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Etsy Welcomes Mass Producers to Artisanal Fold

Molly Goodall’s store on Etsy, the online crafts marketplace, started as a creative solution to a parenting problem.

Her rambunctious 2-year-old, Carter, simply refused to wear the hoods on his coats. So she designed a coat with a hood hidden under a shaggy lion’s mane and perky ears, one that Carter loved and was happy to wear for hours on end.

When she started selling the quirky animal coats on Etsy, she was soon swamped with orders. Her aha moment, she said, was a bulk order for 400 coats from Gilt, the flash sales website that had heard about her hot-selling product.

“I was sewing all the time. My husband would come home from work and cut fabric for me on the kitchen table, while I was sewing on the dining room table,” said Ms. Goodall, who has run an Etsy store from her home in McKinney, Tex., since 2010. “It became clear that if I wanted to grow and if I wanted to develop more designs, which is the part I love, I was going to have to find help.”

On Monday, Etsy is set to introduce Etsy Manufacturing, a new service in the United States and Canada that matches sellers like Ms. Goodall with small manufacturers. It is a bid by the company, which went public in April, to help its small sellers expand their businesses.

Etsy says the “beta,” or test phase platform — essentially a directory of manufacturers prepared to work with its sellers — will also help bring business back to small manufacturers that have been devastated by a shift of production to low-cost countries.

But the move could fuel criticism that the site is moving away from the artisanal roots that have made it an attractive alternative to mass retailing. The company, started in a Brooklyn loft a decade ago, long prohibited its sellers from outsourcing their production, saying all goods offered on the site needed to be handmade.

Etsy loosened that policy two years ago to allow outsourcing on a case-by-case basis, a contentious move denounced by some artisan sellers and one that some analysts say has led to a rise in counterfeit or mass-manufactured goods sold on the site.

Chad Dickerson, Etsy’s chief executive, said Etsy Manufacturing is not about encouraging extensive outsourcing or mass production for the sake of growth. Instead, he said, it is a way for local artisans and small manufacturers to find one another. And it is a logical extension, he said, of Etsy’s personal, small-scale approach to business.

“We’re already changing the way things are bought and sold, and we believe we can do the same for manufacturing,” Mr. Dickerson said.

“Manufacturing is such a huge industry, a faceless industry,” he said. “But manufacturing can be very different from what people think of it to be. It can be everything from a seamstress or a caster or a single woodworker,” he said. “We want to reach those manufacturers.”

Etsy treads a fine line between charting new paths to expansion and upholding the handmade ethos of its origins. Etsy’s site now lists over 32 million items from 1.5 million sellers and generated $1.93 billion in sales last year, the company said.

The start-up recently came under fire from fair taxation proponents for changing the status of an Irish subsidiary to possibly avoid disclosures and lower its taxes. The group, Americans for Tax Fairness, has accused the company of acting more like a cutthroat multinational corporation than a socially conscious start-up. (Etsy has countered that its tax strategy merely reflects the increasingly global nature of its sellers and buyers.)

Still, as Etsy’s new public investors grow increasingly jittery over the company’s bottom line, an effort to scale up the business could come as welcome news. Though sales remain strong, hitting $61.4 million in the second quarter, the company reported another loss, weighed down by ballooning marketing costs and a stronger dollar. Etsy’s share price has slumped to half of the heights it saw shortly after its April initial public offering of stock.

Helping Etsy sellers expand their businesses by teaming up with manufacturers could mean an increase in revenue for Etsy, which charges a commission on sales made on its site. Etsy also eventually intends to handle arrangements between sellers and manufacturers.

In another bid to help its sellers expand their businesses, Etsy last year launched Etsy Wholesale, a service that allows independent retailers to buy items wholesale from some Etsy sellers to sell in their brick-and-mortar stores.

With Etsy Manufacturing, the company is focusing on the opposite end of its sellers’ businesses. The new platform grew out of a realization that many Etsy sellers wanted to grow, but were having trouble finding manufacturers willing to take on small orders from untested business partners, said Amanda Peyton, who manages the development of manufacturing-related software for Etsy.

“One thing we heard over and over again,” Ms. Peyton said, “was a seller who gets a lot of traction but they realize, ‘Oh, my gosh, how I make this doesn’t work anymore.’ ”

“But the process of searching for a manufacturer can be labyrinthine, like trying to find a random person on the Internet,” Ms. Peyton said. “It’s particularly difficult for Etsy sellers because they might want someone who works with a particular kind of ink within a 600-mile radius and is willing to meet with you personally and work with small runs.”

Etsy will initially invite manufacturers to apply to list a profile, complete with pictures, on Etsy Manufacturing. Etsy will review those applications based on a set of criteria, Ms. Peyton said, including how much the manufacturer makes in-house and how much it outsources itself.

Though Etsy does not intend to visit or otherwise directly vet manufacturers — or limit the size of companies that apply — the site will require that they commit to providing a safe and just workplace and agree to be transparent about the processes and other details involved in their manufacturing work, Ms. Peyton said.

Etsy sellers will be able to search for manufacturers based on criteria like the type of production processes on offer — screen-printing or metal-pressing, for example, — as well as location and minimum threshold for orders. Sellers who find production partners through the manufacturing platform will still need to get Etsy’s approval to outsource, a separate process in which Etsy assesses, among other things, whether the seller still plays a big enough creative role.

Sellers must then disclose on their Etsy pages which manufacturers they work with, Ms. Peyton said. Manufacturers who receive negative reviews from Etsy sellers or are found to be violating Etsy guidelines could be removed from the platform.

The Etsy Manufacturing service will initially match manufacturers with Etsy sellers. But eventually, Etsy intends to handle transactions between manufacturers and sellers, and charge a commission.

Stephanie Schacht, Etsy’s director of responsible seller growth, said Etsy Manufacturing would not greatly change the company’s artisanal ethos.

“The stereotype is that people want to start mass manufacturing and aren’t interested in the making process anymore,” she said. “But people are using manufacturing in different ways. You might just want to outsource a tedious, time-consuming process, so you can free yourself up to focus on being creative.”

Ms. Goodall searched for several months for manufacturing partners and eventually settled on two, both near her home in McKinney, to cut the felt parts required for her coats and to stitch them up.

“That meant I could really get back into design work,” Ms. Goodall said. “The idea of small businesses is that you want to start something and grow it. And we’re still making the coats nearby, and I’m able to contribute to my community. I’m paying workers, creating jobs,” she said.

One of Ms. Goodall’s collaborators is Nan Martin, who has run a small sewing atelier in McKinney for 37 years. Ms. Martin, whose clients have included Neiman Marcus and Dillard’s, hires about 30 local women to stitch up orders. Some women have worked with Ms. Martin for over two decades.

Ms. Martin said that she decided to take on Ms. Goodall’s small orders because she was inspired by the creativity that went into the animal coat designs. She said that manufacturers based in Texas had suffered as production increasingly moved overseas.

“I’ve never seen anyone make something so creative, and that’s why she is successful,” Ms. Martin said. “I don’t want to do 10,000-piece garment runs. I want to do something with more value.”

Ms. Goodall’s store, Little Goodall, now exports to about 30 countries, she said. Her menagerie of children’s animal coats now includes puppies, bunnies, fawns, dinosaurs and teddy bears.

“We ship everywhere. We even ship to China, and that cracks me up,” she said. “We’re sewing coats and shipping them to China. They love the bunny coats.”

Molly Goodall’s store on Etsy, the online crafts marketplace, started as a creative solution to a parenting problem.

Her rambunctious 2-year-old, Carter, simply refused to wear the hoods on his coats. So she designed a coat with a hood hidden under a shaggy lion’s mane and perky ears, one that Carter loved and was happy to wear for hours on end.

When she started selling the quirky animal coats on Etsy, she was soon swamped with orders. Her aha moment, she said, was a bulk order for 400 coats from Gilt, the flash sales website that had heard about her hot-selling product.

“I was sewing all the time. My husband would come home from work and cut fabric for me on the kitchen table, while I was sewing on the dining room table,” said Ms. Goodall, who has run an Etsy store from her home in McKinney, Tex., since 2010. “It became clear that if I wanted to grow and if I wanted to develop more designs, which is the part I love, I was going to have to find help.”

On Monday, Etsy is set to introduce Etsy Manufacturing, a new service in the United States and Canada that matches sellers like Ms. Goodall with small manufacturers. It is a bid by the company, which went public in April, to help its small sellers expand their businesses.

Etsy says the “beta,” or test phase platform — essentially a directory of manufacturers prepared to work with its sellers — will also help bring business back to small manufacturers that have been devastated by a shift of production to low-cost countries.

But the move could fuel criticism that the site is moving away from the artisanal roots that have made it an attractive alternative to mass retailing. The company, started in a Brooklyn loft a decade ago, long prohibited its sellers from outsourcing their production, saying all goods offered on the site needed to be handmade.

Etsy loosened that policy two years ago to allow outsourcing on a case-by-case basis, a contentious move denounced by some artisan sellers and one that some analysts say has led to a rise in counterfeit or mass-manufactured goods sold on the site.

Chad Dickerson, Etsy’s chief executive, said Etsy Manufacturing is not about encouraging extensive outsourcing or mass production for the sake of growth. Instead, he said, it is a way for local artisans and small manufacturers to find one another. And it is a logical extension, he said, of Etsy’s personal, small-scale approach to business.

“We’re already changing the way things are bought and sold, and we believe we can do the same for manufacturing,” Mr. Dickerson said.

“Manufacturing is such a huge industry, a faceless industry,” he said. “But manufacturing can be very different from what people think of it to be. It can be everything from a seamstress or a caster or a single woodworker,” he said. “We want to reach those manufacturers.”

Etsy treads a fine line between charting new paths to expansion and upholding the handmade ethos of its origins. Etsy’s site now lists over 32 million items from 1.5 million sellers and generated $1.93 billion in sales last year, the company said.

The start-up recently came under fire from fair taxation proponents for changing the status of an Irish subsidiary to possibly avoid disclosures and lower its taxes. The group, Americans for Tax Fairness, has accused the company of acting more like a cutthroat multinational corporation than a socially conscious start-up. (Etsy has countered that its tax strategy merely reflects the increasingly global nature of its sellers and buyers.)

Still, as Etsy’s new public investors grow increasingly jittery over the company’s bottom line, an effort to scale up the business could come as welcome news. Though sales remain strong, hitting $61.4 million in the second quarter, the company reported another loss, weighed down by ballooning marketing costs and a stronger dollar. Etsy’s share price has slumped to half of the heights it saw shortly after its April initial public offering of stock.

Helping Etsy sellers expand their businesses by teaming up with manufacturers could mean an increase in revenue for Etsy, which charges a commission on sales made on its site. Etsy also eventually intends to handle arrangements between sellers and manufacturers.

In another bid to help its sellers expand their businesses, Etsy last year launched Etsy Wholesale, a service that allows independent retailers to buy items wholesale from some Etsy sellers to sell in their brick-and-mortar stores.

With Etsy Manufacturing, the company is focusing on the opposite end of its sellers’ businesses. The new platform grew out of a realization that many Etsy sellers wanted to grow, but were having trouble finding manufacturers willing to take on small orders from untested business partners, said Amanda Peyton, who manages the development of manufacturing-related software for Etsy.

“One thing we heard over and over again,” Ms. Peyton said, “was a seller who gets a lot of traction but they realize, ‘Oh, my gosh, how I make this doesn’t work anymore.’ ”

“But the process of searching for a manufacturer can be labyrinthine, like trying to find a random person on the Internet,” Ms. Peyton said. “It’s particularly difficult for Etsy sellers because they might want someone who works with a particular kind of ink within a 600-mile radius and is willing to meet with you personally and work with small runs.”

Etsy will initially invite manufacturers to apply to list a profile, complete with pictures, on Etsy Manufacturing. Etsy will review those applications based on a set of criteria, Ms. Peyton said, including how much the manufacturer makes in-house and how much it outsources itself.

Though Etsy does not intend to visit or otherwise directly vet manufacturers — or limit the size of companies that apply — the site will require that they commit to providing a safe and just workplace and agree to be transparent about the processes and other details involved in their manufacturing work, Ms. Peyton said.

Etsy sellers will be able to search for manufacturers based on criteria like the type of production processes on offer — screen-printing or metal-pressing, for example, — as well as location and minimum threshold for orders. Sellers who find production partners through the manufacturing platform will still need to get Etsy’s approval to outsource, a separate process in which Etsy assesses, among other things, whether the seller still plays a big enough creative role.

Sellers must then disclose on their Etsy pages which manufacturers they work with, Ms. Peyton said. Manufacturers who receive negative reviews from Etsy sellers or are found to be violating Etsy guidelines could be removed from the platform.

The Etsy Manufacturing service will initially match manufacturers with Etsy sellers. But eventually, Etsy intends to handle transactions between manufacturers and sellers, and charge a commission.

Stephanie Schacht, Etsy’s director of responsible seller growth, said Etsy Manufacturing would not greatly change the company’s artisanal ethos.

“The stereotype is that people want to start mass manufacturing and aren’t interested in the making process anymore,” she said. “But people are using manufacturing in different ways. You might just want to outsource a tedious, time-consuming process, so you can free yourself up to focus on being creative.”

Ms. Goodall searched for several months for manufacturing partners and eventually settled on two, both near her home in McKinney, to cut the felt parts required for her coats and to stitch them up.

“That meant I could really get back into design work,” Ms. Goodall said. “The idea of small businesses is that you want to start something and grow it. And we’re still making the coats nearby, and I’m able to contribute to my community. I’m paying workers, creating jobs,” she said.

One of Ms. Goodall’s collaborators is Nan Martin, who has run a small sewing atelier in McKinney for 37 years. Ms. Martin, whose clients have included Neiman Marcus and Dillard’s, hires about 30 local women to stitch up orders. Some women have worked with Ms. Martin for over two decades.

Ms. Martin said that she decided to take on Ms. Goodall’s small orders because she was inspired by the creativity that went into the animal coat designs. She said that manufacturers based in Texas had suffered as production increasingly moved overseas.

“I’ve never seen anyone make something so creative, and that’s why she is successful,” Ms. Martin said. “I don’t want to do 10,000-piece garment runs. I want to do something with more value.”

Ms. Goodall’s store, Little Goodall, now exports to about 30 countries, she said. Her menagerie of children’s animal coats now includes puppies, bunnies, fawns, dinosaurs and teddy bears.

“We ship everywhere. We even ship to China, and that cracks me up,” she said. “We’re sewing coats and shipping them to China. They love the bunny coats.”

With Website to Research Colleges, Obama Abandons Ranking System

WASHINGTON — President Obama on Saturday abandoned his two-year effort to have the government create a system that explicitly rates the quality of the nation’s colleges and universities, a plan that was bitterly opposed by presidents at many of those institutions.

Under the original idea, announced by Mr. Obama with fanfare in 2013, all of the nation’s 7,000 institutions of higher education would have been assigned a ranking by the government, with the aim of publicly shaming low-rated schools that saddle students with high debt and poor earning potential.

Instead, the White House on Saturday unveiled a website that does not attempt to rate schools with any kind of grade, but provides information to prospective students and their parents about annual costs, graduation rates and salaries after graduation.

Mr. Obama praised the new website in his weekly address, saying that by using the new College Scorecard, “Americans will now have access to reliable data on every institution of higher education.”

But the new website falls far short of what the president had hoped for. When he announced the plan at the University at Buffalo in 2013, Mr. Obama put colleges on notice that schools performing poorly on his rating system would eventually lose access to billions of dollars in federal student aid money.

“I’m proposing major new reforms that will shake up the current system,” Mr. Obama said at the time. “Taxpayers shouldn’t be subsidizing students to go to schools where the kids aren’t graduating.”

Aides to Mr. Obama had described him as privately demanding from his staff bold action that would hold schools accountable, especially those that had low graduation rates and poor postgraduate income potential — even as they continued charging students tens of thousands of dollars each year to attend. Administration officials said at the time that the rating system would be in place by 2015.

But the plan quickly ran into fierce opposition. Critics, including many of the presidents at elite private colleges, lobbied furiously against the idea of a government rating system, saying it could force schools to prioritize money-making majors like accounting over those like English, history or philosophy.

Officials at many schools said the government had no business competing with college rating services like those offered by U.S. News and World Report. Many chose blunt language to describe what they said was a misguided effort by Mr. Obama and his administration.

Charles L. Flynn Jr., the president of the College of Mount St. Vincent in the Bronx, called the president’s idea “uncharacteristically clueless.” Adam F. Falk, the president of Williams College in Massachusetts, predicted that it would be “oversimplified to the point that it actually misleads.” And Kenneth W. Starr, who is the president of Baylor University in Waco, Tex., and who, as a prosecutor, led the investigations of President Bill Clinton, called it “quite wrongheaded.”

For months, administration officials dismissed the criticism, saying that the status quo was unacceptable and that the president was determined to make a rating system work.

In 2014, Cecilia Muñoz, the president’s chief domestic policy adviser, responded in an interview to the complaints from college presidents by saying: “There is an element to this conversation which is, ‘We hope to God you don’t do this.’ Our answer to that is: ‘This is happening.’ ”

But more than a year later, the new scorecard unveiled on Saturday does not attempt to rank colleges. And a fact sheet distributed by the White House makes no mention of linking the availability of federal student aid to a government ranking of a specific college.

David L. Warren, the president of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, which strongly opposed the president’s rating plan, said on Saturday that he supported providing more information to students and families.

“This is a step in that direction,” Mr. Warren said. “It also appears that the tool will allow colleges and universities to tailor their profiles, which allows for showcasing the diversity of institutions nationwide.”

White House officials said the scorecard — which can be found at collegescorecard.ed.gov — will allow students and parents to compare schools based on measurements that are important to them. Using the website, for example, a student might search for schools with average annual costs of under $10,000, a graduation rate higher than 75 percent and average salaries after graduation of more than $50,000 per year.

“You’ll be able to see how much each school’s graduates earn, how much debt they graduate with, and what percentage of a school’s students can pay back their loans — which will help all of us see which schools do the best job of preparing America for success.” Mr. Obama said in his weekly address.

