X-Message-Number: 8287
Date: Fri, 6 Jun 1997 11:42:13 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Rowley; probability

1. Best of luck to Brian Rowley in his anti-senescence research. But his post
(#8286) may have given the impresson that I personally am providing funding
for the research. Actually, the money comes from the Immortalist Society, and
so far it is on a very modest scale, since Mr. Rowley has other resources
also and is not paid for his work. 

2. A word about the relevance of probability theory to cryonics:

Although we know that logic usually plays little part in matters of
motivation or values, still it does play SOME part, and we need vigorously to
try to educate those on the margin. There are two important points:

a) There are indeed ways to estimate the probability of revival of cryonics
patients (although of course only roughly), as set forth in the Immortalist
Society pamphlet: "Cryonics:The Probability of Rescue."

b) The "expected gain" in a gamble is the probability of success multiplied
by the value of success. Although the value (or "utility") of success is
subjective and hard to quantify, still many will regard the possibility of a
very long and much better life as extremely valuable--so valuable as to
justify considerable effort and expense even if the probability of success
were low, which it is not. 

Robert Ettinger

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