X-Message-Number: 10206
Date: Sun, 09 Aug 1998 16:22:41 +0100
From:  (John de Rivaz)
Subject: Re: Thoughts on Schindler's List (spoilers?)

In article: <> Kennita Watson 

> Last night I saw Schindler's List. 

. an excellent article on "Schindler's List". When I saw this film it made me 
think of cryonics. The authority figures who make cryonics difficult and 
arrangements needlessly irksome and expensive are equivalent to the "Nazis" in 
the film and in history, of course. In the instance of cryonics, things have not
got really bad yet - that would come if cryonics was regulated so that 
suspension minima were ten or twenty times higher because of compliance costs on
the cryonics organisations. At the moment in m

ost jurisdictions, cryonics is in the pre-war stages of the film. In some 
countries, such as the Canadian provice of British Columbia, and also France, 
the end game has already started with the authorities simply banning cryonics.

> Following are a number of ramblings 
> that have come to mind, without regard to plot points they might 
> divulge -- I'm not in the mood for that kind of censoring.
> Money -- time -- life.
> Oskar Schindler became extremely wealthy and saved 1100 lives.

As far as I can remember he went into the situation extremely wealthy as a 
result of inheritance - his actions lost him that wealth, and after the war 
he tried other business ventures none of which were successful, and he died 
in relative poverty.

> Do I -- do you -- have enough to save even one?

The thought occurs to me that had Oskar Schindler given his inheritance away 
earlier supporting something else, possibly merely adding (in proportion) a drop
to a greater cause, eg the Red Cross, then he would have lost the opportunity 
to to what he did. It is likely that there would have been no one else to do 
what he did so with hindsight his choice was right.


> And what about the people in the world most important to you?  Can 
> you keep them alive?  How many are there, and how much would it take?
> If you don't know, do you need an Itzak Stern to help you find out?

Yes, everyone signed up for cryonics must have their own "list", even if only in
their minds. Some hope to fill it by persuading the people involved to pay for 
themselves. Maybe the only way of servicing it is to get your head down and keep
it down until you have saved enough to pay for your people. Also, some have a 
"list" of random people they happen to have met and have helped in their 
decision to sign up.

> I've heard many people say "I don't care about money".  Neither did
> Schindler, but he realized that money could mean the difference 
> between life and death, and he cared about life.  While our 
> circumstances are not as dramatic,
Depends on the timescale you chose.


> I wonder if people can be taught to hate death as much as I do?  An army
> of such warriors could certainly fight the War on Death more effectively
> than me alone.  Perhaps that would be the best use of money -- starting
> a school, funding a college course or community education class....

All this is collective and as has been demonstrated before is doomed to failure,
at least amongst cryonicists. Asking people for huge sums of money seldom works
- Yes I know that people as pretty as Diana, Princess of Wales may have got 
away with it, but the vast majority of such projects fall by the wayside. Bob 
Geldorf seemed to achieve something similar by being bad tempered and offensive,
as far as I can recall, but maybe he was just in the right place at the right 
time. I don't think he would have do

ne as well had he chosen the Internet as a medium and did not have the support 
of many authority figures.

It is rather like pop singing - you hear a story of how someone who you think 
can't sing, starts with a pub band and is soon earning megabucks form the record
companies, and think that maybe anyone could do it if they put in some effort. 
*Wrong* It requires a hell of a lot of luck. Maybe "luck" means an unteachable 
unlearnable feel for the business. Many people equally good or even better 
singers try the same thing and get nowhere.

Many books on how to get rich tell you stories about someone who has invested 
$2000 in a company - he had $200 and borrowed $1800 - and it rose 20 fold within
half a year and that started him on a road to riches by chosing the right 
investments one after the other. Despite giving away half his gains every year 
to tax accountants and authorities, he dies a billionaire (in terms of present 
day money). The book tells you that spreading your investments will never give 
that level of growth. That is true. But 

not spreading them will almost guarantee that you lose whatever it is that you 

The vast majority of people trying "all or nothing" will not pick the right 
stocks and lose all their money. But many people, possibly because of the 
fallacial advice given in such books and pamphlets try it. If enough people try 
it then there will be the one or two successes that can be the subject of books.
Just like the singers and big bucks beggers.

All those that fail will not be the subject of books on how to make a fortune 
from $200, how to be a pop singer, or a big bucks begger. Never investing more 
than one or two grand in any one speculative venture and turning over so little 
every year that you never pay taxes is much more likely to work in the long term
- however it is nothing like as "sexy" as throwing ten or even hundred grand 
around all at once. But surely it is better to have a high chance of being 
someone who has achieved a little than a
 high chance of having lost it all by being "sexy"?

If everyone saves and then buys in their "list" of friends they would like to 
see cryopreserved, the incomming funds to the chosen cryonics organisations will
eventually be substantial. People "bought in" would not be like ordinary 
pre-paid people. They could not take back the money if they change their minds, 
only the donor would get the money back (and (s)he'd probably nominate someone 
else.) But to do this you have to get your head down and keep it down for 

> Or perhaps taking a cue from Hitler's original propaganda machine:
> commercials, TV shows, newspaper articles (or even my own newspaper),
> movies (though Schindler's List sets an awfully high bar), and other
> mass media.

That's already being done without much or even any cryonics money being spent. 
It may be fair to say that as a minority interest, cryonics has received a 
totally disproportionate share of free publicity. The fact that this has 
resulted in such a small number of additional suspension members is a real cause
for concern. And I really don't think it is due to a lack of credible research.
Most people if asked think that animals even people are routinely frozen and 
revived. That frozen baboon story which sent 
Biotime Inc to around $30 has even been repeated here recently. 

(Biotime [BTIM] is now back to $6, 13/16 on a daily total volume of 63,100 for 
anyone seeking a worthwhile long term investment with a hint of a cryonic 
flavour, and brokers will accept orders for 100 shares. But it is fair to say 
that more immediate term growth could probably be found elsewhere.)

Sincerely,     * Longevity Report:  http://www.longevb.demon.co.uk/lr.htm
John de Rivaz  * Fractal Report:    http://www.longevb.demon.co.uk/fr.htm
**************** Homepage:http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/JohndeR
    In the information age, sharing can increase world wealth enormously,
        because giving information does not decrease your information.

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