Administration officials said the data that powers the scorecard was also being freely shared with companies and other organizations that already offer online college search tools. White House officials said three such sites — ScholarMatch, StartClass and College Abacus — already have begun using the data to enhance the information they provide.

Officials said they hoped the information would help students avoid making poor choices when deciding where to attend college.

“The old way of assessing college choices relied on static ratings lists compiled by someone who was deciding what value to place on different factors,” the White House fact sheet said. “The new way of assessing college choices, with the help of technology and open data, makes it possible for anyone — a student, a school, a policy maker or a researcher — to decide what factors to evaluate.”

WASHINGTON — President Obama on Saturday abandoned his two-year effort to have the government create a system that explicitly rates the quality of the nation’s colleges and universities, a plan that was bitterly opposed by presidents at many of those institutions.

Under the original idea, announced by Mr. Obama with fanfare in 2013, all of the nation’s 7,000 institutions of higher education would have been assigned a ranking by the government, with the aim of publicly shaming low-rated schools that saddle students with high debt and poor earning potential.

Instead, the White House on Saturday unveiled a website that does not attempt to rate schools with any kind of grade, but provides information to prospective students and their parents about annual costs, graduation rates and salaries after graduation.

Mr. Obama praised the new website in his weekly address, saying that by using the new College Scorecard, “Americans will now have access to reliable data on every institution of higher education.”

But the new website falls far short of what the president had hoped for. When he announced the plan at the University at Buffalo in 2013, Mr. Obama put colleges on notice that schools performing poorly on his rating system would eventually lose access to billions of dollars in federal student aid money.

“I’m proposing major new reforms that will shake up the current system,” Mr. Obama said at the time. “Taxpayers shouldn’t be subsidizing students to go to schools where the kids aren’t graduating.”

Aides to Mr. Obama had described him as privately demanding from his staff bold action that would hold schools accountable, especially those that had low graduation rates and poor postgraduate income potential — even as they continued charging students tens of thousands of dollars each year to attend. Administration officials said at the time that the rating system would be in place by 2015.

But the plan quickly ran into fierce opposition. Critics, including many of the presidents at elite private colleges, lobbied furiously against the idea of a government rating system, saying it could force schools to prioritize money-making majors like accounting over those like English, history or philosophy.

Officials at many schools said the government had no business competing with college rating services like those offered by U.S. News and World Report. Many chose blunt language to describe what they said was a misguided effort by Mr. Obama and his administration.

Charles L. Flynn Jr., the president of the College of Mount St. Vincent in the Bronx, called the president’s idea “uncharacteristically clueless.” Adam F. Falk, the president of Williams College in Massachusetts, predicted that it would be “oversimplified to the point that it actually misleads.” And Kenneth W. Starr, who is the president of Baylor University in Waco, Tex., and who, as a prosecutor, led the investigations of President Bill Clinton, called it “quite wrongheaded.”

For months, administration officials dismissed the criticism, saying that the status quo was unacceptable and that the president was determined to make a rating system work.

In 2014, Cecilia Muñoz, the president’s chief domestic policy adviser, responded in an interview to the complaints from college presidents by saying: “There is an element to this conversation which is, ‘We hope to God you don’t do this.’ Our answer to that is: ‘This is happening.’ ”

But more than a year later, the new scorecard unveiled on Saturday does not attempt to rank colleges. And a fact sheet distributed by the White House makes no mention of linking the availability of federal student aid to a government ranking of a specific college.

David L. Warren, the president of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, which strongly opposed the president’s rating plan, said on Saturday that he supported providing more information to students and families.

“This is a step in that direction,” Mr. Warren said. “It also appears that the tool will allow colleges and universities to tailor their profiles, which allows for showcasing the diversity of institutions nationwide.”

White House officials said the scorecard — which can be found at collegescorecard.ed.gov — will allow students and parents to compare schools based on measurements that are important to them. Using the website, for example, a student might search for schools with average annual costs of under $10,000, a graduation rate higher than 75 percent and average salaries after graduation of more than $50,000 per year.

“You’ll be able to see how much each school’s graduates earn, how much debt they graduate with, and what percentage of a school’s students can pay back their loans — which will help all of us see which schools do the best job of preparing America for success.” Mr. Obama said in his weekly address.

Administration officials said the data that powers the scorecard was also being freely shared with companies and other organizations that already offer online college search tools. White House officials said three such sites — ScholarMatch, StartClass and College Abacus — already have begun using the data to enhance the information they provide.

Officials said they hoped the information would help students avoid making poor choices when deciding where to attend college.

“The old way of assessing college choices relied on static ratings lists compiled by someone who was deciding what value to place on different factors,” the White House fact sheet said. “The new way of assessing college choices, with the help of technology and open data, makes it possible for anyone — a student, a school, a policy maker or a researcher — to decide what factors to evaluate.”

A Dying Young Woman’s Hope in Cryonics and a Future

In the moments just before Kim Suozzi died of cancer at age 23, it fell to her boyfriend, Josh Schisler, to follow through with the plan to freeze her brain.

As her pulse monitor sounded its alarm and her breath grew ragged, he fumbled for his phone. Fighting the emotion that threatened to paralyze him, he alerted the cryonics team waiting nearby and called the hospice nurses to come pronounce her dead. Any delay would jeopardize the chance to maybe, someday, resurrect her mind.

It was impossible to know on that cloudless Arizona morning in January 2013 which fragments of Kim’s identity might survive, if any. Would she remember their first, fumbling kiss in his dorm room five years earlier? Their private jokes and dumb arguments? The seizure, the surgery, the fancy neuroscience fellowship she had to turn down?

More than memories, Josh, then 24, wished for the crude procedure to salvage whatever synapses gave rise to her dry, generous humor, compelled her to greet every cat she saw with a high-pitched “helllooo,” and inspired her to write him poems.

They knew how strange it sounded, the hope that Kim’s brain could be preserved in subzero storage so that decades or centuries from now, if science advanced, her billions of interconnected neurons could be scanned, analyzed and converted into computer code that mimicked how they once worked.

But Kim’s terminal prognosis came at the start of a global push to understand the brain. And some of the tools and techniques emerging from neuroscience laboratories were beginning to bear some resemblance to those long envisioned in futurist fantasies.

For one thing, neuroscientists were starting to map the connections between individual neurons believed to encode many aspects of memory and identity.

The research, limited so far to small bits of dead animal brain, had the usual goals of advancing knowledge and improving human health. Still, it was driving interest in what would be a critical first step to create any simulation of an individual mind: preserving that pattern of connections in an entire brain after death.

“I can see within, say, 40 years that we would have a method to generate a digital replica of a person’s mind,” said Winfried Denk, a director at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Germany, who has invented one of several mapping techniques. “It’s not my primary motivation, but it is a logical outgrowth of our work.”

Other neuroscientists do not take that idea seriously, given the great gaps in knowledge about the workings of the brain. “We are nowhere close to brain emulation given our current level of understanding,” said Cori Bargmann, a neuroscientist at Rockefeller University in New York and one of the architects of the Obama administration’s initiative seeking a $4.5 billion investment in brain research over the next decade.

“Will it ever be possible?” she asked. “I don’t know. But this isn’t 50 years away.”

There would not, Kim and Josh well understood, be any quick reunion. But so long as there was a chance, even a small or distant one, they thought it was worth trying to preserve her brain.

Might her actual brain be repaired so she could “wake up” one day, the dominant dream of cryonics for the last half-century? She did not rule it out. But they also imagined a different outcome, that she might rejoin the world in an artificial body or a computer-simulated environment, or perhaps both, feeling and sensing through a silicon chip rather than a brain.

“I just think it’s worth trying to preserve Kim,” Josh said.

For a brief period three years ago, the young couple became a minor social media sensation as they went to the online forum Reddit to solicit donations to pay for her cryonic storage and Kim posted video blogs about her condition.

And she agreed to let a Times reporter speak to her family and friends and chart her remaining months and her bid for another chance at life, with one restriction: “I don’t want you to think I have any idea what the future will be like,” she wrote in a text message. “So I mean, don’t portray it like I know.”

In a culture that places a premium on the graceful acceptance of death, the couple faced a wave of hostility, tempered by sympathy for Kim’s desire, as she explained it, “not to miss it all.”

Family members and strangers alike told them they were wasting Kim’s precious remaining time on a pipe dream. Kim herself would allow only that “if it does happen to work, it would be incredible.” “Dying,” her father admonished gently, “is a part of life.”

Yet as the brain preservation research that was just starting as Kim’s life was ending begins to bear fruit, the questions the couple faced may ultimately confront more of us with implications that could be preposterously profound.

The mapping technique pioneered by Dr. Denk and others involves scanning brains in impossibly thin sheets with an electron microscope. Stacked together on a computer, the scans reveal a three-dimensional map of the connections between each neuron in the tissue, the critical brain anatomy known as the connectome.

Still arduous and expensive, the feat had so far only been performed on tiny bits of brain from euthanized laboratory animals, and it would be only one of many steps required to get to a simulation.

Moreover, the brain preservation methods scientists have used to perform such scanning, which involves encasing pieces of brain in hard plastic, had failed for anything larger than the size of a sesame seed. Nor could current methods for cooling and preserving brains at cryogenic temperatures, the only other known means to forestall decay, ensure that their fragile wiring was not damaged.

It was to clear that first hurdle, the reliable preservation of a connectome, that the brain researcher Kenneth Hayworth had formed the Brain Preservation Foundation shortly before Kim’s diagnosis, with the ultimate goal of taking brain preservation into the realm of mainstream medicine.

With an advisory board that included prominent neuroscientists and $100,000 from an anonymous donor, the group was offering a prize for the first individual or team to successfully preserve the connectome of a mouse or rabbit in a way that would meet the standards of a peer-reviewed science journal.

But Kim and Josh had no time to wait. Even a poorly preserved brain, they reasoned, might be able to undergo a kind of digital repair and rehabilitation.

“I’ll show you the ropes,” he told her in half-mocking reference to the possibility of her return to a far-future world.

The morning she died, that meant calling again for the hospice nurse as she took her last breath.

Josh, a political science major, fell in love with Kim, an agnostic science geek, shortly after encountering her freshman year at Truman State University at a meeting of the College Libertarians. There, in the fall of 2007, they bonded over a dislike for the U.S.A. Patriot Act.

Kim, whose dark good looks came from her father, had a crush on someone else. But Josh, tall, blond and self-confident — occasionally overconfident, Kim would note — persuaded her to be his canvassing partner for the presidential campaign of Ron Paul.

Soon they could be found talking into the night in an empty dormitory lounge on the Kirksville, Mo., campus, turning out the lights to keep others from entering. Often, he would coax Kim, who was studying cognitive science, to teach him about the brain.

“He asked a lot of questions,” she said. “And he thought I was really funny.”

For his 20th birthday, in their sophomore year, she wrote him two poems expressing her feelings for him, and by their junior year they had developed a private language of jokes and mispronounced words: “Times is hard,” they once saw someone say on CNN about rising gasoline prices, and it became a refrain about matters large and small.

They first discussed the possibility of achieving a kind of immortality because of a book assigned for Kim’s cognitive science class — “The Age of Spiritual Machines” by the artificial intelligence researcher Ray Kurzweil.

Mr. Kurzweil and others who call themselves transhumanists have argued that exponential increases in computing power will generate an assortment of new technologies that will enable us to transcend our bodies and upload our minds onto a computer. He envisions an inflection point that some call the “Singularity,” a singular moment when machine intelligence surpasses human intelligence.

Before Josh and Kim reached their 50s, according to Mr. Kurzweil, microscopic devices known as nanorobots inserted in the bloodstream would be able to scan brains and wirelessly upload their information.

In the event of a sudden death, you could be rebooted from your last backup. Enhancements for memory, intelligence and empathy would be available, as would the option to merge with other minds, a possibility, the couple recalled, that prompted Josh to imagine plugging into the brain of Kim’s notoriously crotchety cat, Mikey.

In her term paper that year, Kim cited the criticism Mr. Kurzweil had attracted for his forecast that the Singularity would come by 2045, despite winning adherents at Google, where he has since been hired as engineering director. “His shockingly short timeline may be off,” she wrote, “and perhaps drastically so.”

Yet the notion that the mind is what the brain is computing, and that those computations could be simulated, was second nature to Kim, who worked as a research assistant to a cognitive psychology professor and completed a neuroscience internship at the University of Colorado the summer of her junior year. “You are a pattern of electrical signals,” she would lecture Josh, perhaps adding a profanity to soften the blow.

The prospect of life in a computer simulation did not faze them: “How do we know we’re not in one now?” they reasoned over cafeteria lunches. Besides, artificial body parts that could be controlled by the mind were already being tested on wounded military veterans, they knew, in a seeming prelude to robot bodies.

“Ha-ha, we’ll live to Singularity!” she would exclaim.

“Hopefully we don’t destroy ourselves first,” Josh would concur.

But they had a plan for their nearer-term future, too. At the start of their final semester, Kim applied to a summer neuroscience fellowship as a steppingstone to graduate school. Josh was lining up a job as a legislative assistant to a Missouri state representative, but promised to get a job in politics wherever she landed. Eventually they would have a child, Kim agreed after some lobbying.

The headaches started that winter. “Can you find the Advil and bring it to campus?” she messaged Josh one afternoon. Then came the seizure. Kim was in a friend’s car, returning to Kirksville after spending midwinter break at her mother’s home in a St. Louis suburb, when she found it difficult to talk.

She looked at her hand and felt as if it was no longer part of her body. She went to the hospital and she and Josh spent the better part of the following weeks at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.

“Good news: got into The Center for Behavioral Neurosciences’ BRAIN summer program,” Kim announced on Facebook in mid-March, 2011, after a series of M.R.I. scans revealed a tumor her doctors believed would be benign. “Bad news: a tumor got into my BRAIN.”

It was Josh who told her she had cancer, after she awoke from surgery to remove the tumor. “Are you kidding?” she asked him, three times, until she could tell he was not. They learned a few weeks later that the tumor was glioblastoma, a virulent and incurable form of the disease.

The median survival time for patients like Kim, treated with standard radiation and chemotherapy, was less than two years. Unless she responded to an experimental drug, they were told, she would likely have a period of remission after which the tumor would recur and her decline would be swift.

Josh’s Facebook status the week of her diagnosis in April read simply, “Damn.”

The fundamental question of how the brain’s physical processes give rise to thoughts, feelings and behavior, much less how to simulate them, remains a mystery. So many neuroscientists see the possibility of reproducing an individual’s consciousness as unforeseeably far off.

“We have to recognize that there are many huge gaps that have to be leaped over,” said Stephen J. Smith, a neuroscientist at the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle. “The brain is holding on to many of its secrets.”

Jeffrey Lichtman, a Harvard University neuroscientist, said, “Nothing happening now is close to a reality where a human patient might imagine that their brain could be turned into something that could be reproduced in silico.”

But in the spring of 2011, as Kim began chemotherapy that caused hives to erupt all over her body, an unusual letter appeared in Cryonics magazine. Titled “The Brain Preservation Technology Prize: A challenge to cryonicists, a challenge to scientists,” it argued that if a brain was properly preserved, time would not be an issue.

The magazine is published by the Alcor Life Extension Foundation, the larger of two United States cryonics organizations. Founded in the 1970s, Alcor is best known for storing the frozen head of the baseball great Ted Williams, along with some 140 others who hoped to one day be revived. The foundation, a nonprofit, has about 1,000 members who have made financial arrangements to undergo its preservation procedure upon death.

Dr. Hayworth, then a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard, had written the letter to introduce the Brain Preservation Technology Prize. Perhaps the only mainstream neuroscientist to openly acknowledge that he would like to upload his brain to a computer someday — and to argue that there would be broader social merits to the practice — he counted himself a “skeptical member” of Alcor at the time.

“Why destroy the wisdom we build up individually and communally every generation if it’s not necessary?” he prodded reporters, fellow scientists and potential donors.

If the connectome, laid down by genes and altered by life experience, turns out to be the repository of the identity information that neuroscientists widely believed it to be, he argued, there was no reason that uploading a mind should not ultimately succeed, “especially when we can now see how to save it by expanding on today’s neural mapping technology.”

Once described by The Chronicle of Higher Education as “an iconoclast with legitimate research credentials,” Dr. Hayworth had helped to invent one of the existing variations of that mapping technology, and later in 2011 would take a position as senior scientist at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to improve on another.

While it is widely agreed that the connectome encodes our unique memories and learned behaviors, Dr. Hayworth’s belief that a map of the brain’s synapses could one day be sufficient to reconstruct a mind is controversial.

Accurately simulating a functioning brain from a static circuitry map, many scientists say, will require a grasp of how living brains work that is orders of magnitude better than what we have today. Even then, it may be necessary to identify the molecular identity of each neuron, in addition to knowing how they connect to one another.

Moreover, to scan and analyze a human connectome with today’s technology would cost billions of dollars and take thousands of years. And of course, no one knows if even a perfect simulation of a mind would retain the self-awareness of the original.

In an indication of the prevailing skepticism, Dr. Hayworth had been unable to garner a substantial purse for his prize.

The venture capitalist Peter Thiel, for instance, who has acknowledged being a member of Alcor — “Cryonics only seems disturbing because it challenges our complacency about death,” he has said — declined to underwrite the prize.

But an anonymous donor offered $100,000 after hearing Dr. Hayworth’s pitch in a 2010 speech at a conference in Cambridge, Mass. Now Dr. Hayworth had enough to award a $25,000 prize for a small mammal brain — a rabbit or mouse — and reserve $100,000 for a larger one, likely a pig. And he already had one competitor, Shawn Mikula, then a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute.

The entries were to be judged by other neuroscientists who would examine portions of the preserved brains with an electron microscope. To win, a description of the technique would also need to be accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

The challenge for the competitors was how to preserve a brain for scanning — by chemicals or cold.

Under Dr. Mikula’s method, called chemopreservation, neuroscientists first insert a needle filled with a chemical fixative into an anesthetized animal’s heart while it is still alive to pump the fixative through the brain, essentially gluing its structure in place. The brain is then soaked in a heavy-metal stain so the neurons can be seen under an electron microscope, drained of water, and embedded in a hard plastic.

