X-Message-Number: 14388
Date: Thu, 31 Aug 2000 07:11:25 -0400
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: why to sign up ASAP

Hi everyone!

I haven't been commenting mainly because I haven't read Dave Pizer's
book and hence have nothing to say about it. However looking at the
Cryonet #14341-14346 I note something said by George Smith: that it's
likely to be useful to sign up now, regardless of how difficult it 
may turn out to be to revive you --- if you need to be suspended, then
you'll have to accept the means available for suspension at that time
or die.

This is one of George Smith's better comments, and it can and does 
deserve expanding on. Yes, we can see the prospect of much better methods
for suspension in the future, but no matter how careful we may be,
the time at which we'll need suspension isn't something we can choose.
You (reading this) will never know just when you'll need it. Not only
that, but even if better methods are available SOMEWHERE they just may
not be available where you are when you need suspension. The most
famous example of that is Jerry Leaf, who worked prominently for Alcor
for many years but died of a heart attack at a time and place which
meant that the best methods available at THAT time could not be
applied. For full suspended animation, we may someday be able to choose
the time of our suspension --- but then cryonics is doing more than
that. It tries to save us with the best methods available to be used
on US. (I personally suspect that suspended animation will turn into
a medical technique, but only one used by those who are in our terms
quite short-sighted about the future abilities of medicine: only a few
years at the most. It is CRYONICS which tries to bring you into the
future for as long as you need it to be revived and restored to health).

Though others have certainly encountered the very same problem as
Jerry Leaf, they're more obscure in the cryonics community and so this
issue doesn't stand out as much as it should. We'll never ever reach
a time in which we can use the best methods on EVERYONE who needs
suspension. Someone reading this may be young and happy, and finish
reading it whereupon they go outside and get killed by a car. Maybe
even YOU. 

And so, if you want cryonics under ANY circumstances it seems wisest
to sign up as soon as you can. The society you choose doesn't even
matter: once you've signed up, you can always choose another one
(so far as I know, no society makes your signup irrevocable --- until
you've been suspended, of course). No matter how much care you take,
you still might find yourself unlucky. Moreover, on top of this,
I'll point out that you're probably far more likely to work on
improving suspension methods after signing up than before --- and
for cryonics, we need improvements not just in technology but in
every aspect, legal, social, and others.

		Best wishes and long long life to all,

			Thomas Donaldson

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