X-Message-Number: 32443
Date: Tue, 02 Mar 2010 18:32:35 -0700
From: Kitty Antonik Wakfer <>
Subject: D Stodolsky's Replies to Me


> Message #32438
> From: David Stodolsky <>
> Subject: Re: Continuing Message Suppression with CryoNet's Rating Syst...
> Date: Sun, 28 Feb 2010 12:00:41 +0100
> References: <>
> On 27 Feb 2010, at 11:00 AM, CryoNet wrote:
>> Why do you continue to ignore the "vote" of those who do not rate
>> messages at all?
> The major problem here is that with a mail system it is impossible to  
> know whether someone has read a message. 

Understood and agreed. My point was merely to show that the current 
algorithm is highly deficient because it does not account for all readers.

> In the publication model I  presented earlier, this isn't a problem, 
> since the main role of  feedback is to determine who should be invited 
> to contribute the next  message in a thread.

No comment at this time.

>> The fact that someone has not thought it worth their
>> time to register a specific rating of a message, even though they get
>> the digest daily, is worth something in the algorithm - I do not see
>> that this happens. This failure in my estimation distorts the entire
>> system and reduces the value of CryoNet to me, and likely to many  
>> others.
> What we need to assess the performance of the current Rating System 
> is  some participation statistics. If the participation rate is low, 
> that  means that incentives for participation are not working and then 
> only  those who want to censor are affecting the ratings.


> I performed a random sample of 10 of the 32XX range of CryoNet  
> messages. Of these, 2 were my own, so I couldn't see any ratings.

I am puzzled by this statement since I can see the rating summary for my 
recent messages #32432 and 32433. There is no visible rating summary for 
some other messages of mine, which I have concluded is simply because no 
one rated those messages.

>   There was only 1 rating contributed in response to the remaining 8  
> messages. We can conclude from this that the Rating System is not  
> being used significantly at this time, except by those who wish to  
> censor. This explains why we are seeing censorship.

Good information, thanks.

The "Rating System" is far more than one where readers simply 
*associate* ratings to messages, and by implication to their authors.  
Since the scores are used to determine whether the *action* of removing 
the author's future messages from the digest (with or without notice on 
the digest) will take place, it is quite correct to refer to this as a 
type of censorship - a " forbid[ing of] publication, circulation, or 
representation if it contains anything objectionable" (from 
Merriam-Webster definition of censor). Yes, it is not *total* 
censorship, but the action incurred certainly has an effect on the 
number of people reading the message and their ease of doing so relative 
to the standard message action.

The owner of CroNet - Kevin Brown in actuality - has created an 
algorithm that allows a very few subscribers who want to remove certain 
poster's  future messages from the digest to do just that. Now it is 
possible for a censored poster's future messages to be returned to the 
digest if sufficient numbers of the subscribers register positive 
ratings for previous postings, so the removed status is not permanent. 
However under present arrangements, the removal (censorship) can easily 
occur again, and this has happened more than once.
> The quick fix for this is to limit rating to a few people who are  
> thought to be impartial. Ideally, they would be willing to regularly  
> evaluate messages just before the Digest is sent out. This fix will  
> not improve the quality of messages, but it will stop censorship and  
> spammers, etc.

I think that is a good idea also and might be entirely sufficient to 
solve all problems. If such people are regular CryoNet readers, then it 
would be very little extra work for them and they would see it all ahead 
of time. Here is a simple way for it to be implemented.

1. Kevin sends email to a number of people who he thinks to be capable 
of sufficient impartiality.
2. The first 6 to agree to serve are placed on an Evaluator list.
3. As each post arrives at the queue, each Evaluator is sent a copy and 
a link directly to the post.
4. On the page displaying the post for the Evaluator are 4 disposition 
a) Delete (D),
b) Archive only without notification to list (AWLN),
c) Archive only with notification to list (ALN), and
d) send to list and archive (LA)
5. The decision of each Evaluator is recorded and kept until all 
Evaluators (or some large subset, say 4 of 6) have completed Evaluation.
6. When sufficient number of Evaluators have made their decision, the 
overall decisions are as follows:
a) D requires a unanimous decision of all Evaluators
b) The other dispositions require only a majority of Evaluators and if 
there is a tie then the disposition reverts to the next *higher* level 
(ie lack of agreement causes less "censorship").