That method has the considerable benefit of allowing for storage of the brain at room temperature. But some neuroscientists argue that the chemicals erase information that would be required to devise an accurate simulation of the brain.

The decades-old practice of cryonics, by contrast, in which human brains and bodies are stored at somewhere below minus 300 degrees Fahrenheit, has since the late 1990s employed a thick, viscous antifreeze to replace the blood and water in the brain in an effort to preserve it before storing it.

The antifreeze is needed to avoid the formation of jagged ice crystals between brain cells that can tear through the fragile web of the tissue. But since cryonics can begin only after a formal declaration of death, clots can form and vessels can start to collapse before the process is started. Even with no delay the liquid can take hours to circulate.

Some proponents of this procedure, known as cryopreservation, have long wanted brains preserved for uploading to a computer. But most proponents hope that the biochemical damage to brain cells will one day be reversible, allowing brains to be thawed and repaired.

Still, the reliance on strictly hypothetical technology for the idea of biological repair led one critic to dismiss cryonics as “based almost entirely on faith in the future” in a 2001 Scientific American essay.

In his letter, Dr. Hayworth said the prize competition could change this. “Once the first teams begin to show real progress toward winning the prize,” he wrote, “I fully expect to see a watershed change in attitude toward the idea of cryonics within the scientific community as a whole.”

Kim spent what seemed likely to be her last year of life trying not to be preoccupied with death. While Josh commuted to his job in the state capital from the small house they rented in Columbia, Mo., she volunteered in a neuroscience laboratory at the University of Missouri, restricted herself to a low-sugar diet and started a cancer blog in which she sought to parody the form.

“I want to make a little widget for the top of the page that says IS KIM ALIVE?” she wrote her friend Abby Neidig in a Facebook message. “And it’ll say ‘yes,’ unless I’m dead. Then it will say ‘nope, sorry. I hope this isn’t how you found out.’ ”

“I think it’s pretty funny,” she insisted.

As her condition worsened, Kim and Josh fielded a flood of kind offers from fellow users of Reddit, where Kim had posted about her condition: a week in Cape Cod, airline tickets to Australia, seemingly unlimited illegal drugs.

Even though they knew the chances were vanishingly small, they could not help but hold out hope that the tumor would not return, or that a clinical trial drug would help her. Kim had tried to ward off ordinary thoughts of the future, she wrote to a friend, Kailey Burger, but sometimes they would creep in anyway, like when she found herself thinking “I’m gonna get one of those fridges with the freezer drawer on the bottom when I’m a real adult.”

But the tumor reappeared on an M.R.I. in the spring of 2012, and Kim and Josh knew that her year of remission was over. The right side of her body was beginning to weaken. Soon she would be unable to grasp things, write, or play a favorite video game, “Ocarina of Time.”

That the tumor had returned in her brain stem meant it could not be operated on, excluding her from the most promising experimental drug trials. On the other hand, because that region of the brain controls basic bodily functions like breathing, “I will likely die before the tumor spreads to the areas central to who I am,” she wrote on Reddit, where she had posted of her condition.

Kim had had an interest in cryonics since reading about it in Mr. Kurzweil’s books. But she knew that it was expensive and that the most common way to pay for it, taking out a life insurance policy for the amount of the fee, was not an option for a previously uninsured 22-year-old with terminal brain cancer.

She had hesitated to raise the prospect of paying for it with her father, Rick Suozzi, a medical device sales representative. Even some of her supportive circle of friends had seemed unsure of what to say when she sounded them out about it: Until Kim brought it up, one friend thought it was a fiction invented by the creators of “Futurama,” the animated television series whose “accidentally cryopreserved” protagonist wakes up in the future.

“It freaks people out,” she told Josh.

And when she finally did talk to her father, in an airport lounge in June 2012, his refusal came as a rude awakening.

Over the year, Mr. Suozzi offered to send the couple on a vacation. “Is there anything you’d like to do together?” he asked. “Go to Europe, go on a cruise?”

But like many people, Mr. Suozzi knew of cryonics mostly as the butt of late-night talk show humor.

When she told him what she wanted he simply shook his head.

“I can’t help you with this,” he said. “We don’t live forever, Kim.”

In what Mr. Suozzi recalls as a heated conversation, Josh called to urge him to reconsider. “What are you saying?” Josh demanded. “Should we just give up on trying to treat her cancer now, too?”

“If you want to do this,” Mr. Suozzi replied, “You’re going to have to figure out how to do it yourself.”

They had one other idea of how to raise the money.

Reddit, whose far-flung and highly opinionated members were known for coming to the aid of those whose plight struck a collective chord, had loomed as a possible last resort since the outpouring of support at her earlier post about cancer.

“But why would anyone donate?” she demanded of Josh. “There’s no compelling reason why I deserve another chance at life.”

“You can say that then,” he insisted. “Let people make up their own mind.”

First, though, in the two weeks that followed, they decamped to Hope Lodge, an American Cancer Society facility for patients being cared for at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, where Kim was admitted to a trial of a long-shot experimental drug.

There, in between Kim being pricked and prodded, they focused on what it might take to preserve and reconstruct her mind.

They read academic journal articles on neuroscience, online forums and the Alcor website. The foundation, they learned, encourages customers to choose what it calls “neuropreservation,” or preserving just the brain, as opposed to freezing their entire body. Given the imperative for speed, the logic went, it was better to focus everything on the brain.

“If I get frozen I will get my head chopped off,” Kim told her friend Ms. Neidig matter-of-factly. “It’s cheaper, and apparently it gets the juice in there faster.”

And the idea of a disembodied Kim was O.K. with Josh: “I wasn’t planning on leaving her when she got old and saggy,” he observed.

If the $80,000 fee for neuropreservation seemed steep, they learned that about a third of it pays for medical personnel to be on call for death, while another third is placed in a trust for future revival. The investment income from the trust also pays for storage in liquid nitrogen, which is so cold that it can prevent decay in biological tissue for millenniums.

Some of what they found out gave them pause. Alcor’s antifreeze, once pumped through the blood vessels, transitions into a glassy substance before ice can form and do damage. The process, called vitrification, is similar to that used to store sperm, eggs and embryos for fertility treatments. But that glassy substance has been known to crack, likely causing damage of a different kind.

And the infinite scenarios could seem overwhelming. Might she be back in a hundred years, or a thousand? Would Josh be there? In what form? If damaged, maybe her biological brain could actually be repaired?

In the context of Hope Lodge, the prospect of cryonics did not seem to them so different from the clinical trials that hundreds of cancer patients were participating in with only the tiniest chance of success at enormous expense.

Even with an ideal cryopreservation, the damage from her tumor would need to be repaired. And they were aware that her brain would most likely sustain more damage from the procedure itself.

But part of her brain, Kim pointed out, had already stopped working and she still enjoyed life. And like brain-damaged patients, she felt she could be rehabilitated. In fact, digital repairs might well be easier than physical recovery. There was already some neuroscience research that made piecing together a damaged connectome seem conceivable.

Memories, for instance, appear to be stored in multiple places. Certain areas of the brain responsible for tasks like attention might be replaced with off-the-shelf spare parts. The molecular identity of neurons held clues to which should be connected where. And broken ones might be digitally pieced back together, perhaps not even precisely, some researchers say.

“You’d ask yourself how many mistakes could you make and still have the same person,” Joshua R. Sanes, director of the Center for Brain Science at Harvard University, said in an interview. “The ability of us to keep being ourselves in the face of changes in our nervous system is pretty amazing.”

Kim tried to make light of it all. “You’ll have to enhance me,” she told Josh. But she was serious when she told him she would rather survive in some damaged form than not at all.

Amid the few fantasies they allowed themselves, Kim made a point to tell him something more tangible, too: “I want you to be happy,” she said. “You’ll find a new person, and you’ll be O.K.”

When an August M.R.I. showed that the experimental drug had failed to halt the growth of Kim’s tumor, she and Josh shot and edited a short video for her blog, in which she asked for donations for cryonics.

“Get ready to feel weird about me!” she posted on Facebook with a link.

The next day, as they drove across the country to Duke University in Durham, N.C., where Kim was to receive radiation, she wrote out a longer explanation: “Reddit, help me find some peace in dying young (I’m 23),” it read.

Josh rummaged for a pen, one hand still on the wheel. He scrawled “Freeze Me, Reddit,” on a stray piece of paper and handed it to her.

She took a picture of herself, embedded it in her post and clicked “send.”

In the first wave of response, Kim wrote to a friend, “Reddit was harsh.”

Hundreds voiced or linked to opinions over the course of a few days, more after Kim was featured on the local television news. The couple were prepared for the technical objections about cryonics and uploading minds.

They even took a certain pleasure in the philosophical argument over whether any uploaded mind would essentially be a zombie, with all the behaviors of the original but lacking its soul.

Some recoiled at the prospect of living much longer lives, citing fear of boredom, or being useless, or lonely. Others suggested the future would have little interest in relics from the 2010s (“you’d be little more than a rodent to them, intelligence-wise,” one wrote).

But it was the hostility, as though they were proposing a Faustian bargain for all of humanity, that took Josh and Kim aback.

One commenter vowed to donate money to cancer research, “not your extraordinary long-shot attempt at self-preservation.” Another called Kim a “selfish retard.”

Josh voted down the online critics and feigned keeping his temper.

“Some people who enjoy life fight for any chance to keep living,” he replied to a post that suggested Kim should spend her remaining time “actually living your life.”

Still, Kim’s original post was “upvoted,” akin to “liking” on Facebook, 89 percent of the time, a hit in Reddit terms.

And they were floored by the outpouring of support from strangers.

A software engineer at Google, Maksym Taran, who like Kim was 23, donated $1,000 within hours and wrote a few days later that he would supply the full amount if she failed to raise it. Another donor was Michael Andregg, then 36, co-founder of Halcyon Molecular, a high-profile genetics start-up in Silicon Valley: “I hope you preferably get better,” he wrote to her, “but failing that get cryopreserved.”

Parijata Mackey, a young woman in California, connected her to a board member at Alcor, and sent her phone number: “If you’re ever bored, or want to chat about cryo-sciencey-future things, feel free to call me anytime.”

A group of longtime cryonics supporters, the Society for Venturism, pitched in, as did Kim’s mother, Jane Suozzi, who signed over a $10,000 life insurance policy she held in Kim’s name.

As donations continued to come in and their contacts at Alcor indicated that Kim would almost certainly be fully funded, Josh sat her down to shoot a thank-you video.

Adamant about not having a “bucket list,” Kim nevertheless admitted to a certain interest in seeing the Grand Canyon, and in October 2012, she and Josh set out to visit it on a road trip. But first they stopped at a cryonics conference Alcor was holding to celebrate its 40th anniversary in Scottsdale, Ariz., at which she had been invited to speak.

The conference was full of well-wishers, including several who had donated money to her. And Kim was looking forward to the talk by Sebastian Seung, a Princeton University neuroscientist who had treated cryonics seriously in his book published that year, “Connectome: How the Brain’s Wiring Makes Us Who We Are.”

If the brain’s connections remain intact in the cryonics procedure, or can be pieced back together, he had written, “then we cannot rule out the possibility of resurrecting memories and restoring personal identity.”

But Dr. Seung, an adviser to the Brain Preservation Foundation, cautioned Alcor members that he hoped his talk would help them “make informed decisions”

Even though three-dimensional maps of partial bits of brain had become relatively easy to produce, Dr. Seung observed, Alcor had not published any such images — even of animal brains preserved under its protocol. Only two-dimensional images had been published. That raised questions about how well preserved their clients’ brains were.

Soon a heated argument ensued among some audience members over how to preserve brains.

Greg Fahy, the chief scientist at 21st Century Medicine, the company that invented the cryoprotectant Alcor uses to protect the brain from ice crystals, defended Alcor’s methods, pointing out that no method was available that could achieve connectome preservation using fixation and plastic embedding of a human brain, so that no evidence for that approach existed either.

Dr. Fahy, a cryobiologist whose research focuses on organ banking, had provided the most encouraging signs that cryonics did preserve brain structure. In a 2009 experiment, his team showed that neurons in slices of rabbit brains immersed in the solution, chilled to cryogenic temperatures and then rewarmed, had responded to electrical stimulation.

His method, he contended, preserved the connectome in those slices. But a complication prevented him from entering the prize competition: Brain tissue perfused with the cryoprotectant invariably becomes dehydrated, making it nearly impossible to see the details of the shrunken neurons and their connections under an electron microscope.

Dr. Hayworth, the founder of the Brain Preservation Technology Prize, argued that a slice of brain responding to electrical stimulation was unconvincing evidence that the critical connections throughout the whole brain had been preserved.

Yet the only competitor so far for his prize — Dr. Mikula of the Max Planck Institute — had also experienced difficulty in the key step of his method that would allow the tissue to be seen under an electron microscope.

So Dr. Hayworth urged Dr. Fahy to find some way for his work to be better validated. “We have to be able to see it to believe it,” he said.

In fact, there was one way Dr. Fahy had considered. He could fix the brain’s structure in place with chemicals first, just as Dr. Mikula was doing, buying time to perfuse the cryoprotectant more slowly to avoid dehydration. But he lacked the funds, he said, for a project that would have no practical business application for organ banking. Also, his company’s focus is on what he calls “reversible” cryopreservation, whereas fixing the brain’s structure in place with chemicals, as is done in chemopreservation, would place biological revival, the goal of many Alcor members, even farther out of reach.

Kim’s talk was well-received. Josh, watching from the audience, felt warmed by the applause that broke out several times during her short presentation. Yet he noticed her losing her train of thought more than once.

In early November, Kim assigned her power of attorney to Josh. She understood, Josh later realized, better than he had, how little time she had left.

“I know that, Mom and Dad, you probably would respect my last wishes,” she said to her phone camera. “But Josh knows me best.”

Josh, who one year granted Kim’s birthday wish to dress her, now dressed her every day.

They had decided that Kim would die in the hospice Alcor had suggested near its headquarters in Scottsdale, one that would allow the cryonics team to be on hand with all its equipment so the preservation procedure could begin immediately. And after a sharp exchange, in which her father threatened to take Kim home with him to Florida, Mr. Suozzi backed down.

“Josh and I have only one thing in common,” Mr. Suozzi said with a certain reluctant admiration. “And that is our love for Kim.”

Kim decided to refuse food and water to hasten her death before the tumor consumed more of her brain. But 12 days after her arrival at the hospice — far longer than they had imagined would be necessary — the hospice informed them that because her condition seemed to have stabilized she would have to be treated as an outpatient.

Alcor’s emergency medicine technician was prohibited from touching Kim before her death was officially pronounced by a medical professional. When Josh protested, the hospice assured him that the nurse would get to the apartment Mr. Suozzi rented nearby in less than 15 minutes.

But when, two days after Kim had left the hospice, Josh did call at 5 a.m. to say she was dying, it took an hour for one of the nurses to respond because, he was told later, they were between shifts.

When it did begin, the procedure itself went mostly as planned. With the help of two nurses employed by Alcor, the company’s emergency medical technician, Aaron Drake, performed a series of steps designed to keep the blood vessels in Kim’s brain from collapsing.

He connected her to a CPR device to restore the circulation of her blood. A tube was inserted into her lungs to deliver air. She was given medications to prevent the brain from swelling and to break up blood clots. Then she was lowered into an ice bath and carried to the van for the short drive to Alcor’s facility.

By late morning, her head had been separated from her torso. Josh watched from an observation window as the cryoprotectant was pumped through her main cerebral arteries.

When all that remained was to continue the cooling with liquid nitrogen gas, Josh looked into her face for the last time. They had done, he thought, the best they could.

Josh grieved for Kim in the usual ways, but also in some unusual ones.

He had promised to periodically leave her messages so she could catch up on what she had missed, and he did.

He reclaimed the job he had quit to care for Kim in the months before her death. He began to rebuild the ties to family and friends that he had neglected while Kim was dying and sought, as Kim had once put it, to “find a new person.”

When a CT scan of Kim’s brain arrived from Alcor, it appeared to show that the cryoprotectant had reached only the outer portion of her brain, leaving the rest vulnerable to ice damage.

Josh took some solace in the fact that the outer layer, associated with abstract thinking and language, appeared to have been protected.

He holds out hope of seeing Kim again someday. “Until (or unless) the day comes that Kim can be brought back,” he wrote on her Facebook page, “remember her, celebrate her, and emulate her resilience, so we can create the future of her dreams.”

Kim’s father sometimes leaves her voice mail messages too, just in case, he said, she does turn out to be around to hear them.

“Kim, it’s Dad,” they often start, “I just wanted to leave you a message.”

Brain preservation research went on too.

In the late fall of 2013, almost a year after Kim’s death, a celebrity D.J., Steve Aoki, announced a benefit for brain research.

Of four charities Mr. Aoki identified, the one to register the most “likes” on his Facebook page over the following month would receive $1 from every ticket of his tour, likely to total some $50,000. One of them was Dr. Hayworth’s Brain Preservation Foundation.

Soon the foundation had won the contest. Of its winnings, $20,000 went to Dr. Fahy to enable him to try the new protocol he had proposed, first fixing the connectome in place with chemicals so that the brain did not shrink from dehydration and slices of it could be viewed under an electron microscope.

Dr. Mikula also got some of the money and made progress. He discovered the one solvent among hundreds that allowed him to complete the task of staining a whole mouse brain and preserving it in plastic. The technique, he wrote in an email, can “likely be adapted to human brains within five years.”

The journal Nature Methods published his protocol in April. And this month, a paper by Dr. Fahy and a colleague at 21st Century Medicine, Robert McIntyre, was accepted for publication by the journal Cryobiology. It includes electron microscope images of a rabbit and pig brain preserved under their method.

Both groups have submitted their work to the Brain Preservation Technology Prize.

In the moments just before Kim Suozzi died of cancer at age 23, it fell to her boyfriend, Josh Schisler, to follow through with the plan to freeze her brain.

As her pulse monitor sounded its alarm and her breath grew ragged, he fumbled for his phone. Fighting the emotion that threatened to paralyze him, he alerted the cryonics team waiting nearby and called the hospice nurses to come pronounce her dead. Any delay would jeopardize the chance to maybe, someday, resurrect her mind.

