X-Message-Number: 10423
Date: Sun, 13 Sep 1998 14:56:41 -0400 (EDT)
From: Charles Platt <>
Subject: ?????????

What is going _on_ here? First Thomas Donaldson, and now Fred 
Chamberlain, apparently sharing this peculiar assumption that 
if I'm doubtful about current cryonics procedures, this must 
mean I have no use for them. 
Where have I ever said or implied anything of this sort? 
Thomas still refuses to quote the text of mine that gave him 
this idea, and Fred doesn't cite any reference either; so I 
remain baffled. 
Do I really need to say that even the most incompetently 
performed cryopreservation is preferable to burial or 
cremation? OF COURSE I want to be frozen using any means 
available, even if its chances of success are vanishingly 
small. The alternative gives me no choice at all. This is
a no-brainer, right? (Literally.)
I have expressed strong doubts about the viability of some 
cryopatients. But guess what--I may be wrong! Certainly I 
have never claimed to be 100-percent certain of anything in 
cryonics. Nor have I pointed to any case and said, "This 
person is definitely doomed." I am merely concerned (as any 
rational person should be) that our techniques may be 
inadequate and should be upgraded as urgently as possible. 
This is controversial? 
Let me try to summarize this, since the logic seems elusive 
to some readers. 
1. I am a skeptic. Skepticism is essential in science. 
Without it, we risk involving ourselves in scientific 
embarrassments--such as Olga Visser. 
2. As a skeptic, I suspect that some of the damage we do in 
some cases may be irreparable, at least within the bounds of 
imaginable technology on an imaginable budget. 
3. Still as the president of CryoCare I am ethically, 
legally, and spiritually committed to freezing any of our 
members who dies, even if the circumstances are so terrible 
that I may doubt the possibility of future resuscitation. 
Again, my opinion _may be wrong._ And anyway I am guided by 
the requests of the cryonics members who have contracted with 
CryoCare. I am deeply committed to carry out their wishes. 
4. I am also signed up to be frozen myself, in any way 
possible. This is not incompatible with statements 1 and 2. 
It simply means that I am willing to take whatever deal I can 
get--even if its chances may be close to zero under certain 
circumstances--while I hope that a better deal will come 
What is so mysterious about this? 
Thomas seems to feel entitled to throw all kinds of insults 
in my direction, such as "willful ignorance," still without 
the courtesy of explaining how he has reached these strong 
opinions. He knows very well that I am in regular contact 
with the people actually doing research which I believe is 
going to revolutionize cryonics. From this he might conclude 
that, in fact, I am better informed than most people--
possibly including Thomas himself. 
True, I have little interest in debating where the dividing 
line may lie between viable and nonviable cryopatients. I 
regard such discussions as a waste of time, because I cannot 
imagine any means by which we can resuscitate these patients 
within, say, the next two or three decades. Therefore, any 
discussion of their viability remains idle speculation. If 
you come up with some new evidence (such as a new model for 
the storage of memories in the brain), for some reason you 
seem to feel that this makes your speculation more useful. I 
disagree. Until any speculation can be tested in a 
laboratory, it is of little use to me. 
What do I consider NOT to be a waste of time? Wakfer's 
hippocampal slice project, for instance. It promises to yield 
data proving (as much as anything in science can be proven) 
whether a specific area of the brain will resume function. 
This is a long way from the kind of armchair speculation that 
I see here on CryoNet. 
Thomas, I have noticed that you enjoy participating in very 
lengthy discussions on just about any topic, from uploading 
to the nature of consciousness. Fine; that's your right. I 
have never criticized you for this, even though I have always 
considered it futile, and generally I don't bother to read 
posts on these topics. I suggest that if I am willing to 
tolerate and ignore your priorities, which seem odd to me, at 
the very least you should show me the same courtesy. 
--Charles Platt 

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