X-Message-Number: 32616
Date: Sat, 12 Jun 2010 13:58:58 -0700
Subject: The Enduring Myth of One Quick Promotional Fix
From: Charles Platt <>

David Stodolsky writes: "If the marketing strategy was updated, then
we would be looking forward to having about a third of the population
signed up."

David, since you often chide others for failing to substantiate their
claims with appropriately rigorous statistical methodology, what would
be the basis for your absurd claim that we can sign up "a third of the
population" simply by presenting cryonics to them in some unspecified
new way? And which population are you talking about, anyway? World
population? North America? USA? Russia?

You are aware perhaps that the Omni Immortality Contest, about 15
years ago, offered free cryopreservation arrangements to the winner,
who merely had to write a 500-word essay explaining why he or she
wanted to be cryopreserved. Omni's readers were an ideal audience,
since they were mostly techno-optimists. The magazine had a
circulation approaching 1 million at that time, and the contest
attracted a lot of publicity, including a half-hour nationally
networked TV show. Omni's PR department estimated that about 10
million people in the USA heard about the contest, one way or another.
So what happened? We received fewer than 400 entries. The winner
didn't even bother to fill out his signup documents until Alcor
threatened to take his prize away. And then he disappeared a few years

This is just one example. There have been many other attempts to
promote cryonics. Now, tell me again, how easy it can be?

To me, a big problem in cryonics is that enthusiasts such as yourself
persist in imagining that one "quick fix" can change everything. Bob
Ettinger persisted in this belief for decades (which helps to explain
why he is said to have wasted $25,000 on Olga Visser, the lady who
claimed to be able to revive a frozen rat heart). In reality there are
no quick fixes. Cryobiology is very difficult. Finding stable,
trustworthy people to perform field work is very difficult. Hiring
hard-working, nondelusional CEOs is very difficult. And promoting
cryonics is extremely difficult, mainly because, almost anyone can see
that cryonics doesn't work yet. You are not going to sell something
that doesn't work, but is quite expensive, to one-third of the
population (any population).

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