X-Message-Number: 23751
From: "Kitty Antonik Wakfer" <>
Subject: Kennita and Coercion [was:  Kennita's risk coercion
Date: Fri, 26 Mar 2004 01:42:19 -0700

> Message #23734
> Date: Wed, 24 Mar 2004 10:12:53 -0500 (EST)
> From: Charles Platt <>
> Subject: Kennita's risk coercion
> References: <>

> > Actually, to the extent that the comment was meant
> > seriously at all, it was presenting the choice between
> > taking a risk of having Ted-williams-type jokes about
> > "Alcor at FDGD" on Jay Leno or not.  The "go for it!" was
> > an assessment that going is worth that risk.
> This is what really makes me quite angry, because, it is NOT
> YOUR RISK. It is OUR risk. You do not have the right to
> create that risk for other people. We have not given our
> consent for you to endanger our freedom of choice. Even if
> you are raising the risk of hostile legislation by a very
> small amount, still you have no right to do this. But, you
> are giving yourself that right. I see this as a form of
> coercion. You are forcing me to take your risk.
> Do you believe in coercion, Kennita? Do you see any flaw in
> my logic, here?

I have not made any public comment to date on Kennita's plans to attend
Frozen Dead Guy Days next year with the intention of informing attendees of
the serious and scientific methods of cryonics. I have serious doubts that
any of those attending, outside of Kennita and those assisting her, would be
there for anything other than entertainment at what they perceive as a
carnival with a sideshow. (I've never been interested in this form of
"entertainment" that plays up the "freakishness" of spontaneous deviations
from the norm of nature. Serious inquiry into differences is science, but
gawking and jokes about such differences are childish.) Were Kennita
attending simply as an individual "signed-up" with a cryonics organization,
she should make it clear that she was not representing any organization at
all. I agree that if she had pamphlets and T-shirts with the Alcor symbol or
name, then others would retain the information that they saw and/or read of
a "connection" between Alcor and FDGD. (Any media present would most
certainly do this regardless of her disclaimers.) This information content
in their brain could not be expected to be expunged because Kennita also
stated that she was *not* representing Alcor. What these individuals would
do with the information Kennita would provide - all of it hopefully
non-misleading, including her presence not as a representative of any
others - would be completely up to them.

Definition of coercion (from Merriam-Webster online unabridged)
1 a : the act of coercing : use of physical or moral force to compel to act
or assent <some form of coercion, overt or covert, which encroaches upon the
natural freedom of individuals -- John Dewey> b : a power or force that
coerces <the submissive way of one long accustomed to obey under coercion --
Charles Dickens>
2 : the application of sanctions or force by a government usually
accompanied by the suppression of constitutional liberties in order to
compel dissenters to conform <coercion acts>
3 : physical force tending to constrict or compress <the coercion of the ice
around the ship's bows>

The problem I see here in the argument being presented against Kennita is
that the endangerment being referred to is legislative action of a
government body (Arizona Legislature) against Alcor. This is not equivalent
to an earthquake or avalanche that can be precipitated by human action
(sufficiently large explosives set in a fault line for the first and simply
very loud noise for a large precipitous snow collection with the second).  A
government agency is not a naturally occurring physical phenomena like the
crust of the earth or precipitation in the form of snow. Rather, it is a
creation of humans, mostly for the purpose of restricting the transactions
freely entered into by individuals for their mutual benefit. (The police and
judicial functions for dealing with actual violations against a person are
not under discussion here and therefore I also am not including them. But in
any case, they are nowadays a minor part of the sum total of government
activities.)  To think of a state (or federal) legislative body in the same
way as one thinks of a physical part of the earth is an epistemological
(referring to the study of the method and grounds of knowledge especially
with reference to its limits and validity) error and will necessarily result
in further errors. (Some here will likely be annoyed that I just don't get
to the point, but explaining fully what I see here as wrong is necessary and
I think most should be able to follow - and want to do so.)

The fact that governments are by their own edicts the monopolistic authority
to initiate force, which includes coercion, in a geographical area defines
them as the endangerment to Alcor. (I am confident that most here recognize
this.)  Governments are comprised of individuals who have and are willing to
initiate force on others. However, it is the acceptance by others of the
existence of governments as a "fact of nature" that is the logical fallacy
here. Somehow Kennita has become the one, by her actions of providing
cryonics information at a carnival-like event, who is being referred to as
the initiator of coercion (force) against those who do not want her to
disseminate that information at that event. The effective cause of the
damage done to Alcor by legislation would be the actions of the human beings
who closed Alcor down, fined the organization, locked up the CEO, opened the
dewars, etc., etc. The individuals who would take those actions (and any of
many more that would prevent any person from seeking Alcor services and/or
Alcor providing them) would be the ones doing the forcing/coercing.

The question can be raised, would Kennita's cryonics information-providing
presence at FDGD be akin to a person who, while standing in front of a
crowd, waves a red cape at a bull out in the open (or behind a weak fence at
the most)? She would not be coercing the people in the crowd, but she would
be the effective cause of the harm done to them - just as she would be if
she laid explosive charges in a quake fault or produced loud noise in an
avalanche danger area. Because in none of these cases does she directly
apply force to others, this shows that the libertarian idea of coercion
against others is insufficient, in general, to determine when a person is
the effective cause of harm to others. We are a society of humans and ethics
applies only to humans, not bulls, earthquakes or avalanches. But if a human
clearly precipitates the damage done by one of these 3 (and any other
non-human causes of damage), he is the effective cause of the damage done by
the non-human activity that follows. (For a more detailed exploration of
these ideas, see "Social Meta-Needs: Radical Basis for Optimal Human
Interaction" at:  http://selfsip.org/fundamentals/socialmetaneeds.html and
its implementation in the "Natural Social Contract" at:
http://selfsip.org/solutions/socialcontract_annotated.html .)

Going back to the situation with the bull, I would respond that Kennita's
FDGD action can then only be faulted if one equates the men and women in the
state legislature (and the agents who would enforce their edicts) with a
bull - a non-human animal that is incapable of rational thought. However, if
one is going to think of legislators as non-human dangerous animals, then
one should be prepared to follow that thought to its logical conclusion,
which means having no scruples whatever about doing anything and everything
necessary to subvert, evade, deceive and/or avoid in order to stop them.

**Kitty Antonik Wakfer

MoreLife for the rational - http://morelife.org
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