X-Message-Number: 19424
Date: Mon, 08 Jul 2002 15:42:05 -0400
From: Robin Helweg-Larsen <>
Subject: Re: Ted Williams
References: <>

Scott says:

'it doesn't help our cause to have the words "immoral" and "cryogenics" linked 
together in the press.'

Well, yes and no.

It is an off-putting story for people (like my wife) who are seriously 
considering cryonics, because the entire Williams family comes across as 
dysfunctional, with the son being portrayed as the worst of the lot, an apparent

(I doubt the integrity of the story, of course, because we're only hearing one 
side of things, and that from the person who appears to have the most axes to 
grind.  But that's a separate matter.)

However, there may well be a very large benefit, if 1% of the people reading the
story seriously consider, for the first time, why Ted Williams *might* have 
wanted to be suspended.  What might he have seen?  What sort of person was he?  
What was he thinking he would get out of it?

In a sense, he could almost be a poster boy for cryonics!  "Private... 
indifferent... disdainful..."  He highlights the fact that, given the present 
early stage of cryonics' relationship to mainstream thought, cryonics is *not* 
going to appeal to anyone whose decisions are subject to a personal need for 
family acceptance, popular approval, standard social values, etc.

This does not mean that we should be looking for recruits from among the 
dysfunctional - I certainly consider myself a very happy and well-balanced 
person, and I see of people like that in the cryonics movement.  But it does 
mean that we should be looking for people who are comfortable going against the 
tide of opinion whenever their own reasoning or perceived needs justifies it.  I
would characterize the cryonics movement as
being heavy on 'intellectual elitists' and low on 'sheep'.

We're not likely, yet, to attract people just because someone warm and fuzzy has
signed up - the awareness of that warm and fuzzy person isn't going outweigh 
all the friends and neighbors who will be saying cryonics is a bad idea.

However, one cranky old bastard saying 'Screw you, I'm going to be frozen when I
die' is good and thought-provoking for all the other individualists, 
contrarians and free-thinkers out there - and this story is getting massive 

Let's hope he makes it!

Robin HL

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