X-Message-Number: 10713
From: "Peter C. McCluskey" <>
Date: Fri, 6 Nov 1998 23:52:08 -0800
Subject: strategies

 In the latest issue of _Cryonics_, Ralph Merkle and Derek Strong argue
that Saul Kent is advocating an insufficiently balanced approach to
helping the growth of cryonics. But Derek's article leaves me doubting
that any other strategy will benefit from increased efforts.
 All 4 types of reasons that Derek reports as common excuses for not
signing up share one common theme - the belief that cryonics, at least
as practised now, probably won't accomplish what they want. Saul's
approach of research has some chance of convincing people it will work fast
enough that people will be able to think of it as a medical procedure.
It's unclear what other approach can have much effect on that attitude.

 Ralph talks as if information theoretic survival is something most
people consider important, but Derek's article convinced me most people
consider a century or so of being inanimate to be more like death
than like their idea of survival.
 So that the question "do people think cryonics will work?" is ambiguous,
and the many people whom Derek observes answering yes are saying that
Ralph will get what he wants (a long life in some uncertain future) are
the same people that Saul observes answering no (it wouldn't stop them
from being inanimate during the time periods they hope to live through).

 Of course, there will be some people who can be persuaded to sign up
by other means (sign-up parties for people detered by the paperwork,
arguing that nanotech is a few decades rather than centuries away (involves
more chemistry than most people care for), or explaining how being frozen
might enable one to be one of the first uploaded minds (Ralph's BrainAnalysis
paper is the main thing that persuaded me to care about cryonics)),
but all indications are that we are getting a majority of the people who
can be persuaded this way.
 And it isn't self-evident that cryoprotectant research is the only
kind of research that should be pursued. Nanotech research might produce
faster results.
Peter McCluskey          | Critmail (http://crit.org/critmail.html):
http://www.rahul.net/pcm | Accept nothing less to archive your mailing list

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