It was impossible to know on that cloudless Arizona morning in January 2013 which fragments of Kim’s identity might survive, if any. Would she remember their first, fumbling kiss in his dorm room five years earlier? Their private jokes and dumb arguments? The seizure, the surgery, the fancy neuroscience fellowship she had to turn down?

More than memories, Josh, then 24, wished for the crude procedure to salvage whatever synapses gave rise to her dry, generous humor, compelled her to greet every cat she saw with a high-pitched “helllooo,” and inspired her to write him poems.

They knew how strange it sounded, the hope that Kim’s brain could be preserved in subzero storage so that decades or centuries from now, if science advanced, her billions of interconnected neurons could be scanned, analyzed and converted into computer code that mimicked how they once worked.

But Kim’s terminal prognosis came at the start of a global push to understand the brain. And some of the tools and techniques emerging from neuroscience laboratories were beginning to bear some resemblance to those long envisioned in futurist fantasies.

For one thing, neuroscientists were starting to map the connections between individual neurons believed to encode many aspects of memory and identity.

The research, limited so far to small bits of dead animal brain, had the usual goals of advancing knowledge and improving human health. Still, it was driving interest in what would be a critical first step to create any simulation of an individual mind: preserving that pattern of connections in an entire brain after death.

“I can see within, say, 40 years that we would have a method to generate a digital replica of a person’s mind,” said Winfried Denk, a director at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Germany, who has invented one of several mapping techniques. “It’s not my primary motivation, but it is a logical outgrowth of our work.”

Other neuroscientists do not take that idea seriously, given the great gaps in knowledge about the workings of the brain. “We are nowhere close to brain emulation given our current level of understanding,” said Cori Bargmann, a neuroscientist at Rockefeller University in New York and one of the architects of the Obama administration’s initiative seeking a $4.5 billion investment in brain research over the next decade.

“Will it ever be possible?” she asked. “I don’t know. But this isn’t 50 years away.”

There would not, Kim and Josh well understood, be any quick reunion. But so long as there was a chance, even a small or distant one, they thought it was worth trying to preserve her brain.

Might her actual brain be repaired so she could “wake up” one day, the dominant dream of cryonics for the last half-century? She did not rule it out. But they also imagined a different outcome, that she might rejoin the world in an artificial body or a computer-simulated environment, or perhaps both, feeling and sensing through a silicon chip rather than a brain.

“I just think it’s worth trying to preserve Kim,” Josh said.

For a brief period three years ago, the young couple became a minor social media sensation as they went to the online forum Reddit to solicit donations to pay for her cryonic storage and Kim posted video blogs about her condition.

And she agreed to let a Times reporter speak to her family and friends and chart her remaining months and her bid for another chance at life, with one restriction: “I don’t want you to think I have any idea what the future will be like,” she wrote in a text message. “So I mean, don’t portray it like I know.”

In a culture that places a premium on the graceful acceptance of death, the couple faced a wave of hostility, tempered by sympathy for Kim’s desire, as she explained it, “not to miss it all.”

Family members and strangers alike told them they were wasting Kim’s precious remaining time on a pipe dream. Kim herself would allow only that “if it does happen to work, it would be incredible.” “Dying,” her father admonished gently, “is a part of life.”

Yet as the brain preservation research that was just starting as Kim’s life was ending begins to bear fruit, the questions the couple faced may ultimately confront more of us with implications that could be preposterously profound.

The mapping technique pioneered by Dr. Denk and others involves scanning brains in impossibly thin sheets with an electron microscope. Stacked together on a computer, the scans reveal a three-dimensional map of the connections between each neuron in the tissue, the critical brain anatomy known as the connectome.

Still arduous and expensive, the feat had so far only been performed on tiny bits of brain from euthanized laboratory animals, and it would be only one of many steps required to get to a simulation.

Moreover, the brain preservation methods scientists have used to perform such scanning, which involves encasing pieces of brain in hard plastic, had failed for anything larger than the size of a sesame seed. Nor could current methods for cooling and preserving brains at cryogenic temperatures, the only other known means to forestall decay, ensure that their fragile wiring was not damaged.

It was to clear that first hurdle, the reliable preservation of a connectome, that the brain researcher Kenneth Hayworth had formed the Brain Preservation Foundation shortly before Kim’s diagnosis, with the ultimate goal of taking brain preservation into the realm of mainstream medicine.

With an advisory board that included prominent neuroscientists and $100,000 from an anonymous donor, the group was offering a prize for the first individual or team to successfully preserve the connectome of a mouse or rabbit in a way that would meet the standards of a peer-reviewed science journal.

But Kim and Josh had no time to wait. Even a poorly preserved brain, they reasoned, might be able to undergo a kind of digital repair and rehabilitation.

“I’ll show you the ropes,” he told her in half-mocking reference to the possibility of her return to a far-future world.

The morning she died, that meant calling again for the hospice nurse as she took her last breath.

Josh, a political science major, fell in love with Kim, an agnostic science geek, shortly after encountering her freshman year at Truman State University at a meeting of the College Libertarians. There, in the fall of 2007, they bonded over a dislike for the U.S.A. Patriot Act.

Kim, whose dark good looks came from her father, had a crush on someone else. But Josh, tall, blond and self-confident — occasionally overconfident, Kim would note — persuaded her to be his canvassing partner for the presidential campaign of Ron Paul.

Soon they could be found talking into the night in an empty dormitory lounge on the Kirksville, Mo., campus, turning out the lights to keep others from entering. Often, he would coax Kim, who was studying cognitive science, to teach him about the brain.

“He asked a lot of questions,” she said. “And he thought I was really funny.”

For his 20th birthday, in their sophomore year, she wrote him two poems expressing her feelings for him, and by their junior year they had developed a private language of jokes and mispronounced words: “Times is hard,” they once saw someone say on CNN about rising gasoline prices, and it became a refrain about matters large and small.

They first discussed the possibility of achieving a kind of immortality because of a book assigned for Kim’s cognitive science class — “The Age of Spiritual Machines” by the artificial intelligence researcher Ray Kurzweil.

Mr. Kurzweil and others who call themselves transhumanists have argued that exponential increases in computing power will generate an assortment of new technologies that will enable us to transcend our bodies and upload our minds onto a computer. He envisions an inflection point that some call the “Singularity,” a singular moment when machine intelligence surpasses human intelligence.

Before Josh and Kim reached their 50s, according to Mr. Kurzweil, microscopic devices known as nanorobots inserted in the bloodstream would be able to scan brains and wirelessly upload their information.

In the event of a sudden death, you could be rebooted from your last backup. Enhancements for memory, intelligence and empathy would be available, as would the option to merge with other minds, a possibility, the couple recalled, that prompted Josh to imagine plugging into the brain of Kim’s notoriously crotchety cat, Mikey.

In her term paper that year, Kim cited the criticism Mr. Kurzweil had attracted for his forecast that the Singularity would come by 2045, despite winning adherents at Google, where he has since been hired as engineering director. “His shockingly short timeline may be off,” she wrote, “and perhaps drastically so.”

Yet the notion that the mind is what the brain is computing, and that those computations could be simulated, was second nature to Kim, who worked as a research assistant to a cognitive psychology professor and completed a neuroscience internship at the University of Colorado the summer of her junior year. “You are a pattern of electrical signals,” she would lecture Josh, perhaps adding a profanity to soften the blow.

The prospect of life in a computer simulation did not faze them: “How do we know we’re not in one now?” they reasoned over cafeteria lunches. Besides, artificial body parts that could be controlled by the mind were already being tested on wounded military veterans, they knew, in a seeming prelude to robot bodies.

“Ha-ha, we’ll live to Singularity!” she would exclaim.

“Hopefully we don’t destroy ourselves first,” Josh would concur.

But they had a plan for their nearer-term future, too. At the start of their final semester, Kim applied to a summer neuroscience fellowship as a steppingstone to graduate school. Josh was lining up a job as a legislative assistant to a Missouri state representative, but promised to get a job in politics wherever she landed. Eventually they would have a child, Kim agreed after some lobbying.

The headaches started that winter. “Can you find the Advil and bring it to campus?” she messaged Josh one afternoon. Then came the seizure. Kim was in a friend’s car, returning to Kirksville after spending midwinter break at her mother’s home in a St. Louis suburb, when she found it difficult to talk.

She looked at her hand and felt as if it was no longer part of her body. She went to the hospital and she and Josh spent the better part of the following weeks at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.

“Good news: got into The Center for Behavioral Neurosciences’ BRAIN summer program,” Kim announced on Facebook in mid-March, 2011, after a series of M.R.I. scans revealed a tumor her doctors believed would be benign. “Bad news: a tumor got into my BRAIN.”

It was Josh who told her she had cancer, after she awoke from surgery to remove the tumor. “Are you kidding?” she asked him, three times, until she could tell he was not. They learned a few weeks later that the tumor was glioblastoma, a virulent and incurable form of the disease.

The median survival time for patients like Kim, treated with standard radiation and chemotherapy, was less than two years. Unless she responded to an experimental drug, they were told, she would likely have a period of remission after which the tumor would recur and her decline would be swift.

Josh’s Facebook status the week of her diagnosis in April read simply, “Damn.”

The fundamental question of how the brain’s physical processes give rise to thoughts, feelings and behavior, much less how to simulate them, remains a mystery. So many neuroscientists see the possibility of reproducing an individual’s consciousness as unforeseeably far off.

“We have to recognize that there are many huge gaps that have to be leaped over,” said Stephen J. Smith, a neuroscientist at the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle. “The brain is holding on to many of its secrets.”

Jeffrey Lichtman, a Harvard University neuroscientist, said, “Nothing happening now is close to a reality where a human patient might imagine that their brain could be turned into something that could be reproduced in silico.”

But in the spring of 2011, as Kim began chemotherapy that caused hives to erupt all over her body, an unusual letter appeared in Cryonics magazine. Titled “The Brain Preservation Technology Prize: A challenge to cryonicists, a challenge to scientists,” it argued that if a brain was properly preserved, time would not be an issue.

The magazine is published by the Alcor Life Extension Foundation, the larger of two United States cryonics organizations. Founded in the 1970s, Alcor is best known for storing the frozen head of the baseball great Ted Williams, along with some 140 others who hoped to one day be revived. The foundation, a nonprofit, has about 1,000 members who have made financial arrangements to undergo its preservation procedure upon death.

Dr. Hayworth, then a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard, had written the letter to introduce the Brain Preservation Technology Prize. Perhaps the only mainstream neuroscientist to openly acknowledge that he would like to upload his brain to a computer someday — and to argue that there would be broader social merits to the practice — he counted himself a “skeptical member” of Alcor at the time.

“Why destroy the wisdom we build up individually and communally every generation if it’s not necessary?” he prodded reporters, fellow scientists and potential donors.

If the connectome, laid down by genes and altered by life experience, turns out to be the repository of the identity information that neuroscientists widely believed it to be, he argued, there was no reason that uploading a mind should not ultimately succeed, “especially when we can now see how to save it by expanding on today’s neural mapping technology.”

Once described by The Chronicle of Higher Education as “an iconoclast with legitimate research credentials,” Dr. Hayworth had helped to invent one of the existing variations of that mapping technology, and later in 2011 would take a position as senior scientist at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to improve on another.

While it is widely agreed that the connectome encodes our unique memories and learned behaviors, Dr. Hayworth’s belief that a map of the brain’s synapses could one day be sufficient to reconstruct a mind is controversial.

Accurately simulating a functioning brain from a static circuitry map, many scientists say, will require a grasp of how living brains work that is orders of magnitude better than what we have today. Even then, it may be necessary to identify the molecular identity of each neuron, in addition to knowing how they connect to one another.

Moreover, to scan and analyze a human connectome with today’s technology would cost billions of dollars and take thousands of years. And of course, no one knows if even a perfect simulation of a mind would retain the self-awareness of the original.

In an indication of the prevailing skepticism, Dr. Hayworth had been unable to garner a substantial purse for his prize.

The venture capitalist Peter Thiel, for instance, who has acknowledged being a member of Alcor — “Cryonics only seems disturbing because it challenges our complacency about death,” he has said — declined to underwrite the prize.

But an anonymous donor offered $100,000 after hearing Dr. Hayworth’s pitch in a 2010 speech at a conference in Cambridge, Mass. Now Dr. Hayworth had enough to award a $25,000 prize for a small mammal brain — a rabbit or mouse — and reserve $100,000 for a larger one, likely a pig. And he already had one competitor, Shawn Mikula, then a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute.

The entries were to be judged by other neuroscientists who would examine portions of the preserved brains with an electron microscope. To win, a description of the technique would also need to be accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

The challenge for the competitors was how to preserve a brain for scanning — by chemicals or cold.

Under Dr. Mikula’s method, called chemopreservation, neuroscientists first insert a needle filled with a chemical fixative into an anesthetized animal’s heart while it is still alive to pump the fixative through the brain, essentially gluing its structure in place. The brain is then soaked in a heavy-metal stain so the neurons can be seen under an electron microscope, drained of water, and embedded in a hard plastic.

That method has the considerable benefit of allowing for storage of the brain at room temperature. But some neuroscientists argue that the chemicals erase information that would be required to devise an accurate simulation of the brain.

The decades-old practice of cryonics, by contrast, in which human brains and bodies are stored at somewhere below minus 300 degrees Fahrenheit, has since the late 1990s employed a thick, viscous antifreeze to replace the blood and water in the brain in an effort to preserve it before storing it.

The antifreeze is needed to avoid the formation of jagged ice crystals between brain cells that can tear through the fragile web of the tissue. But since cryonics can begin only after a formal declaration of death, clots can form and vessels can start to collapse before the process is started. Even with no delay the liquid can take hours to circulate.

Some proponents of this procedure, known as cryopreservation, have long wanted brains preserved for uploading to a computer. But most proponents hope that the biochemical damage to brain cells will one day be reversible, allowing brains to be thawed and repaired.

Still, the reliance on strictly hypothetical technology for the idea of biological repair led one critic to dismiss cryonics as “based almost entirely on faith in the future” in a 2001 Scientific American essay.

In his letter, Dr. Hayworth said the prize competition could change this. “Once the first teams begin to show real progress toward winning the prize,” he wrote, “I fully expect to see a watershed change in attitude toward the idea of cryonics within the scientific community as a whole.”

Kim spent what seemed likely to be her last year of life trying not to be preoccupied with death. While Josh commuted to his job in the state capital from the small house they rented in Columbia, Mo., she volunteered in a neuroscience laboratory at the University of Missouri, restricted herself to a low-sugar diet and started a cancer blog in which she sought to parody the form.

“I want to make a little widget for the top of the page that says IS KIM ALIVE?” she wrote her friend Abby Neidig in a Facebook message. “And it’ll say ‘yes,’ unless I’m dead. Then it will say ‘nope, sorry. I hope this isn’t how you found out.’ ”

“I think it’s pretty funny,” she insisted.

As her condition worsened, Kim and Josh fielded a flood of kind offers from fellow users of Reddit, where Kim had posted about her condition: a week in Cape Cod, airline tickets to Australia, seemingly unlimited illegal drugs.

Even though they knew the chances were vanishingly small, they could not help but hold out hope that the tumor would not return, or that a clinical trial drug would help her. Kim had tried to ward off ordinary thoughts of the future, she wrote to a friend, Kailey Burger, but sometimes they would creep in anyway, like when she found herself thinking “I’m gonna get one of those fridges with the freezer drawer on the bottom when I’m a real adult.”

But the tumor reappeared on an M.R.I. in the spring of 2012, and Kim and Josh knew that her year of remission was over. The right side of her body was beginning to weaken. Soon she would be unable to grasp things, write, or play a favorite video game, “Ocarina of Time.”

That the tumor had returned in her brain stem meant it could not be operated on, excluding her from the most promising experimental drug trials. On the other hand, because that region of the brain controls basic bodily functions like breathing, “I will likely die before the tumor spreads to the areas central to who I am,” she wrote on Reddit, where she had posted of her condition.

Kim had had an interest in cryonics since reading about it in Mr. Kurzweil’s books. But she knew that it was expensive and that the most common way to pay for it, taking out a life insurance policy for the amount of the fee, was not an option for a previously uninsured 22-year-old with terminal brain cancer.

She had hesitated to raise the prospect of paying for it with her father, Rick Suozzi, a medical device sales representative. Even some of her supportive circle of friends had seemed unsure of what to say when she sounded them out about it: Until Kim brought it up, one friend thought it was a fiction invented by the creators of “Futurama,” the animated television series whose “accidentally cryopreserved” protagonist wakes up in the future.

“It freaks people out,” she told Josh.

And when she finally did talk to her father, in an airport lounge in June 2012, his refusal came as a rude awakening.

Over the year, Mr. Suozzi offered to send the couple on a vacation. “Is there anything you’d like to do together?” he asked. “Go to Europe, go on a cruise?”

But like many people, Mr. Suozzi knew of cryonics mostly as the butt of late-night talk show humor.

When she told him what she wanted he simply shook his head.

“I can’t help you with this,” he said. “We don’t live forever, Kim.”

In what Mr. Suozzi recalls as a heated conversation, Josh called to urge him to reconsider. “What are you saying?” Josh demanded. “Should we just give up on trying to treat her cancer now, too?”

“If you want to do this,” Mr. Suozzi replied, “You’re going to have to figure out how to do it yourself.”

They had one other idea of how to raise the money.

Reddit, whose far-flung and highly opinionated members were known for coming to the aid of those whose plight struck a collective chord, had loomed as a possible last resort since the outpouring of support at her earlier post about cancer.

“But why would anyone donate?” she demanded of Josh. “There’s no compelling reason why I deserve another chance at life.”

“You can say that then,” he insisted. “Let people make up their own mind.”

First, though, in the two weeks that followed, they decamped to Hope Lodge, an American Cancer Society facility for patients being cared for at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, where Kim was admitted to a trial of a long-shot experimental drug.

There, in between Kim being pricked and prodded, they focused on what it might take to preserve and reconstruct her mind.

