X-Message-Number: 221
From: Kevin Q. Brown
Subject: Asilomar Conference Report (Part 2 of 2) 
Date: 7 Sep 1990

This is the second part of my Asilomar conference report.
                                       - Kevin Q. Brown


The Rule Against Perpetuities limits how long money can remain under the
control of someone no longer living.  All states of the U.S. (except perhaps
Wisconsin) and most countries of the world have a Rule Against Perpetuities.
Switzerland is the safest place for money, but they, too, have a Rule Against
Perpetuities.  Fortunately, Switzerland's neighbor, Liechtenstein does NOT have
a Rule Against Perpetuities and Saul Kent has set up an organization based in
Liechtenstein, with money deposited in Switzerland, which gets the best of
both worlds.

Initially the Reanimation Foundation was intended to be for only Saul Kent
and his business partner Bill Faloon, but other people were interested in
the concept and including more people in the organization should improve the
security of the arrangements.  For some people, being able to "take it with
you" may be the motivating factor for choosing cryonic suspension.  The
Reanimation Foundation is intended to support reanimation research as well as
support one's reanimation, reeducation, etc. and return any money left over.
There is a 1.5% annual management fee, split among the Union Bank of
Switzerland, the Liechtenstein law firm, and Asset Preservation (a company for
promoting the Reanimation Foundation in the U.S. run by Saul Kent and Bill
Faloon).  For more information, write to Saul Kent at 16280 Whispering Spur,
Riverside, CA 92504-5847.

         by Richard P. Marsh, Ph.D.

Richard Marsh was a real trooper, arriving just in time to give his
presentation, despite trying personal circumstances.  He spoke of the divine
discontent of man and his marathon run (and walk) up Pike's Peak when he was
(approximately) 70 years old.  For him, joy is 90% ecstasy, 5% sadness,
3% pain, and 2% fear.

His notion of "communitopia" is an improvement on the stifling perfection
of utopia and the elimination of entropy is the primary task of an immortalist.

         by Linda Chamberlain

Linda gave an overview of the background for founding Lifepact and the recent
changes in it.

Why do we still have such difficulty convincing people that life is worthwhile
and worth saving (via cryonics)?  Most people were not willing to cross the
oceans to immigrate to our country 200 years ago.  Similarly, many people find
the idea of going to the future (via cryonics) scary and uncomfortable; most
people are not the pioneers and adventurers.  Lifepact was created to provide
support at the other end.

Lifepact was originally independent of the suspension organizations.  Many
people, however, prefer to work with their own suspension organization on
Lifepact issues, so Lifepact is becoming, for now, more of a forum for idea
exchange than a "stand alone" organization.

Lifepact project areas include:

  (1) agreement developments,
  (2) revocable donations & endowments,
  (3) reanimation research,
  (4) memory archiving,
  (5) support groups, and
  (6) favorable publicity and promotion of suspension groups.

What kind of agreements are proposed for (1) above?  Here is an example.
What if there is not enough funding for your reanimation, reeducation, and
rehabilitation?  Then agree to (a) pay for your reanimation, etc. at the other
end (without becoming a slave) or (b) support someone else's reanimation.  This
agreement may help not only to improve the probability of coming back but also
help you get back sooner.

Diaries, photographs, videos, etc. should help enhance your memory of yourself.
The second project area above is to provide a mechanism for making revocable
donations of those items.  A Colorado storage facility for revocable donations
is now available for Alcor members.

Fred and Linda Chamberlain soon are going to school, to work on reanimation

5:00 PM  "VENTURISM FOR ETERNITY" by Mike Perry, Ph.D.

Venturism was started approximately four years ago by Dave Pizer and Mike Perry
to pursue something analogous to conventional religion.  It has two main

  (1) do what is right
  (2) promote conquest of death by technological means.

Principle (1) is more controversial and vague than principle (2).  Part of the
rationale for it is that if you plan to share eternity with other people,
it is best if you are on good terms with them.  Principle (1) thus does not
promote altruism so much as enlightened self-interest.


"Isn't it wonderful that we have the option of eating worms and we are taking
away the option of worms eating us?"

Being a Venturist may help you avoid autopsy on religious grounds.
Venturists are recognized as a religious, scientific, and educational
501(c)(3) tax exempt organization by the IRS.

Venturist Philosophy is in its infancy and cryonicists are welcome to write to
Venturist Monthly News.  The Society of Venturism is planning to build a
community with condominiums, apartments, a health spa, a motel/resort, a
retirement center, a rest home, a hospice, and a full time nurse (who can
pronounce legal death) all on a common campus.  (This will NOT be called
Ventureville!)  Eventually, if the community is big enough, it will have its
own university.

