Re: Cryonics on ABC World News Tonight

Date: Sat Feb 10 2001 - 18:14:10 MST said:

> I'm not so sure the strangeness of cryonicists is the problem, simply
> because I'll bet most people have never met one, and their exposure to
> them on TV has been limited. The numbers of cryonics supporters are so
> small that their personalities probably haven't had much impact.
> I think it's an emotional reaction people have to the very idea of
> cryonics. Most people find it absurd, horrifying, and/or the ultimate
> in selfishness and narcissism.

Oh, yeah. And you gotta love Dr Steve Harris's essay re HP Lovecraft &
Cryonics (on the net somewhere), where he explains that HPL was really the
first person to think of cryonics, but that HPL came up with the idea in an
effort to *create*a*better*horror*story*! (Harris's emphasis).

And everyone's else's nightmare (waking up in the distant future, cut off
from all ties to our present time, etc) is our paradise! But really this goes
back to the genesis for most of us cryos/extros, etc.: science fiction.

In Sci-Fi is where you really get a chance to separate yourself from society;
as SF buffs we lived in worlds so different that we got a chance to play with
the idea that the "petty" concerns and mores and taboos of any given
culture/people/planet are just artifacts of the particular
evolutionary/social path taken by those people/culture/aliens, whathaveyou.
The idea that some everyday act (e.g., some ordinary act, say, scratching
your head), might be fraught with all sorts of social significance or even be
taboo in some other culture/planet, is understood by any SF buff; not only
understood, but internalized.

We understand that nothing is bad, but thinking makes it so, that an innocent
head scratching, if it takes place on "Tuieffg, a cold, windswept desert
planet better known as Alpha Centauri 4," may well cause your waitress to
break into tears. We understand this.

So we have *perspective* on the taboos of our own culture. We
*are* "strange". In a sense we live outside the mores of our own culture.

I don't read science fiction anymore (or any fiction for that matter), but
its lessons stay with me, and they separate me from most of society.

Of course, that really doesn't explain why more SF writers aren't cryos. But
maybe they are: I know of at least 2 successful SF writers who are cryos (or
practically cryos), and there aren't that many succesful SF writers, so maybe
they do have a high % of cryos...


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