X-Message-Number: 19131
Date: Mon, 20 May 2002 13:26:37 EDT
Subject: new subject: What do I want from life? aka immortalism

Hmmm... thanks to all for the very mindbending and interesting postings on 
cryonet in the past few weeks-  I have a lot of comments.  

Jerry Pournelle is a gentleman, in my experience, and I have been a guest in 
his house many times.  That is not to say that he is not opinionated, or that 
he is perfect.  I have seen him dissemble from critical attacks on others far 
more often than not.  And I like to listen to opinionated people, how other 
to test your beliefs?  I will also say that, like many people, he has 
improved over time.  And, he has successfully overcome alcoholism in the last 
10 years or so.  His mind is astonishingly brilliant.   He and Larry Niven 
came with a bunch of friends of mine to Attack of the Clones opening night at 
midnight at the Mann Village in Westwood.  It was great fun.  I don't know 
that he or Larry are interested in cryonics personally.  For an interesting 
perspective on their (possible) views, check my paragraph re X-Files below.

And to Rudi- Another great book I would recommend that I am currently reading 
is Brian Stableford's Inherit the Earth.  It deals with a society awaiting 
the advent of immortality... and embodies some extropian themes in a 
dystopian world.  Ironically, its the last book that Bruce Pelz recommended 
to me, and I bought from him, before he died May 9.

Immortality--  heck, for those working towards that, that's great... but, I 
do have to say, I'd be happy to start with a realllllly extended lifespan.  
I'm not sure I want to be immortal, as I don't understand the physics of the 
world completely.  How can you make a reasoned choice if you don't really 
understand what's going on?  I do know, however, that I'd like the chance to 
live a really long and healthy life in a youthful body... so I can try and 
practice at living and get it right, once in a while! 

As to those who wonder about those who choose to not sign up... I found an 
interesting perspective in the last scene of the final episode of X-files- of 
all places.  I think it explains-represents- a lot of the feelings that 
people have regarding life, death, and our place in the universe.    Mulder 
has a great little speech, right at the end *spoiler* that he hopes the dead 
are not lost to us, and there is a greater reason behind the universe than is 
apparent.  Personally, I think we will all find out, one way or another, 
sooner or later.

I'm sorry for Mike Darwin's experience with Timothy Leary.  I was a guest at 
Tim's house once, years ago.  I don't doubt that he was a great man, with a 
great mind, but I think he suffered from his own particular defects of 
personality and emotion.  I have no doubt that he would have hated to live in 
a time out of his own. Maybe he felt that he wanted that final answer now.  
Hopefully, his controversial iconism will help to propel more towards life 
extension.  Heinlein's refusal towards cryonics seems to me, well, perhaps a 
worse thing.  Many times our most loved partners steer us towards the grave.  

And, I continually remind myself, some people don't want to live forever- or 
even longer than they have to.  Odd, but its true, no matter how anathema it 
seems to people on this group.  

Personally, since my estate has more than enough value to cover my 
suspension, my signing up is, well, costing perhaps $2000 total, in real 
expenses, the rest to be paid from my estate if and when its needed. I mean, 
I won't even really NOTICE the expense, and if it doesn't work, I won't 
NOTICE that either.  On the other hand, I might wake up one day in a room, 
feeling rested, young and vigorous, surrounded by friends, wondering, what 
the heck...????  I still resent how complicated it is to sign up.  Even the 
paperwork for a notary, looks like about 10 signatures on different documents 
need to be notarized.

But, all said and done, I choose cryonic suspension.  I think about Regina 
Pancake, whom some of you know, who told me, she just wants to see the 
future, in person.

Mike Donahue

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