5:30 PM  Models for Cryonics Laboratories & Hospices by Trygve Bauge 

Trygve presented drawings of several models for cryonics laboratories and
hospices, with emphasis on heavy fortification to resist natural and
man-made disasters.  For more information call him at (303) 499-7771.

As you may already know, Trygve is the person who recently had his grandfather
from Norway frozen.  Also, he celebrates each New Year by organizing a "polar
bear" swim in the Boulder, CO area.

5:45 PM  Thomas Donaldson Defense Fund Dinner by Arel Lucas

Mark Sat. Dec. 1 on your calendars to support the Thomas Donaldson Defense
Fund at a Fund Raising Dinner at the Wrightwood, CA community hall.
It will offer a fun, delicious, tax deductible meal for (probably about) $50.

          by Robert Ettinger "the father of cryonics".
As he has mentioned in the pages of The Immortalist, Robert Ettinger is writing
a book on his philosophy of life.  Rather than attempt to describe his concepts
of Me First/Feel Good, and possibly misconstrue them, I refer people to his
writings instead.

9:00 PM Questions/Answers/Discussion on Reversing Aging - Greg Fahy

Several more topics on aging were covered in this session.  I have appended
some below, but for more information on aging send a dollar & your address to:
          Greg Fahy, Box 3757, Gaithersburg, MD 20885

Greg tested cryoprotective agents on the kidneys of Arlene Fried (Linda
Chamberlain's mother, who was recently suspended by Alcor).  The results were
very similar to the results for rabbit kidneys and different from the results
for pig kidneys.  This is good news because most of Greg Fahy's work (and
success) has been on rabbit kidneys.

Greg indicated that death is programmed, not just wear and tear.  Several
species die soon after reproduction.  In particular, the rapid senescence of
salmon after spawning is striking.  (Someone suggested that programmed death
after reproduction may be to maximize the rate of evolutionary change while
still propagating the species.)  Another example of an apparent genetic
mechanism for death is that in an Amish community a genetic defect (a deletion)
in the men's Y chromosomes enabled them to live 14 years longer than the women.
On the other hand, some organisms seem to be immortal.  Chaparral at least
20,000 years old has been found that was apparently planted just after the last
ice age.

Mike West has shown a genetic mechanism for programmed senescence in vitro.
He can turn this on and off in a culture repeatedly.  (Full details are not
available on this yet, though, because it may have a lot of commercial value.)

Keith Henson pointed out that some genetic programs can increase the odds of
reproducing successfully and have the side effect of killing a person later.
(Greg noted that these are known as pleiotropic mechanisms.)  One example is
that of cancer; by allowing cells to divide only a fixed number of times one
helps prevent mutated cells from proliferating uncontrollably.  Cancerous
immortal cells somehow evade this programmed mechanism for limiting the number
of divisions.


Some industries, such as tissue banks, have largely avoided government
regulation whereas others, such as real estate in California, have become
burdened with numerous regulations.  The tissue bank industry has largely
avoided government regulation because it is self-regulating and has thereby
avoided incidents that would attract regulatory legislation.  The real estate
business, on the other hand, has a history of abuses and thus complaints that
led to government regulations.  The cryonics organizations seem generally
agreed that self-regulation is a lesser evil than government regulation,
so they all have an incentive to make this work.  Cryonics organizations are
particularly susceptible to damaging legislation, partly because of past
history (Chatsworth, for example), partly because cryonics is a nonstandard
medical practice (and thus a suspect practice to the traditional medical
community), and partly because once it catches on and becomes a profitable
business, other, less reputable, people may be attracted to it.

After reducing the size of the meeting to representatives of the three
suspension organizations, some preliminary agreements were made:

  (1) annual (and perhaps surprise) inspections of LN2 delivery, log books, etc.
    (2) no deprecating comparisons of other suspension organizations
  (3) when a complaint is written, a neutral committee will look into it to
      help resolve the problem.  If, after all reasonable efforts, the problem
      cannot be resolved, the final result is (temporary) expulsion of the
      organization from FOCS.

When the formation of FOCS is complete, a PR group needs to inform everyone
(including the legislatures) that it exists.  To succeed, FOCS has to walk a
fine line; it must promote high standards for cryonic suspension services
yet not restrict trade, become a monopoly, or do price fixing.

--- End of Part 2 of 2 ---

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