X-Message-Number: 13199
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: will reversible cryopreservation REALLY solve recruitment?
Date: Sat, 5 Feb 100 12:58:51 +1100 (EST)

Hi everyone!

Will reversible cryopreservation help cryonics? I do not claim any keys
to public response, but here are some major points about cryonics which
suggest that it will not.

First of all, the purpose of cryonics is to avoid DEATH. When you are
"dead" as seen by the public, reversible freezing doesnt matter to you
at all. Even if you are suspended BEFORE you (officially, publicly, die)
you will do so in a situation in which no one really knows when your
condition will become curable. The number of cases of someone dying from
a condition which doctors and experts can confidently predict the arrival
of cures in the near future is miniscule. Sure, there's plenty of research
on lots of conditions which are now fatal, but when that research will
bear fruit remains unknown. That's what research is ABOUT.

Would reversible cryopreservation cause perfectly healthy people to decide
to be frozen? That would require a prior wide consensus that those frozen
must be kept so INDEFINITELY. Why would such a consensus arise? And if
that consensus did not exist, and you are perfectly healthy, you would be
taking a risk that various agencies would decide that you ought not to
have been frozen and should instead contribute to society. They will
either wake you up and ask for you to work for them, or simply let you
thaw out with no attempt to revive you at all. Yes, if CRYONICS became
common, reversible cryopreservation would follow, and healthy people might
make such a decision. But that is not the present situation at all. It is
cryonics which must happen beforehand.

I make these points not because I oppose current research to improve our
methods at all. I am strongly in favor of such research. HOWEVER our 
real barrier is attitudes toward death and old age which think of them
either as inevitable or right & proper. If we work out reversible
cryopreservation for healthy animals, it will greatly improve our OWN
confidence that (at least when these methods can be applied, which will
never be always, and may start as rare) one link in the chain of our 
revival has been forged and is ready. 

Just what it will do to cryonics IN PUBLIC remains an open question. Most
important, we should not so blithely assume that such an achievement
will cause much change at all in public attitudes to cryonics.

			Best wishes and long long life to all,

				Thomas Donaldson

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