X-Message-Number: 22868
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 2003 16:20:15 -0800 (PST)
From: Jeff Davis <>
Subject: China as a cryonics-friendly venue


In a series of recent posts, the idea of China as a
potential cryonics venue had been raised.  Allow me to
offer a single observation in support of this idea.  

Look at modern American culture.  All things young,
vigorous, dynamic, fast-paced, loud, flashy,
high-tech, and novel are extolled.  Hollywood forges
this message--and the world laps it up--that the
future--or at least the delicious dream future--is
"the myth of California".  

On the one hand, as novelty, extreme-optimism, and
life affirmation(and implicitly, youth and health
affirmation), cryonics might seem to fit well with the
"California vision".  But look again.  Cryonics as
shallowly misperceived, is inevitably dominated by the
looming and brooding darkness that is death.  The fate
which none can stand against.  "Everyone out at life's
last stop: the threshold to the grave."  The realm of
old people--old fogies with old boring ideas--is a
netherworld of fear, helplessness, patronized
irrelevance, decrepitude, and oblivion.  In this
sense, and I see this as the prevailing view, cryonics
is darkly repulsive, "unwelcome at the youth party", 
inconsistent with the "immortality illusion",
excluded, invisible.  Old people and death.  Yuck!

Beyond the cities and the pump of ambitious young
turks, the gloss of the youth culture gives way to a
more staid and traditional view.  Needless to say,
cryonics finds no resonance here, where the old
'truths' are rock solid and impenetrable.

These are two sectors of American culture, neither
particulary welcoming to cryonics.

[Uh, hmmmm.  Didn't mean to get all sullen and dark on
youse guys.  Just painting a picture.  Not OUR
picture.  Not representative of our cryonics vision. 
Sunnier, that.]

So much for the "cultural downside" for cryonics here
in the US.  The upside--yes, there is an upside--is
pretty good.  The US is rich, technically advanced,
and dedicated to tolerance and innovation, even when
conflicted about it.   

Now, check out Chinese culture.  

I'm no China scholar, but I've heard that they have a
tradition of ancestor worship, that they revere old
people, honor old people, look on age/maturity as a
source of stability and wisdom.  They seriously--I'm
talking' "seriously" here--value their old folks.

This appreciation of the honored elders might make the
idea of "saving"/"preserving" them more appealing.

Americans--culturally speaking--can't wait to get rid
of the old (a generalization, certainly cruel,
possibly waaaay wrong, rebuttals welcome).  The
Chinese hate to let theirs go.  Could this constitute
a significaqnt cultural 'upside' for cryonics in
China?  (I'll leave it for others more versed in 
Chinese culture to point out what may be the

Personally, I think China is, if not THE future, a
dominant player, so the question of cryonics in China
is, IMO, seriously relevant. 

Just a thought. 
Best, Jeff Davis

   "My guess is that people don't yet realize how
          "handy" an indefinite lifespan will be." 
                            J Corbally

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