Re: A first time hello from Alaska!

Natasha Vita-More (
Fri, 09 Apr 1999 14:59:49 -0500

Dear John,

I received your post and will respond when I have some free time.



At 12:30 AM 4/9/99 PDT, you wrote:
>I just wanted to say hello. Recently I have been reading all I can on
>the net about cryonics, transhumanism, extropianism, nanotech, and
>future forecasting. And I have learned about the notable people in
>the movements such as Drexler, Sandberg, Ettinger, Merkle, Platt, and
>More. I find it all very thrilling! The width and breadth of
>Ander's Transhuman website is incredible. The concepts you espouse
>are truly mind boggling. I have read "The Engines of Creation" and
>"The Prospects for Immortality" so far, and look forward to reading
>"Create/Uncreate" by Natasha-Vita More.
>I am only thirty-one, but do not feel I have gotten my "money's worth"
>out of my youth due to physical and psychosocial problems that I have.
> I am not goodlooking (not ugly either, and I am tall, 6'1 but only
>145 lbs.!), and grew up poor so woman largely ignore me compared to
>the physically attractive and $$$ endowed males. I want my
>chance, and by the time I have a degree, decent job and money for
>cosmetic surgery my youth will be gone.
>I had a cool phone conversation with Charles Platt several years ago.
> At the time I had no idea who he actually was. I recently emailed
>him and got back a warm reply, he actually remembered who I was. He
>has certainly been busy with Cryocare. I was very impressed by his
>contest held in Omni; a better person could not have been found to
>give the prize of a cryonics membership.
>The caliber, and intellect of those committed to extropianism and
>cryonics impresses me. The scientific discussions I encounter in the
>extropian digest sometimes go over my head but I am learning a lot.
>Though the arguements about gun control and air crashes do drag on
>just a little!
>If I were not a financially strapped student I would love to attend
>Extro 4! It would be very cool to meet all the people that I have
>been reading about on the net. And the lectures must all be
>excellent. One day I will make it, if not this time. One problem
>about living in Alaska is that you can't just hop in a car or bus and
>a few hours later be in another state! But you understand that being
>in England, but then you must have your own conferences.
>I live in Anchorage and attend the University of Alaska Anchorage as
>a sophomore. My major is history at this point, though I have thought
>of going into human services. I sadly did not get the math/science
>gene some of my relatives have! I still don't even have a driver's
>licene, I took driver's ed but did not do to well. Not having a
>license has made my life in terms of career and romance very
>frustrating. When I tried to learn the martial arts I frustrated my
>instructors because my sensory-motor memory and processing is so bad!
> So I can't even learn how to defend myself well. Generally I am a
>slower then normal learner. I wound up withdrawing from a college
>math class because I was getting lost. In a world where the ability
>to learn is of the highest importance I am in a bad position.
>The film "Lawnmower Man" made a huge impression on me. It is still
>one of my all time favorite movies. Being that I am seriously
>learning disabled the idea of transcending oneself like that utterly
>grabbed me. I wanted to jump into the film and take one of the
>treatments myself.
>I suffer from serious clinical depression which runs in my family.
>The depression makes me feel very weighed down' I just don't feel like
>doing anything. I have tried various antidepressants but not found
>one to stick to yet. Part of this is my fault because I tend to quit
>them when side effects show up or when I run out of money. Right now
>I am on Effexor time release and plan to stick it out. I have read
>the book, "Listening to Prozac" and hope to undergo the same type of
>transformation that his patients did in the book.
>A major difficulty is that I don't have a burning passion. I do like
>studying history with the hope of becoming a teacher, but I am not on
>fire for it. I am afraid of committing myself to the wrong career
>path. But maybe as my depression clears I will find it.
>Though Alaska is great in the summer, the long dark winters really get
>me down. I think down the road I may move out of state to improve my
>life. This is a city where you need a car because of a lousy bus
>system, snowy, icy, cold climate, and how everything is spread out.
