X-Message-Number: 10397
Date: Tue, 8 Sep 1998 10:30:25 -0400
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: CryoNet #10380 - #10386

To Mr. Charles Platt:

Your reply shows clearly that you know nothing at all of my previous
activities and opinions in cryonics.

I have constantly urged more research to improve our methods, and
contributed money towards it too. When Mike Darwin wanted to buy 
an electron microscope (years ago) I provided him with money, forthwith.
And I pledged early on to the Prometheus Project, which I hope will 
result in useful research.

HOWEVER (though I am very glad that at least Saul Kent and those 
associated with him have finally gotten some serious research going)
for years it has not seemed likely that much research would be 
forthcoming from the cryonics community for some time --- not because
of opposition within cryonics to the idea, but because we were too
few. And so the issue of just what might be done in future became
personally relevant to me, as it was to any cryonicist of that time.

Not only that, but we now have people in storage who were frozen by
past methods, going all the way back to Bedford. It is morally 
and (probably) factually incumbent on us to work out, someday, a means
to either revive them or prove conclusively that they cannot be
revived by any future technology. Not only that, but even if we had
a perfected suspended animation, not everyone who is signed up with
a cryonics society will be able to take advantage of it. Cryonics
is emergency medicine, and we must sometimes take what we can get,
not what is best. The need to work out how to revive people frozen
by primitive methods will not disappear once we have full suspended
animation. The universe does not serve us with automatic life.

(I will expand a little on just why it may be factually incumbent:
suspended animation for medical purposes will not be used lightly.
It will be used to help those who suffer from a currently incurable
disease --- such as aging. Or pick one. The essential part of a 
cryonics society is not that it freezes (or suspends) people, but that
it undertakes to keep them in suspension FOR AS LONG AS IT TAKES.
And any society which does NOT do that will not get many people to
join it. Why should they, if they see it abandoning those who have
been stored for only 50 years, or 100? How do they know such a society
will not simply take their money and bury them after 100 years? If
earlier patients serve no other purpose, they show that we are 
serious when we say that we will keep someone suspended indefinitely;
and if we work on how to revive them, all the better).

You say that you are not interested in the scientific analysis of 
just what is essential to preserving us. I find that an odd opinion
indeed, coming from someone who claims to be a cryonicist. You seem
to think that full suspended animation will arrive AND you will be
able to take advantage of it, without actually having to know or 
think about it. Mr. Charles Platt, just what would you feel if you
found yourself in an auto wreck in Vancouver, British Columbia? Or
almost any midwestern American state, with no cryonics facility
within hundreds of miles? Or in Brazil, or India? Even the knowledge
of how to do suspended animation does not mean that by magic ever 
after anyone who wants it can take advantage of it.

I will continue to donate to research, as much as I can (though I 
do not have the money I once had). And I will argue for research.
I do not believe that any technology will automatically produce
the ability to revive a suspended patient (yes, including the 
much touted Nanotechnology). Cryonicists will have to do research
to work out how to use the technology available. But I regard it as
stupid in the extreme to refuse to consider what the possibilities
and the requirements of revival might be. If we do not do that, we
risk abandoning people (those gotten out of Brazil, or India, or
British Columbia, hours after their "death" and after uncaring 
treatment by noncryonicists) who might someday have been revived.
Even now, though we might know much more, some damage is much more
serious than other kinds. There is no such thing as "general damage".

Or are you a cryonicist any longer? Perhaps not. Then none of this
means anything to you, and you are merely getting some kind of 
twisted joy out of watching us as we squirm. If so, you get to work
out these issues in your own soul. 

			Best and long long life to ALL,

				Thomas Donaldson

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