X-Message-Number: 1042
Date: Tue, 21 Jul 92 20:20:43 PDT
Subject: Re: cryonics: #1032 - #1040

Charles Platt writes:
> All I 
> want is to see the formidable talents at Alcor applied in a 
> more coordinated, directed way, so that we know what's going 
> on, we know what the objectives are, and we see how much 
> progress is being made in achieving them. Right now, we don't 
> even have a budget for the organization. 

Gee, if California can operate without a budget, why not Alcor? :-)

Seriously, though, organizational problems can easily mitigate or even
completely nullify and overwhelm the efforts of any number of
exceptional individuals in an organization.  One common "mental
disease" that can afflict an organization is blame-itis ("Who's to
blame?"). The cure for this is to refocus the organization towards
finding solutions to its problems instead of finding scapegoats for

On the subject of rich benefactors:

I have been studying the behavior of those who have accumulated great
wealth for many years now.  I have reached some conclusions about what
it is that makes these people so successful:  Basically, they conserve
their resources until they spot exceptional, can't-lose deals, then go
for them quckly and decisively.  This strategy virtually eliminates
losses, ensures steady if modest gains most of the time, and leaves them
well positioned to take advantage of the few exceptional opportunites
that come along.  I know that I have missed out on many such
opportunities because all my resources were tied up in deals that
simply weren't worth bothering with in the final analysis.  Most
investors waste time and money churning their investments from one
get-rich-quick scheme to the next, hoping to make up their losses with
that one big score.  Emotionally, they are acting like gamblers.  And
like gamblers, they usually lose.

The key to survival--as a species, a theory, an organism, an investor,
an organization, a business or a society is to avoid having the
universe prove that you are less valid than your competitors.  One
strike and you may be out--permanently. Evolution by natural selection
works by rejecting all theories concerning the best way to live
(species) that can be proven to be unworkable/inferior. It is a lot
easier to prove that a theory is false than it is to prove that it is
true.   The player who sometimes wins but never loses will eventually
far outdistance the player who, by always trying to win big on each
play, loses big on many plays; for every good oportunity, there are a
thousand bad ones.  Only bet on sure things; the game goes to those
that make the best plays on average, not necessarily those who make the
most plays.

People who have learned these lessons well enough to become rich will
not invest in cryonics or cryonics organizations unless they feel that
the investment is not a loser.  It doesn't have to be a spectacular
investment.  But if it doesn't look solid, it will be rejected.

 (Alan Lovejoy)

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