X-Message-Number: 8313
Date: Thu, 12 Jun 1997 17:21:45 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Vissers, Platt

Charles Platt (#8310) seems unduly upset by my summary of recent information
from the Vissers, and ascribes irresponsibility and bad motivation.

First, I have not guranteed the accuracy or completeness of the information,
nor tried to interpret it--merely passed it along in condensed form as a
matter of general interest.

Second, Charles' summary of the past reflects his own bias, but I won't get
further into that.

Third, the brevity and vagueness that disturb Charles don't reflect any
attempt to deceive. I said we expect to publish more details in THE
IMMORTALIST, and the wait isn't going to be much of a hardship. What I posted
to Cryonet is not going to change anything substantive in any way. 

My reasons for hoping the Vissers are successful in their various enterprises
are simple enough, and financial interest is very low among them. At the top
is the hope that their work will be successful beyond the known modest degree
(beating of several rat hearts after about 30 seconds immersed (or perhaps in
a couple of cases partly immersed) in liquid nitrogen, something not
previously achieved). Additionally, we like the people; and we root for David
against Goliath.

Among the reasons I hope their optimism is justified, and their good news is
not exaggerated,  is the very simple one of saving thousands of lives, maybe
hundreds of thousands, through the AIDS work. The tone of their critics,
including Charles, forces one to wonder whether they would rather see those
lives lost than see their opinions wrong. Sad.

I said I wouldn't go into details about Charles' criticisms, but I'll mention
just one--that DMF as an industrial solvent carries health warnings, and
therefore, he implies, Mrs. Visser's claims of non-toxicity must be false.
Come on, Charles--you know perfectly well that everything depends on dosage
and method of application, and therefore your statement means zilch.

Again, I'm not asking anyone to believe anything or to do anything, and I'm
not counting any chickens before they're hatched. But the encouraging
information from the Vissers will be welcome to some. Their message
brightened my morning, and I don't apologize for that.

Robert Ettinger

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