X-Message-Number: 19175
Date: Thu, 30 May 2002 10:59:49 EDT
Subject: book review, "The Immortalist Manifesto," pissed me off.

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Hello, Cryoneters,

Like many of you, I am a long term member of the "Life Extension Foundation," 
arguably among the most important groups around because of the research that 
Bill Falloon and Saul Kent do.  And, as most readers will know, Bill and Saul 
are high profile and high dollar supporters of cryonics. 

(BTW, it is only $75 per year to be a member of LEF, and you 12 wonderful 
magazines with the latest abstracts and research on life 
extension/enhancement, along with promotions for their vitamins/supplements.  
Members are offered a significant discount on some of the highest quality 
supplements available.  More relevant to this list, these guys are among the 
few people on the planet, along with Ettinger and Pichugan, who are 
supporting and conducting cryonic and cryogenic research.)

So when "The Immortalist Manifesto--Stay Young and Save the World" was 
positively reviewed by LEF magazine, I was inclined to pay 13 bucks or so and 
add it to my LEF order.  

Lovers of liberty, limited government, free enterprise, and capitalism will 
find much to hate in this book.  

I found myself so annoyed by the author's self-agrandizement, arrogance, 
naivete', socialist ideology, and politics of envy, that I almost missed the 
point of the whole book.  As I am reading it, I am continually shocked that 
the libertarian leaning LEF and Faloon are promoting this book.  And then it 
hit me squarely between the eyes, a paradigm shift that confirms what may be 
true for most human beings, including me--"We don't have new ideas, we 
rearrange our prejudices."  

This annoying, arrogant, naive, would-be cult leader has a basic premise that 
is profoundly and movingly RIGHT!  

Death and aging ARE the universal themes of every life.  And because this is 
the way "it has always been," all culture, religion, philosophy, literature, 
and even science has assumed that it is "only natural" that we age and die. 

And Elixxir is powerful, original, and profound in his indictment of the 
cultural norms that say that we can't fix this "natural" state. 

Aging and Death are the elephant in our living room we are all trying to 
ignore, to pretend these are not inexorable realities. 

"Elixxir" (the author...goes by one name, evidently) has issued a clarion 
call that we are all dying, and the only way to fight the aging and death 
facing all of us is to pressure government to create a "war on aging".  He 
envisions this as a paralell to the "race to the moon" of the 1960s, where 
Kennedy galvanized a nation to do "the impossible" and in 1969 actually put a 
man on the moon.  

The tone of the book *is* that of a manifesto.  Parts of this book reminded 
me of the screed penned by the Unabomber in its didacticism and criticism of 
current capitalism.  Other sections bring to mind "The Communist Manifesto" 
by Karl Marx,  because of the author's astonishing socialism and insistence 
that capitalism and greed are against life extension.

In summary, I am glad I read this book.  Partly because it is good to 
challenge one's basic paradigms occasionally.  

And because I happen to agree with the author in one basic issue.  Stopping 
aging and death IS the problem universal to all humans, and every other 
problem is secondary.

Rudi Hoffman


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