Re: Our friend Sasha Chislenko...

From: Jeff Davis (
Date: Thu May 11 2000 - 12:38:07 MDT


I'm pissed.

Sasha was a brilliant and joyous spirit, and now he's lost to us. Try as I
may I can't do the warm and fuzzy "my sympathies..." thing. It is a bad
day for everyone. It is a tragic, disastrous, and carelessly unnecessary

I met Sasha only once, at the Foresight Senior Associates after-meeting
party last fall. I had seen his web page and marvelled at the quality and
quantity of his work. He was nothing short of a luminary among extropians.
 But we did not speak even one word about his rich contribution to the
world of ideas. Rather, we played table tennis. More than several games
worth, monopolizing the table, until finally, I felt compelled to let
others waiting on the sidelines have a turn. Christine Petersen had warned
me about Sasha's wicked forehand. But I'm no slouch, and though he nailed
me several times, I held my own, perhaps I even impressed him. I loved him
immediately. Now, there is only silence.

My cryonic arrangements are in place, so it doesn't apply to me, but I
strongly urge that this catastrophe serve as a wake up call for all of us.
Because this was bound to happen. And it will happen again, unless...

I am an underachiever of striking proportions, but most of you all are not.
 I recommend that a fund be set up--I pledge $250/yr, the same as I pay for
the insurance policy which funds my own suspension--and that whatever
unique arrangements with the cryonics orgs be put in place, so that when
this happens the next time, extropian arrangements will provide whatever
possibility remains to us for a favorable outcome. We need $30K.

There is an un-extropian quality to this, a contradiction of the concept of
personal responsibility, a communitarian rather than rugged individualist
undertaking. And it might even tend to encourage some to further
procrastinate in making their own arrangements. (Eliezer's immortal,
right?) On the other hand it might serve to provoke--shame them into it,
if you will--the very personal-responsibilty-driven action which will make
the entire business unnecessary. But in the end, it is, to me, an act of
deliberate self-interest: for my sake, not theirs, I wish to insure that
this sort of tragedy does not happen again.

Perhaps the cryonics option will turn out a failure--pessimists note: you
won't soon hear this again from me as I am convinced that SUCCESS IS A NEAR
CERTAINTY--but it is the only option currently available, but more to the
point, consider how you would now feel if Sasha were safely tucked away,
chilling out for a possible future reunion, rather than lost to us forever.

I still feel bad.


                  My sympathies to all, Jeff Davis

  -unless you love someone-
    -nothing else makes any sense-
           e.e. cummings

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