X-Message-Number: 6304
From:  (Thomas Donaldson)
Subject: To Steve Bridge, Bob Ettinger, and others
Date: Sun, 2 Jun 1996 12:25:36 -0700 (PDT)

Hi, after a long absence:

To Steve Bridge, I want to add my voice to those who don't like all the flaming
and think that at best it is a waste of time. Among other points, I doubt that

either side in the "Timothy Leary debate" will convince the other, and 
thereforethink it would be better for both sides to shut up. If they want to 
fingers, then please don't do that here. And I think Steve deserves
praise and congratulation for speaking out.

Second, to Bob Ettinger and the others who believe that somehow we will see a
period of "rapid growth": first, I should explain my position on that, and 
then perhaps we can think a bit. I think cryonics will follow the same kind 
of pattern as many other changes, political, social, or technological. There
will be a period of exponential growth, followed by slowing, to result in
an S-shaped curve. At the cusp of the S, no doubt many people will decide that
the growth is rapid. However it is unlikely that cryonics will prove very 
different from any other such change: we will not awaken one day to find 
millions of people beseiging us to ask for membership in a cryonics society.

As for the technology, that too looks like it will not go through a period of
SUDDEN rapid growth. (Unfortunately!!!). I expect we will make more and
more improvements. Even vitrification, which I personally believe should have
high priority, will not solve our problems AT ONCE. We would then need to 
work out efficient systems for passive storage, then build enough such systems
for patients. We would also need to know whether or not patients formerly 
stored in LN might benefit from storage at that higher temperature. All of 
these changes will cost money and time. And even the ability to store patients
with very little damage will not bring people to us in large numbers: we are
dealing with patients who have much more wrong with them than simple freezing
damage, and who would otherwise simply die. Vitrification would be very good
for us but does not mean that others will suddenly see the light and clamor to

I really don't see this as a sign of pessimism at all. It's just the way the
world works. And rather than dream of some future state, we can look at our
past: cryonics HAS grown, continues to grow, and shows no signs of disappear-
ing. And that growth still looks as if its in the exponential phase. Rather
than worry about others joining, I think that the best policy is simply to
keep plugging away on the many fronts we must deal with: public understanding,
technology, law, etc. And yes, I hope that all the societies can get together
to support really vital technological research such as Greg's --- even if it
converts nobody, I'd feel happier to be vitrified than frozen, since it makes
the problem of recovering my brain far easier than with current methods.

			Best and long long life,

				Thomas Donaldson

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