X-Message-Number: 31410
From: Mark Plus <>
Subject: A Robert Ettinger quote for our times.
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2009 17:18:16 -0800

From Robert Ettinger's second book "Man Into Superman" (1972), Chapter 8, "The 
Penultimate Trump":


"Yes, we billionaires probably will still
be concerned with efficiency and thrift; didn't Lyndon Johnson keep turning
out the lights?"

Actually, "Man Into Superman" has worn somewhat better as an exercise in 
futurology than similar examples of That '70's Transhumanism. Mr. Ettinger 
grounded it as best he could in the scientific literature of the time, and he 
took a realistic view of the social inertia cryonics would have to overcome (and
which it still has to overcome, nearly 40 years after he published "Man Into 
Superman"). Imagine, Ettinger postulates, trying to interest people who had 
devoted their lives to side issues like George Wallace or Herbert Marcuse in 

(Fortunately we've built up social shaming mechanisms to make it a lot harder 
for racist politicians like Wallace to rise to power again in the U.S. I suppose
you could point to someone like Noam Chomsky as a modern equivalent to Marcuse 
on the left.)

Also in Ettinger's favor, he didn't fill his book with semi-log graphs and 
timelines with dates for the various plausible innovations he described.

Unfortunately the energetic early cryonics situation he describes in his book 
burned out as a false dawn. Only James Bedford of all the first cryonauts has 
stayed cryosuspended until today.

The Cryonics Institute has posted "Man Into Superman" online:


"Around 2010 the world will be at a new orbit in history. . .  Life expectancy 
will be indefinite. Disease and disability will nonexist. Death will be rare and
accidental -- but not permanent. We will continuously jettison our obsolescence
and grow younger." F.M. Esfandiary, "Up-Wing Priorities" (1981).

Mark Plus

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