X-Message-Number: 27733
Subject: Reply to Randy Wicker about my survey
Date: Sun, 19 Mar 2006 00:17:21 US/Eastern

Randolfe (Randy) Wicker wrote:

> Ben Best should not feel defensive about his survey.  It might have been "his"
> survey but I know that I learned several interesting things from it.

> For instance, he asked a few questions I really couldn't answer with 

> One was: "What do you think is the maximum time a clinically dead (no 

> person could go without cooling or cardiopulmonary support after which 
> is useless?"

> I chose "5 hours" from the list of suggested time frames.  I was actually a 

> surprised to see that "5 hours" and the lesser time frames were selected by a
> majority of respondents.

> This indicates to me that emphasizing the ability to commence cryo-suspension
> quickly is an important facet to selling people on the idea.

    I know it is a difficult question, Randy. I have struggled
with it quite a bit. I don't look to a survey of cryonicists to
find the answer, I have scoured the technical literature instead:


   A survey of cryonicists indicating a majority opinion that less than 
5 hours of warm ischemia is required for cryonics to be of any value does not 
necessarily prove that the ability to rapidly commence CPS and cooling is
important in selling cryonics, although it may be.  It would show that
the majority of those who have already been sold on cryonics think that 
response within 5 hours is crucial (if my survey sample is representative). 
But the actual number is 39/111, which is not a majority, even if
you eliminate the 25 "Don't Know" and "No Answer" respondents. There
was a majority (of those who answered) for less than 12 hours:


  Given that the majority of cryonicists recognize how important it is
not to allow too much time to pass, it would be interesting to know
how much effort they have made individually to ensure that they are 
not the victim of long ischemic times. I would probe this if I were to
create another survey, which I am not inclined to do at present. 

> The fact that people might argue over semantics like the meaning of the word 
> "immortality" should not be any cause for concern.  Technically, to be 
> "immortal" means to live forever.

> I consider myself an Immortalist and am a member and advisor at The 

> Institute.  However, I believe "true immortality" is impossible simply because
> using the statistics of accidental death today indicates that our average 
> lifespan after conquering disease and aging would only be 635 years.
> Given our short life spans at this time, even a mere 635 or more years would 
> seem like "immortality" to me.

  In my mind, what you call the "technical" definition is the "real" definition.
  Any other use for the word is a misleading metaphor, I believe. But I do 
agree with you that given our current "cage" of a 120-year maximum lifespan, 
70-odd-year average lifespan, 635 years would be a colossal breakthrough. 

 I know that discussing the survey may bias the results, but so far I don't 
think any of my rants about "immortalism" have had much impact (judging by 
the results). In a few days I will close off the surveys from new input. 
I invite those who still have not yet taken the survey for cryonicists 
to do so soon. It is a SHORT survey that can be completed in a few minutes:


-- Ben Best

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