event of all. Nothing else would even come close. A few minutes of considering what it would mean to be able to freeze a human being for decades and then revive them without damage gives my claim credibility. The revealing of such a freezing technique would, in a matter of hours, cause a chain reaction species-wide as first those with loved ones near death and in the following days everyone would realize that death, the eternal enemy, could now be warred upon and eventual victory clearly seen as our destiny. There is nothing magical about freezing something delicate in a way that does not cause damage. It is simply a problem humankind must focus on and advance technology to solve.
It is a three-step process. Affecting the condition of microstructures and connections during changes in temperature is the first problem to be solved. The second problem is to store millions and possibly several billion frozen human beings. This would be the battle to save those dying and would enlist the population of planet Earth working to the limits of their endurance- like Russia in World War II. The more difficult problems of rewriting DNA and gene therapies to reverse aging are the final step. Like Cortez burning his ships, after we started freezing people there would be no alternative except to succeed.
Now comes that question of why. Why is such a freezing technique considered impossible or impractical, and not a subject of any significant funded research? How can simply lowering the temperature of tissue without damage by ice crystals be such a completely ignored and scorned subject of study? The properties of water are about physics and research on low temperature liquid states holds the key. Is there some latent psychological mechanism working against the idea of funding this path? It would seem so. To answer these questions conspiracy theorists will jump on mind control and alien forces at work, while more mundane fundamentalists and narrow-minded beings will predictably preach moral objections and heap ridicule. After exploring the issue of life extension one becomes convinced some secret is just below the surface. Something similar to Terror Management (a psychological theory). Or maybe a super-intelligence IS telepathically influencing us to ignore this subject of extending our lifespan. Probably not. Probably we are just afraid.
And then there is the possibility such a freezing technique already exists.