X-Message-Number: 16316
Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 03:47:12 +0200
Subject: Re: Criminal Negligence (message 16311)
References: <>

> Somebody on the list has alleged criminal negligence on the part
> of a service provider X.  If there's evidence of this i imagine

"Somebody on this list has alleged criminal negligence on the part
of a service provider X". Notice the careful avoidance of mentioning 
the original accusation. I wonder why.

In case anybody is reading this not via mailbox, or nonlinearly 
from the archives: it was me, who mentioned it, and the provider X 
-- dramatic pause, drumroll -- is Mr. Robert Ettinger & Co, of the 
Cryonics Institute! Applause, applause! A round of applause for our 
favourite witch doctor!

Ach, cut out the crap, Dan. You involuntary humor and weak attempts
at spin-doctoring are noted, and acknowledged. I did not actually
ask for a demonstration of the argumentative practices usual on
CryoNet, but thanks for serendipitously providing it 
nevertheless. I'm not sure whether it achieves the intended effect, 
though. In fact, I'm not sure whether you remember this, this is 
one of the reasons why I'm getting out of here. (For the severely 
clue impaired, there was a reason I wrote that stupid last message, 
and, stupidly, I'm writing this second stupid message, despite 
supposedly better knowledge. Hey, it is only a couple of hours
of my time. Which is cheap).

Rustic antics like these make the field as a whole not particularly
endearing. It's a very small glass jar, and the spiders have
been in here for a great long while. The game is not even zero sum,
it's negative sum. The only way to win such a game is not to play.

The basic argumentation style of distorting the facts, and keep 
distorting the facts, and insinuate a bit, and keep distorting the 
facts, and keep distorting the facts, and keep distorting the 
facts and keep distorting the facts and insinuate a bit and
keep distorting the facts -- okay? Anybody awake still? That's 
device number one: dilution of original facts under a mountain 
of irrelevant crap and warping of facts, by mixing truth and 
falsehood. Device number two. Provoking the original poster 
into a shit throwing contest, until every single viewer has 
left the scene in disgust but both contestants. One of them 
probably even enjoyed it. (Didn't I already mention I'm also
in the glass jar? It's not all that nice a place, let me tell 
you. It does help if you're a spider, but not all that much).

Device number three, Chinese water torture. Ettinger standard style.
Keep chipping away by one irrelevant mind numbing reply after another.
In this second discipline, no one is his match. Most of us have a life,
unfortunately. I think crontabbing an Eliza script could come close,
but not quite. Perhaps I should do a death match of Eliza vs. Ettinger,
but I'm not sure who's going to win. Anyway, both of them do fail the
Turing test. (Sorry, couldn't resist).

> it should be forwarded to the district attorney ("DA") in the relevant
> jurisdiction.

Very funny. I would like to have a tape of the call. "Yes sir,
the patients in question are frozen. In liquid nitrogen. No, 
not dead, I mean it's not life as we know it, but... BEEP BEEP BEEP". 

Moreover, please observe that I explicitly discouraged litigation.
I repeat: I explicitly discourages suing the pants off CI and
shutting down their snake oil operation. Shall I repeat it?
How often? Is thrice enough? Hello, McFly? Anyone at home?

Again: I don't want CI to get sued into oblivion, and causing 
potentially (no one knows, as CI doesn't even do the basic 
record thing) salvageable patients to become irretrievably 
lost. I just want to contain the damage, with whatever paltry 
means at my disposal.

> But what could the crime be?

Let me guess, unnecessarily screwing up his patients?

Your rhetorics is not too bad, by the way. Unfortunately, plain
text email does miss out on body language and voice inflection. And
because it's archived, you can go back, and reread it, analyse it,
and look up the rhetorical devices. Sorry, nice try, wrong medium.
> Suppose you have a dying loved one and you don't just want
> to follow the herd, but use the brain God gave you to do something

Oh yes, you don't want to follow the herd and have her defibrillated
and put her in intensive care, you call your friendly witch doctor,
and ask him to chant, and wave the chicken over her supine body.
Because you used the brain God gave you, and it told you not
to follow the herd. 

I don't want to be in the shoes of your dying loved one. I'm also
thankful, that God did not supply me a brain from the same batch
as yours. (Instant CryoNet argument, just add hominem).

> about it.  So you talk to X, and they say that for a certain

So you talk to CI.

> price P they will freeze your loved one.  No guarantees, but

And for a few coins they'll wave the dead chicken. Because of
donations of a few wealthy patrons, the price can even be 
under real sustainable costs for a case. Which not only gives you more 
customers, but makes the other guys (um, now who only could that be?) 
look bad.

> the state of your loved one will be locked in place until

Locked in place after having been badly screwed up. Nevermind
ultrastructural and hence functional information has been 
provably lost, we'll think *of something*.

> something can be done.  You agree, you pay, they freeze.

Because *something* could be done, somewhen, sometime, by 
somewhom we could try a permafrost burial. Or a peat bog 
burial (very cheap). Or maybe, extrapolating from cremated 
ash, and trajectories of atmospheric dioxide molecules
80 years downstream will do? Oh, yes, we'll let the 
provably omniscient and omnipotent future folks let our 
problems solve for us. How very convenient. After all, 
what's the difference between cargo cult and the real 
thing? It you go through the same motions, nevermind the 
pesky details, the results would be just the same, right?

> Has any crime been committed against you?

