X-Message-Number: 19461
Date: Wed, 10 Jul 2002 12:12:35 -0700
From: Olaf Henny <>
Subject: Not a disaster, but an oportunity!
References: <>

In Message #19446 Colin Jacobs <>
wrote in part:
Subject: CNN discussion of cryonics... ouch.


I'm a long-time lurker (and Alcor member). Man oh man, cryonics
is sure in the news these last few days - and what a disaster!"

I disagree.  I never bothered to remember the name of the
politician, who coined the phrase: "I don't care what you write
about me, just spell my name right".  But according to my
observances he was dead right.  There is no such thing as bad
publicity for any group as obscure as cryonics.

Take my own route toward it: Sometime in the seventies or early
eighties I read of the concept of suspended animation due to
cryogenic cooling (during extended space voyages).  I found the
concept intriguing, but did not think much about it.  Then about
seven or eight years I read in a local (Vancouver) paper about a
group of 'wackos' in Ontario, who suspended their deceased
members in liquid nitrogen in the hope of reviving them later,
when their diseases can be cured.

I went to my computer and searched 'cryogenic suspension' and the
rest is history.  The 'wacky' bit did not bother me in the
slightest.  As most on this forum I looked at the facts with an
open mind and decided on my own terms, what *I* should accept
as reasonable, not on the basis of a half cocked opinion of a
reporter, who formed it on the fly-by.

If cryonicists have anything in common, it is that we form our
own opinions apart from the drift of the herd.  Until our
membership increases by two or three orders of magnitude, the
only viable candidates will have to come from people of the same
ilk.  Even though this breed constitutes only one or two of the
general population, there are _millions_ of them out there.

The Williams case has two sides to it:
   First the potentially very tragic human side, if his
suspension should be interrupted by order of the courts, and he
effectively be sentenced to die.

   Secondly the for us brighter result, that we gain a lot of
Here is why I am optimistic about this aspect:

While our publicity has in the past been in form of presentations
by distinguished members of our community, i.e. 'we' were talking
*at* the public, this new controversy has the aspects of a
discussion.  Pro and contra arguments are flung about,
stimulating thought and forming of opinions.  Thus engraining
the whole issue much more deeply in the public's minds, then
addressing a passive audience could achieve.  Even if the opinion
pronounce cryonics 100:1 as flaky, the 1% of 'pros' might be
enough to flood cryonic organizations with requests for
information and membership.

Remember: We do not want to win an election, - just new members!

And 1000 new members out of a population of 300 to 500 million
potentials would double our strength.


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