X-Message-Number: 8395
From:  (Thomas Donaldson)
Subject: Re: probabilities of revival
Date: Sat, 19 Jul 1997 00:44:59 -0700 (PDT)

To Marty Nemko:

Yes, there are problems and no one can promise that you will be revived.
However the very first comment I would make is that you have some control over
just what happens, not just by arranging to be suspended but after you have
such arrangements in place. You can donate money toward research aimed at
improving the methods, you can work to ensure that cryonics is understood
by as many people as possible (including politicians) and so on and so forth.

Not only can you make a difference, but you are not a passive gambler even
while suspended. Right now all those involved in cryonics are doing the best
they can to avoid the problems you raise. So long as cryonics exists 
ANYWHERE they will continue to do so. You may have noticed Paul Wakfer and
Prometheus; we are all doing whatever we can to make cryonics work, not
just medically but politically and socially also. And when I am suspended,
I do not expect all that work to suddenly cease. It will go on until we
know how to revive someone and decide to do so. 

It is the activity of the cryonics societies which, more than any other 
factor, means that simple calculation of probabilities cannot work. Sure,
we do not have complete control over events, but even a little persisting
over a long period can change what happens. We are not just rolling dice,
we're trying to weight those dice to give us the numbers we want... and
in THIS game no one wants to stop us from doing that. 

Furthermore, if we look rationally at these calculations of probability,
they have no foundation. I doubt very much that you can justify empirically
or mathematically that your assessments of probability are correct. They are
seat-of-the-pants estimates which bear no real relation to the mathematical
notion of probability. You should not feel ashamed, as many cryonicists have
walked along the path you are taking. Yet I would ask you to think in your
own heart whether or not all the problems you raise are not simply the
expression of a fear of the unknown, and not raised because they are real 
but out of that fear. 

Instead of sitting paralyzed with doubts, why not see what you can do 
to prevent the events you fear from happening?

			Long long life,

				Thomas Donaldson

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