X-Message-Number: 6069
From: Randy Smith <>
Newsgroups: sci.cryonics
Subject: Re: Fear of the "unnatural"
Date: 11 Apr 1996 12:54:37 GMT
Message-ID: <4kived$>
References: <>

"Roderick A. Carder-Russell" <> wrote:
>	I have found, as an Extropian, Transhumanist and just of late a 
>member of Alcor, that despite the vast number of people involved in such 
>studies, the majority of our society has a very strong "negative" 
>reaction to our beliefs.  I have lost a few very close people in my life 
>because oof my work and my beliefs.  After much discussion, they have 
>all, independently, claimed to be "afraid" of my ideas.  The unfortunate 
>thing is that these are not pessimistic, uneducated people, they have all 
>listened to me speak of the subject, digested what I've said, even made 
>an effort to further there knowledge of the subject, but they all eventually 
>break down and act afraid, with rather childlike fear. 

As I indicated to you in my email response, I haven't had quite the level 
of negative responses that you've indicated here. But of course I think 
"fear of the unnatural" could well be a component of people's 
feelings/.reactions to cryonics. And they express generally negative 
feelings towards cryonics, but are often unable to articulate them fully.

And speaking of reactions to "coming out of the cryonics closet," there 
almost seems to be a standard initial reaction to this, especially if I 
don't the person well. The first thing I get is this patented "guarded 
expression." I can just hear their "kook alarms" going off. I haven't 
done this often but it's kinda funny to see this same reaction in so 
many. This occurs even if it turns out that they've heard of cryonics 
before, and most have.

As I've noted previously on this forum, about a year ago I used one of 
Platt's Omni articles in my 7th grade English class a year ago by working 
it into a series of reaction writings to various esoteric subjects. Of 
course, I did not bring up my own interest in cryonics. As I said before, 
the majority expressed negative feeling or indifference.

 I have, however, had another opportunity to observe reactions in a 
public forum. I am taking a university calculus class and there is an 
associated workshop which is more or less unsupervised.  While  
discussing the possibilities of the Internet with a classmate during 
class (hey,that's related to calculus, right?) the topic of unusual 
internet discussion groups came up and of couse, so did cryonics. The 
discussion spread to nearby classmates and soon the entire class of 
perhaps 15 was embroiled in a semi-discussion. There were many questions 
directed at me concerned viability, practicality, etc. I would have to 
say that the reaction was generally mildly negative, mainly in the sense 
that they did not take it seriously. There was absolutely no fear 

There was however, one student who evidenced an unusual knowledge of the 
subject, a lady of Asian-Indian heritage, who answered a couple of 
questions directed at me before I could answer them. Her attitude 
seemed positive, although I didn't explore the topic further with 
her. I've never spoken to her, as she sits in a different part of the 
class, but I might ask her how she knows so much about cryonics, given 
the appropriate setting. 

Randy Smith

do not go gentle into that good night
rage, rage against the dying of the light

 Dylan Thomas

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