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Subject: Cryonics Meeting
Date: Tue, 25 Sep 90 19:10:50 PDT
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                       ALCOR BOSTON MINUTES
              Sunday September 16th 3:00 - 10:00 PM

This newsletter has a policy of offering unlimited cryonics related ad space
for FREE.  In fact, almost any type of ads are accepted at this point.

[ Unfortunately, since I am sending the cryonics mailing list messages from
  an AT&T machine, company policy requires me to not pass on the COMMERCIAL
  advertisements to the cryonics mailing list. :-( - KQB ]

We voted whether addresses and phone numbers should be published.  In 
general, everyone said yes although one person didn't want his phone 
number published.  Note that at this point we have too many members 
for me to be calling people anyway.  The main use of the list of 
addresses is to make it much harder for me to lose our member list 
since many people have a copy of it.  

Looks like we have lost the Alcor Boston member Ralph Whelan since he 
has moved to California.  But I am pleased to say that Ralph became 
an Alcor staff member!  (I know this because I talked to him when I 
called Alcor.)  Ralph, keep up the good work!  

General Comments
We managed to grow a little bit more.  The addition of two people 
from the MIT nanotech group at this meeting plus two more MIT 
nanotech members being added to our mailing list was a good sign.  So 
in retrospect, the mass mailing to MIT members increased our group 
size by 50% with 2 new members being added to the four who were not 
effected by the mass mailing.  And if the 2 people on the mailing 
list come to our next meeting than our numbers will have increased by 
100%.  This is a modest success, hopefully we will discover more ways 
to attract members.  

It also helped that the Alcor member, Walter Vannini, moved to Boston.  

Due to our growth to 6 people plus 3 local mailing list people, I am 
prepared to move to monthly meetings.  We will meet the second Sunday 
of each month.  Future meetings will be on Nov 11, Dec 9, Jan 13, Feb 
10, Mar 10, and April 14th at 3:00 PM.  Location of the meetings will 
be at the home of Peter Hurst, 1850 Commonwealth Ave, Brighton, MA 
02135 until further notice.  

Member Recruitment
The idea of the last meeting to use the MIT Nanotech mailing list was 
implemented.  I made a further attempt at e-mail recruitment using 
the Usenet cryonics mailing list, the Biology group on CompuServe, 
and the Longlife group on BIX, with no success.  I will limit myself 
to the Usenet cryonics mailing list in the future.  Note that this
mailing list is run by the New York Area Cryonics Discussion group
member, Kevin Q. Brown, 

Walter talked about the idea of speaking on radio talkshows.  
Hopefully, he will do this in the near future as we could use some 
more recruits!  Walter, give me a call if you are able to make any 
significant progress on this idea.  We really need about four more 
discussion group members before we can get rolling.  

Biologically derived cell repair and nanotechnologically derived cell 
repair methods were discussed.  It was determined that some freezing 
damage may be able to be cured with biologically derived cell repair 
although nanotechnology devices will probably be needed for today's patients.  

It was noted that Eric Drexler is a big supporter of cryonics but 
hasn't signed up so he is able to present himself as an impartial 
observer.  He also already takes enough flak for supporting 
nanotechnology and doesn't want to appear too crazy.  

Everyone already owned a copy of "Engines of Creation" so I was 
unable to lend my copy out.  To get the Foresight Newletter, send $25 
to the Foresight Institute, P.O. Box 61058, Palo Alto, CA 94306.  

The article "What are the Real Computational Problems of Cryonics?" 
from the January 1990 issue of Cryonics was found to be quite 
informative and was taken home by one discussion group member.  

The article "Critique of Nanotechnology:  A Debate in Four Parts" 
from Whole Earth Review Summer 1990 was not borrowed by anybody, even 
though it contained some very interesting viewpoints by K. Eric 
Drexler.  Perhaps someone will borrow this article at the next meeting.  

EMT Training
We are moving towards getting EMT training.  Walter and Eric have 
voluntered for EMT training although we will probably not pursue this 
in earnest until after our next meeting.  

The daughter who was dying that was mentioned by Peter Hurst in our 
first meeting has now died.  Her illness killed her quicker than 
expected, so she and her parents didn't have enough time to consider 
the cryonics option.  Basically, the doctors lied saying that the 
radiation treatments would cure her condition.  

Surcharge for non-member suspensions
My idea to have a 25% surcharge for non-member suspensions has been 
basically approved by Alcor.  They went for a $25,000 surcharge which 
is 25% for whole body and more for neuro patients.  I'm sure that 
other people also suggested this to Alcor, but it does show that our 
feedback is listened to!  I thought it was greatly unfair that non 
members who have not paid yearly dues were charged the same as members.

