X-Message-Number: 22894
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2003 21:35:13 -0500
Subject: Ponzi Game?

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Ponzi Game?  In #22882, Eugen Leitl says in a long and intelligent post:


 CI's $28,000 will one day be forced to increase for example. In 20 years, CI 
 will be forced to ask something between $40,000 and $60,000 for the same 
 service (if you assume they calculate with a 2%+ inflation each year).  

 Assuming a 3% inflation each year, CI will charge $70,000 for it's suspensions 
 in ~31 years from now.. So even if you take a $100,000 life insurance now, it 
 will be useless in ~40 years  

 So if you have the money and you're certain that the CI is the right 
 investment, pay it soon. This saves you a lot of money in the long run, and 
 gives you a good feeling in addition. 


I am not being cynical accusatory nor negative here.  However, despite the 
idealistic good intentions of those involved, it seems to me that all cryonics 
organizations are essentially what are sometimes described as  Ponzi games  in 
financial circles.


I know this isn t intentional.  I understand some cryonic ventures have gone out
of business because they under-priced their services.  However, if you think in
terms of either CI s $28,000 or Alcor s $128,000 price tag, these groups are 
essentially promising to keep you in liquid nitrogen  forever  (as long as 
necessary until you can be revived).


I think the structure is actually rather sound insofar as those running these 
organizations take their obligation to preserve you seriously because they know 
they will someday join you in the ranks of the  preserved ,  suspended , etc.


However, if it takes longer than many suspect 100 years, 200 years, 1000 years 
before such revival is possible, these organizations depend on an ever expanding
membership to keep their forbearers preserved.


Indeed, if the time frame is even one-hundred-plus years in the future, many 
seem to think the entire world will be faced with extinction through an 
ozone-short induced heat wave.


Cryonics seems to be faced with a problem unique in history.  How do we fashion 
institutions that will endure through decades/centuries regardless of changing 
governments and world environments?


Do the math yourself.  Regardless of the amount paid, what is the cost of 
storage per person per year?  And how many years will the paid fee cover before 
more financing is necessary?


The concept of succeeding generations working to revive generations lost is both
heroic and romantic.  However, the numbers look like we might be embarking on a
great Ponzi game.

Randolfe (Randy) Wicker

Founder, Clone Rights United Front, www.clonerights.com 

Member, Immortalist Society


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