X-Message-Number: 13595
Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2000 00:22:40 -0700
From: Mike Perry <>
Subject: Helping the Flies

"You help more flies by not signing up for cryonics than by signing up" (to
paraphrase Dave Pizer,  #13586 :-).

Brook Norton, #13582 writes:

" But I don't feel there's such a
hurry for younger people... I'm 39.  If I for some reason could not sign up
for 10 more years I wouldn't be too worried about it.  What are the odds
that I need to be cryopreserved?  Very, very, small.  I know, I know, if I
was killed in an auto accident I'd be lost forever, but still, what are the
odds?  Very, very slim that I will die in the next 10 years"

How slim? Have you checked it out? I looked on the Web just now and found a
1997 mortality table (or "life table" as it's called. If you're interested,
the URL was <http://www.cd.gov/nds/data/lewk3_97.pdf>; I believe it pertains
to the US only--a good enough start however). Starting with 100,000 people
at birth (age 0), there were 96,330 surviving to age 39, and 93,712
surviving to age 40. The fraction dying thus is (96,330-93,712)/96,330 or
2.72% or about one in 37. "Small" maybe, but not what I'd call "very, very
small." If I had to attend a lecture that 36 others were attending, and knew
a terrorist would shoot one of us but only one, at random, I think I'd wear
a bulletproof vest. There are other reasons for signing up too.
Strengthening the organization of your choice, strengthening the cryonics
movement overall, setting an example for others, putting yourself mentally
in a firmer state of opposition to death, contributing to a very worthy
cause--all are reasons enough, and others could be found.

I may be wrong in my impressions, but death-acceptance seems so deeply
ingrained in so many that you find significant numbers of would-be- or
almost-cryonicists who are interested and sympathetic to the idea but find
various rationalizations for not signing up. Some of them may finally do it.
(And here is a good place to point out that it's very often *harder to do*
when you are old, feeble, unable to earn much if any income, surrounded by
others who think cryonics is crazy, and you along with it, etc.) Many others
don't sign up and end up "helping the flies." Those who put it off should
ask themselves whether they are in fact influenced by a wish to accept and
submit to the Reaper, something that seems to be enforced by a selection

This discussion, incidentally, brings up another reason to have a community
of cryonicists and sympathizers. Such people would mutually reinforce each
others' intentions to be signed up, and the will to go through with it and
keep their arrangements in place. We would have a social milieu that
endorsed, not disparaged the idea of defeating death--what a change!

Mike Perry

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