They read academic journal articles on neuroscience, online forums and the Alcor website. The foundation, they learned, encourages customers to choose what it calls “neuropreservation,” or preserving just the brain, as opposed to freezing their entire body. Given the imperative for speed, the logic went, it was better to focus everything on the brain.

“If I get frozen I will get my head chopped off,” Kim told her friend Ms. Neidig matter-of-factly. “It’s cheaper, and apparently it gets the juice in there faster.”

And the idea of a disembodied Kim was O.K. with Josh: “I wasn’t planning on leaving her when she got old and saggy,” he observed.

If the $80,000 fee for neuropreservation seemed steep, they learned that about a third of it pays for medical personnel to be on call for death, while another third is placed in a trust for future revival. The investment income from the trust also pays for storage in liquid nitrogen, which is so cold that it can prevent decay in biological tissue for millenniums.

Some of what they found out gave them pause. Alcor’s antifreeze, once pumped through the blood vessels, transitions into a glassy substance before ice can form and do damage. The process, called vitrification, is similar to that used to store sperm, eggs and embryos for fertility treatments. But that glassy substance has been known to crack, likely causing damage of a different kind.

And the infinite scenarios could seem overwhelming. Might she be back in a hundred years, or a thousand? Would Josh be there? In what form? If damaged, maybe her biological brain could actually be repaired?

In the context of Hope Lodge, the prospect of cryonics did not seem to them so different from the clinical trials that hundreds of cancer patients were participating in with only the tiniest chance of success at enormous expense.

Even with an ideal cryopreservation, the damage from her tumor would need to be repaired. And they were aware that her brain would most likely sustain more damage from the procedure itself.

But part of her brain, Kim pointed out, had already stopped working and she still enjoyed life. And like brain-damaged patients, she felt she could be rehabilitated. In fact, digital repairs might well be easier than physical recovery. There was already some neuroscience research that made piecing together a damaged connectome seem conceivable.

Memories, for instance, appear to be stored in multiple places. Certain areas of the brain responsible for tasks like attention might be replaced with off-the-shelf spare parts. The molecular identity of neurons held clues to which should be connected where. And broken ones might be digitally pieced back together, perhaps not even precisely, some researchers say.

“You’d ask yourself how many mistakes could you make and still have the same person,” Joshua R. Sanes, director of the Center for Brain Science at Harvard University, said in an interview. “The ability of us to keep being ourselves in the face of changes in our nervous system is pretty amazing.”

Kim tried to make light of it all. “You’ll have to enhance me,” she told Josh. But she was serious when she told him she would rather survive in some damaged form than not at all.

Amid the few fantasies they allowed themselves, Kim made a point to tell him something more tangible, too: “I want you to be happy,” she said. “You’ll find a new person, and you’ll be O.K.”

When an August M.R.I. showed that the experimental drug had failed to halt the growth of Kim’s tumor, she and Josh shot and edited a short video for her blog, in which she asked for donations for cryonics.

“Get ready to feel weird about me!” she posted on Facebook with a link.

The next day, as they drove across the country to Duke University in Durham, N.C., where Kim was to receive radiation, she wrote out a longer explanation: “Reddit, help me find some peace in dying young (I’m 23),” it read.

Josh rummaged for a pen, one hand still on the wheel. He scrawled “Freeze Me, Reddit,” on a stray piece of paper and handed it to her.

She took a picture of herself, embedded it in her post and clicked “send.”

In the first wave of response, Kim wrote to a friend, “Reddit was harsh.”

Hundreds voiced or linked to opinions over the course of a few days, more after Kim was featured on the local television news. The couple were prepared for the technical objections about cryonics and uploading minds.

They even took a certain pleasure in the philosophical argument over whether any uploaded mind would essentially be a zombie, with all the behaviors of the original but lacking its soul.

Some recoiled at the prospect of living much longer lives, citing fear of boredom, or being useless, or lonely. Others suggested the future would have little interest in relics from the 2010s (“you’d be little more than a rodent to them, intelligence-wise,” one wrote).

But it was the hostility, as though they were proposing a Faustian bargain for all of humanity, that took Josh and Kim aback.

One commenter vowed to donate money to cancer research, “not your extraordinary long-shot attempt at self-preservation.” Another called Kim a “selfish retard.”

Josh voted down the online critics and feigned keeping his temper.

“Some people who enjoy life fight for any chance to keep living,” he replied to a post that suggested Kim should spend her remaining time “actually living your life.”

Still, Kim’s original post was “upvoted,” akin to “liking” on Facebook, 89 percent of the time, a hit in Reddit terms.

And they were floored by the outpouring of support from strangers.

A software engineer at Google, Maksym Taran, who like Kim was 23, donated $1,000 within hours and wrote a few days later that he would supply the full amount if she failed to raise it. Another donor was Michael Andregg, then 36, co-founder of Halcyon Molecular, a high-profile genetics start-up in Silicon Valley: “I hope you preferably get better,” he wrote to her, “but failing that get cryopreserved.”

Parijata Mackey, a young woman in California, connected her to a board member at Alcor, and sent her phone number: “If you’re ever bored, or want to chat about cryo-sciencey-future things, feel free to call me anytime.”

A group of longtime cryonics supporters, the Society for Venturism, pitched in, as did Kim’s mother, Jane Suozzi, who signed over a $10,000 life insurance policy she held in Kim’s name.

As donations continued to come in and their contacts at Alcor indicated that Kim would almost certainly be fully funded, Josh sat her down to shoot a thank-you video.

Adamant about not having a “bucket list,” Kim nevertheless admitted to a certain interest in seeing the Grand Canyon, and in October 2012, she and Josh set out to visit it on a road trip. But first they stopped at a cryonics conference Alcor was holding to celebrate its 40th anniversary in Scottsdale, Ariz., at which she had been invited to speak.

The conference was full of well-wishers, including several who had donated money to her. And Kim was looking forward to the talk by Sebastian Seung, a Princeton University neuroscientist who had treated cryonics seriously in his book published that year, “Connectome: How the Brain’s Wiring Makes Us Who We Are.”

If the brain’s connections remain intact in the cryonics procedure, or can be pieced back together, he had written, “then we cannot rule out the possibility of resurrecting memories and restoring personal identity.”

But Dr. Seung, an adviser to the Brain Preservation Foundation, cautioned Alcor members that he hoped his talk would help them “make informed decisions”

Even though three-dimensional maps of partial bits of brain had become relatively easy to produce, Dr. Seung observed, Alcor had not published any such images — even of animal brains preserved under its protocol. Only two-dimensional images had been published. That raised questions about how well preserved their clients’ brains were.

Soon a heated argument ensued among some audience members over how to preserve brains.

Greg Fahy, the chief scientist at 21st Century Medicine, the company that invented the cryoprotectant Alcor uses to protect the brain from ice crystals, defended Alcor’s methods, pointing out that no method was available that could achieve connectome preservation using fixation and plastic embedding of a human brain, so that no evidence for that approach existed either.

Dr. Fahy, a cryobiologist whose research focuses on organ banking, had provided the most encouraging signs that cryonics did preserve brain structure. In a 2009 experiment, his team showed that neurons in slices of rabbit brains immersed in the solution, chilled to cryogenic temperatures and then rewarmed, had responded to electrical stimulation.

His method, he contended, preserved the connectome in those slices. But a complication prevented him from entering the prize competition: Brain tissue perfused with the cryoprotectant invariably becomes dehydrated, making it nearly impossible to see the details of the shrunken neurons and their connections under an electron microscope.

Dr. Hayworth, the founder of the Brain Preservation Technology Prize, argued that a slice of brain responding to electrical stimulation was unconvincing evidence that the critical connections throughout the whole brain had been preserved.

Yet the only competitor so far for his prize — Dr. Mikula of the Max Planck Institute — had also experienced difficulty in the key step of his method that would allow the tissue to be seen under an electron microscope.

So Dr. Hayworth urged Dr. Fahy to find some way for his work to be better validated. “We have to be able to see it to believe it,” he said.

In fact, there was one way Dr. Fahy had considered. He could fix the brain’s structure in place with chemicals first, just as Dr. Mikula was doing, buying time to perfuse the cryoprotectant more slowly to avoid dehydration. But he lacked the funds, he said, for a project that would have no practical business application for organ banking. Also, his company’s focus is on what he calls “reversible” cryopreservation, whereas fixing the brain’s structure in place with chemicals, as is done in chemopreservation, would place biological revival, the goal of many Alcor members, even farther out of reach.

Kim’s talk was well-received. Josh, watching from the audience, felt warmed by the applause that broke out several times during her short presentation. Yet he noticed her losing her train of thought more than once.

In early November, Kim assigned her power of attorney to Josh. She understood, Josh later realized, better than he had, how little time she had left.

“I know that, Mom and Dad, you probably would respect my last wishes,” she said to her phone camera. “But Josh knows me best.”

Josh, who one year granted Kim’s birthday wish to dress her, now dressed her every day.

They had decided that Kim would die in the hospice Alcor had suggested near its headquarters in Scottsdale, one that would allow the cryonics team to be on hand with all its equipment so the preservation procedure could begin immediately. And after a sharp exchange, in which her father threatened to take Kim home with him to Florida, Mr. Suozzi backed down.

“Josh and I have only one thing in common,” Mr. Suozzi said with a certain reluctant admiration. “And that is our love for Kim.”

Kim decided to refuse food and water to hasten her death before the tumor consumed more of her brain. But 12 days after her arrival at the hospice — far longer than they had imagined would be necessary — the hospice informed them that because her condition seemed to have stabilized she would have to be treated as an outpatient.

Alcor’s emergency medicine technician was prohibited from touching Kim before her death was officially pronounced by a medical professional. When Josh protested, the hospice assured him that the nurse would get to the apartment Mr. Suozzi rented nearby in less than 15 minutes.

But when, two days after Kim had left the hospice, Josh did call at 5 a.m. to say she was dying, it took an hour for one of the nurses to respond because, he was told later, they were between shifts.

When it did begin, the procedure itself went mostly as planned. With the help of two nurses employed by Alcor, the company’s emergency medical technician, Aaron Drake, performed a series of steps designed to keep the blood vessels in Kim’s brain from collapsing.

He connected her to a CPR device to restore the circulation of her blood. A tube was inserted into her lungs to deliver air. She was given medications to prevent the brain from swelling and to break up blood clots. Then she was lowered into an ice bath and carried to the van for the short drive to Alcor’s facility.

By late morning, her head had been separated from her torso. Josh watched from an observation window as the cryoprotectant was pumped through her main cerebral arteries.

When all that remained was to continue the cooling with liquid nitrogen gas, Josh looked into her face for the last time. They had done, he thought, the best they could.

Josh grieved for Kim in the usual ways, but also in some unusual ones.

He had promised to periodically leave her messages so she could catch up on what she had missed, and he did.

He reclaimed the job he had quit to care for Kim in the months before her death. He began to rebuild the ties to family and friends that he had neglected while Kim was dying and sought, as Kim had once put it, to “find a new person.”

When a CT scan of Kim’s brain arrived from Alcor, it appeared to show that the cryoprotectant had reached only the outer portion of her brain, leaving the rest vulnerable to ice damage.

Josh took some solace in the fact that the outer layer, associated with abstract thinking and language, appeared to have been protected.

He holds out hope of seeing Kim again someday. “Until (or unless) the day comes that Kim can be brought back,” he wrote on her Facebook page, “remember her, celebrate her, and emulate her resilience, so we can create the future of her dreams.”

Kim’s father sometimes leaves her voice mail messages too, just in case, he said, she does turn out to be around to hear them.

“Kim, it’s Dad,” they often start, “I just wanted to leave you a message.”

Brain preservation research went on too.

In the late fall of 2013, almost a year after Kim’s death, a celebrity D.J., Steve Aoki, announced a benefit for brain research.

Of four charities Mr. Aoki identified, the one to register the most “likes” on his Facebook page over the following month would receive $1 from every ticket of his tour, likely to total some $50,000. One of them was Dr. Hayworth’s Brain Preservation Foundation.

Soon the foundation had won the contest. Of its winnings, $20,000 went to Dr. Fahy to enable him to try the new protocol he had proposed, first fixing the connectome in place with chemicals so that the brain did not shrink from dehydration and slices of it could be viewed under an electron microscope.

Dr. Mikula also got some of the money and made progress. He discovered the one solvent among hundreds that allowed him to complete the task of staining a whole mouse brain and preserving it in plastic. The technique, he wrote in an email, can “likely be adapted to human brains within five years.”

The journal Nature Methods published his protocol in April. And this month, a paper by Dr. Fahy and a colleague at 21st Century Medicine, Robert McIntyre, was accepted for publication by the journal Cryobiology. It includes electron microscope images of a rabbit and pig brain preserved under their method.

Both groups have submitted their work to the Brain Preservation Technology Prize.

Op-Ed Columnist: The Google Art Heist

Paris — JUST seeing the Crayola colors painted on the tall iron fence of the 18th-century hotel particulier made me shiver. The big panda in flip flops in the lobby, arms up in greeting, scared me. And the petite ham sandwiches getting wheeled around to Google staffers looked positively menacing.

The more playful Google gets, the more paranoid I get.

We are still trying to fathom whether the tech behemoth is a boon to society or, as Rupert Murdoch’s lieutenant Robert Thomson charges, a cynical, rapacious, “often unaccountable bureaucracy” running “a platform for piracy,” gobbling up all the intellectual property in the world for its own profit.

So when I heard that, building on its plan to digitize all books, Google had opened a Cultural Institute in Paris to digitally replicate and curate all art and culture on earth, I wanted to check it out. Europe is, after all, hostile territory for the Alphabet, with its highest court upholding an individual’s right to be forgotten and lawsuits looming over the tech giant’s suffocating business practices.

Despite the cheeky sign on the door of the grand building on Rue de Londres — “I’m feeling lucky” — I wasn’t the only one with mal de mer. When the institute had an opening fete two years ago, the French culture minister was a no-show, warning about “an operation that still raises a certain number of questions.”

Meeting the head of the institute, Amit Sood, a Bombay native in his mid-30s, made me suspicious at first. Looking cozy in a long gray cardigan and black sneakers, he’s a preternaturally perfect ambassador, like a high-powered Google algorithm designed to co-opt museums and foundations so charmingly that curators will barely know they’d been appropriated. But the guy seems sincere.

“This is our biggest battle, this constant misunderstanding of why the Cultural Institute actually exists,” he said. “In France obviously there was a lot of skepticism about why is Google entering this domain.”

From the most famous paintings of the Uffizi to an archive of South Korean film to virtual galleries of the pyramids, the institute has already amassed an impressive collection. Sood has serenely fielded the questions about whether his project will lead to people prowling museums from the comfort of their couch, filtering and missing out on actual visits.

“I’ve seen ‘Starry Night’ at MoMA probably 30 times in person and I have the most high-resolution digitized image of that on my platform right now,” he said, “but every time I come to New York, I still go see ‘Starry Night.’ ”

He added that there was “awesome” data showing that “physical attendance at museums is rising at a rate never seen before, especially in countries and museums that have cool digital initiatives.”

To critics who accuse him of dumbing down art education, he says: “To some extent I do want to dumb down a few things, because I think some things are too highbrow at some point.” He talks about “the mom feature”: His Indian mom doesn’t care about Impressionists and thought he was “wasting” his life on this project, but when he showed her the gold jewelry from Bogotá, Israel and the Met on his site, she became a fan.

“So for me,” he said, “the route into the person’s mind to get more interested in culture, history or wonders can be many.”

Sood was not an art aficionado when he and some colleagues launched the project at Mountain View, trying to come up with a way to make art in Western museums accessible to people in countries like India and make it look magical online, with the ability to zoom in on each brush stroke of the Chagall ceiling of the Paris Opera.

When Sood lived in London, he went to museums just because the cafes were good places to meet interesting people. But now, he says, “I value what’s going on and I think you have to be patient. You can’t expect museums to move at the pace of the Internet.”

Sood said Paris was chosen for the endeavor in order to confront the skepticism head on — “If I can convince them, I can convince practically everybody” — and as bait to recruit the best engineers.

“In Paris, it has not been easy,” he said. “But we’re getting there. More and more institutions are signing up.”

He has now lured in over 850 museums, archives and foundations in 61 countries and hired several people he first pitched the project to — experts from the German ministry of culture, the Met, the Tate and Versailles.

He and his colleague, Laurent Gaveau, have cast a wide net, creating an archive of street art, histories of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Lahore crafts and textiles and even — “out of our comfort zone” — Italian mozzarella, lemons and Balsamic vinegar.

They didn’t get to Palmyra to film the nearly 2,000-year-old temple there before ISIS blew it up, but Sood suggested they could recreate it online.

He has tried to soothe fears that technology ruins the experience of viewing art and that Google will gobble up content, offering museums a delete button that instantly removes all content from the site.

“I don’t care so much if they use Google or not, to be very blunt,” he said. “I care more that cultural institutions that have great stuff under lock and key put it out there for anybody to download. If they want to put it on Instagram or Facebook or Twitter, be my guest.” Indeed, to show they aren’t gaming the system, he noted that if you Google “The Birth of Venus,” his site does not come up first. (It’s 10th.)

Could there be a digital version of one of those famous French art heists?

“Of course I could be hacked,” Sood said, adding wryly, “I don’t know if there’s a teenager sitting somewhere wanting all the Rembrandts.”

Paris — JUST seeing the Crayola colors painted on the tall iron fence of the 18th-century hotel particulier made me shiver. The big panda in flip flops in the lobby, arms up in greeting, scared me. And the petite ham sandwiches getting wheeled around to Google staffers looked positively menacing.

The more playful Google gets, the more paranoid I get.

We are still trying to fathom whether the tech behemoth is a boon to society or, as Rupert Murdoch’s lieutenant Robert Thomson charges, a cynical, rapacious, “often unaccountable bureaucracy” running “a platform for piracy,” gobbling up all the intellectual property in the world for its own profit.

So when I heard that, building on its plan to digitize all books, Google had opened a Cultural Institute in Paris to digitally replicate and curate all art and culture on earth, I wanted to check it out. Europe is, after all, hostile territory for the Alphabet, with its highest court upholding an individual’s right to be forgotten and lawsuits looming over the tech giant’s suffocating business practices.

