X-Message-Number: 2840
Date: 30 Jun 94 00:33:49 EDT
From: Mike Darwin <>
Subject: CRYONICS Profit Motive

Generally I agree with Thomas.  However, I feel compelled to point out that
money sometimes makes exceptions to the rule.  It is UNLIKELY but not
INCONCIEVEABLE that someone NOT a cryonicist might a run a cryonics business
VERY well (better than cryonicists) IF it was profitable.  I am thinking here

about a woman I know who has absolutely no interest in sex at all.  In fact, she
has only had it a few times and finds it disgusting.  However, she inherited a
900 number (hot sexy guys, etc.) from a gay Uncle who died of AIDS.  She had

absolutely NO interest in sex, let alone gay sex.  However, she has not only run
this business competently, she has doubled it in size.  How?  While she doesn't

care about sex she does care about MONEY.  She learned a great deal about sex in
a hurry -- in fact she said it was an advantage that she had never paid any
attention to it before because she was able to see things from a fresh
perspective with no preconceptions.  Thus she LISTENED to her customers. (And
yes, I do know some very strange people, and no, I did not meet Tish by calling
her 900 number.)

Now, as Thomas quite rightly points out the problem with trying to get
noncryonics people to do things with money is that often there is no money
(always a problem)!  Other problems are:

1) Cryonics is hated in some academic circles (most?)and thus scares people..
2) Cryonics is very controversial and thus scares people.
3) Cryonics is unfamiliar and thus scares people.
4) Cryonics deals with dead people and thus scares people.

5) Cryonics has a history of problems associated with it and thus scares people.
6) Cryonics is complicated (i.e., people have no background in it) and thus
scares people.
7) Many cryonicists are "weird" (i.e., unconventional), looking, acting, etc.
and that scares people.
8) People scare easy.

So, that's how volunteers become volunteers.  And I also agree with Thomas that
people will continue to be of great utility to cryonics BECAUSE they want it
personally (even some of the people who being paid for it as well, like me).  

However, having said all that, I would still return to my main point.  THESE
VOLUNTEEERS COST A LOT TOO!!!!  In fact, it is my considered opinion that they

COST MORE on average (*if* you have money to use as an alternative).  Thomas has
certain experiences in Australia which no doubt bear this out.  In fact, one of
Thomas' cohorts from Australia sat in our reception area not long ago and went
on with VENOM (that's capital V-E-N-O-M) about just this problem!  

I will also point out that volunteers who are not led by qualified people and
who are not themselves qualified do a terrible job when demanding tasks are
required.  I speak here not just of cryopreservations but even of things like
literature, public speaking, etc.  All of us who have been around in this area

for awhile will have horror stories to tell in this vein.  So, while if the only
tool you've got is a hammer you may be forced to view every problem as a nail,

this STILL does not mean you will get your house built, or program your computer
successfully, or do neurosurgery on your wife with a good outcome.  All too
often I've seen volunteer groups say "well, we will suceed because this is all
we have and it would be UNFAIR for us not to succeed since this is all we have.
To which I reply with that tired old cliche: "If wishes were horses beggars
would ride." (As this metaphor suggests this is NOT a new problem in human

The more experience I get with "undercapitalized" groups of volunteers in remote
areas (i.e., cut off from mainstream cryonics technology) the more I am coming
to conclude that their VERY BEST strategy is to:

a) Get a PIB (portable ice bath) and Squid (water pump cooling unit)
b) build a dry ice box.

c) cool the patient on ice ASAP and them FREEZE him/her in dry ice ASAP and ship
to wherever for storage.

As to the rest of the small groups (in the US and Canada) I think their very
best strategy is to carefully gauge their resources (honestly) and build
whatever bridge they can afford to the experience of "professional" cryonics

organizations. (I.e., if they have enough people get field transport capability,
training, etc.)

Finally, all of this has been a bit of a waste of time/energy because the

initial issue that Ben raises of noncryonicists running the show IS NOT GOING TO
HAPPEN until cryonics becomes profitable.  And I strongly believe that cryonics
will not become profitable until at LEAST reversible cryopreservation for the
brain is developed.  Once that happens the people after the money will also
likely be "believers" in that they will be likely to be customers too.

But even here, I would point out that even true believers don't for competence

Finally, Finally Ben raises the issue of whether or not a true-blue cryonicist
would have run with Alcor's 100K.  You bet your sweet ass, Ben, you bet your

sweet ass.  And if you doubt me, just you wait and see -- if you're lucky you'll
get to have the experience first hand (there's no substitute for BEING THERE).
After all, there are STILL people who just can't believe Bob Nelson let all
those people thaw out and rot -- while he was sunning his fanny in Hawaii or
smoking dope up in Topanga Canyon.  After all, Bob was THE true blue cryonicist
(and in fact, I really think he did believe cryonics would work!)

If you wish to believe that IDEOLOGICAL PURITY = INTEGRITY you are in for a
sorry life of disapointments.  That kind of thing may work statistically, but
NOT individually.  And it is, after all, individuals we deal with.  And the

McKenna's (the PCF thief) and the Nelson's of the world are able to do what they
do probably in no small measure because they:

a) genuinely DO believe they are doing right.
b) genuinely believe the end justifies the means.

The take home message here: pick integrity every time.  And then install 2-way
mirrors and surveillance cameras AFTER you've done the background check and got
yourself a .357 magnun.  

Like I often say, I'm a belt and suspenders man myself.

Mike Darwin

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