X-Message-Number: 14344
From: "George Smith" <>
References: <>
Subject: Survival and Nitpicking
Date: Sat, 19 Aug 2000 12:53:42 -0700

Message #14336 Subject: "From a Deathist Lurker Girl" wrote in part:

> Not having been around for the actual happenings, and only reading about
> things after the fact, I have to admit that you've swayed me to your way
> thinking, Paul.  Not that I believe your way of approaching
> research is "righter" than theirs, but that I have been impressed by your
> calm, well-reasoned responses to some of the hysterical ad hominem that
> been hurled at you.  I despise cheap shots and gratuitous infighting, and
> have handled the insults flung at you with the utmost grace.

This quote indicates to me several things.

(1) Incredibly detailed long postings to write about and defend one's
positions are read by some people out there and can influence their personal
viewpoints and decisions.  Guess I was wrong.

(2) When someone posts here to propose their "certainty" that current
methods of cryonics are probably not going to work or are in other ways
inadequate, this CAN cause new people to reject cryonics for themselves, and
thereby also influence others they know who might ask them about it.

I suspected that this could be the case.  Now I read one person who states
the case.

Paul Wakfer (the "Paul" the poster referred to above)  is not signed up
currently for cryonics by his own admission and for his own reasons.

Those who are influenced by his decision evidently come to feel no
compunction to do so either.... waiting, like Paul, for "better" timing or
"better" methods, if I understand his views correctly.

But what if it turns out that current cryonics methods do, indeed, prove

(This is of course the FUNDAMENTAL premise which IS cryonics - reliance upon
future scientific accomplishments for resuscitation).

I would suggest that this means that every single person who was influenced
to NOT choose cryonics in favor of waiting (regardless of the reason) died

And what a shame.  Someone resists the peer pressure of our culture and
considers cryonics.  They find this forum.  They ask themselves honest
questions and begin to read what is written here.  They get that far.

Then they become convinced by people like Paul who denounce the current
state of affairs (for whatever reason or reasons) and demonstrate their
seriousness of intent by not being signed up themselves.

They fail to take action.  And they die.  Unnecessarily.

I find this extremely sad and wasteful.

I find it especially sad because people sharing Paul's stance are not
opposed to the goals of cryonics - they only have criticisms of the means to
achieve those goals, if i understand them correctly.

The only issue I have with this attitude is that it denies the possibility
that the current state of cryonics can work.  As I have written numerous
times before, it assumes foreknowledge of what will be possible in the

So instead of realizing that we may be assisting others to NOT choose what
could save their lives now (for whatever well intentioned reasons) we
criticize whether or not someone uses ALL CAPS (for emphasis in a medium
that does not yet permit direct visual italics or bold fonts)?

(By the way, I just now put my ear against the monitor screen and could not
hear my ALL CAPS "shouting" nor making any sound at all.  But when I look at
them, it is easy to see the emphasis. The effort to transform this purely
visual medium into something else has always struck me as wrong-headed and I
see no reason to bow to this error in cultural peer pressure for the same
reasons I and my entire family are signed up for many years as whole body
Cryonics Institute members.  Popular peer pressure can get you killed).

This seems incredible to me.  It seems to be criticizing one's diction as
you make a 911 emergency call to avoid a murder.

Just as nit-picking arguments over whether news about research announcements
are "breakthroughs" or something else.  What nonsense!  The issue is whether
something is happening relevant to cryonics and thus deserves attention on
the Cryonet.

Well, here's my bottom line.

I am probably wasting my words, but I am asking those of you who do post
here and who do not believe that current cryonics can work to consider the
ramifications to OTHER people if you happen to be wrong.

The outcome seems to me to be that you have caused people to choose death

If you are right, these people may waste money on cryonics as it is (about
the cost of a pizza per month as I recall) and if they die before the
methods you endorse come about they will be just as dead.

Could you be right?  Sure.  In which case the few who sign up now will waste
some money.

Could you be wrong?  Then people who could have lived will die.

Am I suggesting that you should not express your doubts and criticism?


But you might think carefully about whether you (like me) have every been
wrong before.

If you don't care what happens to people, my words don't matter.

And that would also be sad.

That's how I see it.

And before everyone nit-picks over whether I have perfectly and without
distortion reflected YOUR views, I probably HAVEN'T gotten it "right".

But that's what I understand you ARE saying.

And, evidently, so are others who choose death by default as a consequence.

Well, must go now to meet with the other instructors at our two city martial
arts club where I still volunteer teach street self defense as I have for
many years.  And the fundamental key point we teach is awareness of danger
must be present for any approach to work.  Hoping that nothing will happen
is a path to death if you are wrong and things go down for you the wrong
way.   (A good book on this subject is the bestseller THE GIFT OF FEAR by
Kevin De Becker, ISBN: 0-440-22619-8).

No different than being NOT signed up for the only form of cryonics now in
existence, as I see it.

You never know when you might be killed in a car accident, for example.

Or mugged. Or whatever.

Something might be better than nothing.

Don't bet your life on always being right.

Don't let your ego risk your life.

Good luck.

Best wishes,

George Smith

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