X-Message-Number: 536
From:  (Ben Best)
Date: 12 Nov 91 (08:40)
Subject: bcrats & cryonics replies

    The replies to my "BUREAUCRATS AND CRYONICS" E-mail message cause
me to want to more carefully articulate my views on this subject. I
agree with what Russell Whitaker, Kevin Brown, Thomas Donaldson and
Ralph Merkle have said, and do not see a conflict in these views.

    In the present world much of the relationship between cryonics and
the state is on a war-footing. That does not mean that negotiation,
co-operation and non-interference cannot occur, however. There are
things about cryonics which it is to our advantage to have known by
bureaucrats and politicians -- and there are other things which it is
better that they do not know. The more control we have over what they
do or do not know, the better off we are.

    It would be naive to believe that we can have absolute control
over what anyone knows of our activities. I agree with Ralph Merkle
when he says that cryonics organizations should conduct their activities
with the knowledge that anything could end up in court or in the
newspapers. Security is not strong against anyone who is sufficiently
motivated to obtain information.

   But the absence of perfection (perfect security) is no reason not to
do the best we can. We make it easy for the state and the press to
access information we want them to know, and we make it costly and
difficult for them to obtain sensitive information which increases our
vulnerability. We try to maximize the availability of some information
and minimize the availability of other kinds of information.

   To be specific, most bureaucrats and politicians have barely heard
of cryonics. Here in Ontario, Canada, I repeatedly lobbied for
cryonicists to be exempt from the law that human remains shipped out of
the Province must be embalmed. No one lobbied against my request
(although Orthodox Jews wanted the same exemption). With the new laws it
is no longer illegal to ship unembalmed human remains out of Ontario. To
the bureaucrats I dealt with, cryonics is a new and harmless "fringe"
activity. Would it have helped my cause to tell them that cryonics is
illegal in British Columbia and to supply them with the phone numbers of
bureaucrats in BC who made cryonics illegal? NO!!!!!!!!!!!!

   And, yes, I supplied all this information in my article about the
illegality of cryonics in British Columbia. But how many Ontario
bureaucrats read cryonics magazines?

   Similarly, I think a much smaller percentage of those likely to work
against cryonics are likely to read CRYONET messages than read cryonics
magazines. A hostile investigation is more likely to involve
going-through back issues of cryonics magazines than getting CRYONET
messages (which are more ephemeral, anyway). That is why I am more
ready to discuss this issue in CRYONET than in a magazine. My view of
security involves improving information-access quantity rather than
qualitative perfection.
                          -- Ben Best ()
Canada Remote Systems.  Toronto, Ontario
NorthAmeriNet Host

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