X-Message-Number: 23346
Date: Sat, 31 Jan 2004 07:46:53 -0500
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: CryoNet #23341 - #23342

HI various!

I recently read the message from the gaijin who has lived in Japan
for ten years and believes that expatriates may be better candidates
for cryonics than others (unfortunately his name was completely 
unclear, obviously intentionally).

I spent more than 10 years in Australia after getting my PhD in
math, during which I founded a cryonics group here which still
exists. I married an Australian (who is also a cryonicist, although
she let her membership in Alcor lapse and has now joined CI ---
while I remain with Alcor). 

One thing that living outside the US gives you is a different
view of people in the US, their history, and their behavior. That
is, I think, exactly what makes expatriates possibly valuable 
and more willing converts to cryonics.

As for its "unproven" nature, part (though not all) of cryonics'
problem is that it will ALWAYS be unproven. We are arguing for
the cryonic suspension of those who currently are thought to 
be simply "dead" --- which means by definition that they cannot
ever be brought back to life. It's exactly that idea of "death"
that we must argue against. Someday (just like now, in fact)
those who were once accounted "dead" will become curable cases
and therefore will no longer be defined as "dead". Most important,
it's very unclear that we'll ever leave such a situation --- 
unless not only us, but society itself, abandons the idea of
death completely. Sure, we'll learn how to revive some of those
"dead", say in 2020. Fine, but what about all the others? And
still others who are accounted as "dead" for conditions which
now simply don't exist, just like (say) radiation poisoning
did not exist in 1850? And if we just work out how to do 
suspended animation, that will not give us cryonics at all.
After all, if almost everyone still believes in "death", then
why would we try suspended "animation" at all on those who
are "dead"?

In my TALES OF SKASTOWE I present a society which (among its
other traits) has almost entirely abandoned the idea of "death"
and all its implications. This hardly means that people go about
ignoring risks, not at all. And for a time in its history,
before Skastowe itself, right in our own Solar System, there
was an argument (political, social, scientific) on just how
much damage a person could sustain before their revival should
be considered "useless". Not impossible, just useless both to
them and to anyone else.

                Best wishes and long long life to all,

                      Thomas Donaldson

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