>To top things off a.d.d. afflicts me. It is only really apparent to
>me I think. I have a hard time focusing, especially in classes with
>long lectures. But I also have a problem focusing on a task, while
>instead I find myself pacing. I think that part of my problem is
>self-discipline to do the things I need to, but at the same time my
>other problems make it very hard to make progress. I asked my doctor
>for ritalin but he balked because of possible negative government
>oversight of such things. I have limited funds but I think it might
>help me.
>I always sensed that I had problems. But recently I was tested by a
>neuropsychologist who verified my beliefs completely. He felt that
>the depression was the worst problem for me. Despite this
>professional diagnosis I still have friends who don't believe any of
>These problems were greatly compounded by my father who walked out on
>my family. While I grew up in a poor home needing him, he worked at a
>job as a resort critic traveling the globe. For him the major goal in
>life was to have fun and sleep with as many women as he could. With
>his good looks that I did not inherit he carried out that goal very
>well. Despite all this I hired a company to track him down for me.
>To my surprise they found him so I made contact. Cheap, powerful
>computing made it possible for me to inexpensively find him. he was
>thrilled to hear from me; old age and retirement had humbled him
>somewhat. We are friends now, with him in the big apple and me in
>Anchorage. He never apologized, but where would he start?
>I have learned painfully about rejection from women who would date me,
>but not take me seriously because of my lack of worldly success. This
>has caused me some of the greatest emotional pain of my life. But
>then I have read books on sociobiology in regards to human behavior.
>The human courtship ritual with its social currencies in the balance
>can be cruel. I just don't have enough social currency dollars to
>make a purchase. So many times I have felt so enraged and frustrated
>over my genetic failings. To think I have relatives who are
>I feel that with my thorns in the flesh I have been cheated out of the
>potential I should have had. I have a great deal of frustration over
>all my wasted years. Most men my age have a degree, good job, and car
>at this point in their life with which to enjoy life, and attract a
>To me cryonics offers a chance to experience life like I should have
>in the first place. I wish for the doctors of the future to wipe away
>my genetic imperfections. I feel anger and God and life for being
>like this, though I experience guilt over that sometimes. I am told
>that in the everything will be remedied, which I believe, but I want
>my chance in this world. Most of the very people who tell me things
>will work out are ones who have no l.d., a.d.d., and depression to
>hold them back from their goals. They drive, have degrees and good
>jobs, make love, and have general satisfaction in their lives.
>I believe in God but I feel like I have a lack of faith to want to be
>suspended. If the fundamentalist view of prophecy is true then my
>frozen body may will be destroyed in the geological and social turmoil
>of the last days before the second coming of Christ. Then I will wind
>up facing God in judgement having cowardly tried to avoid him by
>suspended. The test of my faith for him would be to let nature take
>it's course and cause me to die naturally. When I read about the life
>and example of Jesus I feel touched and believe that there must be a
>literal truth to it. I feel that either dismiss your beliefs or my
>own would be a mistake.
>I find comfort in the belief of a loving God who has this life as sort
>of a "boot camp" experience for us to be prepared for the next.
>Though not always pleasant, we are here to learn and grow. Part of
>the trial of life is that things at least right now are so unfair.
>But I believe that for those who try to live God's way his spirit will
>be given to them to comfort and strengthen them.
>I am not evangelical but mormon. Our belief that men and women in the
>next life become gods borders on the extropian. For this belief we
>have been vilified by some evangelicals. We also believe that men and
>women are the literal children of God, and that in a "premortal life"
>we lived with him and learned and grew there. We believe that the
>talents that people sometimes just naturally seem to have were first
>developed there and so in this life to a certain extent we are
>rediscovering them. And we have the belief in
>marriage having the chance to last for all time and eternity when the
>bond is sealed in one of our temples and the couple live God's way.
>To me this is a very powerful and romantic notion.
