X-Message-Number: 4414
Date: Thu, 18 May 1995 17:13:15 -0400
Subject: recruitment

Saul Kent says we (cryonicists) are different in psychology and that we
should try to identify those who are interested but haven't done anything
about it.

Of course we are different--but not, as far as I can see, in any visible and
useful way. Who set it in motion originally, or tried to do so? I wrote a
book (after previous fitful efforts over many years), Evan Cooper wrote a
somewhat similar book, and Lawrence Jensen, an art professor (yes, a PAINTER)
at Castleton State college in Vermont, was planning to do so (and maybe
others of whom we haven't heard). Those who read my book and instantly
responded included Saul, Curtis Henderson, Mike Darwin (a child of 12 at the
time), Paul Segall, Harry Waitz, Art Quaife, Greg Fahy, my brother Alan, my
son David (who explained it on TV at age 15), Jerry Leaf (I think), Jerry
White (I think), and some others  to whom I apologize for omission of names.
But what do they have in common--not counting my relatives?

The writers or would-be writers of books--myself, EV Cooper, and Larry
Jensen--were very different people, with almost nothing in common, as far as
I can see, or nothing that was not also shared by enormous numbers of people.
The same goes for the instant responders. The conclusion, once more, is that
the psychological and practical pivots are so subtle, or so dependent on
elements of chance, that identifying them is hopeless.

Eugen Leitl says uploaders should be prime candidates for cryonics. Again,
while the stat istics may show a slight favorable bias, it isn't enough to be
practically meaningful. It's a little bit like  sayng that rich people should
be prime candidates, because "logically" they can easily spare the money, so
what's to lose? But it's not the logical that rules--it's the psychological,
and psychology is not an exact science (or even a  "fuzzy" science).

Locate the interested people? We have drawers full of names of people who
have sent queries over the years, but on our sporadic attempts to follow them
up we get mostly no response or notice that they have moved to an unknown
address. (Yes, we should have been and should be more systematic about this.)

My general impression, once more, is that only two things do much good in
cryonics advertising or public relations: (1) Get as much free publicity as
you can, provided it is dignified, and (2) Use as much personal contact and
influence as practicable. (The average cost per successful recruitment is
very high, and when you have someone definitely interested a lot of
additional expense and effort may be justified.)

Finally, as Saul says, support for research is extremely important both
directly, for improving the patients' chances, and indirectly in many ways
including its effect on our credibility. And Saul (with Bill Faloon) has done
much more than most in this area, as well as having been an important
contributor to the growth of Alcor. But again, this is nothing new.

What is the point of all this rumination? Perhaps recrutiment should focus on
two strategies: (1) Use the shotgun and free publicity; (2) Keep a hard
squeeze on those already in the vise. Mae occasionally gives money to the
Republicans, and every donation is instantly followed by a flood of requests
for more and larger donations. Of course, that doesn't work with her; the
cost of the request mailings probably exceeds her total donations. But one
supposes their technique must work, on average, since they keep doing it.  

Robert Ettinger
Cryonics Institute
Immortalist Society

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