X-Message-Number: 13605
Date: Thu, 20 Apr 2000 08:21:34 -0600
From: Fred Chamberlain <>
Subject: Brook Norton's "What are the odds?"

Date:       4/20/2000
From:      Fred Chamberlain
Subject:   Brook Norton's "What are the odds?"

(Brook pointed out the small probability of death before old age, saying:)

"I feel funny arguing this side of the argument because I promote cryonics to 
friends and family and try to get folks to sign up. But I believe harm is 
also done in overstating our case. A sense of overzealousness is 
communicated when one says "You must sign up now. Don't wait!" when to all 
appearances there is no urgency."

Brook Norton

A couple of thoughts:

(1)  If you wait until you find you have a terminal illness, insurance will be
unobtainable, so buy insurance now (I'm sure Rudi Hoffman will endorse this
point of view, right, Rudi?)

(2)  Auto insurance is likewise much less than the cost of an acual accident,
particularly if there are large claims of damages for medical or "loss of
reasons.  The chances of an auto accident are low, but we still buy
We still wear safety harnesses.

(3)  If you find that your light plane is about to crash, however unlikely
might be, either you have a parachute along, or you don't.  If you don't,
jumping out is not much of an option.

Alcor just had a "last minute call" from someone who contacted us about 3
months ago, saying that "It might be months or weeks".  Since then, no action
was taken.  Now, the person who contemplated suspension is reported to be
unconscious.  Informed consent on the part of this person is not possible, at
least at the moment.  Should you sign up now?  That's an individual choice, to
be sure, but those who cannot overcome procrastination and sign up while in
good health are unlikely to manage to make arrangements at the last moment

A long time ago, someone remarked that knowing about cryonics and not signing
up was, in fact, a "choice".  It was a choice not to be suspended if death
caught the person concerned by surprise, or under unfavorable circumstances. 
All of us have different ways of weighing values and priorities.  We each have
to choose.  Weighing the odds is certainly important.

A cave explorer of the 1950's remarked that he wanted to have about as much
safety in his vertical rope as was necessary to reduce the odds of the rope
breaking, to the odds that he would be hit by a car when crossing the street
after looking carefully.  This ushered in the era of climbing on 9/16"
back before nylon ropes were in vogue.  Each of us must weight the odds, and
take our chances.

Fred Chamberlain, President/CEO ()
Alcor Life Extension Foundation
Non-profit cryonic suspension services since 1972.
7895 E. Acoma Dr., Suite 110, Scottsdale AZ 85260-6916
Phone (602) 922-9013  (800) 367-2228   FAX (602) 922-9027
 for general requests

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