X-Message-Number: 10447
From: "Scott Badger" <>
Subject: Selling Cryonics
Date: Sun, 20 Sep 1998 14:08:36 -0500

I, for one, applaud Jeff Davis' critical look at the marketing issues
in cryonics.  I don't agree with many of his suggestions while others
I found to be very interesting.  Allow me to paraphrase and respond to
some of the replies as I understood them.

Saul Kent suggested that a professional marketing effort will cost money
that is sorely needed for research because people are not going to buy in
significant numbers until we have a proven product anyway.  Anyone that's
followed Cryonet at all knew that Mr. Kent would say this.  His opinion will
continue to be strongly biased in the direction of research because that's
what he's up to his neck in and I am cheering on the sidelines for his focus
and his dedication.

Charles Platt echoes the sentiment that there is little perceived value in
the product.  He then makes some very intelligent guesses as to why.
Mr. Platt goes on to reassure us that although empirical marketing studies
have not been done, trial-and-error has taught us volumes.  Mr. Platt then
offers the following admonisment concerning Mr. Davis' suggestions:

>These manipulative techniques are designed to entice people against their
>better judgment.

Mr. Platt, please.  Marketing is all about manipulating the beliefs and
perceptions of people and few firms will be successful unless they resolve
alter the "better" judgments of those they target as potential customers.
There's nothing unethical about this.  Being manipulative
certainly doesn't preclude providing "FULL disclosure and RATIONAL
understanding".  What do you mean by "better judgment", anyway?
Are they better informed?  Are they more rational?

I also didn't understand the following exchange:

>> Cryonics is not for everyone.  Establish entry requirements. Make the
>> candidates pass an exam. (Yes, it's a trick, but you have to help them
>> past their own defenses.)
>This I believe might be effective.

Huh? What would a passing score be on such an exam, Mr. Platt (and Mr.
Private corporations may indeed turn away business from whomever they
wish, but basing it on an exam?

>> Exclude murderers,
>> rapists, child-molesters, armaments manufacturers, politicians, tobacco
>> company execs.  Cryonics is not for everyone.
>This I find ethically unacceptable. In effect, you are suggesting that I
>should condemn some people to death because I don't approve of them.

Then how could you agree in the previous statement?  Additionally, as Jim
Halperin pointed out in The First Immortal, psychopathology may well be
curable in the future, and to exclude people because they have a mental
(e.g. anti-social personality, sexual deviancy, tobacco lobbying) is as
as excluding them for some other reason.

On the issue of Cancer/Aids/etc. patients

I agree that ambulance chasing is a bad idea.  Still, so many of those
with terminal diseases seek out Phillipino medicine men & witch doctors,
therapies and a host of other alternative procedures.  Even the most
rational, it
appears, can lose their ability to critically examine the claims of
charlatans when they
are faced with certain death.  Or, they'll volunteer to be subjects in the
research efforts.  They'll seek second, third, and fourth opinions from
experts.  The
reason why is that even a small glimmer of hope can be magnified into a
light when death is at your door.  And I don't know how others conceptualize
it but,
for me, this has always been the true *Product* that cryonics is selling . .
I was attracted to cryonics because that hope seemed rationally based on
trends in science.  Hope is about all that's left for cancer/aids/etc.
victims, so why
aren't they considering cryonics?  I wouldn't be surprised if more witch
doctors are
being consulted than cryoncists.  Is there no way to develop a dignified and
approach to educating this tragic population?

Mr. Platt continues:

>But I think you need some first-hand
>experience in the selling, the signing, and the freezing process before
>you realize just how difficult this situation is. I certainly had no
>idea, till I became more involved.

I understand and appreciate this point and believe you are absolutely
Those without experience are relatively ill-informed.  Even so, a good
idea just might slip in if we welcome the debate.

Steve Bridges agrees with the others about the lack of a viable product,
then also
comments that:

>We offer something for sale that we don't have (suspended animation and a
>chance at the future) to tens of millions of people who barely care
>whether they live through next week.  Even if we HAD such a prize to offer
>for sale, most of them wouldn't buy.  And most of the people who *want*
>such a product can see that we don't have it to sell.

Huh?  Cryonics is being marketed to millions who are ambivalent about life?
Now that's poor marketing.  And does Mr. Kent know that even when we perfect
suspended animation. most of the people won't buy anyway?

>And Saul or the rest of us should spend our incomes on doing a marketing
>survey before we spend it seeing if a product is possible?  Why don't YOU
>do the survey then?

He doesn't have to.  I'm already conducting a pilot survey with around 235
responses so far.

Best to all,

Scott Badger

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