X-Message-Number: 549
Date: 16 Nov 91 15:44:26 EST
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: Part 1 answer to #531

Dear Kevin:
I have not been able to find a copy of the first part of my message.
What follows is my reconstruction:
Answer to #531:
I have not found any science fiction author yet who creates a scenario
containing cryonics which is consistent or shows any signs of knowledge of
what cryonicists are saying and doing. Since you brought up L. Niven
specifically, I shall discuss him as an example:
1. "Society unwilling to revive the 'corpsicles'": One tenet held very 
firmly among Alcor members and (by personal acquaintance) members of other
cryonics societies is that it is the CRYONICS SOCIETY (or its successors,
assigns, etc) that will be responsible for reviving its patients, NOT
society in general. So long as cryonics societies exist, THEY will be 
doing the revival, whether or not "society in general" is willing to  
help. And the determination to keep patients in storage and work towards
their revival is already very strong: recall that in the Dora Kent case
at least 5 cryonicists were willing to go to jail rather than reveal her
Furthermore, there's good reason to believe that cryonics societies will
continue to exist for a very long time. True, we may live for longer and
longer, and have ever better ways to protect ourselves against accidents,
etc. But that does not mean that the death and accident rate can EVER 
become ZERO --- common sense should tell you that. Even more, if you 
expect to live for 5000 years, any accident which can happen to you only
once every 1000 years becomes a matter for very serious concern. The 
motivation for cryonics will not go away. So long as this remains, the
members of a cryonics society will want to revive the patients in their
care because to fail to do so puts their own future suspension and 
revival in question: a good self-interested motive.
Could there be political action which destroyed cryonics everywhere? 
Right now, that is to me the main danger, whether this action was aimed
specifically at cryonics or they just happened to be in the vicinity. It
also points up the merit of neuropreservation, which has already saved
Dora Kent. HOWEVER, Niven's scenario falls down here too: if the cryonics
societies are destroyed, their patients will soon follow. So just how can
it happen that they remain available for "society in general" to have any
opinions at all about reviving them?  Or for that matter, USING them?
Mr. Niven should think out much more carefully the settings in which he
places his science fiction stories. The TECHNOLOGY may certainly be
reasonable and believable, but he shows a stunning inability to think out
its consequences.

Rate This Message: http://www.cryonet.org/cgi-bin/rate.cgi?msg=549