Despite the cheeky sign on the door of the grand building on Rue de Londres — “I’m feeling lucky” — I wasn’t the only one with mal de mer. When the institute had an opening fete two years ago, the French culture minister was a no-show, warning about “an operation that still raises a certain number of questions.”

Meeting the head of the institute, Amit Sood, a Bombay native in his mid-30s, made me suspicious at first. Looking cozy in a long gray cardigan and black sneakers, he’s a preternaturally perfect ambassador, like a high-powered Google algorithm designed to co-opt museums and foundations so charmingly that curators will barely know they’d been appropriated. But the guy seems sincere.

“This is our biggest battle, this constant misunderstanding of why the Cultural Institute actually exists,” he said. “In France obviously there was a lot of skepticism about why is Google entering this domain.”

From the most famous paintings of the Uffizi to an archive of South Korean film to virtual galleries of the pyramids, the institute has already amassed an impressive collection. Sood has serenely fielded the questions about whether his project will lead to people prowling museums from the comfort of their couch, filtering and missing out on actual visits.

“I’ve seen ‘Starry Night’ at MoMA probably 30 times in person and I have the most high-resolution digitized image of that on my platform right now,” he said, “but every time I come to New York, I still go see ‘Starry Night.’ ”

He added that there was “awesome” data showing that “physical attendance at museums is rising at a rate never seen before, especially in countries and museums that have cool digital initiatives.”

To critics who accuse him of dumbing down art education, he says: “To some extent I do want to dumb down a few things, because I think some things are too highbrow at some point.” He talks about “the mom feature”: His Indian mom doesn’t care about Impressionists and thought he was “wasting” his life on this project, but when he showed her the gold jewelry from Bogotá, Israel and the Met on his site, she became a fan.

“So for me,” he said, “the route into the person’s mind to get more interested in culture, history or wonders can be many.”

Sood was not an art aficionado when he and some colleagues launched the project at Mountain View, trying to come up with a way to make art in Western museums accessible to people in countries like India and make it look magical online, with the ability to zoom in on each brush stroke of the Chagall ceiling of the Paris Opera.

When Sood lived in London, he went to museums just because the cafes were good places to meet interesting people. But now, he says, “I value what’s going on and I think you have to be patient. You can’t expect museums to move at the pace of the Internet.”

Sood said Paris was chosen for the endeavor in order to confront the skepticism head on — “If I can convince them, I can convince practically everybody” — and as bait to recruit the best engineers.

“In Paris, it has not been easy,” he said. “But we’re getting there. More and more institutions are signing up.”

He has now lured in over 850 museums, archives and foundations in 61 countries and hired several people he first pitched the project to — experts from the German ministry of culture, the Met, the Tate and Versailles.

He and his colleague, Laurent Gaveau, have cast a wide net, creating an archive of street art, histories of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Lahore crafts and textiles and even — “out of our comfort zone” — Italian mozzarella, lemons and Balsamic vinegar.

They didn’t get to Palmyra to film the nearly 2,000-year-old temple there before ISIS blew it up, but Sood suggested they could recreate it online.

He has tried to soothe fears that technology ruins the experience of viewing art and that Google will gobble up content, offering museums a delete button that instantly removes all content from the site.

“I don’t care so much if they use Google or not, to be very blunt,” he said. “I care more that cultural institutions that have great stuff under lock and key put it out there for anybody to download. If they want to put it on Instagram or Facebook or Twitter, be my guest.” Indeed, to show they aren’t gaming the system, he noted that if you Google “The Birth of Venus,” his site does not come up first. (It’s 10th.)

Could there be a digital version of one of those famous French art heists?

“Of course I could be hacked,” Sood said, adding wryly, “I don’t know if there’s a teenager sitting somewhere wanting all the Rembrandts.”

The Haggler: Special Offer, Time Machine Not Included

In this episode, a small rebate debacle, one that the Haggler idiotically assumed would be resolved with a polite nudge. To this, dear reader, you are no doubt muttering, “Rebates are always complicated, Haggler. You are an idiot.” Yes, concurs the Haggler. That is why he used the word “idiotically” in the first sentence.

Why rub it in?

Q. In May, I bought a $99 computer router from TigerDirect, an online retailer. If I took advantage of a $60 rebate offered on the site, the actual price would come to $39. Great deal, I thought.

The router arrived, but with a note stating that to get my $60 rebate, I needed a card with an activation number. That card wasn’t in the box. It arrived in the mail a month later — which was a problem. The offer expired 30 days after I ordered the router. When I mailed in the activation number, along with other documents required to get the rebate, I was told I was too late.

Of course, because the activation card showed up so long after the router, this was not my fault. Phone calls and emails have not helped.

It’s just $60. But I’m annoyed, and this seems unfair.

RAMON GREENBERG, BOSTON

A. It turns out this rebate doesn’t come from TigerDirect. It comes from McAfee, pioneers in the antivirus protection market. If you want that rebate, you buy the router and agree to sign up for a year’s worth of virus protection courtesy of McAfee software. Under the terms of this deal, the first year of protection is free, though you must enter your credit card information on McAfee’s site and check the automatic renewal box. Not a big deal; you can cancel before the year is up.

The rebate-hunting consumer, then, could buy the router for $99, sign up for a year of virus protection, get a $60 rebate, then bail out of the McAfee offer before it starts costing money — $79 a year, if you’re curious.

To dissect all that went wrong here, let’s start with the offer itself, as it appeared on TigerDirect’s website. The Asus router deal is no longer available, but Tony Jones, a very helpful spokesman for Systemax, the company that owns TigerDirect, pointed the Haggler to a nearly identical offer for a different product — specifically, an external hard drive.

“WD Elements 2TB External Portable Drive With McAfee 2015 Multi Access 1 User 5 Devices 1 yr License MMD15E Bundle,” is how the offer is listed.

Under this somewhat perplexing description is a reference to “instant savings,” the word “rebate” and a link that says “see terms.” You’d be wise to click on it. Because that link takes you to another link that says, “Click here to download information.” Better click that one, too. Here, the full consumer decathlon that is necessary to get your $60 is laid out.

“To qualify for this rebate you must,” reads a sentence near the top, followed by a long list of instructions. One of them says, “Instructions Below in Special Instructions.”

That’s right, dear reader. Once you’ve clicked and then clicked again to the fine print, you need to scroll down to locate the even finer print. Suffice it to say, Mr. Greenberg, a retired professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, didn’t notice any of this when he bought the router.

But it all became clear once his router arrived. What wasn’t clear was why the McAfee authorization card wasn’t included with his order. Or why, once that card arrived 30 days later, Mr. Greenberg could enroll for 12 months of free McAfee antivirus protection but could not get the $60.

That’s right. It wasn’t too late to sign up for that unwanted virus protection. But it was too late to get the rebate.

TigerDirect phone representatives suggested that Mr. Greenberg contact McAfee. McAfee phone representatives suggested a chat with TigerDirect. And round and round it went.

Then the Haggler got involved. Soon after, Kimberly Eichorn, a spokeswoman for McAfee, wrote, “It appears that there was a delay where TigerDirect was not able to ship the product” — whether she meant the router or the activation card is not clear — “within the 30-day rebate redemption window.”

Translation: It’s TigerDirect’s fault!

But wait. Mr. Greenberg’s router arrived soon after he had ordered it. Mr. Jones, a spokesman for Systemax, confirmed this.

“I regret that whomever you spoke to this morning at McAfee provided incorrect information,” Mr. Jones wrote. “The router was shipped on May 8, the same day Mr. Greenberg ordered it.”

It’s McAfee’s fault!

Actually, there is fault on both sides. TigerDirect ought to present the terms of its rebates in plain, easy-to-grasp language. (The Haggler recommends, “Hey, there’s a $60 rebate offered here — and it’s at least $60 worth of hassle!”) And McAfee should have made it easier for Mr. Greenberg to get his $60, given that he applied late through no fault of his own.

The Haggler finds such situations a little maddening. To resolve consumer issues like this, all that is needed is an employee who cares enough to shepherd an anomalous case through a system that isn’t accustomed to anomalous cases. Neither company, it seems, had such an employee.

Wait. Both companies have plenty of them; it’s just that they emerged only once the Haggler showed up. In the days that followed, a check for $60 arrived via UPS from a McAfee affiliate. A check for $95 arrived from TigerDirect soon after.

Yes, Mr. Greenberg is $95 flusher than he would have been had McAfee managed to mail him the standard $60 rebate. And yet Mr. Greenberg has spent little time exulting. In an email last week, he said the whole experience had made him a little wistful for RadioShack.

In this episode, a small rebate debacle, one that the Haggler idiotically assumed would be resolved with a polite nudge. To this, dear reader, you are no doubt muttering, “Rebates are always complicated, Haggler. You are an idiot.” Yes, concurs the Haggler. That is why he used the word “idiotically” in the first sentence.

Why rub it in?

Q. In May, I bought a $99 computer router from TigerDirect, an online retailer. If I took advantage of a $60 rebate offered on the site, the actual price would come to $39. Great deal, I thought.

The router arrived, but with a note stating that to get my $60 rebate, I needed a card with an activation number. That card wasn’t in the box. It arrived in the mail a month later — which was a problem. The offer expired 30 days after I ordered the router. When I mailed in the activation number, along with other documents required to get the rebate, I was told I was too late.

Of course, because the activation card showed up so long after the router, this was not my fault. Phone calls and emails have not helped.

It’s just $60. But I’m annoyed, and this seems unfair.

RAMON GREENBERG, BOSTON

A. It turns out this rebate doesn’t come from TigerDirect. It comes from McAfee, pioneers in the antivirus protection market. If you want that rebate, you buy the router and agree to sign up for a year’s worth of virus protection courtesy of McAfee software. Under the terms of this deal, the first year of protection is free, though you must enter your credit card information on McAfee’s site and check the automatic renewal box. Not a big deal; you can cancel before the year is up.

The rebate-hunting consumer, then, could buy the router for $99, sign up for a year of virus protection, get a $60 rebate, then bail out of the McAfee offer before it starts costing money — $79 a year, if you’re curious.

To dissect all that went wrong here, let’s start with the offer itself, as it appeared on TigerDirect’s website. The Asus router deal is no longer available, but Tony Jones, a very helpful spokesman for Systemax, the company that owns TigerDirect, pointed the Haggler to a nearly identical offer for a different product — specifically, an external hard drive.

“WD Elements 2TB External Portable Drive With McAfee 2015 Multi Access 1 User 5 Devices 1 yr License MMD15E Bundle,” is how the offer is listed.

Under this somewhat perplexing description is a reference to “instant savings,” the word “rebate” and a link that says “see terms.” You’d be wise to click on it. Because that link takes you to another link that says, “Click here to download information.” Better click that one, too. Here, the full consumer decathlon that is necessary to get your $60 is laid out.

“To qualify for this rebate you must,” reads a sentence near the top, followed by a long list of instructions. One of them says, “Instructions Below in Special Instructions.”

That’s right, dear reader. Once you’ve clicked and then clicked again to the fine print, you need to scroll down to locate the even finer print. Suffice it to say, Mr. Greenberg, a retired professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, didn’t notice any of this when he bought the router.

But it all became clear once his router arrived. What wasn’t clear was why the McAfee authorization card wasn’t included with his order. Or why, once that card arrived 30 days later, Mr. Greenberg could enroll for 12 months of free McAfee antivirus protection but could not get the $60.

That’s right. It wasn’t too late to sign up for that unwanted virus protection. But it was too late to get the rebate.

TigerDirect phone representatives suggested that Mr. Greenberg contact McAfee. McAfee phone representatives suggested a chat with TigerDirect. And round and round it went.

Then the Haggler got involved. Soon after, Kimberly Eichorn, a spokeswoman for McAfee, wrote, “It appears that there was a delay where TigerDirect was not able to ship the product” — whether she meant the router or the activation card is not clear — “within the 30-day rebate redemption window.”

Translation: It’s TigerDirect’s fault!

But wait. Mr. Greenberg’s router arrived soon after he had ordered it. Mr. Jones, a spokesman for Systemax, confirmed this.

“I regret that whomever you spoke to this morning at McAfee provided incorrect information,” Mr. Jones wrote. “The router was shipped on May 8, the same day Mr. Greenberg ordered it.”

It’s McAfee’s fault!

Actually, there is fault on both sides. TigerDirect ought to present the terms of its rebates in plain, easy-to-grasp language. (The Haggler recommends, “Hey, there’s a $60 rebate offered here — and it’s at least $60 worth of hassle!”) And McAfee should have made it easier for Mr. Greenberg to get his $60, given that he applied late through no fault of his own.

The Haggler finds such situations a little maddening. To resolve consumer issues like this, all that is needed is an employee who cares enough to shepherd an anomalous case through a system that isn’t accustomed to anomalous cases. Neither company, it seems, had such an employee.

Wait. Both companies have plenty of them; it’s just that they emerged only once the Haggler showed up. In the days that followed, a check for $60 arrived via UPS from a McAfee affiliate. A check for $95 arrived from TigerDirect soon after.

Yes, Mr. Greenberg is $95 flusher than he would have been had McAfee managed to mail him the standard $60 rebate. And yet Mr. Greenberg has spent little time exulting. In an email last week, he said the whole experience had made him a little wistful for RadioShack.

Farhad and Mike’s Week in Tech: Android Pay and Apple Products

Each Saturday, Farhad Manjoo and Mike Isaac, technology reporters at The New York Times, review the week’s news, offering analysis and maybe a joke or two about the most important developments in the industry.

Farhad: Hey, Mike, how’s it going? I was off last week. I bet you missed me. Well, don’t worry. I’m back now!

Mike: I noted your absence in a brief moment of silence.

Farhad: Thanks. So, tech news. It was Apple week, of course. At an event in San Francisco, they announced a new iPhone (faster, pink), a new iPad (huge, stylus) and a new Apple TV (Siri, not an actual television).

Mike: Apple Pencil, Farhad. Styluses are for squares and art students. One-hundred-dollar pencils are the new hotness.

Farhad: Right. I thought all of it was pretty nifty, though perhaps the best trick was what Apple did to the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, a cavernous San Francisco concert hall usually associated with hippie jam bands. Apple turned it into a gleaming palace of minimalist design, actually building its own theater of 1,500 seats, complete with a gleaming night sky, and redoing all of the signs in the place into Apple’s own typographical style.

Mike: I saw Nick Cave play there once. The acoustics were awful. I hope it was better for a two-hour-20-minute product announcement.

Farhad: In non-Apple news: Ellen Pao dropped the appeal of her gender-discrimination lawsuit against the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Ms. Pao, the former chief executive of Reddit, will now owe the firm $276,000 in legal fees. And The Wall Street Journal had a crazy story about the lengths that the firm RadiumOne and its investors went to to save Gurbaksh Chahal, the company’s chief executive, who pleaded guilty to domestic-violence offenses. Man, tech sure is ugly sometimes.

So let’s talk about something much more pleasant: Money! Android Pay began this week – Google’s answer to Apple’s wireless payment system. Except, weirdly, Android already had wireless payments that it scrapped. You cover the payments industry. What’s going on here?

Mike: So, Google is basically swinging again on a project it completely whiffed on a few years ago.

Google Wallet, which was introduced in 2011, worked with only one type of credit card, using one mobile carrier, and only on certain phones. Google pushed ahead without the blessing of getting banks, credit card companies, carriers and merchants on board. Surprise, surprise, no one used Google Wallet, and it tanked.

Enter Apple Pay, years later. Apple lines up the banks, the card companies and does a huge marketing blitz to train merchants. The carriers’ own project — the unfortunately named “Isis” — never took off, so they’re not an impediment to making this work anymore.

Basically, Apple Pay paved the way for mobile payments to actually work, and now Google — and Samsung — are trying to do the same thing in pretty much the exact way Apple has done it.

Are you still awake?

Farhad: I’m still laughing about the Isis thing.

Mike: Ok, good. What I don’t really get is why I would use Android or Samsung over Apple Pay, or vice versa. It seems to be basically companies bringing feature parity to their platforms, which makes the choice really about whether you’re an Android loyalist or an Apple acolyte. And that’s an age-old battle. Or, I guess, a five-year-old battle. It seems longer in Internet time.

Farhad: This is the fundamental problem with all these payment systems — none of them has reached ubiquity on devices or at stores, so you’re always left wondering what works where. The easiest thing to do: Use credit cards.

There’s a similar mess in money-transferring apps, and since I’ve got you here, let me ask you this: I owe our boss $10. Why isn’t there a simple, easy way to send her money without a lot of negotiations in advance about which app to use? I know there are lots of apps, some of them quite popular, like PayPal, Venmo and Square Cash. But I can never be sure who has what, and some of them seem particularly tied to certain demographics. That is, I get the sense that Venmo is for hipsters in Brooklyn. With all these money services, we’re in the same state we were in with social apps before Facebook. Nothing is huge, so nothing really works as well as it could. Who’s going to fix this?

Mike: First of all, I didn’t know I could borrow money from the boss, so I’m making a mental note of that. Second, this very question proves you are not a millennial, the exact demographic that loves these peer-to-peer payment apps.

As of right now, most of the world is stuck in old-school ways of sending money: Bank transfers and wiring across borders, the ways we’ve done it for decades. Apps like Venmo and Square Cash are growing popular because they’re fast, easy and free. And I figure they’ll catch on with young crowds and slowly trickle up to older users as time goes on.

But as you said: Not everyone has these apps, while many people have bank accounts. So it’s sort of tough to find a technological, nontraditional standard that everyone is familiar with and able to use. For that reason, I have a little more faith in Facebook, which is sticking money transfers into its Messenger app. Facebook has 1.5 billion users, and that’s quite a bit more than use Venmo or whatever else.

That said, Google tried sticking money transfers inside email a while back, and its revamped Google Wallet app will become yet another peer-to-peer payments app. The former never took off, and who knows how the latter will fare.

In sum, no one knows how to fix anything, and the traditional financial institutions will probably win because that’s basically what we’re all used to using. I hope you’re still cool with your local Western Union guy.

