X-Message-Number: 4585
From: Peter Merel <>
Subject: CRYONICS Subtlety and Tact
Date: Sat, 1 Jul 1995 21:27:48 +1000 (EST)

Miss Manners says .,. :-)

Charles Platt and Jim Yount have responded kindly to my overcritical
comment. To tell the truth, I was only hoping to forestall further
friction, or at least deflect it towards myself, as an obvious
troublemaker. Ralph Merkle demonstrated much better technique than I did.

Charles writes,

>I think this is very fair comment; but it doesn't address a real problem. 
>How should I respond when I am helping to run a business and someone in a
>competing business implies that my business is unstable, and a person who
>provides our services is not-quite-trustworthy? 

I think you started out very well, but then got carried away. No offence to
Steve, whom I'm certain had no intention of starting anything but a friendly
debate, but I think you should have just stopped once you'd corrected
him - responding in kind causes trouble.

>My response to this situation was evidently less than ideal. Mr. Merel,
>could you tell me how you would have responded? I am quite sincere in my
>inquiry, and I hope to learn something here. 

I'm not an expert on tact, and I've been involved in my fair share of 
conflagrations over the years. Lao Tse, who if he had not been mythical
might have been the most tactful person who ever lived, said something
like this:

   Here are three treasures
   That I cherish and commend to you:
   The first is compassion,
   By which one finds courage.
   The second is restraint,
   By which one finds strength.
   And the third is unimportance,
   By which one finds influence.
Jim Yount writes,
>It also seems to me that there was a good deal of information posted on the
>differences in approach by the various organizations.  If I was now looking
>at the suspension programs being offered, I think I would appreciate the
>frank exchange.  Also, a good portion of my posts were criticisms of ALL OF
>US and pointed out how better cooperation would be beneficial.

I agree - the information certainly was useful, and thanks for taking
the time to compose it. It was unfair of me to include you in my
comments; I was too worried that a bunfight of "my pop can freeze
your pop"s would ensue, and spoke out of turn.

>Over-all ACS has good relations with both CryoCare and Alcor, which we
>expect will continue.  If we progress further towards cooperation and
>mutual assistance (and I think we have a good shot at it), it will be
>partly due to the tact and good will of both Charles and Steve.

Indeed. None of you have an easy task, and I'm quite aware of the depth
of commitment that you each maintain. If I've done you a disservice here
it is only because I've seen too many deeply committed folk involved in
needless blow ups on the net, and it's the last thing that's needed here.

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