X-Message-Number: 27687
Subject:  Re: Cryonics/Life Extension Survey "Beta test"
Date: Thu, 9 Mar 2006 01:35:38 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

  Jordan Sparks wrote: 

> Ben, you need to quit limiting 'infinite' to the mathematical definition.  It
> is perfectly acceptable to use it in a non-technical way, as you will
> clearly see if you open a dictionary.  Also, related words such as forever
> and eternal have common definitions such as "a seemingly long time",
> "seemingly endless", "changeless", and "ageless".  Examples:
> 1. I must have infinite patience, because it takes me forever to reply to my
> endless emails.
> 2. I am eternally grateful to all those who helped me deal with this
> incessant problem.
> 3. Let the debate continue without interruption.
> 4. I have boundless energy, so I never give up.
> 5. Nothing could give me more infinite pleasure than to see you win. (This
> one was taken straight from the dictionary. Notice the modifying adjective,
> which the dictionary explains is very appropriate.)
> Your restriction to the mathematical rather than the common usage is simply
> wrong.  Both are acceptable.  I plan to live forever

  I believe that the most common usage of the use of the word "immortality"
among cryonicists is infinite lifespan in the non-finite (mathematical 
sense).  This is my intuitive conclusion based on years of exposure to 
cryonicists, but it is a conclusion I was wanting to confirm. I believe 
that the non non-finite uses of the words "forever", "always",
"eternal", "infinite" and "immortal" are metaphoric uses of the more 
precise meanings of those terms. 

  I cannot understand your attraction to the phrase "I plan to live forever"
when you don't *really* mean infinite in the non-finite sense. If you
mean a trillion years, why don't you say a trillion years? Why use a phrase
that has the *possibility* of being ambiguous and unclear? It must be
a psychological cushion of some kind. In any case, I must admit defeat in
my attempt to get a clear sense of what most cryonicists mean by "immortality"
in my survey because of this finite use of the word "infinite". I know that
many of cryonicists do mean "immortal" in the non-finite sense of the term,
but I cannot estimate how many. I think that next week I will create another 

short ad-hoc supplemental mini-survey in an attempt to tease-out this 
(Adding a few other questions as well.) I hope people will be willing to 
answer a few more questions. 

  There are a number of comments, mostly from unidentified people, at the bottom
  of the results page of my survey: 


  This is as good a time and place as any to reply to some of the comments.

  Concerning defining the "good of society", I trusted to the respondents 
to supply a definition that makes sense to them. Most respondents didn't 
seem troubled enough not to answer. A short survey is not a good place 
for long definitions. 

   I don't think Unitarianism accounts for enough adherents to justify
inclusion. In any case, I have mostly decided to drop demographic 
questions because my main objective is to raise consciousness and
encourage participation. 

  (Question 16) 20 minutes may be the threshold for reperfusion injury,
but it is certainly not my threshold for cryonics being useless. As for
my "bias" causing me to "jump" from "5 days" to "any remains ever", nearly
80% of those who answered at all gave an answer to the left of "5 days". 
I think this means that most respondents shared my "bias". Actually, I 
answered "any remains ever", so that should show my bias. Many said
"don't know", which is understandable because it is not an easy question. 

   I had doubts about my use of the word "definitely", but respondents
did not shy away from the term. 

   Some of the comments suggested questions that would require essay
answers. That is unsuitable for my survey, which is designed to be 
quick and quantifiable. 

  Dennis suggested pop-ups, but advertisers have made them a problem
(my computer blocks them). Pop-ups are very "in your face" -- almost
rude. I don't want to alienate my audience. Yes, Dennis, I can 
create pop-ups. If you want to see some of my JavaScript goofing-around, 
go to the "JavaScript Playground" on my website:


   I don't think that cryonics is ready to be concerned with the 
"thawing-out" aspect of freezing damage (devitrification). Eliminating
structural damage on cooling is still the most important objective
of cryonic cryopreservation. 

                     -- Ben Best 

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