X-Message-Number: 6487
Date: 09 Jul 96 14:36:49 EDT
From: Paul Wakfer <>
Subject: Prometheus - A Pledger's Ideas

     The man who pledged $1000.00 per year referred to in the #5 Total update
and who didn't wish his name to be revealed has given permission for me to
publish his questions and suggestions. So here they are complete, with my
comments added after each section.

>Dear Paul,
> Thank-you for beginning the Prometheus project.  I believe that through the
>Prometheus project, we can achieve true suspended animation.  I also believe
>that the project will be an important source of credibility and positive
>publicity for the cryonics movement.

I also believe that both of these are true. That is why it is so imperative
for all true life extensionists to support this project as strongly as
possible, even to the extent of partly reducing their present life-style in
order to find the money to greatly enhance their possibility for vastly more
life-style in the future.

>Some questions:
>1)  How do you plan to publicize the Prometheus Project?  Have you sent out
>press releases to the networks, radio stations, and newspapers?  Although I
>believe that most of the funding will come from cryonicists, Prometheus may
>also attract funding from outside sources.

I believe that it is still premature to look for funding from outside sources
and that we must carefully judge when *will* be the best time. Past history
shows that the media, in general, has a *very* negative attitude towards any
cryonics ideas and this will be especially so here because this is still a
*brain-only* project (we simply *can't* aim for whole-bodies yet). When the
Prometheus Project has pledges totaling over $500K/yr or $5M total, it may be
credible enough that the news media will be ready to regard us seriously and

>2)  When individuals/organizations bring up questions or objections to the
>project, you may wish ask them, "What are the precise, objective conditions
>we must meet before you will donate?  Assuming we can meet your conditions
>to your satisfaction, what amount will you commit to donating?"  If they
>will not commit, nor state their conditions of satisfaction then it may be
>best not to waste any more time trying to recruit them. 

This is an excellent suggestion and excellently worded questions. Readers and
organization should now take it as a given that I *am* asking these questions
of them. And I will also do so in each individual case.

>3) Given that most of the current principals and/or primary contributors
>behind the Prometheus project are Cryocare members, other cryonics
>organizations may feel reluctance to support the project for fear that a)
>they will not be listened to when the time comes to decide how to spend the
>money b) results will not be shared with other cryonics companies in a
>timely manner c) CryoCare will favor CryoCare associated researchers, aka
>Mike Darwin.  How do you plan to make sure that other cryonics companies
>will not feel slighted?  

     I think that it should be obvious by now, and it was never intended to
be a secret, that the small email group which responded so strongly to the
initiation of this project was CryoCare Forum, a private list of signed up
CryoCare members who have email capability and wish to correspond. And I
apologize to all the other organizations for CryoCare having a head start.
But it had to start somewhere and I think that we should all be thankful to
this small group for its overwhelmingly strong support, because if that
hadn't happened *none* of you would have even heard about this project simply
because it would have been "still-born".
     Moreover, it is now clear that the make-up of the pledger group is
quickly changing and *will* encompass* cryonicist from *all* organizations in
a joint nonpartisan venture just as I had so greatly hoped for. As far as
being listened to, the business plan of the company *must* be approved by all
pledgers, and I intend to invite all pledgers who have business experience to
contribute to it. So that I am sure, for example, that Carlos Mondragon who
is now a pledger and has already made many valuable business suggestions,
will play a major role in that plans development. Don't forget the pledgers
will become stockholders and will *run* the company (through a president and
board of directors which they elect, of course).
     No cryonics organization will be able to dominate this company and keep
its technology from the others, because it will be run by the individual
stockholders. Furthermore, I have built into the initial pledge parameters
*and* this will be enshrined in the Share Purchase Agreements which each
pledger will sign before the company begins operation, that *all* technology
developed by the Project must be made available to all organizations. I am
determined *not* to give any organization or individual, privileges in this
project above that which their shares earn them.
     The scientists and administrators chosen to execute the project will be
chosen by the simple criteria of being the best qualified that we can obtain
to do the job.

Two Additional Notes on Organizations

Minimum Pledge for Royalty-Free Technology

     I would like to set some minimum pledge (and subsequent share purchase)
which cryonics organizations must make to be entitled to royalty-free use of
all project technology for a period of 10 years after the date of its patent
or development. At this time, I have not decided what this minimum should be
(except that it should be well over $10K per year), but I believe that there
needs to be such a minimum for this valuable bonus which will give any
organization which meets it a big competitive edge over those which don't, or
start up after the technology is developed. I hasten to add again that any
company will have access to all the technology by paying royalties.
I am open to all suggestions and modifications here. Please let me have them.

Proxy Power for Donors

     I believe that it would be very beneficial for the project and will
strengthen its nonpartisan goal, if all organizations which contribute by
accumulating donation pledges into share purchase pledges by the organization
would also assign the donor to be their proxy over the shares which his or
her donation will enable them to purchase. In this way organizations will not
have any *major* blocks of shares under their direct control and the company
will be directed by a truer democracy of its individual monetary supporters.
Therefore, I ask all pledgers to request from their cryonics organization
that they be allowed to be the proxy holder of the shares which their
donations will purchase. And I ask all organizations to make this available
to their members and anyone else making pledge donations through them to the
Prometheus Project.

Continuation of the Pledger's Ideas and Suggestions

>    Possible suggestions:  Ask the other cryonics companies:
>a)  How would the Prometheus project have to be set up in order to make you
>    feel that you have control in proportion to your contribution?
>b)  By what objective criteria should we judge research proposals?

The questions are again excellent ones which I do so ask. However, I have
spoken to a) above and as stated there I believe that it might be best that,
so long as their access to the technology is safeguarded, organizations do
*not* have major control over the project.

>    I will include a testimonial in a future post.  Please do not publish my
>name--unfortunately, my indirect supervisor is hostile to cryonics, and I
>would probably be fired if he knew about my involvement in cryonics.
> Thank-you for taking on the responsibility for nurturing the work that can,
>for the first time in human history, give humans control over the length of
>their lives.

And thank *you* very sincerely, for your good ideas, and your kind,
encouraging words.

-- Paul --


Paul Wakfer  email:        Voice/Fax:     Pager:
US:     1220 E Washington St #24, Colton, CA 92324 909-481-4433 800-805-2870
Canada: 238 Davenport Rd #240, Toronto, ON M5R 1J6 416-968-6291 416-446-9461
(currently in Canada)

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