X-Message-Number: 2515
Date: Thu, 6 Jan 1994 12:41:35 MST
From: "Richard Schroeppel" <>
Subject: CRYONICS Infighting & other issues


I'm not thrilled about the apparent disorganization in the
cryonics ranks, but I'm much less thrilled by the suggestion
that the infighting & squabbles be kept private, or off the
list.  I don't need to see every last barb & insult, but I'm
much happier knowing the true situation than some sanitized
version.  "Brutal Honesty" (tm M.Darwin?) is the correct
policy.  The last thing you want is to read in the morning
paper that your cryonics organization is bankrupt:  Better
to have name-calling, accusations, and suspicious audits
years before.

I don't follow the .POLITICS subgroup, but I felt the news
of the impending Alcor split was not properly played up in
the main group.

I don't have the information, but it would be nice for
some neutral insider :-) to do an analysis of the "real"
reasons for the current disorganization.  I'm imagining
a discussion in terms of whose interests are being served,
and how the various parties see their interests.
"Interests" includes not only money, but reputation, and
other factors.

I'll mention my dislike of secret financial arrangements:
I have no objection if CryoMaybe wants to offer cheap
freezer space on the speculation that their business will
grow & then they make some money, but I want to know if
it's a loss leader, and have other arrangements in place
if CryoMaybe's credit line is called in.  Several cryoorgs
have been less than forthcoming on this score:  I argue
that, like a pension plan, we need full disclosure.
I don't object to people making a profit - but I sure want
to know if they are taking a loss.

Freedom of Discussion (Flamebait):

The Cryonics insiders exhibit a regrettable tendency to try
to stifle discussion of alternative preservation methods.
Mike Darwin's recent response to Skrecky's article is more
restrained, but the intent is clear:  After a reasoned
discussion of what he thinks is wrong with Skrecky's
proposal, Darwin proposes he should shut up, and that anyone
publishing his stuff is irreponsible.  Mike, is there some
forum where we can discuss our ideas without offending you,
or wasting your valuable time responding to our claptrap?
Perhaps Kevin could set up another mailing list, for
Presumably it should be one that doesn't reach Darwin,
Donaldson, Hixon, Henson, Harris, Wowk, and all the other
people who are sooo weary of explaining to us the errors of
our ways.  They don't need new ideas from outsiders anyway;
DDHHHWco will think up whatever's necessary, since they have
the most experience.  Obviously such a forum should be
restricted, so that the public not become confused as to
what's the right and wrong way to do cryonics.  Kevin?

The Need for Research:

When Platt asked for comments about the proposed split,
I sent my list & suggested he circulate it.  That list
noted that the proposed set of cryoorgs had no provision
for research.  It's still true, as TD has shouted to the
rooftops.  TD is concerned with damage assessment, while
my own concern is that we have no program for revival
research.  There's just a warm fuzzy murmur that
"nanotechnology will fix it".  My own belief is that the
bits are there, but we have only the barest clue about
how to build the tape drive.  To my knowledge, Merkle
is the only cryo-person doing nanotech research, and
he can't do it alone.

Now that the various cryo-functions have been subdivided
and spun off, and each is individually accounted & paid for,
we face the question of "How to pay for something that's
hard to recover the value from?" that always occurs when
discussing research.  Like the situation with ATT funding
Bell Labs, when there was one monolithic organization,
it made sense for it to fund some research.  Now we have
a bunch of companies, all concerned with paying enough
attention to the bottom line to at least stay afloat, and
none can afford what amounts to a charitable contribution.

The idea of cryonics only makes sense if there is a
research program to go along with it.  How do we fund the
program?  My suggestion is a required donation from each
member of a cryoorg, maybe one-time, up-front.  But we'd
need agreement from a bunch of people who are mad at each
other to implement even this, and it's hardly a
Libertarian solution.  Also, Darwin is the most likely
candidate to run the research, and a lot of people don't
seem to like him.  There is a lot of disagreement about
research directions, and insufficient money to try them
all; issues of control will pop up immediately.

Rich Schroeppel  

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