X-Message-Number: 12659
Date: Thu, 28 Oct 1999 00:21:07 -0700
From: Mike Perry <>
Subject: Cryonics Optimism vs. Pessimism

In the recent discussion of optimism vs. pessimism about cryonics, the idea
is brought out that thinking that cryonics already is likely to work could
be a bad thing because it encourages complacency. Personally, I don't see it
that way. I remain cautiously optimistic about even present-day freezing
methods (some reasons are given in my book)--and I'll acknowledge that the
pessimists like Mike Darwin and Eugene Leitl may be right after all. But
basically, I don't think optimism in any way precludes a feeling of the
urgency and desirability of doing more research, and developing reversible
brain cryopreservation if at all posslble. We certainly need to *know* that
some procedure will work, rather than just speculating as has been done for
30+ years now. But beyond this, the development of demonstrated, reversible
cryopreservation would, I think, trigger a paradigm shift in world thinking
that is hard to imagine. It might take a little while to take effect, but
the effect would be profound, with death no longer the "finality" it has
been seen as since time immemorial, but instead something under human
control. The legal repercussions alone would be immense. Failing to
cryopreserve preserve the dying could be recognized as a form of murder, as
it would be. In any case I think we could expect, after things stabilized, a
far more favorable public response to what we are trying to do, with much
more support both for those involved in research and in providing services. 

And all this could depend on a few people in a privately funded lab
tinkering with ice blockers and the like. With that in mind, there is
certainly every reason to press forward with this research.

Mike Perry

Rate This Message: http://www.cryonet.org/cgi-bin/rate.cgi?msg=12659