Not me personally. I don't know Ettinger & Co from Adam.
(In fact I wouldn't be doing this right now if he did
fix up his act -- ample time that he had -- or at least
CI would show a trend towards cleaning up their act in
near future. No such luck).

A crime? A crime only against his patients. Whether the 
screwup was deliberate or done in good conscience, the act 
remains the same.

If cryonics works, and Ettinger somehow escapes being screwed
up by his very own protocols (the irony of it) in his very own 
shop, there might be litigation in his future, though, by 
patient relatives, and some of the screwed up patients, if not 
being reduced to total vegetable (oh, yes, you can interpolate, 
but I would not be amused to learn I'm a 85% plastic person,
false memories, shunned by my relatives).
> I think the only crime would be if service provider X didn't really
> freeze your loved one.  And if that's the case the DA really should be
> brought in.

If mainstream would indeed persecute cryonics malpractise Ettinger 
would have long ago gone in jail, and his shop closed down for 
good pretty damn quick. Mainstream (actually, for some good reasons)
thinks we're on crack, or deluded, or both. Cryonics has
got no peer review as medical profession has. Notice the 
absence of feedback (cryonics patients rarely complain). 
Even if the relatives see them before they're inserted 
into storage, superficially they look the same. Documentation?
Which documentation? Quality control? Which quality control?
As anybody knows, dead men tell no tales.
> So, i think the question is, why does any other party care?

The other party (hmm, lemme think. who could that only be? why, 
it's Eugene Leitl here! hi, Eugene!), sadly, doesn't care all too much 
anymore. It only suffices for a couple of posts. In fact this 
one is going to be the last of standard CryoNet-issue pointless 
rhetoric and pathetic mudslinging (you almost got me here -- 
you're really pretty good). There's going to be just one 
post forthcoming, and that's it. Hopefully I can keep most of
the emotion out of it, and just present the facts, which
are all on public record, anyway. It's just a yet another 
> What could possibly motivate strong feelings about a particular
> service provider X?  Especially by any party not directly affected?

You know of a doctor who's very probably killing his patients by 
dire malpractice. God knows he could do better, and god knows 
for years people have been telling him to clean up his act. 
Hey, but why should you care, as his patients are none of your 
own. It's perfectly allright for CI to continue screwing up 
their patients, despite trivial fixes -- with zero or negligable 
costs at CIs side, and from openly available information at that 
(no one can withheld that from you, since it's in the open 
literature, no royalties, no nothing) -- would have fixed 
the gravest deficits. Not only would I have to shut up, 
I would have quietly admired that kind at attitude. In fact 
probably not even quietly.

No, I haven't gotten any strong feelings at all. Screwing up people
who might otherwise live for no good reasons at all is just allright.
Gestatten, mein Name ist Dr. Mengele. Wir do real medicine hier.
> I think that as cryonicists dwelling in glass houses we should be
> careful not to throw stones.  If any of us are successful it helps

Er, did you somehow miss that I'm about to leave this particular
glasshouse? I hope you have fun it in there, amidst the dirt,
the steamy, cracked glass, in the stink of fresh organic 

> all of us, even if only to motivate further research in how
> to deal with difficult cases (e.g., Bedford's).  Likewise, growth

Huh? Rhubarb vanilla pie and watch the bluebird sing on yonder hill?

Oh, I almost forgot, it's just standard CryoNet issue "argumentation".

> on the part of any organization helps draw in more interest
> for all of the organizations, and every organization will get
> some percentage of newly signed up cryonicists.

It's not about percentages, it's about preventably screwing up your
patients. Fuck percentages. There's this thing called Hippocrate's 
Oath. It once used to mean something. It doesn't mean a lot 
these days, but it at least at some point reminds you what you're 
doing, and what you're supposed to be doing.

Whether you know it, or not, and whether the mainstream will
ignore or ridicule you, you're doing medicine. Irrelevant 
whether you think it works, or not, it's elementary to exercise 
maximum diligence humanly possible within constraints given. Cryonics
has been around for while. Rocket science this ain't. There's no
point in preventably doing much worse than you could, and at negligable
to zero costs at that.

It's just massively bad judgement, and I just don't trust people 
with bad judgement, and a history of bad judgement, and no improvement
trend in said history. Bad judgment is usually not limited to just one
facet of behaviour. If you're screwed up, you're screwed up all the way.
> Best wishes for all, and i hope that many of us can live for centuries
> without freezing, but as Thomas D likes to point out, there will

I do not expect not to croak the good bad old-fashioned way. Nanomedicine 
might or might not coming, I'm not betting on it to arrive within my 
lifetime (I'm 34 right now, your mileage will vary). Unless things 
change a lot in in the cryonics provider landscape in those 30-40 
years I have left, I'm relying on the mainstream to eventually 
Get It, and to implement it using the resources and standards you're 
expecting from your health provider.

> always be some need for freezing, and there will always be suboptimal
> cases, and we should never give up on someone just because right
> at this moment we don't know how to fix him.  I hope nobody is

Yeah, that's just what I said. Let's close down shop, thaw the patients,
burn down the shop, shoot us into the head, it's all done. Final 
curtain. I hope you're still playing standard-issue rhetorical 
tricks, otherwise I would seriously suspect you're kinda messed 
up in the head. Whatever it is, do you understand the impact of 
that kind of argumentation to rational, not entirely braindead 
people who're coming from the outside, and trying to assess 
the scene? The archives are world-readable.

> contemplating thawing out Bedford---actually doing this would
> be a real crime.

Oh, sure, I shot Kennedy, and tortured his cat, too.

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