X-Message-Number: 1011
Date: 17 Jul 92 06:30:44 EDT
From: Bob Smart <>
Subject: CRYONICS: sci.cryonics


The question has been raised as to whether CRYONET should be publicized on
sci.cryonics.  My opinion is that it should not be, or if it is, then
another mailing list which is NOT publicly advertised should be created. I'm
not saying that the existence of CRYONET should be a Deep, Dark Secret,
never to be revealed to infidels...only that if we don't draw attention to
it, especially in these early days of sci.cryonics, it gives us the option
of using sci.cryonics as a filtering mechanism to weed out people who aren't
really interested in anything but a pissing contest.  People who take the
time to contact a cryonics agency and read the printed literature will
inevitably stumble onto CRYONET and learn how to join; people who don't
bother to send for CRFT (or equivalent) probably won't have much to say that
can't be said just as well on sci.cryonics.  Meanwhile, the introductory and
promotional functions that have hitherto been addressed by CRYONET can
probably also be handled just as conveniently on sci.cryonics, which is open
to everyone on Usenet.

The signal/noise ratio on sci.cryonics is quite low, these days (and I
freely acknowledge that I may be contributing to the "noise" part of it,
more on that subject to follow).  Some of that may improve after the initial
excitement of a new newsgroup fades away, but since sci.cryonics is
unmoderated, I rather like the idea that we have another, more private
channel available to us.  Some of the flailing and handwaving may also
decrease when a FAQ list becomes available; the draft that has appeared on
CRYONET looks like it will go a long way toward addressing the more tedious

As for the excessive noise level on sci.cryonics, do we have any consensus
about how best to deal with invasions by detractors?  How can we discourage
endless repetitions of simpleminded, logically spongy attacks by the
militantly uninformed, while still remaining hospitable to the genuinely
curious?  My attempts at intimidation-by-confrontational-snottiness haven't
greatly dissuaded contributions from our latest upstart; reasonable, patient
replies by other, more restrained parties don't seem to have satisfied him
either. Is there anything to be done? Should we just ignore such people in
the hope that they'll eventually get bored and leave? Or do you think this
sort of problem will normally be rare enough that it doesn't really require
any special policy or tactics, it'll mostly take care of itself?  Basically,
how can we avoid losing control of the agenda and usage of sci.cryonics?

[ Bob, the existence of the cryonics mailing list certainly is no secret.
  The question both Tim Freeman and I were pondering was whether or not
  the use of the CRYOMSG archive retrieval mechanism should be promoted.
  I will have to say more about that later, though, and respond to your
  other concerns now.

  I hadn't anticipated such a vigorous response on sci.cryonics, but it
  is not necessarily such a bad thing.  The messages have produced a good
  list of typical responses from uninformed people.  That's FAQ food.
  If the same sci.med-cryonics-debate-style messages continue for
  another week, though, then I will be concerned because I think that
  the introductory issues and concerns have already been expressed and
  thus continuing the "Person On A Stick", etc. threads will be merely

  The FAQ is one of the most important keys to maintaining good S/N
  ratio on sci.cryonics, so I strongly encourage everyone to read it
  and work toward improving it.  Once we have settled on a good FAQ that
  is ready for sci.cryonics, then we can use it not only for providing
  good introductory material for new readers, but also as a mechanism
  for encouraging more responsible posting.  For example, if someone
  posts an obviously uninformed message, then instead of posting a
  refutation in sci.cryonics and helping start or perpetuate a flame
  war, we should simply refer the person to the FAQ.  If the person
  still insists on posting messages without reading and understanding the
  FAQ, then several of us can email the FAQ directly to the person by
  private email and strongly suggest not posting again until reading it.
  Furthermore, since a flame-fest cannot occur without opposing parties,
  we should also send kindly-worded private email to the "pro-cryonics"
  people who have posted responses and suggest that they either ignore
  the person or use only private email for any further replies rather
  than posting replies to sci.cryonics.  (That is my personal favorite,
  since I have little time to spend on people who insist on being both
  ignorant and obnoxious.  Remember the slogan:
     SWSWSW - Some Will, Some Won't, So What.
  We are interested in those people who want to make cryonics work;
  people who have some psychological, social, or other type of problem
  with it are not good prospects for our efforts.)  Probably other
  useful mechanisms could be used, too, but the most important task
  right now is to get that FAQ into shape. - KQB ]

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