X-Message-Number: 1031
From:  (Keith Lofstrom)
Newsgroups: sci.cryonics
Subject: Why Cryonics? - a personal view
Message-ID: <>
Date: 20 Jul 92 07:34:00 GMT

It is too easy to get into arguments - I think I will need >100 years to
learn not to argue with <deleted>s.  Hopefully, when certain parties start
the quotewars about THIS posting, I will have the wisdom and grace to ignore

What follows is not a call to debate.  It is personal observation.  If these
observations are true for you, perhaps you should consider signing up, too.
If they are not, make your own personal observations - please don't attack

Why am I signed up for cryonics?

I am an unashamed believer in the power and benefits of technology.  I can
justify that statement in another posting if necessary;  I don't want to 
debate the point right now, just frankly let you know who I am and where I
am coming from.

The revolutions in computers and molecular biology, while fraught with growing
pains, are not likely to slow down before we achieve some variant of 
nanotechnology.  I figure we are at the dawn of one of the most exciting
periods in human history - when we gain complete control of our lifespans,
our environment, and our interactions with each other.  

I figure if I live another 50 years, I will almost certainly reach this era,
and be able to participate and marvel in the changes and new ideas.  On the
other hand, I may not make it that far, and that is why I am signed up for
increases the likelyhood this will happen.

I want to be a living witness to a child's fear of the Cuban Missile Crisis,
the joy of the first moon landing, and the elation of the first shuttle
launch (which I got to watch).  I will tell the engineers what it was like
to watch integrated circuits grow from 8 transistors to 8 billion  (If you 
think that won't be exciting to future audiences, get a copy of Neville
Shute's "Slide Rule", and read how aircraft made a similar transition).  I
want to tell people what it was like to live in a society of socialists,
homophobes, religious fanatics, meat eaters, and all the other abberations I
expect will have disappeared in 100 years (to be replaced by other equally
silly notions).  I want to tell people what it was like to dance naked in a
meadow beside the 150 year old wagon road that brought the settlers to Oregon.
I even want to tell them about hunger, and pain, and grief - these will come
in new and different forms, but the old ways will still be useful to know 

I have met thousands of people in my life;  some of these people may be
known to the future as great authors, scientists, or humanitarians.  I am
sure future historians will want to literally pick my brains to find out 
about these people.  Some of my personal heros may never be famous, and
probably won't choose cryonics in time;  my fond memories of them will be
their only memorials.

In a future age of plenty, there may be a strong tendency to stasis and 
timidity.  I figure that we "immigrants from the past" will be the ones 
that do the hard and dangerous jobs that our coddled descendants won't 
touch.  Compared to the rigors of the 20th century, these jobs will seem
quite easy to us.  We will bring a unique vantage point to a world grown
perhaps too uniform.

I may even want to try being a child again.  I had a pretty lousy childhood -
my mother did her best on a poverty wage, but better is still possible - and
the technology will come that will allow it.  If the world gets too crowded,
this may be the best way to satisfy the urges of people who want to be
parents, and are good at it.

With an indefinitely long lifespan, I get to try many things.  I get to take
the time to do things right.  I get to smell flowers without my allergies,
look at the world without glasses, hear and make beautiful music without
my partial deafness.  I am not planning on coming back old, or crippled,
or locked in a machine.

Some of my friends are also signed up - some of them will be the ones that
bring me out of suspension, and I will help with the rest.  There will be a
lot of happy tears in the process.

Even if none of this comes to pass, and cryonics doesn't work out, it has been
worth it.  I used to wake up at night and stare at the ceiling in the small
hours of the morning (the Germans call these the "wolf hours" - poetic and
accurate).  I was not worried about the pain of death, or of being nonexistant;
I was worried about being ineffectual, and not doing all I wanted to do in 
life, and all the forgone options involved with every hard choice I have ever
made.  It may simply be a comforting illusion, but since I signed up for 
cryonics I don't have those nights any more.  I feel it is enough to do one
thing well - I can do the other things later.  This has increased my
happiness and my productivity, more than enough to pay the few hundred dollars
a year that I put into cryonics.

More sleep is good, but even better is the friends I have made.  Cryonics
certainly has its share of assholes and flakes, but there are some beautiful
people involved, too.  Courageous, caring, hard working, ambitious, thoughtful,
interesting people!  People who stand willing to risk jail to save my life,
as I hope I would have the courage to do for them.  Friends, and community,
and sharing ... which is why most of us do anything, right?

Keith Lofstrom                Voice (503)-520-1993
KLIC --- Keith Lofstrom Integrated Circuits --- "Your Ideas in Silicon"
Design Contracting in Bipolar and CMOS - Analog, Digital, and Power ICs

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