X-Message-Number: 1008
Date: 17 Jul 92 02:01:18 EDT
From: Brian Wowk <>
Subject: CRYONICS growth

Charles Platt:

> It would definitely be
> nice to have some control over autopsies. But how big would
> cryonics have to be to accomplish this? I suggest it would
> have to be an option chosen by at least, say, 1 person in 10.

        There are many cases of autopsies being avoided because of
stauch religious objections.  L. Ron Hubbard is a famous case that
comes to mind.  On a smaller and more relevant scale, Dora Kent's
brain was saved from autopsy by vigorous legal efforts on Alcor's
part.  Also, autopsy was waived for a recent ACS patient despite
a sudden death scenario.  The deciding factor: a certificate of
religious belief signed by the patient declaring autopsy against
her "religious" convictions.

        Inroads are already being made in this area.  Even more
progress will be made as we grow larger.

Charles Platt:

> If my rough calculations are correct, that would translate
> into more than 3 million freezings per year. It is hard to
> imagine the kind of social upheaval that would be necessary
> to create, and to accommodate, that implementation of
> cryonics. I certainly believe it would cause more problems
> than it would solve.

        I find it even harder to imagine the more sweeping social
upheavals that are going to accompany extended lifespans and
emerging nanotechnolgy in general.  That doesn't mean they aren't
going to happen, or that they shouldn't happen.  At the risk of
sounding altruistic, I'll simply point out that the early or late
popularity of cryonics means the difference between millions of
people living or dying.

        In fact, (excuse me while I stand on my soapbox) there is
a whole other dimension to this question to consider.  At Alcor we
are not just selling a service, we are selling an idea.  That
idea is that life is worth living and fighting for, even by
extraordinary means.  We have to "sell" this idea to the public
at large because without it our service will fail.  In other words,
the chances of your cryonics organization surviving are greatly
diminished in a world where life is not valued.  "Evangelism" and
growth are therefore essential elements of a cryonics organization's
program to protect its patients.

> Lastly, Brian dismisses my concerns about growth making
> cryonics organizations less flexible and more bureaucratic,
> because these general concerns apply to any organization.
> Yes--precisely! And we see their effects. Who would you
> rather be frozen by, Alcor or General Motors?

        I was simply making the point that "bureaucracy" need not
prevent large organizations from functioning in a stable and
productive manner.  General Motors, and many other large companies
produce fine products despite (and often because of) their size.
And yes, I would rather be frozen by General Motors than Alcor
precisely because they would by large, stable, competent, and very
well established at what they do (not to mention having many
branch offices!).

> If growth is going to benefit us at all, the growth has to be
> primarily in the number of living members, not frozen ones!


                                             --- Brian Wowk

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