X-Message-Number: 22798
Date: Sat, 8 Nov 2003 15:16:27 -0500 (EST)
From: Charles Platt <>
Subject: reply to Doug Skrecky and Dave Pizer

To Dave Pizer:

I agree that the public perception of cryonics is going to be
increasingly important as it becomes a politically sensitive
topic. I admire your enterprise, Dave (in particular, you
have done a fabulous job at Creekside Preserve) but where
your magazine is concerned, I doubt that it has the potential
to change many minds. Based on a look at the first issue, I
fear it may actually perpetuate the fringe/religious
associations of cryonics. I suggest that what the field
really needs in a publication is something that looks as if
it came from a research institution or a hospital.

I am convinced that the #1 most important initiative, to
safeguard the legitimacy of cryonics, would be to establish a
standards body or trade association, similar to the American
Medical Association, which would establish regulations before
other people do it for us. This is precisely what the
American Hang Gliding Association did, at a time when that
activity was on the brink of being outlawed. The comparison
may seem remote, but it isn't. Hang gliding used to be a
source of regulatory concern for the same reasons that
cryonics is now attracting attention. It appealed to a
"lunatic fringer" of rebellious noncomformists who wanted the
freedom to do indulge their idiosyncratic ideas about glider
design (not always based on good science). Gliders managed to
evade existing regulations regarding airspace, because they
were a new concept. Anyone could call himself a pilot or an
instructor. Communities were concerned about liability.
Sounds familiar? It should.

I made this comparison more than 10 years ago. Unfortunately
cryonicists may turn out to be even less inclined to
cooperate with each other than hang-gliding enthusiasts, and
cryonics is an even smaller field. Thus there is absolutely
no sign of any inclination among cryonics organizations to
reach a consensus on minimally acceptable procedures.

To Doug Skrecky:

This seems marginally important at best, but I hate to see
dubious data circulated without a response.

On Google, context is everything. Quote marks around "Saul
Kent" provide no assurance that all the hits relate to just
one person with the relatively common name of Saul Kent.
Search for

"Saul Kent" cryonics

and you get 2690 hits.


"Saul Kent" "life extension"

and you get 1410 hits.

My own name is not very common, but even for me, context
makes a radical difference, since there is another Charles
Platt who is quite a well-known architect. Thus a search for
the name alone produces 12300 hits, but addition of the
context word "cryonics" reduces it to 3890. And so on.

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