X-Message-Number: 23001
Date: Wed, 3 Dec 2003 08:32:23 -0500 (EST)
From: Charles Platt <>
Subject: ideas that don't work
References: <>

Mr. Mole wants us to go after the millionaires. A little
study of cryonics history might be helpful.

Bob Ettinger tried to find support for The Prospect of
Immortality by doing a mailing to names chosen from Who's Who
in America. This was--what, fifty years ago? The response was
not encouraging. Of course this could be tried again, and
it's a task that one person could certainly tackle on his
own. Maybe Mr. Mole should go for it.

Or maybe not. Don Laughlin, founder of the town of Laughlin,
Nevada, is an Alcor member and has made no secret of this. He
is said to be worth about half-a-billion dollars. I have seen
various attempts to get him to donate or invest in cryonics-
related initiatives, and I think $10,000 was the most he ever
contributed. And he _believes_ in cryonics.

I was at an alternate-energy conference several years ago
where a lot of highly speculatives proposals were discussed,
i.e. wacky ideas that almost certainly wouldn't work. I spoke
to a man who was coordinating investment in research, using
funds from a consortium of investors that he had set up. When
I described the need for investing in cryonics-related
research, he was dismissive. "It's much too far fetched," he
said. "I could never raise any capital for that."

Ask Saul Kent some time about the lack of response for
investing in anti-aging research that looks as if it has an
excellent chance of working.

Again and again I see participants in this forum urging other
people to do what seems obvious. For reasons that I can never
understand, no one pauses to think that if it seems obvious,
someone else has probably tried it.

In 1992, CryoCare Foundation tried to obtain tax-exempt
status as a cemetery organization (not a cemetery; a cemetery
_organization_). Since CryoCare was merely an administrative
organization, it would not have incurred any regulatory
burden restricting the treatments applied to patients.
Courtney Smith pursued this through the accounting company
Ernst and Young. Ultimately he received a hearing in the
office of an IRS official in Washington DC. The appeal was
turned down because the IRS official said that CryoCare was
working on the basis that its patients were not really dead
and could be resuscitated one day. Therefore it could not be
a cemetery association. Did this mean that the IRS was
endorsing the feasibility of cryonics? The IRS official chose
not to address that question. He turned down the appeal

All of this information--and many other accounts of
initiatives that didn't work--are available online for anyone
willing to go looking. Of course this requires a little bit
more initiative than making CryoNet posts that tell other
people what they should do, because it's all so obvious.

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