X-Message-Number: 2512
From:  (Thomas Donaldson)
Subject: CRYONICS.importance.of.research
Date: Wed, 5 Jan 1994 10:08:24 -0800 (PST)


As someone who is still a member of Alcor, I feel saddened by all the turmoil
despite the fact that (I think) I understand it. So far, particularly becase
I suffer from a medical condition which does not make me want to spend ANY
time, even an hour, without coverage, I have not decided to jump to another
society ... but there is a strong case, admittedly, for doing so.

However: I do hope VERY STRONGLY that one VERY IMPORTANT ISSUE does not get
neglected amid all the politics. That is RESEARCH. Should I repeat it? Yes.
research I do NOT mean TRAINING.

I donated money to Biopreservation for RESEARCH. I did not donate it in order
to support their efforts to provide cryonic suspension for themselve. And I
sincerely hope that my money does NOT go to that purpose, even and despite
the fact that I understand entirely why they have decided to set up their own
complete cryonics facility.

Why is research so important? Because, contrary to what many of the Nano-
technologists (note the capital "n") say, we still do not know enough to be
assured of effective storage EVEN FOR OUR NERVOUS SYSTEM. Too many cryonicists
have slept too long amid dreams of a wonderful Nanotechnological Future. Sorry,
but the wakeup call is very long overdue.

If these questions are not settled, then it will not matter HOW MANY societies
put people in beautiful capsules, wearing white coats and behaving like 
doctors. Sure, someday, perhaps --- if the damage has not been so great as to
be literally destructive --- some people frozen now will be revived. In the 
far future. (And by that I DO NOT MEAN A MERE 50 YEARS). We very badly need
improvements in our technology. It's not that people frozen now might not ever
be revived but that the longer it takes, the more risk. And if it takes 
1000 years, you'll face 1000 years of possible accidents and neglect rather 
than only 100. And yes, a case can still be made that the destruction has 
too often been too great.

And cryonicists of all people are supposed to believe in the merits of medical  
research to provide a solution to all their problems. If so, most seem not to
demonstrate that by their actions. WHERE IS THE RESEARCH? WHERE ARE THE 
TO VITRIFY BRAINS? If cryonicists spend all their time on sterile politiking,
then by that act they justify all the criticism of Meryman and others against
cryonics. And if you don't really get the point, then perhaps you'd live
longer if you simply decided to go home and take up needlepoint by the fire.

	Best, with hopes for a long long life for all,
		Thomas Donaldson

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