I know that the above does not exhaust all the decision combinations, 
but I think that it is sufficient to show the approach that could be 
used to resolve all such combinations.

The rating system by readers could remain and be recorded for each 
message, but would have no effect on the disposition of the messages.

In addition, the Evaluators should be identified and their record of 
message disposition choices should also be available to all CryoNet 
subscribers in order to insure their continued impartiality. Cooperative 
group activities always work amicably and without suspicion when there 
is total openness concerning all related actions.

> Message #32439
> From: David Stodolsky <>
> Subject: Re: Anonymity on Cryonics Plans - Disaster Hazard
> Date: Sun, 28 Feb 2010 17:33:52 +0100
> References: <>
> On 28 Feb 2010, at 11:00 AM, CryoNet wrote:
>> CryoNet wrote:
>>> Message #32424
>>> From: David Stodolsky <>
>>> Subject: Re: Anonymity on Cryonics Plans - Disaster Hazard
>>> Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2010 20:12:27 +0100
>>> References: <>
>>> On 25 Feb 2010, at 11:00 AM, CryoNet wrote:
>>>> Being anonymous about
>>>> cryonics is *not* protection for a signed-up cryonicist but rather  an
>>>> opportunity for relatives who do not agree to wreak havoc with those
>>>> plans.
>>> As long as cryonics is regarded as a cult or as quackery by the
>>> mainstream, being associated with it can result in being banned from
>>> certain organizations. Therefore, such public association could have
>>> negative consequences for one's career.
>> Why should a person who is a cryonicist because s/he does *not*  
>> think it
>> is a cult or quackery - one who is not simply signed up because of hir
>> spouse's or significant other's desire for cyronics preservation -
>> really want to be associated with those who hold such a view? And if a
>> cryonicist is good in hir chosen work field and/or avocation(s), a
>> person whose skills and/or views are respected, then it is highly  
>> likely
>> that s/he will be listened to should the topic of cryonics come up in
>> discussion.

[Snipped irrelevant political example.]

> The  discussion here is not about an ideal state of the World, but a  
> practical political problem. 

Ah, pragmatism! Yes, that is the answer of so many to everything. But if 
you do not aspire to a certain social ideal (one that is self-consistent 
and thus not forbidden by reality) and try every way to promote its 
attainment, then how can you possibly expect people to improve and get 
ever closer to that behavior?

> A person is less likely to get to publish their work and be someone 
> who's views are respected, if they suffer  what we see as unjust 
> discrimination.

I have news for you David. The phrase "unjust discrimination" is 
meaningless in any absolute sense! All discrimination results from a 
choice and action of an individual, and for him/her (hir) is "just" - in 
the sense that it is the action which s/he is convinced is in hir long 
range best interest (or else s/he would not take it).

In addition, no one who pragmatically consents to deal with people who 
would censor hir if they knew the truth about hir is a respectable 
person in hir essential characteristics of intellectual honesty and 
courage, neither to hirself or to others who know of such behavior.

Finally, there are always alternative avenues of publication and 
alternative people to interact with. It is never necessary to stick with 
those who despise one's most cherished convictions. Filter them out of 
your existence, I say! - Until such time that they revise their actions, 
including statements of values, to be more in agreement with one's own 

> That, unfortunately, is the current state of the World. 

Only if you accept it as so and continue to let it be so.

> Given the current attention paid to  questions of public opinion and 
> political risk by the Movement, it is likely to remain so for a long 
> time. 

Not if cryonicists become more open and more insistent on the logical 
and biological validity of their convictions.

> You propose "Social Preferencing"  as the solution to this problem and 
> a study could be conducted to test  whether this is actually a 
> workable approach to improving the  situation. Until such a study is 
> done, Social Preferencing remains an untested hypothesis along with a 
> vast number of other utopian schemes  to solve the World's problems.

