X-Message-Number: 10412
Date: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 13:39:34 -0700
From: Paul Wakfer <>
Subject: Abandoning Cryonicists

The following was written as a message to Charles Platt, but afterwards,
I decided, what the hell, I might as well send it to CryoNet and

Hi Charles,

In case you haven't noticed, I have quit trying to "set straight" all
the nonsense which is continually posted on CryoNet and sci.cryonics. I
actually have much more patience with sci.cryonics because most of the
people that post there simply don't have grounds for knowing any better,
like the guy who just posted about the Extropians and mind uploading.
However, most of those on the CryoNet list *do*, or *should* know
better. I am still reading CryoNet and sci.cryonics, but even this may
end soon. It is simply too disgusting and discouraging to be constantly
reminded of this stupidity.

Even your last posts have been too willing to accept that repairing the
damage done to current patients is *just* going to be very hard, instead
of stressing that it simply may be IMPOSSIBLE. And no matter how much
Ralph Merkle and Thomas Donaldson and many others now (like that new
person George Smith who seems to be a kind of "modernist ludite") argue,
there is no way to *prove* that any people currently frozen can be
restored as anything but clones. And furthermore, anyone in their right
mind would make it their highest priority to see that a method is found
ASAP to prove irrefutably that the best frozen patients, at least, *are*
restorable, which can only be done by actually freezing and fully
restoring first a mammalian model system and later volunteer organ
transplant patients (or some such) during clinical trials. This is the
"proof in principle" of cryonics which everyone with a modicum of common
sense should *demand* and should be willing to give a major portion of
their income to see achieved. Why is it that I can see this, but no one
else (or at least damned few others) can??

I have come to the conclusion that there are two kinds of cryonicists,
although a few, more sane people have elements of both (often
unreconciled), and "never the twain shall meet". I speak of course of
those who *believe* in Nanotechnology and our Friends of the Future to
fix whatever mess we send them, versus those who believe that our growth
and success, indeed our very lives, depend on doing all possible
research as soon as humanly possible, to either vastly reduce the damage
done in the best cases, or to achieve and demonstrate full restoration
capabilty as soon as that is possible. Furthermore, there appears to be
no way to change a person which is in one camp to the other.
Unfortunately, the psychological appeal of the arguments of Merkle and
Ettinger have won the day, at least with the majority of those who are
attracted to sign up for cryonics on any grounds at all. Our position is
simply too realistic, and too much of a hard-nosed, head-on facing of
the reality of potential failure and death, for most people to be able
to cope with it. For most cryonicists, the "redemption" of
Nanotechnology fills a similar need that "eternal life in heaven" does
for a christian. It allows them to "believe" that they will not have to
die. I understand this well because it relates to that irrational and
unproductive feeling of "relief" (I'm saved :) that you get when you
first complete your sign-up. But you and I and others have not stopped
there, we have gone on to fully face the nothingness of death and *know*
that it is both possible and even highly likely unless we continue to
fight against it with all the intelligence, wealth, and ability that we
can muster.

I has always seemed strange to me that the very group extropians, who
have a name which should help them to understand that entropy is the
enemy of life and must be constantly and continually fought with all the
forces at our command, are not 100% behind our efforts to do this in the
most direct and soonest possible manner. However, they too seem to be
totally immersed in the dream world of their philosophy and its most far
out and futuristic possibilities. Why can so few of them (as indeed
other cryonicists) see that without action and dedication to the
nearterm events, they are highly unlikely to experience the
possibilities of which they dream and profess to truly want. In this
respect both Extropians and most cryonicists appear to little different
than the Sci-Fi convention dreamer/losers that most of them often

I could go on and on, but it is just too discouraging.

In case you are interested, my current plans are to go off and make some
money and at the same time prepare myself for organizational and
promotional work in the anti-aging/life-extension field which I find
scientifically more interesting, and for which I think there is a chance
of application to my own life if I am very careful and can continue to
remain as healthy as I am and with as low an aging rate. Frankly, I am
seeing more sanity and much more hard science and realism in the
life-extension field than I do in cryonics. For example, there is never
any mention on sci.life-extension or longevity-digest or crsociety that
we simply have to wait 25 years and Nanotechnolgy will solve all aging
and rejuvenation problems for us. Now isn't *that* refreshing? :-)

Of course it should go without saying that I still plan to be frozen if
it is necessary.


-- Paul --

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