X-Message-Number: 3546
Date: Thu, 29 Dec 1994 19:34:11 -0500
Subject: CRYONICS Merel

I'm afraid most of my postings are not cost effective, and I should be better
disciplined, but I don't always resist the temptation to comment.

Peter Merel essentially agrees with my conjectures on why computer people are
over-represented in cryonics--mainly that they are accustomed to rapid
progress & breakthroughs and therefore have confidence in the implications of
logic and have the courage of their convictions.  

I think it is appropriate to call computer people "scientists"--they are not
"engineers" in the traditional sense. Certainly the software people are
applied mathematicians and work very rigorously. 

Although I can't force my lexicon on anybody, it seems clear to me that
anyone is "scientific" in a particular context if he has the scientific
attitude (honesty and resourcefulness). By the same token, many with advanced
degrees are often unscientific, sometimes even within their own disciplines.

I did NOT  say or imply that computer people think anything is possible--I
was saying (clearly enough, I thought) the same thing as Mr. Merel, just that
they believe sufficient work and ingenuity will eventually make feasible
whatever is possible in theory (a weak form of the Feinberg Principle).

On Mr. Merel's suggestions for improving public relations and recruitment in
cryonics, I'm a bit puzzled. Does he think Bill Gates (or any very wealthy
person) would endorse cryonics because he is offered a free freezing? Can you
bribe a billionnaire with small change? As for COCOON and the like, millions
HAVE seen those fictions, and hundreds have been involved in their
production, with no visible result.

Would one week of prime time advertising have a million customers lined up?
No one with the ability to pay for it seems to think so. At any rate,
Cryonics Institute will probably get a fair amount of  free advertising this
year, and we expect at least some acceleration.

Robert Ettinger

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