These are some of the cryonet postings that are the aftermath of Mike Darwin's comments. I liked Diana Singh's idea of having cryonic research companies listed on the stock exchanges.
And like Robert Moore I am confused as to which organization at this point offers the best services and technology. If I understood Mike Darwin correctly he feels that Alcor now offers the most advanced suspension methods. I remember when it seemed Cryocare and Biopreservation were the pace setters.
I believe it will be several years until the dust settles from the 21st Century Medicine advances. Hopefully within two or three years all the major suspension providers will be offering what has been now developed. At least by that time we should be able to tell where the chips have fallen and who is taking advantage of the new methods and who is not. I feel I can get straight answers from Mike Darwin and Charles Platt and would recommend them to anyone here who is looking for guidance regarding cryonics. At present I find the situation somewhat confusing but with time things should become clearer.
I simply want to go with the organization that offers the most advanced form of suspension period as long as I can afford it with life insurance. I am still not sure who I want to legally oversee the care of my body. I also wonder where I would be safest while frozen, California?(the big one just might hit!), Arizona?(I don't want a plane from the nearby airport crashing into me!) or Michigan?(if a snowstorm or tornado does not get me!) I am curious to know where the the folks on this list would want to be stored.
I think Mike Darwin is what I would call a "realisic cynic". He has been in the research trenches a long time and has a painfully accurate view of things though I am more optimistic then he is. And yet many I think have a pollyana view of things when it comes to being reanimated in some future time where they supposedly will be able to repair ALL damage no matter how botched the suspension methods were!
I would ask for feedback from those of you who read all least some of these posts. What do you make of Mike Darwin's posts? What do think of the current state of cryonics? Is there hope for reversible suspension even within twenty years? This is one of the most important topics we could ever discuss on this list considering the ramifications it could have for each of us as individuals.
I really hope cryonics research companies do get listed on the stock exchange so the capital can be generated to do research at a level where consistant advances can be made in a sweeping and efficient manner. C'mon friends, give me your thoughts! :)
From: Thomas Donaldson <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: comments for Darwin and Skrecky Date: Thu, 30 Sep 1999 23:08:21 +1000 (EST)
Thanks to Doug Skrecky for his references, which I will look up and evaluate myself.
I also note that he is leery of current fixation technology for similar reasons to those which make me leery --- even if entire brains have been fixed. I will say this: I think that the earliest technology to be used in cryonics in a widespread way will be cryopreservation, that this will be followed by the vitrification methods developed by 21st Century Medicine, and that someday we will have a fixative which preserves us without any need to keep the bodies especially cold. (Raising them to a high temperature such as that for combustion, of course, still won't be a good idea!). I'll also hazard the guess that by that time, we'll be much more at home with space travel, and people could be preserved far away from the Sun (or any other star) at very low temperatures.
I also note that in his discussion Mike comes close to agreeing with me about the need for more direct experiments before we have a better knowledge of whether or not current vitrification methods will work. I will also say that if Mike chooses to be suspended, by whatever means, his choice by its nature cannot be science. Science concerns knowledge; whenever we act, it helps to have knowledge, yes, but no action can be proved to be successful beforehand. If we're just discussing something, we're dealing with knowledge. If we actually do something, not only can something go wrong that we think we know, but all kinds of unrelated unexpected things might also go wrong. Knowledge and action are not and never will be the same. The two should not be confused.
And that's why it would be reasonable (if at all possible) to use the current vitrification methods developed by 21st Century Medicine right now for human cryonic suspension --- while we still don't have full KNOWLEDGE that they will work.
Best and long long life to all, Thomas Donaldson ----------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Thu, 30 Sep 1999 10:01:26 -0700 (PDT) From: Doug Skrecky <email@example.com>
Subject: comments Darwin
In Message #12475 Ettinger@aol.com wrote:
>Again, he berates us for failing to recognize the magnitude of the
>recent advances, or to act on that recognition. Yet again I note that
>much information is still not available to us,
I don't usually like to go out of my way to agree with Mike myself, but in this case I think he does have a point. For example much information on the superiority of ethylene glycol over glycerol, particularly for organ preservation is available on the net. Just go to Pubmed at www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed and do a combined search on ethylene glycol and cryopreservation.
