Re: MEDIA: Article on cryonics in Boston Globe

Derek Strong (
Wed, 3 Jun 1998 17:57:54 -0700

Geoff Smith <> wrote:

>Has anyone looked at the results poll?

Yes! I even voted. I actually think online polls are an interesting
new vector for the spread of extropian memes, provided you can get a
group of likeminded friends to crash the poll. Everyone knows they're
not scientific, but still... people can't help looking at those things
and thinking, "Hmm... so this is what everyone thinks, huh?"

>The majority wants to be around in
>2200, yet only a minority would be cryonically frozen after death
>if financing it wasn't an issue. What other option is there to live
>the year 2200 *after you've died*???

After you've died, probably none (though not necessarily -- the
"Universal Immortalists" think we'll eventually be able to revive
anyone who's ever lived). But that particular question wasn't
specifically saying "after you've died". I think it is quite possible
that many of us will get there simply by gaining access to good life
extension technology in the next few decades.

>Maybe the public just needs to be
>better educated... when's Halperin's miniseries going to be aired?

I don't think there's a definite air date yet, but you can probably
keep track of it by monitoring

>Also interesting is that all the names I saw were extropians: Robin
>Hanson, Ralph Merckle, and Kennita Watson.

Well, Ralph's list (from lists only extropians, as far
as I can tell. The guy seemed to get almost all his info from Merkle's
page (not that he did a good job even at that... more on this below).

>These people were classified
>as "nerds." Is that a fair classification? From just reading the
>contributions of these 3 extropians, "nerd" is not a word that pops
>my mind. I always think of a nerd as someone who spends their time
>exercising their mind at the expense of their body-- a pretty
>thing to do if you ask me... hardly a good path to physical

"Nerd" and "Geek" have both undergone serious makeovers in the past
decade. I think they both used to be pure pejoratives, but now many
wear the labels with pride. Intelligence, education, and technical
sophistication are sexier than ever.

And many folks in the extropian community are striving to add even
more to these connotations. We are the Uber-Nerds! Wanna hack some
code? Let's go! Wanna analyze the latest findings on the frontiers of
physics? We're down? Wanna pump some iron and knock out some pushups?
You betcha!

What can't we do? Of what are we not capable?

I ask you!

>I remember Anders Sandberg classifying himself as a nerd. Why was
>Another point mentioned by the writer is that of the 26 people he
>signed up for cryonics, only 1 was female... is that a representative
>figure? Does anyone have Alcor stats to support this gender gap?

Not representative at all, not even representative of Merkle's sample
of 26. On that list, the guy missed Ailing Freeman, Terry Stanley, and
Chris Peterson, dynamic fem-geeks all, and quite representative of the
kind of babes you can find within our community.

This is not say that we're swimming with females in the cryonics and
extropian communities, but the ratio isn't as bad as it used to be. In
Alcor, I believe the ratio is something like 33/67 female/male. Max
might have figures for ExI.

The real problem, of course, is that so many of them are already
spoken for, romantically speaking. But if its just the female touch
you're looking for, it is all around us, and it is MARVELOUS!

>A recommend extropians take the poll and skew their results-- maybe
>will alter the tone of articles like this one, where cryonicists and
>physical immortalists are treated as a bizarre and insignificant
>and good fodder for silly jokes about a post-apocalyptic Planet of

I agree.

I wrote an email to the author of the piece (and copied it to the
letters to the editor email address). Leaving aside the tone of the
article, he got a number of facts just plain wrong, even just in
regard to his reading of Merkle's page. Never mind that a little
research on other pages would have given him a much better view of the
real cryonics community. (We're not all in California, we're not all
nerds, and a good deal more than 1/26 of us are female.) It will be
interesting to see whether a correction is printed.

Derek Strong