Farhad: O.K., I guess what you’re saying is, there’s just no good way to pay back the boss. I’ll let her know you said I’m off the hook. See you!

Each Saturday, Farhad Manjoo and Mike Isaac, technology reporters at The New York Times, review the week’s news, offering analysis and maybe a joke or two about the most important developments in the industry.

Farhad: Hey, Mike, how’s it going? I was off last week. I bet you missed me. Well, don’t worry. I’m back now!

Mike: I noted your absence in a brief moment of silence.

Farhad: Thanks. So, tech news. It was Apple week, of course. At an event in San Francisco, they announced a new iPhone (faster, pink), a new iPad (huge, stylus) and a new Apple TV (Siri, not an actual television).

Mike: Apple Pencil, Farhad. Styluses are for squares and art students. One-hundred-dollar pencils are the new hotness.

Farhad: Right. I thought all of it was pretty nifty, though perhaps the best trick was what Apple did to the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, a cavernous San Francisco concert hall usually associated with hippie jam bands. Apple turned it into a gleaming palace of minimalist design, actually building its own theater of 1,500 seats, complete with a gleaming night sky, and redoing all of the signs in the place into Apple’s own typographical style.

Mike: I saw Nick Cave play there once. The acoustics were awful. I hope it was better for a two-hour-20-minute product announcement.

Farhad: In non-Apple news: Ellen Pao dropped the appeal of her gender-discrimination lawsuit against the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Ms. Pao, the former chief executive of Reddit, will now owe the firm $276,000 in legal fees. And The Wall Street Journal had a crazy story about the lengths that the firm RadiumOne and its investors went to to save Gurbaksh Chahal, the company’s chief executive, who pleaded guilty to domestic-violence offenses. Man, tech sure is ugly sometimes.

So let’s talk about something much more pleasant: Money! Android Pay began this week – Google’s answer to Apple’s wireless payment system. Except, weirdly, Android already had wireless payments that it scrapped. You cover the payments industry. What’s going on here?

Mike: So, Google is basically swinging again on a project it completely whiffed on a few years ago.

Google Wallet, which was introduced in 2011, worked with only one type of credit card, using one mobile carrier, and only on certain phones. Google pushed ahead without the blessing of getting banks, credit card companies, carriers and merchants on board. Surprise, surprise, no one used Google Wallet, and it tanked.

Enter Apple Pay, years later. Apple lines up the banks, the card companies and does a huge marketing blitz to train merchants. The carriers’ own project — the unfortunately named “Isis” — never took off, so they’re not an impediment to making this work anymore.

Basically, Apple Pay paved the way for mobile payments to actually work, and now Google — and Samsung — are trying to do the same thing in pretty much the exact way Apple has done it.

Are you still awake?

Farhad: I’m still laughing about the Isis thing.

Mike: Ok, good. What I don’t really get is why I would use Android or Samsung over Apple Pay, or vice versa. It seems to be basically companies bringing feature parity to their platforms, which makes the choice really about whether you’re an Android loyalist or an Apple acolyte. And that’s an age-old battle. Or, I guess, a five-year-old battle. It seems longer in Internet time.

Farhad: This is the fundamental problem with all these payment systems — none of them has reached ubiquity on devices or at stores, so you’re always left wondering what works where. The easiest thing to do: Use credit cards.

There’s a similar mess in money-transferring apps, and since I’ve got you here, let me ask you this: I owe our boss $10. Why isn’t there a simple, easy way to send her money without a lot of negotiations in advance about which app to use? I know there are lots of apps, some of them quite popular, like PayPal, Venmo and Square Cash. But I can never be sure who has what, and some of them seem particularly tied to certain demographics. That is, I get the sense that Venmo is for hipsters in Brooklyn. With all these money services, we’re in the same state we were in with social apps before Facebook. Nothing is huge, so nothing really works as well as it could. Who’s going to fix this?

Mike: First of all, I didn’t know I could borrow money from the boss, so I’m making a mental note of that. Second, this very question proves you are not a millennial, the exact demographic that loves these peer-to-peer payment apps.

As of right now, most of the world is stuck in old-school ways of sending money: Bank transfers and wiring across borders, the ways we’ve done it for decades. Apps like Venmo and Square Cash are growing popular because they’re fast, easy and free. And I figure they’ll catch on with young crowds and slowly trickle up to older users as time goes on.

But as you said: Not everyone has these apps, while many people have bank accounts. So it’s sort of tough to find a technological, nontraditional standard that everyone is familiar with and able to use. For that reason, I have a little more faith in Facebook, which is sticking money transfers into its Messenger app. Facebook has 1.5 billion users, and that’s quite a bit more than use Venmo or whatever else.

That said, Google tried sticking money transfers inside email a while back, and its revamped Google Wallet app will become yet another peer-to-peer payments app. The former never took off, and who knows how the latter will fare.

In sum, no one knows how to fix anything, and the traditional financial institutions will probably win because that’s basically what we’re all used to using. I hope you’re still cool with your local Western Union guy.

Farhad: O.K., I guess what you’re saying is, there’s just no good way to pay back the boss. I’ll let her know you said I’m off the hook. See you!

Google, Twitter and Publishers Seek Faster Web

SAN FRANCISCO — In a world where many people read everything on mobile phones, a few seconds of load time can mean the gain or loss of millions of readers and advertising dollars.

Now Google wants to help publishers — and itself — by speeding things up.

Google is working with the social media service Twitter and major news publishers like The Guardian and The New York Times to create a new kind of web link and article storage system that would load online news articles and digital magazine pieces in a few milliseconds, according to several people involved in the project. That is a fraction of the five to 10 seconds it can take to load a typical website.

The project is still in its early stages, and many details are still in flux, according to the people involved, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the partners had not yet made an announcement.

The goal is to develop a universal standard for publishers — one that could be used to load articles more quickly wherever they appear. But accomplishing that while retaining the look and feel of those pages has proved difficult.

The effort is also an attempt to protect the web from the onslaught of mobile applications and steer publishers away from the closed, proprietary systems that are being built by companies like Facebook, Apple and Snapchat.

“Google and Twitter are rightly fearful that publishers are going to start doing something specific for Facebook and they will become an afterthought,” said Danny Sullivan, founding editor of Search Engine Land, an industry publication that closely tracks Google and the search industry.

The move is one of several Google initiatives meant to increase its influence with publishers. The company is also exploring ways to use its search engine to increase traffic to high-quality publisher content.

Google makes most of its money from ads sold on websites, including its own search page. For its part, Twitter, which depends heavily on conversations around news articles for its traffic, wants to keep visitors on its platform longer. The new technology would also more prominently display tweets embedded on web pages.

Twitter and Google declined to comment on the project, which is expected to be announced with initial test partners within the next four to six weeks. Eileen Murphy, a New York Times spokeswoman, confirmed that The Times was one of those initial partners and has been helping Google develop the format.

The tech news site Recode first reported on the project Friday.

According to the people involved in the project, publishers would have to slightly alter their articles’ web coding and make it available to be copied, or cached, so that it could be quickly loaded on web browsers, Twitter or other services, even those that don’t participate.

But articles would look and behave like anything else on the web — complete with banner ads, photos and links to other articles. Pinterest, the picture-sharing platform, is also involved in the project. The new method is also expected to work on blogs created on the WordPress publishing platform.

The more time people spend with mobile devices, the less they use the web. This year, smartphone users in the United States are projected to spend 81 percent of their time using mobile apps, versus 19 percent using the mobile web, according to eMarketer, a research firm.

People often favor mobile apps because they are faster, cleanly formatted and are constantly updated to take advantage of the evolving features of new smartphones.

Despite the migration to apps, much of the content inside popular services like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest continues to come from web links. And compared to many apps, the web feels clunky and slow, adding seconds of load time that can prompt impatient mobile users to move on to something else.

Facebook, which is the largest source of referral traffic for many news publishers, began testing a format it calls Instant Articles in May with a handful of large publishers like The Times, BuzzFeed, National Geographic and NBC News.

Facebook hosts the content on its social network and presents it in a streamlined format that loads up to 10 times faster than a typical mobile web article. Facebook also offers these publishers the choice of selling their own ads on their articles or sharing the proceeds of ads that Facebook sells.

Apple will soon begin offering curated news content from many publishers through an Apple News app built into the latest version of its operating system for iPhones and iPads. And Snapchat, a messaging service, has been working with publishers on custom article formats for its app.

While the new article format proposed by Google and Twitter could be appealing to publishers, it doesn’t address what is likely their bigger worry: their increasing reliance on social networks, especially Facebook, for readers.

Google may still be the undisputed king of web search, but Facebook is starting to have more sway over publishers. In July, Facebook eclipsed Google for the share of referral traffic to publishers — about 40 percent versus 38 percent for Google. Just two years ago, Facebook drove about 12 percent of referral traffic to publishers, according to Parse.ly, which tracks traffic to web publishers.

Vivian Schiller, an independent media consultant who has been an executive at Twitter, NBC and The Times, said Google’s proposed new format would still leave publishers vulnerable. “Facebook is so incredibly dominant they can still leverage publishers to create Instant Articles. It also doesn’t solve the other problem for publishers, which is that social media is the new home page.”

SAN FRANCISCO — In a world where many people read everything on mobile phones, a few seconds of load time can mean the gain or loss of millions of readers and advertising dollars.

Now Google wants to help publishers — and itself — by speeding things up.

Google is working with the social media service Twitter and major news publishers like The Guardian and The New York Times to create a new kind of web link and article storage system that would load online news articles and digital magazine pieces in a few milliseconds, according to several people involved in the project. That is a fraction of the five to 10 seconds it can take to load a typical website.

The project is still in its early stages, and many details are still in flux, according to the people involved, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the partners had not yet made an announcement.

The goal is to develop a universal standard for publishers — one that could be used to load articles more quickly wherever they appear. But accomplishing that while retaining the look and feel of those pages has proved difficult.

The effort is also an attempt to protect the web from the onslaught of mobile applications and steer publishers away from the closed, proprietary systems that are being built by companies like Facebook, Apple and Snapchat.

“Google and Twitter are rightly fearful that publishers are going to start doing something specific for Facebook and they will become an afterthought,” said Danny Sullivan, founding editor of Search Engine Land, an industry publication that closely tracks Google and the search industry.

The move is one of several Google initiatives meant to increase its influence with publishers. The company is also exploring ways to use its search engine to increase traffic to high-quality publisher content.

Google makes most of its money from ads sold on websites, including its own search page. For its part, Twitter, which depends heavily on conversations around news articles for its traffic, wants to keep visitors on its platform longer. The new technology would also more prominently display tweets embedded on web pages.

Twitter and Google declined to comment on the project, which is expected to be announced with initial test partners within the next four to six weeks. Eileen Murphy, a New York Times spokeswoman, confirmed that The Times was one of those initial partners and has been helping Google develop the format.

The tech news site Recode first reported on the project Friday.

According to the people involved in the project, publishers would have to slightly alter their articles’ web coding and make it available to be copied, or cached, so that it could be quickly loaded on web browsers, Twitter or other services, even those that don’t participate.

But articles would look and behave like anything else on the web — complete with banner ads, photos and links to other articles. Pinterest, the picture-sharing platform, is also involved in the project. The new method is also expected to work on blogs created on the WordPress publishing platform.

The more time people spend with mobile devices, the less they use the web. This year, smartphone users in the United States are projected to spend 81 percent of their time using mobile apps, versus 19 percent using the mobile web, according to eMarketer, a research firm.

People often favor mobile apps because they are faster, cleanly formatted and are constantly updated to take advantage of the evolving features of new smartphones.

Despite the migration to apps, much of the content inside popular services like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest continues to come from web links. And compared to many apps, the web feels clunky and slow, adding seconds of load time that can prompt impatient mobile users to move on to something else.

Facebook, which is the largest source of referral traffic for many news publishers, began testing a format it calls Instant Articles in May with a handful of large publishers like The Times, BuzzFeed, National Geographic and NBC News.

Facebook hosts the content on its social network and presents it in a streamlined format that loads up to 10 times faster than a typical mobile web article. Facebook also offers these publishers the choice of selling their own ads on their articles or sharing the proceeds of ads that Facebook sells.

Apple will soon begin offering curated news content from many publishers through an Apple News app built into the latest version of its operating system for iPhones and iPads. And Snapchat, a messaging service, has been working with publishers on custom article formats for its app.

While the new article format proposed by Google and Twitter could be appealing to publishers, it doesn’t address what is likely their bigger worry: their increasing reliance on social networks, especially Facebook, for readers.

Google may still be the undisputed king of web search, but Facebook is starting to have more sway over publishers. In July, Facebook eclipsed Google for the share of referral traffic to publishers — about 40 percent versus 38 percent for Google. Just two years ago, Facebook drove about 12 percent of referral traffic to publishers, according to Parse.ly, which tracks traffic to web publishers.

Vivian Schiller, an independent media consultant who has been an executive at Twitter, NBC and The Times, said Google’s proposed new format would still leave publishers vulnerable. “Facebook is so incredibly dominant they can still leverage publishers to create Instant Articles. It also doesn’t solve the other problem for publishers, which is that social media is the new home page.”

Up Next: Patrick Janelle Is Better at Instagram Than You

Age 33

Hometown Fort Collins, Colo.

Now Lives In a one-bedroom apartment on Thompson Street in SoHo.

Claim to Fame Mr. Janelle is a professional Instagrammer who posts hyper-stylized images of his daily life under the handle @AGuyNamedPatrick. Using nothing more than his iPhone camera, he recently posted vignettes from his trip to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico; snapshots from a dinner party he hosted in Los Angeles; and portraits of himself in new outfits provided by Ralph Lauren and other brands, in exchange for social media exposure. “My goal is to create a picture of my life for my followers, so if I’m going to work with a brand, I don’t want to produce something totally out of context,” he said.

Big Break He started his Instagram account in 2012 as a way to connect with old friends while working as a freelance graphic designer at Bon Appétit. His photos of the good life soon found a following. But the real attention came when the Council of Fashion Designers of America awarded Mr. Janelle its first Instagrammer of the Year honor in 2014. His followers quadrupled, to more than 400,000 today. “I get multiple emails every day from people wanting to work with me on some level,” he said.

Latest Project Next Sunday, Mr. Janelle is selling a collection of suits and outerwear in collaboration with Suitable, a men’s wear brand that sells made-to-measure suits, shirts and tuxedos online. Later that night, he is hosting a dinner party with the Spring Street Social Society, a club he helped found in 2012 that stages cabaret acts, immersive theater and multicourse dinners for members.

Next Thing An entrepreneurial spirit runs in the family. Mr. Janelle is working with his two brothers, Peter and Sean, on the Liquor Cabinet, an app and website with drink recipes and back stories on cocktails.

The Perfect Instagram Mr. Janelle has tips for aspiring Instagram stars: Rely on natural light, use editing apps like Snapseed, and take a multitude of shots. “It’s really just a combination of having beautiful photos and being engaged on and off the platform,” he said. “My Instagram is only as good as the life I’m living.”

Age 33

Hometown Fort Collins, Colo.

Now Lives In a one-bedroom apartment on Thompson Street in SoHo.

Claim to Fame Mr. Janelle is a professional Instagrammer who posts hyper-stylized images of his daily life under the handle @AGuyNamedPatrick. Using nothing more than his iPhone camera, he recently posted vignettes from his trip to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico; snapshots from a dinner party he hosted in Los Angeles; and portraits of himself in new outfits provided by Ralph Lauren and other brands, in exchange for social media exposure. “My goal is to create a picture of my life for my followers, so if I’m going to work with a brand, I don’t want to produce something totally out of context,” he said.

Big Break He started his Instagram account in 2012 as a way to connect with old friends while working as a freelance graphic designer at Bon Appétit. His photos of the good life soon found a following. But the real attention came when the Council of Fashion Designers of America awarded Mr. Janelle its first Instagrammer of the Year honor in 2014. His followers quadrupled, to more than 400,000 today. “I get multiple emails every day from people wanting to work with me on some level,” he said.

Latest Project Next Sunday, Mr. Janelle is selling a collection of suits and outerwear in collaboration with Suitable, a men’s wear brand that sells made-to-measure suits, shirts and tuxedos online. Later that night, he is hosting a dinner party with the Spring Street Social Society, a club he helped found in 2012 that stages cabaret acts, immersive theater and multicourse dinners for members.

Next Thing An entrepreneurial spirit runs in the family. Mr. Janelle is working with his two brothers, Peter and Sean, on the Liquor Cabinet, an app and website with drink recipes and back stories on cocktails.

The Perfect Instagram Mr. Janelle has tips for aspiring Instagram stars: Rely on natural light, use editing apps like Snapseed, and take a multitude of shots. “It’s really just a combination of having beautiful photos and being engaged on and off the platform,” he said. “My Instagram is only as good as the life I’m living.”

High-Tech Lights to Help Baby Sleep, or Students Stay Alert

Like many expecting parents, Tracy Mizraki Kraft in Portola Valley, Calif., worried about how her newborn would sleep. So she paid attention when her doctor handed her a light bulb that he said would help her son do just that.

The small amber bulb, called Sleepy Baby, seemed to work well, she said, creating a soothing environment for Leo, now 16 months, as he drifted off to sleep.

For Ms. Mizraki Kraft, the bulb’s appeal was self-preservation. But it is part of a technological revolution coming to homes, offices, hotels and schools through lighting designed to undo the ill effects of artificial light — both overhead and on screen — and help regulate sleep, alertness and even people’s moods.

“Lighting is really not about a fixture in the ceiling anymore,” said Mariana Figueiro, who leads light and health research at the Lighting Research Center of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. “It’s about delivering individualized light treatments to people.”

Scientists have understood for years that different levels and colors of light can have powerful biological effects on humans. But that concept has been applied only with expensive bulbs — costing as much as $300,000 — for specialty applications like mimicking the 24-hour cycle for astronauts or treating jaundice in newborns.

Now, with lighting technology, especially LEDs, becoming more sophisticated and less expensive, companies are developing so-called biological lighting for ordinary consumers.

The Lighting Science Group makes Sleepy Baby and is among the companies that are most devoted to the growing market for lighting to enhance rest or alertness, with bulbs like Good Night, and Awake and Alert.