First, Social Preferencing is not Utopian, because it is something that 
anyone can easily perform and each instance must necessarily have some 
effect. Second, such a system with respect to goods and services is 
already in effect, has been shown to be effective and is becoming more 
effective with the Internet as more and more information about goods and 
services is made available for easy analysis. It would even be more 
effective if those doing the preferencing were not anonymous and so were 
also able to be evaluated as to their credibility.
Third, Social Preferencing is merely an extension of non-violent 
political persuasion methods which have a long history of success (eg 
Gandhi) and with the advent of the Internet can be practiced much more 
easily and widely.
Unfortunately, Social Preferencing with respect to the personal 
characteristics of other individuals, even more than with respect to 
goods and services, requires the possibility of evaluating the 
evaluator, and therefore cannot be fully effective until anonymity 
ceases and total openness of one's personal life and characteristics is 
embraced (as I and Paul have done via the personal section of our 
website: http://morelife.org/personal/ ) But better to start now than to 
let this powerful tool of social self-order remain forever unused and 

> The practical problem that started this discussion is how to avoid 
> interference with suspension protocols. Someone who is not in a 
> position to risk their livelihood or reputation for the cryonics ideal  

No person of self-esteem should ever want to remain in such a position 
of effectively lacking fundamental liberties of choice and speech. And 
it behooves us all to censure and castigate such people - after first 
providing the same explanation as above - until they understand that.

> can start signing their public messages with a secure pseudonym right  
> now. If the key is on deposit with a cryonics organization, then 
> their  true views can be proven in any court. Since this proof would 
> also be  available to the family and the public, it is likely that a 
> court case  would be discouraged. So, there is no reason for this not 
> to be used  at the moment. In fact, if you read my paper, Consensus 
> Journals, you  would be aware that this type of identity protection is 
> actually a  necessary feature of a scientific communication system, if 
> it is to  avoid the many problems seen today, including the problem of 
> unfair  discrimination that we are concerned with here.

I have always disagreed with your ideas in this respect. I am totally 
behind open refereeing and full disclosure of all identifying 
information and referee comments.

Note: I have below replaced important portions of my previous message 
which David chose to ignore or otherwise not address, perhaps in hopes 
that they would be forgotten by readers while reading his own response 
text and thus not remember that he (David) failed to address them.

>> I am not suggesting that cryonicists go around wearing T-shirts 
>> promoting cyronics ("Freeze your head to save your ass") or handing 
>> out unrequested literature. However, I am suggesting that when 
>> someone is respected for skills/views in one area s/he is highly 
>> likely to be listened to if sh/e voices positive views towards (even 
>> having a contract for) cryonics. 

[Snipped example]

>>> It  could also retard progress
>>> in cryonics by restricting where scientific work can be published by
>>> those with a public association.

>> I know very well that this reason has been and continues to be used, 
>> but it is - to be very blunt - cowardly. 

Emphasizing this again: Why would any courageous, self-respecting person 
want to continue to associate with people who would do any such thing?

>>> The ideal solution is for a signed-up cryonicist have any public
>>> association to cryonics protected by a secure pseudonym.

>> I do not agree at all; pseudonyms simply avoid the real problems. The 
>> best solution for all in the longterm for optimal social order is 
>> Social Preferencing by each individual towards each other individual. 
>> Positive Social Preferencing is the voluntary association with and to 
>> the degree that that one agrees with another person; the closest 
>> friend(s) is the person with whom one holds the highest values in 
>> common and decreasing association with others accordingly. Negative 
>> Social Preferencing is the withdrawal of voluntary association with a 
>> person who takes actions that are in opposition to the optimization 
>> of lifetime happiness of the evaluator, in hir evaluation of course. 
>> Encouraging others to do likewise - positively and negatively - is 
>> the logical continuation and extension of this practice with everyone 
>> evaluating everyone else. This is merely the extension to the realm 
>> of human relationships, what everyone already does with regard to 
>> products and services, and in this time of almost instant 
>> communication, the evaluation of everyone by everyone else is 
>> possible both in theory and practice. In fact, rulers and their 
>> enforced rules are truly obsolete - the rulers and still most of the 
>> ruled just haven't yet come to realize it.

**Kitty Antonik Wakfer

MoreLife for the rational - http://morelife.org
Reality based tools for more life in quantity and quality
The Self-Sovereign Individual Project - http://selfsip.org
Self-sovereignty, rational pursuit of optimal lifetime happiness,
individual responsibility, social preferencing & social contracting


 Content-Type: text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1


Rate This Message: http://www.cryonet.org/cgi-bin/rate.cgi?msg=32443