>I almost look at cryonic suspension like I do the exhortation of my
>church leaders to have a two years supply of food and supplies for
>times of emergency. I just have a hard time imagining how I would
>explain to a future wife why a cryonics firm and not she and the kids
>are the beneficiary of my life insurance policy.
>The human lifespan is just too short!! I want to be able to "look
>over the horizon" in the coming century. Even if I lived to be ninety
>that would not be long enough to have a solid feel for who really had
>the truth, and where the world was headed. This world is so unfair in
>parcelling out beauty, wealth, and talent. I want to live in an age
>where the playing field is much more out.
>I am thinking seriously of transferring to a mormon college, Brigham
>Young-Hawaii campus. Maybe I will find a woman there who will take a
>chance on me. But before I do that I need to get my grades up and
>finances in order.
>Due to an F grade and two incompletes over two semesters it looks
>like I may lose
>my student loans, and so no more school. I have really shot myself in
>the foot. My whole is only about 2.3 right now. I know I should
>have done much better. Part of the problem is my disorganization,
>l.d., a.d.d., and depression. I must force myself to put forth much
>more self-discipline, and manage my time and resources well.
>Originally I wanted to wanted to start college by taking an intensive
>remedial program to bone up on the academic basics. But I tested high
>so they strongly recommended that I go into deeper waters. I think
>back on it and think I would have had a smoother ride if I had
>insisted to stay in the program.
>I remember being a young man reading a children's Bible. I read the
>passage about how before the flood humans lived for many centuries! I
>brought it up to my mother's attention that I wished people still did,
>and she agreed with me. That moment planted a seed somehow.
>I am very impressed with Cryocare and Biopreservation. The efforts
>and results of Mike Darwin and his colleagues to improve suspension
>techniques are of the highest caliber. I was taken by how in his
>writings he is open about the damage that happens to the brain by
>conventional suspension methods. I would not want to be one of those
>people already suspended. Fortunately I have hopefully three or four
>more decades ahead of me for the technology to mature. By the time
>I'm ready, the technology should be ready. The research being done by
>21st Century Medicine will revolutionize how suspensions are done!
>Cryocare people claim Alcor is not the equal of Biopreservation in
>suspension technology. I just hope Alcor and the other groups adopt
>all the new methods for suspension used by Biopreservation. The
>decentralized structure of Cryocare should make it less vulnerable to
>institutional entropy. At least though Alcor and CI is outside of
>California, so when and if the big one hits you will not be a cryonic
>casualty. I would like Cryocare to manage me, Biopreservation to
>suspend, and Alcor or CI to store. I plan to ask for
>neuropreservation if it is true that to optimize brain suspension you
>should remove the head from the body. Though if inflation totally
>devalues my indexed life insurance policy over time I may wind up
>having to go with CI!
>It does bother me how relatively few people are signed up. But in
>time I think there will be a major change there. To promote cryonics
>and has any of the leadership gone on the Art Bell radio show? I
>would assume by now it has been done, but if not it would be a great
>way to reach millions. The man's ability to sway the public is
>I can't wait till the Hallmark made for t.v. movie version of "The
>First Immortal" comes out! Considering the quality of Hallmark
>productions, and the fact that the director of "Lonesome Dove" is
>doing the movie it should be fantastic. I think the release of this
>will be the huge turning point in public opinion that you are looking
>for. Be ready to be swamped afterwards with public interest.
>Personally I wish that having lived my life and being in my early
>seventies I could go to my suspension provider and with the right
>legal documents ask them to induce clinical death so they could on the
>spot suspend me! I don't like the idea of waiting around to die and
>then finally passing away unexpectedly only to have my brain decay for
>several hours or even days. Mike Darwin's research made this point
>crystal clear. I think that I should have the right to do this, since
>it is not by my definition suicide, but instead a calculated risk. I
>realize that some disability rights organizations are militantly
>against right to die because they feel that down the road they may be
>targeted by society as the unfit that should be coerced to their
>deaths. But I honestly don't see this happening.
