X-Message-Number: 27684
Subject: Re: Cryonics/Life Extension Survey "Beta test"
Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2006 02:00:06 US/Eastern

 In CryoMsg 27673 Ben Best wrote:

> Please take the Survey at:
> http://www.benbest.com/sandbox/Survey_7.php
> You can see the results at:
> http://www.benbest.com/sandbox/Display_Survey_7.php

IGGY Dybal wrote:

> I'd rephrase "rate of aging in half" to "increase your life span two times"
> or "allow you live twice as long - 150 years vs. current average 75" - this
> will relate better to TODAY'S perceptions of life.

   It would also run counter to my main purpose for the survey, to 
raise consciousness. The more new paradigms and choices I can place into 
the mind of the respondent, the better. The downside is that some 
people won't "get it", but that's OK. I already have questions about
living to 200 and a thousand, so more questioning along that line 
would be counterproductive. 

> "Not being sinful age" - I'd add "As long as I can function and die
> naturally" or something like this as a choice.

  I don't see that this adds much conceptually, which means that 
it detracts by the addition of unnecessary verbage. The fewer words
the better.

> I think the easiest and cheapest way would be to do a test to "health
> minded" and related discussion non-cryonics groups on Yahoo. There are
> dozens and hundreds of them out there. You can subscribe to them under a new
> Yahoo account specifically designed for the polling. Look for larger groups
> 100+ people who are active in the past 7 days - you can see how many
> messages have been posted. Bear in mind that many will have lots of spam and
> are actually inactive. But this may take too long to analyze looking though
> each group's e-mails. I'd say subscribe and post an e-mail to the groups
> asking for participating in the poll.
> This will give you a wider group - perhaps 5,000-20,000 people or more. You
> do not necessarily need to ask their religious affiliation as most of the
> people in the "healthy" groups will have a higher % of "non-believers" and
> "agnostics" anyway, but would be a nice thing to know.

   Thanks for this suggestion. I don't feel that I want to devote the time
or hassel to doing this, but when I am ready to target a non-cryonicist
audience, I hope that others who are on CryoNet who belong to such lists
will be kind enough to post my survey. I should be ready to do this in 
about a week, I expect. 

> You can profile them by income, education, field of occupation, location,
> age, socio-economic status, etc.

   I already have age and location, and youR suggestion has actually made 
me think that I may drop these demographic type questions. The purpose of
my survey is mainly to raise consciousness, not to profile respondents. 
Demographic questions are very boring and tedious -- it's like filling
out a job application or tax form. I avoid wasting time filling-out 
forms asking for this kind of material whenever possible. These questions 
are also the most prying and intrusive, so are objectionable in that 
way also. The fewer questions the greater the response rate. I want to 
maximize response rate. 

> Also, I'd ask for permission to add these people to e-mailing list about
> cryonics or give them a link at the end of the survey to subscribe to the
> cryo-net group. This way you will attract some people immediately.

  I give informative links when processing the form. I also give 
respondents the opportunity to ask questions and give e-mail address. Only
a few respondents have put anything in the question box, many more have
given e-mail addresses. 

  I appreciate your suggestions, Iggy. Even if I did not accept many of
them, they did help me clarify my thinking. 

  Jordan Sparks wrote:

> Nice survey, Ben.  I'm the one who made the comment about the distinction
> between infinite and very very long lifespans.  When many people, including
> myself,  say infinite, we mean for all practical purposes unless there is a
> huge disaster or unless the universe dies a cold death.  Because your
> question did not qualify infinite with "practically" or "nearly", then the
> question was asking me to speculate about the fate of the universe, which is
> something that no human is properly equipped to do.  It is not preposterous
> to think that science can produce nearly infinite lifespans in the range of
> trillions of years.

   Thanks for your remarks, Jordan. 
   "Nearly infinite" is a contradiction in terms. How can a trillion years
be "nearly infinite", when it is only a millionth of a quintillion years,
to say nothing of a googleplex number of years. You may think that no human
can properly speculate about the fate of the universe, but plenty of 
cryonicists do so anyway. I find this as ludicrous as you do, but I am 
also able to see that there are plenty of cryonicists who are really
fixated on "immortality", "infinite lifespan", "eternal life", etc. 
When Mike Perry wrote "FOREVER FOR ALL" he made it pretty clear that
for him "forever" really means infinite time. Not only does the 
Immortality Institute subtitle their website "For Infinite Lifespans",
they use the infinity symbol as their logo. These people mean what they
say, I believe. 

   If I had asked "Would you like to eat a bowl of broken glass?" as one
of my questions, would you have said, "This question doesn't make sense,
he must mean 'Would you like to eat a bowl of tapioca pudding'?" Should 
I have asked "Do you think science will eventually enable people to have 
infinite lifespan (I REALLY, REALLY MEAN INFINITE)?"  I think nearly all 
of those who have answered "Definitely" and "Probably" also really mean 

> The large spread of answers on question 16 is completely understandable.
> People are not disagreeing about the amount of damage, but rather about the
> amount of damage that they find acceptable.  Rephrasing it as one of the
> following would have produced a much tighter spread:
> 1. What do you think is the maximum time a clinically dead (no heartbeat)
> person could 
> go without cooling or cardiopulmonary support after which they will suffer
> some brain damage?  (here's your 6 minute to 3 hour group)
> 2. What do you think is the maximum time a clinically dead (no heartbeat)
> person could 
> go without cooling or cardiopulmonary support after which 50% of their
> identity will be lost?  (here's the rest of the responses. Each person
> plugged in their own % based on personal preferences, with the 'any remains
> ever' group either accepting nearly 100% loss of identity or hoping for
> better technology.  I think I answered 24 hours based on an estimated
> 50%-75% identity loss, although I would probably tolerate more.)

   These are technical questions, which I have discussed and analyzed at 
length in my essays on ischemia, most notably in my more rescent one:


The second question gets closer to what I am after than the first, but 
what I am really after is what I really asked. After how much time is 
cryonics of no value? If you would probably tolerate more, I would have
preferred you to give your maximum limit of toleration. This is what I am 
trying to get at. It is the most challenging and difficult question to 
answer, which is part of why it interests me so much. It is also the most 
practical. The breaking point between where cryonics is of value and 
where cryonics is of no value is where the crucial decisions are made 
-- the "no, no-go" decision. This is where the rubber hits the road. 

   -- Ben Best 

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