X-Message-Number: 12076
Date: Tue, 6 Jul 1999 10:17:04 EDT
Subject: balance

Maybe I have unintentionally contributed to it, but I wish we wouldn't spend 
time accusing each other of not doing enough or of putting the emphasis in 
the wrong place. (Actually, I don't think I have contributed to it, because I 
have always advocated a balanced approach and respect for individual 

George Smith--a valued CI member--advocates a full-blown, professionally 
directed PR effort, if I understand him correctly; Saul Kent says he should 
put up money for it, and more generally that everybody should give more 
support to research,  especially his company's; Thomas Donaldson reiterates 
that realists should contribute money to research rather than "religiously"  
relying on future repairs.  

Surely a little common sense will suffice to realize that people differ, 
people's situations and resources and talents differ, and not all cryonicists 
need or can have the same emphases. 

As to the specific question of hiring high-powered PR firms for a Madison 
Avenue approach to cryonics marketing, I cannot see that as presently 
realistic. I might be wrong  about its being unlikely to succeed, but in any 
case there appears to be near zero prospect of raising the money for it. 
There is also no prospect of those with a focus on research agreeing to 
abandon that for a year, nor would I advocate it. 

Dave Pascal also is a strong believer in organized and well financed PR, and 
he has been a wonderful resource for CI in the last year, and his opinions 
deserve respect. Even so, again, CI cannot risk any substantial sums for this 
or any other purpose, and I see no evidence of substantial sums becoming 
available from individuals any time soon. 

But we don't have to paint everything black or white. The fact that we can't 
raise or risk large sums for PR does not mean we can't make our PR efforts 
better organized and more effectively addressed; both Dave Pascal and George 
Smith are contributing to that, and not just advising others to do so. 

Those who want to emphasize research should do so, and try to get others to 
help. Those who want to emphasize PR and recruitment should so, and try to 
get others to help. Cryonics, like politics, is the art of the possible. 

I especially want to emphasize, again, that there is a delicate balance. 
Asking for more contributions and dedication is fine--but not if the demands 
become so strident that people are turned off. We cannot afford to convey the 
impression that members are welcome only if they make cryonics the focus of 
their lives. That just isn't going to happen. We have to coax and lead, not 
demand or rebuke. The majority of members will always be relatively passive, 
and that can only be changed at the margin, barring some magical emergence of 
super-charismatic leaders. 

In a strategic sense, there is no crisis. We can just keep on doing what we 
are doing, and keep trying to do it better, and we will do all right, barring 
wars or natural disasters etc. Our tide is coming in. Of course, there is a 
always a crisis at the personal level, since every day people are dying 
without the cryonics life jacket; this is tragedy on a mind-numbing scale. 
And even those in cryonics do not yet have the benefit of maximum 
preparedness, local readiness everywhere etc., let alone optimum preparation 
methods. But we have to keep our balance and deal with the world as it is and 
people as they are. Let's all just do the best we can, and not judge too 
harshly those whose stance is a bit different, or even those who have no 
"stance" but are lying down on the job. Positivism, not negativism.

Robert Ettinger
Cryonics Institute
Immortalist Society

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