>I am concerned that while the doctors of the future will reanimate us
>in perfected versions of our selves, that they may not to upgrade us
>to their level of intellect and functioning. This may be because they
>can't, (to be more like them may take modification at the early stage
>of being a zygote) or because they feel that it would be more
>interesting to see us try to survive in their society as limited
>beings for the sake of sociological study. Our hope would would have
>to be that in time things would
>change technologically and socially. At least the reanimated would
>have each other for company. If suspension were available for me
>alone I would reject it. I want others from my time to associate
>The Prometheus Project has really got my interest. It bothers me that
>they are underfunded at this point. I wonder though if they could
>really pull off their objective even with twenty million raised over a
>number of years. With all the billions wasted by governments
>worldwide it bothers me that the project leaders must almost go
>begging for such important work.
>I read an interview with the
>president and owner of Oracle computing, who is worth over six
>billion. I don't recall his name, but in the article he seemed to
>have the type of personality that might be intrigued by the project.
>But of course even getting near the man to submit a proposal would be
>another story. I can see why Eleizer would want to start a digest to
>attract the wealthy. I admit I would love to subscribe to it just to
>see how things progress. Unless I really felt I had something to add
>I would be silent. In fact you could have two levels of subscribers,
>those who can input, and those who can't. I would be content to be
>the latter.
>What we should really do is have one of us meet that brilliant young
>boy that Bill Gates took under his wing to educate and mold. If a
>reporter could get to him while the bodyguard was in the bathroom
>maybe one of us could do the same. In a few minutes of conversation
>and some pamphlets with basic info and website addresses we could
>implant in the mind of this possible future multimillionaire the memes
>that could change his own future for good and our own. Think if Bill
>Gates had been reached as a young man by an early follower of
>Ettinger! Gates probably at this point is close minded about us and
>the possiblity of donations, but there is hope with his possible
>protege. Ten or fifteen years from now the reaching out of one of us
>to him could pay enormous dividends to a group like The Prometheus
>Project. I implore Max More and Natasha, along with everyone else to
>consider this. It is time to hatch a plan!
>I especially like the Prometheus Project because I have some nagging
>doubts about nanotech. This began to develop after reading an article
>by an actual researcher in the field who wrote an article in "The
>Scientific American". He said the reality of the situation is that
>there are huge obstacles to Drexler's ideas. Making mechanisms work
>like we want them
>to do at such small dimensions is extremely frustrating he claimed.
>He even called those who thought would in time transform the world
>believers in "cargo cult" misguided thinking. But perhaps over time
>and with the present impressive funding levels for research the
>barriers can be overcome. Isn't corporate and national rivalry just
>great sometimes? Can't let that untrustworthy rival get the upper
>hand! Now if only cryonics and longevity research could get such
>I am very impressed by the three prominent women of extropianism,
>Natasha-Vita More(aestheticgirl!), Gina Miller(nanogirl!), and Romana
>Machado(leathergirl!). Even though certainly they are no longer girls
>but mature, and very gifted and intelligent women. I am going to have
>to really improve myself to be worthy of the women of the future if
>they resemble these ladies!
>Well everyone, I just want to thank you for listening to all my
>ramblings. It felt good to get it all out. I hope things are going
>great for you all! I look forward to your replies and wish you all
>the best.
>Maybe one day we will all get to attend that party at the edge of the
>galaxy they talk about or another party sometime sooner. I am really
>going to try to attend Extro 4 if I can manage. I realize that I am
>in the presence of intellects far greater then my own on the digest
>and I am somewhat intimidated at times, but at least I am learning and
>enjoying myself.
>John Grigg
>Get Free Email and Do More On The Web. Visit
Natasha Vita-More: Transhumanist Art Centre - Home of Extropic Art: **NEW** Transhuman Culture InfoMark: PRESS RELEASE: "We are transhumans ..." Meme Orbits Saturn in 2004!

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