X-Message-Number: 10002
Date: Tue, 07 Jul 1998 15:08:53 -0400
From: Paul Wakfer <>
Subject: Re: CryoNet #9994 Future Cures
References: <>

> Message #9994
> Date: Mon, 6 Jul 1998 09:30:44 -0400
> From: Thomas Donaldson <>
> Subject: CryoNet #9981 - #9992
> It's easy for us to jump from the idea that if suspension became
> possible, all the other things that come after it will also become
> possible. So easy, perhaps, that we commonly forget that most people
> not only distrust our ideas about suspension but also distrust our
> ideas about the future of medicine. Even if suspension were perfect,
> the idea that (say) we could then cure aging, senility (the mental
> kind ie. Alzheimer's and other such conditions), cancers of all kinds,
> regrow any lost limbs or organs, and so on and on will be met by
> automatic disbelief.

Thomas, *because* you are cryonicist and view both cryopreservation
damage repairing and disease curing aspects of future medicine in the
same light, you forget that most people do not. To the vast numbers of
laymen and even scientists in the world, the ideas of being able to
eventually cure any particular disease and of being able to revive
frozen "corpses" are light years apart. The main reason for this is
because medical science has already shown the some diseases can be
cured. This is what makes the huge difference in acceptability of these
two ideas.

You are more on the mark about curing aging, since that has never been
done. However, we have (by calorie restriction, and other animal
experiments) shown that aging can be radically slowed, seemingly
non-aging species exist, and vastly more scientists and laymen accept
the basic premise that aging can eventually be stopped (and those
numbers are very rapidly growing) than have any such confidence about
fixing the terrible damage reeked by current cryopreservation

> WE see just a little of this in Jack Haldeman's
> claim that reanimation may be very painful.
One very silly idea, which is probably just an excuse for something more
fundamental, means little.

> Not only that, but even our most optimistic scenario --- suspended
> animation in 20 years, is likely to be met by total incomprehension
> by the vast majority of people when it arrives.

But not soon after it arrives and is being done by the early adopters.

> Suspended animation cures nohing at all.


> So not only does it leave you sick,

This is absurd! You are using the same argument against the worth of
perfected suspended animation which you abhor other people using against
cryonics! It does not *ever* leave you sick, it transports you to a time
when your disease will be curable. We simply cannot predict exactly when
that will be.

> but it
> takes you from a familiar setting to one which will be quite
> unfamiliar.

True enough and the result of this will be that many people will still
not elect suspended animation if they are convinced that their cure is
very far in the future.

> Unless you believe that you really will be cured of
> diseases which no one now even claims are curable (say, for instance,
> brain damage),

IMO, most people believe that any particular disease of today which has
not cause loss of information will eventually be curable. This belief is
even true of most scientists, even though their scientific objectivity
prevents them from publicly saying such things.

> the entire exercise seems one of masochism rather 
> than medicine.

Rubbish! Where is that pain and suffering? You start under general
anesthetic and you don't come back until everything is ready for your
healthy, vital, painless revivable. 

> In convincing people that cryonic suspension will be helpful we also
> come up against a very common medical attitude: if we can't cure X now,
> then that isn't just a passing problem to be solved in 100 years. It
> is a metaphysical condition of the world, which will not change for
> centuries.

I totally disagree that this is the "common" attitude in medicine or
anywhere else!

> Sure, we can see that the possibility of curing some
> condition seeps slowly into physicians' minds, but plenty of problems
> still have that "impossible to cure" tag attached to them in the
> minds of most doctors --- and all those people who listen to them.

No! you are confusing impossible to cure in the next 5-10 years (which
is what most people are concerned with) with impossible to *ever* cure.
> Suppose again that our suspended animation was virtually perfect:
> if suspended you would arrive at some future revival with virtually
> no damage. Clearly even if they believed it, rich, famous, or
> prominent people are not going to take up even the option of
> suspended animation while healthy. They have nothing at all to gain
> from it and will lose their standing in today's society, their
> money, and much else.

First, I don't really give a flying fuck about anyone concerned with
losing their fame and "standing". If the famous and prominent don't wish
to be suspended for that reason, that is probably a good thing.

But secondly, no one will lose their money since they will never be
legally dead. Their money will be kept safe in trust for them by some
investment company. Thomas, why do you and so many others have so much
trouble transporting your mind into the future under the assumption that
suspended animation is perfected to really understand how things will
work? The old paradigm of suspendees and *dead* people will be gone!

> And arrive in an unknown land.

This "unknown land" excuse which is continually brought up is total BS.
Since time immemorial and every day today, people both voluntarily and
involuntarily find themselves in "unknown lands". Most people don't
relish this, but almost everyone knows that they can cope with it. It is
only idiot "future shock" psychologists and sociologists who are trying
to scare everyone into thinking that they can't cope.

> The kind of
> people who might take us up on such an option are those who feel
> downtrodden and unsuccessful in the society of today.

I doubt it. Most of these people do not love themselves enough. BTW, do
you realize that such a statement implies that the majority of
cryonicists signed up today must be "losers" or think that they are!

> (If they can
> get together the money!). Such people do not provide us with
> the kind of testimonials that someone rich and famous might.

Who cares about *testimonials* when we will have scientific *evidence*.
> Finally, I will add that this is my present opinion. I don't think
> Saul could convince me differently by any amount of verbal
> argument. Yes, I could be convinced if lots of people flocked to
> cryonics once we have much better methods for suspension. As for
> now, though, I don't believe that will happen.
> So why do I still strongly support research? Because I value myself
> and my life, and want to see it continue. Even if it turns out to
> work (after 200 years) present suspension methods are risky. I'd
> like at least to know that my suspension will be more secure. And
> frankly I can think of no better reason to support research. Sure,
> I'd like to convert my relatives, but that looks like a lost cause.
> I support research because I hope it will help ME.

Unfortunately, although it may help you suspension be less damaging, it
will not help it be more *secure* unless it also vastly increases the
size of the movement.

-- Paul --

 Voice/Fax: 416-968-6291 Page: 800-805-2870
The Institute for Neural Cryobiology - http://neurocryo.org
Perfected cryopreservation of Central Nervous System tissue
for neuroscience research and medical repair of brain diseases

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