X-Message-Number: 5286
Date: Tue, 28 Nov 1995 11:33:20 -0500
Subject: high rollers & misc.

Re #5274: Yes, Saul Kent & Bill Faloon are pretty high rollers. Recently I
ordered something from their Life Extension Foundation, and didn't get it
because the order taker wrote down the wrong credit card number. After a
reasonable time I called back, was told my credit card didn't check out, gave
the woman a second credit card number, and asked why I hadn't been informed
there was a problem. She said they had HUNDREDS of such every day, and
couldn't make so many calls! (I did eventually receive a mailed notice.) 

Pretty impressive. If they really have hundreds of WRONG numbers every day,
how many right numbers to they have? Encouraging; more power to them. Of
course, they are still not in the class of Milken, let alone Gates, but maybe
they're on the way. 

But the low-to-medium rollers collectively are still important. For many of
us, a thousand or two a year would not affect our style of living
significantly, but could be collectively important  in terms of research. All
of the cryonics organizations have or/and support research programs, and are
looking for donations. Some are IRS tax deductible, including the Immortalist
Society--24355 Sorrentino Court, Clinton Township MI 48035.

Re #5283 and rates of growth of cryonics:

Thomas Donaldson tries to estimate future rates of growth in cryonics, or
ranges thereof, based on past experience. I don't think that is applicable.
We are talking about PSYCHOLOGY, which at critical points is exceedingly
sensitive to small changes. I think it likely that, below the surface, there
is building in millions of people a readiness to make the big shift; and when
it comes it could come like an explosion or a tidal wave. It remains to be
seen whether the problems of being big will be worse than the problems of
being small. As usual, I tend to be optimistic--but we still need to try to
anticipate future threats and be as prepared as possible.

Re singularities:  I suspect there is no such thing as a true mathematical
singularity in the physical world. When the math seems to lead to nonsense,
one should suspect the applicability of the math. At one time the consensus
was that elementary particles had zero volume and extent (point particles);
now we see a swing toward strings, which do away with (at least some of) the
singularities. (Yes, strings have their own problems.) 

Robert Ettinger

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