X-Message-Number: 19366
Date: Sat, 29 Jun 2002 08:45:55 -0400
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: CryoNet #19359 - #19365

Hi everyone!

Some comments for Brett Bellmore:
Cryonics is the practise of freezing (or otherwise preserving) those
whose condition is so serious that otherwise they would die, because
we presently do not know any way to repair them.

If we look at cryonics in those terms, the very first conclusion is
that it cannot EVER work in the sense that a medical procedure works.
Yes, if we someday reach a state in which we know how to fix ALL POSSIBLE
medical conditions, then cryonics can be said to work ... but it would
also cease to be used.

Nor are we taking any particular chances if we are suspended. If we
come to be suspended, then the possible choices we have consist of
guaranteed death or a possibility of life. In terms of chances, it
seems to me that the possibility of life is far superior to guaranteed
death. Nor is it easy to work out probabilities here: yes, it is
certainly true that if not suspended you will die. Yet cryonics can
involve storage for a very long time, up to thousands of years. Even 
if we revive some patients (because, of course, we worked out how to
fix them) they will not form a good statistical sample for ALL patients
because all the others would differ critically from them: we still
don't know how to fix THEM. 

All of this means that much more than technology will be involved in
any general acceptance of cryonics. At any given time, even if some
people have been revived, those against it can always point to very
large number of those who have NOT been revived, and decide (wrongly)
that revival is of small enough probability that it's not worth
spending much money for. That most of their money would be spent
after their suspension would probably not affect such people. After
all, we don't want to spend our money on worthless things, do we?

I myself believe that cryonics WILL eventually be accepted by almost
all people. But that acceptance will not come with any particular
technical advance, but a general acceptance of the kind of reasons
I have just explained. There IS a corollary to this argument, though:
even though it's hard to do, it may be to the advantage of a cryonics
society to keep membership dues as low as possible. It is dues which
are payments which will not bring your own revival much closer,
except indirectly and probably...with probability here actually
making some sense (how much of dues go to administration and how
much goes to work to improve the process?). Yes, I too understand
that dues are going to be inevitable; this is just a point to keep
in mind.

		Best wishes and long long life for all,

			Thomas Donaldson

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