The idea sounds very acceptable to me. Assuming that I'll be n a secure place and the machine would not malfunction and I would wake up at 4015. Anything I should be worried about before saying yes?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ As currently worded, your question is too broad and should probably be closed. If you can narrow it down and provide some evaluation criteria, it will be a much better question. For example, "how might politics have change for a person hibernating for 200 years in a way that should worry them? (you might set evaluation criteria to look at privacy and civil rights)" $\endgroup$
    – Jim2B
    Commented Jun 27, 2015 at 14:46
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    $\begingroup$ Or this: youtube.com/watch?v=IFe9wiDfb0E $\endgroup$
    – Thucydides
    Commented Jun 27, 2015 at 19:28
  • $\begingroup$ @Thucydides, you should include that as an answer if the question gets reopened. $\endgroup$
    – Jim2B
    Commented Jun 27, 2015 at 22:43
  • $\begingroup$ @user1298069, I really hope you reword your question and narrow the focus. I think this could be an excellent series of questions - some of which I'd like to add ideas to! $\endgroup$
    – Jim2B
    Commented Jun 27, 2015 at 22:45

5 Answers 5


Consider the following...

That nothing much will ultimately change

That people will stay people and will make the same kind of mistakes, be subject to the same kinds of prejudices and irrationalities as today, only a bit more polished up... or not. Whatever it is you would be fleeing today, might be still there tomorrow.

That everything will change

Given even halfway decent technological progress, the society you will wake up to might just be beyond your understanding. It would be all just magic to you.

Halfway there, but possibly more worrying, things will be somewhat understandable, but you will keep tripping up your entire life on the small things that everybody else is used to and doesn't even think about.

But forget technology, consider in what possible and impossible ways society might change, what kind of philosophies and ideologies might be dominant or be perfectly acceptable. (See The Time Machine for a classical example.)

That nobody will care

You might end up being a useless relic from a bygone, primitive era, little more than an animal, barely tolerated but not welcome in polite society. You might not get the full "indigenous people" treatment, but it could still sting.

That too many will care

Conversely - and possibly at the same time - you might be a fascinating relic from a bygone era, something to talk about and show off at parties, a cute anachronism that just doesn't get things. You could attract crowds of gawkers who would treat you like an exotic pet or a child that is amazing just because it can speak. Groups could arise that protest against your inhuman treatment, or your (real or imagined) crimes or opinions.

For your own safety, you might just be locked away somewhere or end up in a zoo.

Finally, your thoughts or your very existence could be a crime in the happy totalitarian utopia that is future and you could be summarily erased out of existence and recycled into biomatter. :)

Not to make you too skeptical about the 2000 years trip in time, which sounds awesome, but these are some of the things to consider.


Too Long to Sleep

2000 years is too long to sleep. One hundred years might be okay but not two thousand.

Political Change What would your status be? Where would you have citizenship? The United States is approximately only 250 years old which is just a baby compared to some European countries and an absolute infant compared to the rule of the Imperial House of Japan traditionally dated to 660BC. All the sovereign nations as we know them today may not even exist in another hundred years. Who knows what immigration law will look like then.

Economic Change Corresponding to political change, economic changes will be huge too. Maybe humanity will find a way for capitalism to be an engine for making humanity better instead of making a small group insanely rich. Relying on a small savings account to accrue a billion dollars while you sleep won't work because in 2000 years, the dollar, the pound, the euro probably won't exist.

Biological Change 2000 years isn't enough time to evolve dinosaurs again but it is an eternity for bacteria and viruses. They will continue to evolve and adapt to whatever medicine humanity comes up with. If you think that super strep is bad now, wait till you see what it becomes after two millennia of antibiotic induced selection! Of course, medicine will likely be advanced enough that this won't be a problem. Still, your body is going to have a tough time.

Language Change You won't be able to communicate with anyone. If by some miracle English is still spoken, it would be radically different than modern English. Maybe you'll be lucky and someone will have the "ancient English (US era)" loaded on their brain implant and can talk to you. If your old enough, you may not be able to learn the new language because it relies on sounds you just can't distinguish. (This is a well known problem for adult English speakers attempting to learn Chinese.)

Geological Change The area where you are "buried" may be under a glacier as a new ice age has started. You may be underwater because the oceans have risen. Or the city that you were buried in is abandoned under encroaching sand dunes. How are you going to get your bearings once you wake up? What if no one is around anymore because earth has become one big nature preserve and humans live on other planets or in orbit.

Familial Change Are you prepared to know that absolutely everyone you are genetically related to us dead? How important is family to you? Are you prepared to accept that you will never have close friends again because your life experiences make you an unrelateable alien to other humans?

Technological Change There are many stories that address this area. Let's sum up. What would happen if you sat the smartest Roman citizen down in front a common PC and asked them to "turn it on"? You are that Roman in this story.

Cultural Change Perhaps the greatest area of disharmony is in cultural differences. Differences on the role/status of women, minorities (your character may now be a minority) immigrants, Jews, slaves, sexual orientation, individualism vs collectivism, privacy norms, firearms/weapons by general populace.

For myself, I wouldn't go. Your character may have some compelling reason to go.


Inevitable Progress

Generally speaking, life has gotten better over the last couple of millenia. But one could argue that we're running towards a cliff -- global warming, peak oil, overpopulation, and so on.

So far, we've always been able to pull a rabbit out of the hat. Human ingenuity has beaten the limitations of our fragile planet. So far. If things really come apart, mankind might have a hard time putting things together again. Easily accessible oil is pumped out. The great forests are harvested. Arable land is depleted. The year 4,015 might look ugly indeed.

Even if that is not the probable outcome, it is a risk.

Freak Show

What will you do after 2,000 years? What would a 2,000-year-old unfrozen popsicle do today? The first one makes a round of the talk shows, gets interviewed by historians and sociologists. The second and third one, too. But what happens after a year? What if there are more unfrozen people around and you are yesterday's news?

Consider the problems of North Korean defectors to fit into South Korean society, to find a job. All of your professional skills will be 2,000 years out of date. No gradual, ongoing education to keep up with gradual change.

  • $\begingroup$ Plus, there is no reason at all to think that you speak the language. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 27, 2015 at 14:35

"Someone's" motivation. The reason to do it at all. Who will pay for it? Are you sure your organs will remain unharvested after a hostile takeover? You will be the proverbial frozen duck.

I'm afraid my lookout on life will make me pass over this opportunity after only a moment's thought. 2000 years is a long time. Civilisation has changed unrecognisable in the last two millennia.

But in case you decide to go ahead, do stash a bit of money on a savings account and freeze it for the same period of time. And good luck!

  • $\begingroup$ Although this goes slightly beyond the original question (which assumes the asker will wake up fine), it is a plausible warning. Also, keep in mind whatever money you take along with you will be extremely unlikely to be still valid - although it could be a valuable collector's item! A savings account can also easily fail for any number of reasons (bank failures, inflation, nationalizations, fees...), but is definitively something to at least try out. +1 for wishing good luck :) $\endgroup$
    – Peter S.
    Commented Jun 27, 2015 at 14:00

You are property. While you were out of circulation, you were declared legally dead. Your estate (including the investments set up to provide for you when you do finally awake) have been distributed in accordance with estate law. The era you awoke to has a very laissez-faire attitude toward some rights which we consider sacred, and in the absence of any property or useful skills, you are bound to indentured servitude to the highest bidder, who will feed and clothe you in return for your services. All of them. For the rest of your life.


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