X-Message-Number: 15563
From: "George Smith" <>
References: <>
Subject: Where Paul and I disagree
Date: Mon, 5 Feb 2001 13:37:08 -0800

Paul Wakfer in message #15559 "Mr. Smith Goes to CI" made me smile.  I've
always liked Jimmy Stewart but never aspired to comparisons with his film
roles, whether filibustering in Congress in "Mr.'s Smith Goes to Washington"
or in recognizing that sometimes we have second chances in life to change
our minds for the better as in his more successful holiday classic film
"It's A Wonderful Life ".

Paul may someday actually make that choice to change his mind and act on
some critical "facts of life".  I hope he does.  I wish everyone would.

It may be harder for him than for others to do so because he has committed
himself in public to a view which, at least in my opinion, unnecessarily
reduces his chances for survival to zero if he happens to die before what he
believes will happen, happens.  It requires rare and unusual courage to be
able to admit that we may have been wrong about something.

But this error should rise above who is right and wrong when it involves the
possibility of living or dying.

Paul and I disagree over the following points which I believe to be self
evident (there may be others):

Life and death IS very black and white.

The absolute possibilities of the future are NOT known yet.

The track record of everyone (but especially scientists) to accurately
foresee the technological future has consistently been profoundly TERRIBLE.

Magic CAN exist in the sense that Arthur C. Clark defined it when he created
"Clark's Law" ("Any technology sufficiently advanced beyond our own is
indistinguishable from magic").

The technology of the future which can restore those now suspended to life
will be "magic" by Clark's definition from our perspective now.

I feel certain that Paul already knows all this.

I hope that he and those he loves do not die before his hoped for "better"
cryonics alternatives are available.

I would wish that he would realize that some chance NOW is better than
gambling with certain death IN THE MEANTIME.

Current cryonics exists and is cheap so the bet is really tiny compared with
the potential loss.

Any future technology may or may not happen.  That's black and white too.

But one tragic drunk driver, one unforeseen accident and it will be too late
for Paul.


Actually I cannot rule out those who propose that eventually all possible
human and other life will be reproduced by a super technology of the distant
future.  The dead resurrected, etc.

That would be the same mistake I believe Paul is making - placing limits on
what might happen in the future.

But I can't do anything NOW about these other futures which may or may not

I CAN be signed up for cryonics NOW so that IF I AM WRONG and I DON'T live
to see the changes I am expecting in life extension, redundant personality
backups and transhuman evolution, etc.,  then I WILL have done what I can to
"make it through".

It does however require a willingness to admit that I might be wrong.

That is the price Paul would have to pay now to better insure his survival
and those he cares for.

It is absolutely a personal choice.  He will have to live (or not) with the
results of that choice.

I am not a professional cryonics researcher.  But I don't think that we have
to first be active experts in that professional field to see that this is
really a very simple decision.

The cost is small monetarily.  The possibility is that you have SOME chance
NOW versus CERTAIN death.

I choose the chance because I can't prove that I will NOT be killed today,
tomorrow, next week, etc.

I encourage Paul to think this through and be careful.  If I happen to be
right YOUR life and the lives of those nearest to you could depend upon it.

Please be careful.

George Smith
CI member

PS:  Paul also wrote in the same message:

 The concept of triage is always appropriate. If the "body" is nothing
> but a pool of "goo" or a pile of ashes, I think that we would agree that
> sending it to the future is futile.

I do NOT agree.  I CAN'T know what will be impossible in the future.  That
is why my instructions to CI are to save anything and everything left of me
and my family PERIOD.

I do not presume to know what CAN'T happen in the future.  Liquid nitrogen
preservation offers the time to wait and possible win.

I am willing to wait and discover what the future will ACTUALLY produce.

Time will tell.

That's my view.

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