X-Message-Number: 14356
Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 10:55:27 EDT
Subject: dangers of success

Thomas Nord wonders whether an acceleration in the growth of cryonics might 
activate latent opposition.

Certainly success has its dangers, including this one. However, I am much 
less worried about this particular danger than formerly. 

When cryonics first came to public notice, almost 40 years ago, there were 
dire warnings that desperate dying people would throw their money at any 
freezer con that came along. Of course, that didn't happen. Instead, there 
has been a very long inoculation or beach-head period, during which time 
several things have happened. 

First, there has been no save-my-life-at-any-cost hysteria. Second, there 
have been no financial scandals of any magnitude. (The one case in California 
many years ago, where patients were allowed to thaw for lack of money, was 
one of ineptitude and not swindle. The original CryoSpan went out of 
business, but no scandal.) Third, some of the organizations have continued to 
grow, and the press has been generally more favorable. (CI is growing at its 
fastest rate ever.) Fourth, there has been a very strong (although still 
early) growth in immortalism or quasi-immortalism, including the now large 
business of life extension supplements, with many articles and books actually 
using the word "immortal" or equivalent. Fifth, the dramatic advances in 
science and technology, including biotech and electronics and nanotech, have 
made our thesis ever more credible.

We still have to keep our guard up and try to anticipate future problem 
areas, but we should try for--and be glad of--all the growth we can get.

Robert Ettinger
Cryonics Institute
Immortalist Society

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