The main reason for the superiority of ethylene glycol is its much greater or faster penetration into tissue. Glycerol simply isn't in the same league, and is greatly inferior for cryopreservation purposes. I beleive Mike has also done some work on this. The next advance for cryonics was made a long time ago by cryobiologists, and their work is available in abstract form on Pubmed. The full research reports unfortunately are available only in medical journals, but these are an enlightening read as well.
Date: Thu, 30 Sep 1999 10:27:10 -0700 (PDT) From: diana singh <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I concur with John about making an IPO for a company like 21CM. I urge the directors of these companies who are in the forefront of cryonics research to try and list their shares on the stock exchanges. Investors are known these days to lap up hitech stock and some of the companies have market cap 10 to 20 times their entire turnover.
Here in India in the last few days three IT companies have gone public and were over subscribed to the tune of upto 65 times! One company Huges software systems ltd got $1.3 billion when it wanted to collect only $60 million in its IPO. If this is the scene here in India I can imagine what possibilities exist for any hitech venture in the US.
Mike Darwin wrote;
<Money is all well and good. It is precious, damn hard
to come by, and
absolutely essential. But it CANNOT, IT ABSOLUTELY CANNOT buy the kind of
effort that has been going on here for the past few years.>
Why should you let go of an opportunity to collect a few million dollars from people who are willing to give it to you? It will help you get the benefit of more employees , equipment, experiments, and exposure all of which are required to succeed in any endeavour.
Ayn Rand has said;
" Money demands of you the recognition that men must work for their own benefit, not for their own injury, for their gain not their loss - the recognition that they are not beasts of burden , born to carry the weight of your misery - that you must offer them values , not wounds- that the common bond among men is not the exchange of suffering, but the exchange of goods".
Death is a suffering which probably can be overcome by cryonics and the products of new Biotech firms like 21CM...
From: "George Smith" <email@example.com> References: <199909300900.FAA20926@rho.pair.com> Subject: Still NOT optimistic?
Date: Thu, 30 Sep 1999 10:49:57 -0700
In message #12478, Mike Drawin replied to my earlier question:
>Does the optimistic tone of the patent application quoted mean that you,
>personally and/or professionally, are now optimistic regarding cryonics or
His reply was an extensive quote but (correct me if I'm wrong) he is NOT optimistic about cryonics.
So Mike Darwin is NOT optimistic about cryonics and this new patent is about research on cryonics?
I'm sorry. This doesn't make any sense to me.
If what you have developed is useful, shouldn't you be optimistic?
If it isn't useful, why are you posting here?
No joke. You have me stumped.
Having read carefully your long quote in reply to my question, I can only say that something (for now) is far better than nothing.
IF YOU ARE RIGHT and cryonics today is a waste, our dead patients are dead.
IF YOU ARE WRONG and you dissuade even ONE PERSON from using cryonics to restore their life in the future, then you are VERY WRONG and each victim of your pessimistic opinion remains dead.
In any case, it still makes no sense for you to be pessimistic about cryonics working while being optimistic about your research to make it work.
Sounds like you need to make a decision again.
From: "Robert Moore" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: I just want to live!
Date: Thu, 30 Sep 1999 12:06:09 PDT
I am relatively new to cryonics. I thank Mike Darwin and others for bringing up the subject of suspension protocols. I would like to reduce the discussion(oversimplify, probably)to the consumer point of view:
I am a consumer who has decided to buy the product, cryonics. I must now decide which organization(s) to buy from. I believe that my future revival is strongly dependent on
I can't control 4) the revival process. So in making my choice I want to evaluate the organizations' post-"death" response system, their suspension protocol, and their storage arrangements. I feel I can effectively compare the response systems and storage systems.
Evaluation of the suspension protocols is more difficult. Some cryonics organizations seem to publish little information about their suspension protocol. What is published is often sketchy or vague. Then finally, I would probably need education in cryobiology with a specialty in human cryosuspension to effectively compare the methods.
I don't want to start any arguments here -- I just want live! Whether chances of my future revival are 50% or .001% it is still better than 0% (I know the most important thing is to get signed up with some organization), but I want to improve the odds as much as possible.
......................................................................Apologies and Disclaimers: 1) I apologize in advance for any toes stepped on or for opening any old wounds. 2) I apologize for restating the obvious. 3) I am not as naive as my questions -- I understand it is difficult or impossible to evaluate the effectiveness of suspension protocols prior to seeing revival results. I have been following the Cryonet discussions for nearly a year now, and I know that suspension procedures are an extreme focus of the cryonics community. However, I think an attempt to answer the question today from a consumer point of view would be educational (and perhaps helpful for cryonics recruitment).
