X-Message-Number: 13288
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2000 00:36:40 -0700
From: Mike Perry <>
Subject: Swayze's predicament, Platt's complaint

Following Brook Norton (#13282) I too hereby increase my pledge to $1,500
until the risk of surgery to James Swayze is passed.

As to Charles Platt's complaint regarding attitudes about cryonics (#13281),
mainly, that people may be inclined to be too optimistic and therefore
overly complacent, I see two main issues. (1) Research could stagnate if
people think methods are already good enough that eventual recovery is
assured. (2) Organizations may wither and even disappear if the overly
complacent take the threat of death too lightly. Instead, clearly we need
both a vigorous research effort and viable cryonics organizations to see us
through to where we want to end up. Both (1) and (2) Charles attributes to
too much optimism and in particular blames the book, *Engines of Creation*
for fostering this damaging sense of "everything's okay," or as he puts it,
Alfred E. Neuman's "What, me worry?" But I see the issue as more complex.
Research may be more vulnerable to too much optimism than organizations. But
optimism can also be an inspiration  to pursue or support research, and
pessimism a turn-off. 

As for myself, I am cautiously optimistic that even today's freezing
methods, if applied under good conditions, will be good enough for eventual
reanimations (I can discuss this privately at length) but I also strongly in
favor of research. Research would be valuable, even if superfluous, because
it would demonstrate to the outside world that cryonics is viable and should
not be ignored, as it now is. (And I don't think it's likely to be
superfluous, but far from it.) Meanwhile, cryonics organizations *must*
continue their services. If I thought that present-day freezing methods were
hopeless, I am sure my level of commitment, overall, would be less, not
greater. I'm even sure I would feel less commitment toward research.

Of course, I'm just speaking for myself here. And, like Charles and some of
the rest of us, I'm not that young either. However, some younger ones have
shown interest in the "wet end" of cryonics, i.e. really doing it and not
just exchanging messages and daydreaming. Overall, it seems to me that there
is still a viable, if limited, pool of those willing to take an active part. 

There is still another issue worth mentioning, however. Not that "cryonicis
will probably work so what me worry?" but "aging will probably be cured in
my lifetime so what me worry?" I wouldn't blame *that* kind of thinking on E
of C. Still it is a factor we must contend with, and for obvious reasons its
effect on younger people will be greater, perhaps very much so.

Mike Perry

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