X-Message-Number: 13207
From: "Technotranscendence" <>
Subject: Re: 13190 The Religion Argument
Date: Sat, 5 Feb 2000 14:52:12 -0800

On Thu, 3 Feb 2000 10:37:09 -0500 (EST) Charles Platt  wrote:
> > Here I disagree.  Yes, you don't have product to sell in the sense of a
> car
> > or a better mousetrap.  But religious leaders and politicians also
> > people products that don't exist. Religions are even further out than
> > cryonics because of what they promise.
> You seem to forget that almost all religions are founded on the Word of a
[big snip]
> constituted as currently constituted.

Charles neglected the other two examples I used -- those of political
campaigns and venture capitalists.  (Well, the former he does treat later in
his post, but only in a limited, non-marketing context.  The latter,

Let me distinguish between what Charles wrote -- and I still have a lot of
respect for him -- and what I wrote.  I was only using religious leaders
getting funding as an example of how funds are already procured for things
that do not (and, in the case of religion, cannot:) exist.  I brought this
up merely to give a counterexample to an earlier claim made that cryonics
marketing is a "nightmare" because the product does not exist.  Well,
religions sell a product which does not exist.  Charles went too far in
thinking that I wanting cryonics to become like a religion in other aspects.

That said, my other two examples -- venture capitalists and politicians --
might not give cryonics enthusiasts a way out of the marketing dilemma, but
they do show it's not impossible.  Others have marketed nonexistent products
and even made a profit doing so.  Heck, I work for a firm which is now
heavily funded by venture capital betting that our future product line will
be extremely profitable.

> Sometimes I genuinely feel that this is the way to go. Why? Because it
> debases cryonics to a level that many people seem to want. You want to
> waste
> time in theological discussions about uploading? You want easy instant
> answers instead of the hard slog of unglamorous research? You want a
> reassuring father figure? You want false hope? FINE! Be my guest.

I can understand Charles' consternation here, BUT I hope with "you" above he
is NOT referring to me.  I have not discussed uploading on this or any
list -- or the identity problems.  In fact, as a matter of principle I stay
out of such discussions because, for now (and perhaps the last two thousand
years) such debates have proved fruitless.  Also, I have not taken a stance
against "unglamorous research."  In fact, here and on Extropy list, I've
discussed many such projects.  I lack the funds or skills to put all of them
into practice, but my web page should show what little research I actually
do -- mostly in the humanities -- is unglamorous.

I know I should ignore such tu quoque arguments, but given that Charles has
made a few of them in this post, I thought I would display some anger too.:)

> As for politicians: You seem to forget that they have a monopoly on power
> that ultimately gives them authority over the army, the agencies such as
> or BATF, and indirectly, the local police, not to mention the IRS. If we
> had
> this kind of support, I guess we would find fund-raising easy, too.

This misses the point.  I was talking about political campaigns.  E.g.,
Steve Forbes is running for President -- more precisely, he wants to be the
GOP candidate for that office.  He is doing a political campaign.  In a
sense, he is selling a product to GOP and US voters.  This product is his
policies -- what he claims he will do if he is elected to that office.
Since, this product does not exist, is this not similar to cryonics?  Are
not his campaign promises less like a car sitting at a dealer's lot and more
like the hopes of cryonics?

Now, I used this example here because, as far as I know, Steve Forbes does
not now have the power of the State behind him.  He is vying for that power,
but he does not have it.

>> What do you, Stephen, think of the idea of setting up another
>> organization to pool all the cryonics organizations' promotion
>> efforts together?
> My name's not Stephen, but I'll reply anyway: Sorry, this seems unwise. In
> a field where hardly any money is being spent or work being done, you want
> to add a layer of additional administration to monitor the meager results?
> Would it not be better for the administrators to get out there and do
> something themselves?

That might be true, though perhaps what could be done to avoid this is
current organizations pooling their current promotional budgets together on
ad hoc, one-time projects.  That could avoid the high cost of "additional

> Daniel, I urge you to put some of your ideas into practice, instead of
> discussing them fruitlessly. Small ads don't cost that much. The Web is
> free
> or at least cheaper. The search engine goto.com allows anyone to PAY to
> have
> an organization at the top of the hit list, and it can be as low as a
> a hit. This way, when someone uses goto.com to search for cryonics, your
> cryo-information organization, c/o a domain name that you can register
> for--$150, is it, or $75--will be the first source listed.  Then you can
> test your ideas on the flow of people who have searched for "cryonics" at
> goto.com. Total outlay would be under $250, assuming you already have a
> web-capable computer. Do it, and tell us what you find.

Actually, Charles, I already did that two years ago.  I didn't do it with
goto.com but with Boomis.com where I created a category for cryonics with
all the cryonics organizations I could find at that time.  (A friend of mine
runs Boomis, so I didn't have to pay money.)  I didn't do it with a lot of
fanfare, I just did it.

But aside from this, I do try to promote cryonics and life extension in my
own small way.  I'm still working on the cryopreserving fetuses idea right
now.  Not much to report, though there will be an article (not by me:) in
the Objectivist press about the idea soon.  (Not the best audience for this,
I admit, since most Objectivists are pro-Choice and see this idea as only

So there!:)

But please don't think that any of what I advocate or what anyone advocates
is any more or less true or valid because they are doing something about it.
That someone does or fails to do something does not make her or his
arguments any more or less valid or true because she or he does or fails to
do that.


Daniel Ust

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