Date: Thu, 30 Sep 1999 17:44:16 -0400
From: Brook Norton <BrookandHelen@compuserve.com> Subject: Mike Darwin's comments
When you personally attack cryonicists' character, it greatly reduces the effectiveness of the rest of your message. Presumeably you are posting to get a message across. IMHO your potentially valuable message will reach its potential when the personal attacks are deleted.
From: "George Smith" <email@example.com> References: <199909300900.FAA20926@rho.pair.com> Subject: Something versus nothing.
Date: Thu, 30 Sep 1999 15:23:14 -0700
In CryoNet #12478, if I understand correctly, Mike Darwin basically said that he was NOT optimistic about cryonics, despite the optimism expressed in the patent description recently being discussed.
I am truly saddened to understand that. I had hoped that he was at the very least now going to become optimistic regarding reversible suspended animation as a future option which would receive support from cryonics organizations.
I wish he would reconsider.
I would suggest that it is pointless for any researchers into any form of life extension to denigrate cryonics as it is because NO ONE TRULY KNOWS WHAT IS GOING TO PROVE POSSIBLE IN THE FUTURE.
This isn't an issue of "proving a negative". It is simply an issue of choosing between something versus nothing.
Cryonics as it is right now is "a reasonable gamble" (to quote Robert Anton Wilson just this last August).
Cryonics is taking a person who dies and saying "let's take a gamble that someday this condition may be fixable".
Mike Darwin does not currently believe this gamble is reasonable and that is his choice. He may change his mind. I hope he does. Optimism is a choice as is pessimism. Both are a personal estimate in the face of a future that is unknown. (I can't see where pessimism has any value regardless, but then again I am usually optimistic by nature).
The research being patented may or may not work to produce (someday) reversable suspended animation.
The writings of those supporting this work seem optimistic about this potential future technology working.
I hope they are right.
It will save many lives if they are right.
In the meantime, back here in reality on planet earth, today, here and now, cryonics remains the only "gamble" available.
It is, it seems to me, an issue of choosing between something and nothing.
UNTIL there is something else, there is ONLY cryonics.
WHEN there MAY be something else, those who die without the benefit of the new technology of suspended animation will STILL then only have ONE possible option: cryonics (whether this is due to financial issues or technical issues).
It seems clear to me that we are discussing apples and oranges here. The possible development in the future of suspended animation through vitrification (or whatever else is created) will offer an ALTERNATIVE to freezing via cryonics.
If and when that future arrives, the same debate will continue between those who choose to be pessimistic regarding cryonics and those who choose to be optimistic.
It will still remain then as now a question of whether we freeze the person we cannot place into suspended animation or abandon them.
I believe that something is better than nothing.
If you believe that the chances of cryonics working are zero, this does not mean that you are right. It only means that you are pessimistic and not willing to take a gamble that you may be wrong in order to save your own life or the lives of others.
If you are feeling frustrated with others who do not agree with your current 20th century beliefs, this does not change the current reality.
A few people who die now are being frozen now.
Others who have already died are already frozen.
Anyone who dies NOW, TODAY still has NO OTHER OPTION (unless you consider the grave or crematorium an "option").
If you believe that the cryonics option will never work, there are only two possibilities:
You will someday be proven either right or wrong.
If you are right and cryonics never works, those who died and were frozen will remain dead. No change. No gain. No loss.
If you are wrong and cryonics someday DOES work, then every person you persuaded to NOT use cryonics who dies stays dead. Great loss.
>From a strictly moral viewpoint, cryonics MIGHT save human lives.
You CAN'T KNOW that it won't.
The cost is minimal.
The reward is great.
Something is better than nothing.
Life is better than death.
I urge everyone reading this to let go of personality issues, to let go of hubris and at least be honest.
Cryonics might work. Until there are alternatives to ADD ON (such as reversible suspended animation or intervention from an extraterrestrial civilzation or whatever), it is the ONLY OPTION AVAILABLE TODAY.
Something is better than nothing.
Hedge your bets. Support cryonics or at the very least don't attack it.
There is no other option available.
It also seems to me tat supporting cryonics is the only moral option available if you value human life and acknowledge you are not omniscient.
It just might work.
You have nothing to lose ...except your life and the lives of others.