X-Message-Number: 16303
Date: Sat, 19 May 2001 22:52:15 EDT
Subject: I'm not your hammer

"All of your problems may be nails but I'm not your hammer."

                        -- Mike Darwin

I confess, I like praise more than the next guy. It feels good to be thanked, 
praised, or congratulated on a job well done. I'm trying to be better about 
giving more of it when its due others, and to be more thankful when it comes 
my way.

So, I thank Thomas Donaldson for his kind remarks about Kryos' work on the 
problem of improving Transport and reducing ischemic injury in cryopatients. 
However, this praise comes by way of criticism of Thomas' own cryonics 
organization. This is not the context in which I or anyone at Kryos wishes to 
be acknowledged. The reasons for this are as follows:

1) It is unnecessary: if you have a beef with a service provider, simply 
state it. Your message will be clearer for this.

2) It is counterproductive: if you want to make someone stop listening and 
get angry just say "Well, if only you were more like Jim's wife, she really 
knows how to cook and manage a career." Any variation on this will do for 
either gender.

3) It is manipulative: when you compare organizations and people in this way 
the usual aim is to goad one into action by comparing their actions to 
another in a way that is calculated to make them feel threatened. In most 
cases the result is simply to make them very angry. This causes them to stop 
listening to you or to do the exact opposite of what you suggest.

4) It usually hurts you most of all: Few people like to be dragged into a 
fight. Still fewer will thank the person who dragged them into it. Damning 
with praise, faint or otherwise, is likely to make both sides angry at you. 
Neither I nor Kryos feel any enmity towards any extant cryonics organization. 
Further, we don't want to be used as a whipping boy to solve other peoples' 
problems. Being so used could, however unjustly, cause us to have feelings of 
ill will develop where we wanted the reverse. That will make us angry. 

Enemies should be chosen more carefully than friends: they usually last 
longer and are more motivated. We'd rather do our own choosing.

So praise or criticize as you will, but please try to avoid entangling the 
innocent in your battles.

Mike Darwin

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