But other companies, from start-ups to the biggest lighting manufacturers, have products promising similar results. General Electric announced this year that it would release a color-changing LED as part of its Align product line that is compatible with Apple’s HomeKit system and is meant to automate lighting according to the natural sleep cycle.

Two years ago, Philips introduced the Hue, a Wi-Fi-connected bulb compatible with Apple systems that offers “light recipes” conducive to waking up and winding down.

Digital Lumens, which makes and manages smart lighting systems for commercial and industrial settings, including supermarkets, is supplying lights for a study at Brown University aimed at controlling brightness and spectrum to promote learning among adolescents. And a company called LumiFi has an app to adjust lighting in homes and commercial spaces like hotels, with settings like Rest, Energize, Focus and Sexy.

“With these kinds of bulbs that are coming to the market, you can suddenly now put better lighting controls systems, very affordable, into the hands of everyone,” said Beatrice Witzgall, an architect and lighting designer who founded LumiFi. “It’s a big revolution.”

Companies are also focusing on a host of health applications for lighting, said Milos Todorovic, who leads bioelectronics research at Lux Research. Among these are changing a person’s mood and affecting actual physical processes inside the body, he said, including using light to enhance collagen regeneration to help heal wounds.

It’s all part of a goal — to undo, in effect, the damage that regular lighting has done to the body’s natural rhythms.

The new consumer-oriented bulbs, for example, are designed to regulate the body’s basic need to rest and wake up by stimulating receptors in the eyes that signal to the brain when it is time for bed and when it is time to go about the activities of the day.

When exposed to short-wavelength light, the blue end of the spectrum, those receptors suppress the release of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin.

Since white artificial light, especially the LEDs used in bulbs and illuminated screens, is typically high in blue, exposure after dusk tends to reduce sleepiness and increase alertness, leading to an epidemic in sleep deficiency, said Dr. Charles A. Czeisler, chief of the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and a professor of sleep medicine at Harvard Medical School.

“Just in the last 50 years we have had a tenfold increase in the amount of artificial light being used per capita, so everything is much brighter between when the sun sets and when we go to bed at night,” he said.

That has had the effect of pushing back the body’s internal clock by three to five hours, he added, meaning that people are going to bed later but are “still trying to get up with the chickens.”

Using bulbs after sunset that emit longer-wavelength light, which looks more yellow, can help arrest that cycle not because they induce sleep, he said, but because they interfere less with the hormones and neurons that encourage the body to fall asleep.

Researchers are still determining how spectrum and intensity of light affect the brain, and are looking at ways not only to promote sleep but also to enhance alertness, productivity and learning.

Dr. Figueiro at Rensselaer Polytechnic said intense red light appears to stimulate energy and activity without suppressing melatonin. A student of hers, she said, concluded in a research project that it might be possible to affect energy levels through changing the intensity of lights rather than their color.

At Brown University, researchers are looking at both spectrum and intensity to design a system to help adolescents stay alert in school.

“If we just did blue enhanced light it might be better for the circadian timing system, but it might not be as good for the alertness and the academic needs that they have,” said Mary A. Carskadon, a professor of psychiatry and human behavior who studies sleep in children, adolescents and young adults. “We want to see if we can hit on the best combination that will enhance those features.”

It is only now, she said, with the advances in LEDs, engineering and Wi-Fi that the potential exists to take that kind of system, once developed, out of the lab and distribute it broadly at a reasonable price.

What consumers will find reasonable will depend on their priorities, as the bulbs come at a premium. A starter pack of the Hue, which includes three bulbs and a hub that connects to a wi-fi router, costs close to $200, with single bulbs costing about $60. Align AM and PM bulbs cost close to $25 and $20, respectively.

The Lighting Science Group is fine-tuning its biological lighting line and expects to bring down prices. For now, though, the Good Night costs about $60, while the Awake and Alert runs around $70.

But with Sleepy Baby, which costs about $30, the company may have hit upon the ideal customers: parents desperate for, well, a sleepy baby.

“When you’re a new mom, you’re ready and willing to try anything that’s going to help you and your child sleep,” Ms. Mizraki Kraft said. “Mainly for my own preservation, I knew that I really wanted him to sleep through the night really early.”

Other parents who have tried the bulb express a similar sentiment.

“It’s a lifesaver, especially when you’re a working mom,” said Susan L. Sheehan, a pediatric and prenatal dietician in Rhode Island. She put the bulb, a gift from a neighbor, in the nursery when her daughter, Kate, was about 5 months old, and found she no longer woke up as much during late-night diaper changes. “She might just slightly stir and then just go right back to sleep.”

And Chip Brian, a co-owner of Best & Company, a contracting firm in Queens, said that when he put the bulb in his sons’ room, his 4-year-old, an “active night kid,” suddenly slept through until morning. The change was so extreme that his wife thought the boy might be sick and went to check on him, Mr. Brian said. “I was sort of amazed.”

Like many expecting parents, Tracy Mizraki Kraft in Portola Valley, Calif., worried about how her newborn would sleep. So she paid attention when her doctor handed her a light bulb that he said would help her son do just that.

The small amber bulb, called Sleepy Baby, seemed to work well, she said, creating a soothing environment for Leo, now 16 months, as he drifted off to sleep.

For Ms. Mizraki Kraft, the bulb’s appeal was self-preservation. But it is part of a technological revolution coming to homes, offices, hotels and schools through lighting designed to undo the ill effects of artificial light — both overhead and on screen — and help regulate sleep, alertness and even people’s moods.

“Lighting is really not about a fixture in the ceiling anymore,” said Mariana Figueiro, who leads light and health research at the Lighting Research Center of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. “It’s about delivering individualized light treatments to people.”

Scientists have understood for years that different levels and colors of light can have powerful biological effects on humans. But that concept has been applied only with expensive bulbs — costing as much as $300,000 — for specialty applications like mimicking the 24-hour cycle for astronauts or treating jaundice in newborns.

Now, with lighting technology, especially LEDs, becoming more sophisticated and less expensive, companies are developing so-called biological lighting for ordinary consumers.

The Lighting Science Group makes Sleepy Baby and is among the companies that are most devoted to the growing market for lighting to enhance rest or alertness, with bulbs like Good Night, and Awake and Alert.

But other companies, from start-ups to the biggest lighting manufacturers, have products promising similar results. General Electric announced this year that it would release a color-changing LED as part of its Align product line that is compatible with Apple’s HomeKit system and is meant to automate lighting according to the natural sleep cycle.

Two years ago, Philips introduced the Hue, a Wi-Fi-connected bulb compatible with Apple systems that offers “light recipes” conducive to waking up and winding down.

Digital Lumens, which makes and manages smart lighting systems for commercial and industrial settings, including supermarkets, is supplying lights for a study at Brown University aimed at controlling brightness and spectrum to promote learning among adolescents. And a company called LumiFi has an app to adjust lighting in homes and commercial spaces like hotels, with settings like Rest, Energize, Focus and Sexy.

“With these kinds of bulbs that are coming to the market, you can suddenly now put better lighting controls systems, very affordable, into the hands of everyone,” said Beatrice Witzgall, an architect and lighting designer who founded LumiFi. “It’s a big revolution.”

Companies are also focusing on a host of health applications for lighting, said Milos Todorovic, who leads bioelectronics research at Lux Research. Among these are changing a person’s mood and affecting actual physical processes inside the body, he said, including using light to enhance collagen regeneration to help heal wounds.

It’s all part of a goal — to undo, in effect, the damage that regular lighting has done to the body’s natural rhythms.

The new consumer-oriented bulbs, for example, are designed to regulate the body’s basic need to rest and wake up by stimulating receptors in the eyes that signal to the brain when it is time for bed and when it is time to go about the activities of the day.

When exposed to short-wavelength light, the blue end of the spectrum, those receptors suppress the release of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin.

Since white artificial light, especially the LEDs used in bulbs and illuminated screens, is typically high in blue, exposure after dusk tends to reduce sleepiness and increase alertness, leading to an epidemic in sleep deficiency, said Dr. Charles A. Czeisler, chief of the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and a professor of sleep medicine at Harvard Medical School.

“Just in the last 50 years we have had a tenfold increase in the amount of artificial light being used per capita, so everything is much brighter between when the sun sets and when we go to bed at night,” he said.

That has had the effect of pushing back the body’s internal clock by three to five hours, he added, meaning that people are going to bed later but are “still trying to get up with the chickens.”

Using bulbs after sunset that emit longer-wavelength light, which looks more yellow, can help arrest that cycle not because they induce sleep, he said, but because they interfere less with the hormones and neurons that encourage the body to fall asleep.

Researchers are still determining how spectrum and intensity of light affect the brain, and are looking at ways not only to promote sleep but also to enhance alertness, productivity and learning.

Dr. Figueiro at Rensselaer Polytechnic said intense red light appears to stimulate energy and activity without suppressing melatonin. A student of hers, she said, concluded in a research project that it might be possible to affect energy levels through changing the intensity of lights rather than their color.

At Brown University, researchers are looking at both spectrum and intensity to design a system to help adolescents stay alert in school.

“If we just did blue enhanced light it might be better for the circadian timing system, but it might not be as good for the alertness and the academic needs that they have,” said Mary A. Carskadon, a professor of psychiatry and human behavior who studies sleep in children, adolescents and young adults. “We want to see if we can hit on the best combination that will enhance those features.”

It is only now, she said, with the advances in LEDs, engineering and Wi-Fi that the potential exists to take that kind of system, once developed, out of the lab and distribute it broadly at a reasonable price.

What consumers will find reasonable will depend on their priorities, as the bulbs come at a premium. A starter pack of the Hue, which includes three bulbs and a hub that connects to a wi-fi router, costs close to $200, with single bulbs costing about $60. Align AM and PM bulbs cost close to $25 and $20, respectively.

The Lighting Science Group is fine-tuning its biological lighting line and expects to bring down prices. For now, though, the Good Night costs about $60, while the Awake and Alert runs around $70.

But with Sleepy Baby, which costs about $30, the company may have hit upon the ideal customers: parents desperate for, well, a sleepy baby.

“When you’re a new mom, you’re ready and willing to try anything that’s going to help you and your child sleep,” Ms. Mizraki Kraft said. “Mainly for my own preservation, I knew that I really wanted him to sleep through the night really early.”

Other parents who have tried the bulb express a similar sentiment.

“It’s a lifesaver, especially when you’re a working mom,” said Susan L. Sheehan, a pediatric and prenatal dietician in Rhode Island. She put the bulb, a gift from a neighbor, in the nursery when her daughter, Kate, was about 5 months old, and found she no longer woke up as much during late-night diaper changes. “She might just slightly stir and then just go right back to sleep.”

And Chip Brian, a co-owner of Best & Company, a contracting firm in Queens, said that when he put the bulb in his sons’ room, his 4-year-old, an “active night kid,” suddenly slept through until morning. The change was so extreme that his wife thought the boy might be sick and went to check on him, Mr. Brian said. “I was sort of amazed.”

Kathy Savitt, Yahoo’s Head of Media, Leaves for Movie Studio

SAN FRANCISCO — Kathy Savitt, who oversaw Yahoo’s digital media projects, said on Friday that she was leaving the Internet company to join STX Entertainment as its president for digital operations.

At Yahoo, Ms. Savitt vastly expanded the company’s media projects. Under her leadership, Yahoo started more than a dozen digital magazines in the United States, struck a partnership with Live Nation to webcast a live concert every day, revived the “Community” television series as a Yahoo show and commissioned two original streaming series.

Yet some of Yahoo’s media projects have struggled to gain attention from viewers and advertisers in the face of intense competition from big rivals like Amazon, Netflix, Facebook and Google as well as topic-specific sites focusing on food, technology and other areas.

Yahoo, under its chief executive, Marissa Mayer, is also facing more fundamental questions about its future.

This week, Yahoo said it was rethinking its planned spinoff of its 15 percent stake in Alibaba, a Chinese e-commerce company, after it did not receive indications from United States tax authorities that the transaction would be tax-free. And Ms. Mayer’s three-year effort to turn around the company’s core advertising business has failed to impress investors.

Yahoo has also had a great deal of change at the executive level over the past year. Ms. Mayer appointed a new head of North American advertising, Lisa Utzschneider, last October, eventually leading to the departure of two other top ad executives. In April, she shuffled much of her top leadership team.

STX, founded last year, is so far best known for its wild ambition. It has released only one movie — a small-budget horror film called “The Gift,” which has taken in $40.8 million — but plans to produce and distribute as many as 15 a year, more than studios like Paramount Pictures. Backers and partners include TPG Capital and Huayi Brothers Media, a Chinese entertainment company. STX has said it would spend roughly $1 billion annually to make, market and distribute movies.

Speaking by phone from Singapore, Robert Simonds, STX’s chief executive, said Ms. Savitt would spend “a few hundred million” dollars a year to produce content aimed at digital platforms. He declined to say which ones, but the opportunity appears to be in supplying to both established players like Netflix and social media companies like Facebook and Snapchat.

“Our goal is very simply to mimic in digital what we are doing on the movie side,” he said. “There is a huge opportunity, and we’re going to spend a lot of money.”

Mr. Simonds declined to say how long talks had been underway with Ms. Savitt. “We met with pretty much every executive out there,” said Sophie Watts, president of STX, also speaking from Singapore. Ms. Watts said that a friend told her Ms. Savitt was “ungettable, but if you can convince her to come she is the perfect person.”

Yahoo said in a statement that it appreciated Ms. Savitt’s contributions and did not name an immediate successor to her. But the company said it had a deep bench of talent working on its media projects, including Martha Nelson, the former editor in chief of Time Inc. who joined Yahoo in a similar role last month, and Debra Berman, former chief marketing officer of J.C. Penney, who became Yahoo’s senior vice president for consumer marketing in June.

A spokesman for STX said Ms. Savitt was not available for an interview. In a statement, Ms. Savitt said STX was “creating a new way for audiences to access meaningful stories, from wherever they are.”

STX faces enormous hurdles. It is extremely difficult to weather the inevitable movie hits and misses without the steady revenue that comes from a library of past films. Even Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg — the trio initially behind DreamWorks — struggled to pull it off.

STX has moved quickly to secure favorable release commitments with theater chains and multiyear deals with cable networks like Showtime to run its movies. STX has a deal with Universal to handle home video. Movies in the STX pipeline star the likes of Matthew McConaughey and Julia Roberts.

The management of STX notably has something to prove to Hollywood, which seems to be driving its early success: Several senior executives joined the upstart studio after being pushed out of top jobs at movie companies like 20th Century Fox and Universal.

SAN FRANCISCO — Kathy Savitt, who oversaw Yahoo’s digital media projects, said on Friday that she was leaving the Internet company to join STX Entertainment as its president for digital operations.

At Yahoo, Ms. Savitt vastly expanded the company’s media projects. Under her leadership, Yahoo started more than a dozen digital magazines in the United States, struck a partnership with Live Nation to webcast a live concert every day, revived the “Community” television series as a Yahoo show and commissioned two original streaming series.

Yet some of Yahoo’s media projects have struggled to gain attention from viewers and advertisers in the face of intense competition from big rivals like Amazon, Netflix, Facebook and Google as well as topic-specific sites focusing on food, technology and other areas.

Yahoo, under its chief executive, Marissa Mayer, is also facing more fundamental questions about its future.

This week, Yahoo said it was rethinking its planned spinoff of its 15 percent stake in Alibaba, a Chinese e-commerce company, after it did not receive indications from United States tax authorities that the transaction would be tax-free. And Ms. Mayer’s three-year effort to turn around the company’s core advertising business has failed to impress investors.

Yahoo has also had a great deal of change at the executive level over the past year. Ms. Mayer appointed a new head of North American advertising, Lisa Utzschneider, last October, eventually leading to the departure of two other top ad executives. In April, she shuffled much of her top leadership team.

STX, founded last year, is so far best known for its wild ambition. It has released only one movie — a small-budget horror film called “The Gift,” which has taken in $40.8 million — but plans to produce and distribute as many as 15 a year, more than studios like Paramount Pictures. Backers and partners include TPG Capital and Huayi Brothers Media, a Chinese entertainment company. STX has said it would spend roughly $1 billion annually to make, market and distribute movies.

Speaking by phone from Singapore, Robert Simonds, STX’s chief executive, said Ms. Savitt would spend “a few hundred million” dollars a year to produce content aimed at digital platforms. He declined to say which ones, but the opportunity appears to be in supplying to both established players like Netflix and social media companies like Facebook and Snapchat.

“Our goal is very simply to mimic in digital what we are doing on the movie side,” he said. “There is a huge opportunity, and we’re going to spend a lot of money.”

Mr. Simonds declined to say how long talks had been underway with Ms. Savitt. “We met with pretty much every executive out there,” said Sophie Watts, president of STX, also speaking from Singapore. Ms. Watts said that a friend told her Ms. Savitt was “ungettable, but if you can convince her to come she is the perfect person.”

Yahoo said in a statement that it appreciated Ms. Savitt’s contributions and did not name an immediate successor to her. But the company said it had a deep bench of talent working on its media projects, including Martha Nelson, the former editor in chief of Time Inc. who joined Yahoo in a similar role last month, and Debra Berman, former chief marketing officer of J.C. Penney, who became Yahoo’s senior vice president for consumer marketing in June.

A spokesman for STX said Ms. Savitt was not available for an interview. In a statement, Ms. Savitt said STX was “creating a new way for audiences to access meaningful stories, from wherever they are.”

STX faces enormous hurdles. It is extremely difficult to weather the inevitable movie hits and misses without the steady revenue that comes from a library of past films. Even Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg — the trio initially behind DreamWorks — struggled to pull it off.

STX has moved quickly to secure favorable release commitments with theater chains and multiyear deals with cable networks like Showtime to run its movies. STX has a deal with Universal to handle home video. Movies in the STX pipeline star the likes of Matthew McConaughey and Julia Roberts.

The management of STX notably has something to prove to Hollywood, which seems to be driving its early success: Several senior executives joined the upstart studio after being pushed out of top jobs at movie companies like 20th Century Fox and Universal.