The latest New York minutes suggested that I would be visiting the 
New York group in the near future.  This is not true.  Walter will 
probably be visiting, though.  

The bulletins from the California Biomedical Research Association 
proved to be very popular.  Their address is 48 Shattuck Square Box 
114, Berkeley, CA 94704.  (415) 644-0829 and (213) 466-6210.  
Xeroxing all the bulletins and including them in this mailing would 
be fairly expensive, so instead I will repeat part of the latest 
bulletin in the hope that other Alcor Boston members will help keep 
up the pressure on those who wish to end scientific research in this 

>From the August 1990 Bulletin:

"                       LETTERS TO THE MEDIA NEEDED

On July 13, the ABC News program '20/20' aired a segment on alleged 
theft of pets for use in medical research.  Setting the tone for the 
segment, promotional advertisements preceding the segment stated that 
'millions of pets are stolen every year and thousands are used in 
medical research.'  While the segment highlighted one case of an 
Oregon Class B animal dealer allegedly dealing in stolen animals -- a 
dealer whose license was suspended and who was heavily fined in USDA 
proceedings -- the viewer was led to believe that pet theft by Class 
B dealers is widespread.  Only as an afterthought at the end did the 
correspondent mention that the medical community does not condone the 
use of stolen animals in research.  There were repeated references 
throughout the segment to animal research being cruel and tortuous.  

Letters objecting to irresponsible reporting should be addressed to:  
Roone Arledge, President, ABC News, 47 West 66th Street, NY, NY 

On the other hand, Good Morning America did a balanced report on 
August 13 featuring Dominic Purpura, MD, Dean for Albert Einstein 
College of Medicine and Neal Barnard of Physicians Committee for 
Responsible Medicine.  Interviewer Nancy Snyderman, MD, intelligently 
queried both guests and the accompanying video footage was notably 

Letters of thanks should be sent to Jack Reilly, Executive Producer, 
Good Morning America, ABC TV, 1965 Broadway, NY, NY 10023." 

The article, "'Xeroxing' Genes, Miss a Bit, Age a Bit" from the 
August 1990 issue of Longevity was discussed.  This article mentioned 
that chromosomes get shorter with each division because an enzyme 
"copier" fails to reproduce the ends of the chromosome every time a 
cell divides.  It is thought that if a cell divides enough times, 
this erosion could damage important genes.  It was also mentioned 
that cancer cells don't seem to have this problem.  

After discussing this article we debated whether humans wear out or 
were programmed to die.  At this point, we don't seem to have enough 
evidence to conclude which idea is correct.  

Donaldson Case
It was mentioned that Thomas Donaldson lost his first court case and 
would be appealing.  Here is an interesting related article from the 
September 19, 1990 Boston Globe:  


Seattle - A right-to-die initiative that would allow doctors to help 
dying patients end their lives will be put to a vote of Washington 
residents in Nov. 1991, organizers of a petition drive said 
yesterday.  If approved by voters, the so-called 'death with dignity' 
initiative would grant physicians the legal right to allow terminally 
ill patients to end their lives.  Washington's Citizens for Death 
with Dignity collected more than the required 150,000 signatures to 
put the initiative on the ballot.  (Reuters)" 

So if worse comes to worse, Thomas may simply be able to go to the 
state of Washington.  

The L.A. Law, Donahue, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, and ST:TNG 
cryonics episodes were shown.  Some of us went out for Chinese food 
during part of the videofest.  Walter said he will bring some new 
tapes to our next meeting.  

It was brought up that Pritikin contracted cancer 30 years before he 
began his Pritikin diet.  So his diet may have prolonged his life.  
I'll still keep eating junk food anyway.  

I distributed the minutes from the other Alcor groups.  Walter got to 
keep all the Cryonics Australia minutes since he used to live in Australia.  

Free Speech
Alcor's BBS case and related issues were discussed including Kapor's 
defense fund that has refused to support Alcor.  Note that Alcor's 
BBS has now been shutdown for almost three years thanks to government 
actions.  Alcor members are sueing a dozen Riverside city and county 
law enforcement officals for violating the Electronic Communication 
Privacy Act of 1986.  

Alex Beam's article in the August 1st issue of the Boston Globe that 
supported the government crackdown on BBSes was discussed.  And so 
was my response that was published in the Globe a few days later!  

Here was my published response: 

Alex Beam's editorial in favor of government actions against 
electronic mail (TGIW, Aug. 1) was scary considering that the 
majority of mail will be electronic before the end of the decade.  He 
asks why electronical bulletin board searches violate the First 
amendment.  How would he feel if someone accused the Boston Globe of 
libel and the FBI proceeded to confiscate and destroy all Boston 
Globe printing presses, every computer and telephone that the Globe 
owned, and even took rolls of blank paper just for good measure?  
Then they looked up the subscription lists of the Globe and raided 
each person's house, breaking his glasses to prevent him from reading 
the Globe in the future.  Then, after the Globe collapsed from this 
financial destruction even though it was acquited of libel, the FBI 
just said "Whoops!  Well, Boston didn't need two papers anyway." This 
has really happened to electronic newspapers and their subscribers 
across the country.  

Alex then asks why bulletin board searches violate the Fourth 
Amendment.  How would Alex feel if without a search warrant against 
each individual in a town, the government raided the local post 
office, read everyone's mail and then set it all on fire just in case 
there were some secret documents that they missed?  Over four million 
pages of mail were burned by the government in the Operation Sun 
Devil alone, many other operations have caused similar damage.  

What is Alex going to propose next?  That the government has the 
right to spy on cordless phones because they just emit electronic 
pulses, not real voices!  

Ann Landers
The notorious Ann Lander's article was discussed and people were 
encouraged to write to her.  Basically this article was worried about 
life extension techniques that would enable people to live for many 
extra decades.  (In particular, Dr. Roy Walford's idea of reducing 
food intake of rats.)  By the way, donations to animal aging research 
can be made out to The Regents of the University of California and 
addressed to Roy Walford, MD Laboratory, Dept of Pathology, Center 
for the Health Sciences, University of California at Los Angeles, Los 
Angeles, CA 90024.  I have sent $50 bucks for rat food costs, why 
don't you help the rats pay for their next meal?  

Here is my unpublished response:

I completely disagree with the June 24th article that claimed that 
death was wonderful.  First, she claims that you would have too many 
relatives.  How many people in nursing homes complain about too many 
relatives visiting them?  Second, she worries about the mental 
faculties of the elderly.  It was proven that the rats using the life 
extension technique aged slowly physically AND mentally.  Rat IQ 
tests do exist.  Third, she worries about politicians running for a 
15th term.  What about scientists getting to work on their research 
for extra decades?  What about doctors getting to save more lives?  
What about firemen putting out more fires?  And what about the 
dramatic drop in the crime rate since most crimes are committed by 
youngsters?  Fourth, she worries about Social Security.  This system 
would be under no burden if the retirement age was raised as people 
aged more slowly.  Finally, she worries about her looks.  Techniques 
to improve how people look keep advancing every year, her face-life 
is an example of one of these techniques.  A life extension technique 
that slows aging would be another alternative.  

While some people may look forward to death, I enjoy life and 
consider no amount of healthy years too much.  As far as I am 
concerned, a cure for the disease of aging would be the biggest favor 
scientists could give me.  


                                             LIFE LOVER IN TAXACHUSSETTS
Term vs Whole Life Insurance
In response to our last discussion of types of life insurance, we got 
a call from the Alcor administrator, Arthur W. McCombs.  He said: 1) 
Term insurance runs out after 68.  2) Term insurance payments are not 
flat.  3) Alcor likes whole life insurance better.  4) Some variable 
insurance is actually term.  5) Alcor only accepts term insurance 
that is convertable to whole life.  6) That all Alcor members that 
use term insurance get a document called "Acknowledgement of 
potential cryonic suspension funding problems." 7) That he may visit 
a meeting in the fall.  

Hope to see you, Arthur!

MIT Nanotechnology Study Group
The study group is out of money.  Send contributions to Christopher 
Fry, MIT 8-135, Cambridge, MA 02139.  I am personally sending $25.00.  
Their next meeting is Tuesday, October 2, 1990:  "Molecular Beam 
Epitaxy", Theodore D. Moustakas from the Boston University, at MIT AI 
Lab NE43-773, 7:30 PM.  Next general meeting will be at the same 
location on Tuesday, October 16, 1990 at 7:30 PM.  

If any e-mail people reading these minutes have questions that they 
would like answered in future meetings, send me the questions and 
they will be answered in the next minutes published.  

If Alcor would like to reprint this newsletter in full or in part in 
the next issue of Cryonics, they can feel free to do so.  (Without 
our names and addresses of course!)

If any of these minutes reflect mistaken information, let Eric Klien know!

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