X-Message-Number: 858
From:	Ben Best <>
Date:	Tue, 26 May 1992 20:00:00 -0400
Subject: reaching for tomorrow

    Well, I write a few words about the REACHING FOR TOMORROW
booklet, sign-on to CRYONET, and read a bunch of messages that make
many of the points I have written. What do I do? Send them anyway!

    A cryonicist doesn't have to talk to non-cryonicists for very
long before discovering what anti-life (suicidal) attitudes most people
have. This was a profound shock to me. My first essay on the subject of
cryonics was entitled "The Sadness of Mankind" -- in which I attempted
to explore the boredom, resignation and unhappiness-about-life most
people must feel. Most people, in fact, usually turn-around our
question "Why would anyone want to die?", and ask (with genuine
puzzlement), "Why would anyone want to live forever?"

    What I conclude is, even with religious and technical issues
aside, cryonics cannot hold much appeal for the vast majority of
people. What I would NOT conclude, however, is that some amount of
colorful images is going to convince these people that it is desireable
to extend present or future life without limit. Any attempt to "sell
the future" in this way becomes tantamount to new "images of heaven"
which are designed to give suffering mortals a glimmer of hope for
some future reward beyond this present "veil of tears". I think it is
a waste of scarce resources to attempt to sell people on the idea tha
life is worth living. Suicide counseling is a luxury we cannot afford
until we have saved our own lives and the lives of people who are
still striving for more life.

    What type of person writes to Alcor asking for information about
cryonics? Aside from the high-school science projects (probably
including most of them, actually), these are people who are already
convinced that life is worth living -- who want to explore the idea
that more life is a genuine possibility. What this person wants to see
is that the idea IS feasible: financially, scientifically, technically,
organizationally, politically, etc. Most of all, he/she wants to see
that it is feasible for her/him!

    The biggest complaint I have with REACHING FOR TOMORROW is that it
is too rarely read (even by cryonicists). It is probably too much for
an "introduction" to cryonics. People would like to see the forest
before looking at the trees in such detail. Or so I speculate. The
problem with collections of special-interest brochures is that there
is no way to know the special interests of a person who simply makes
an enquiry. The ideal introduction will cover the subject in a concise,
interesting and global manner -- and will provide clear direction as
to how to pursue any aspect fo the subject in greater detail.

                -- Ben Best (ben.best%)
Canada Remote Systems  - Toronto, Ontario/Detroit, MI
World's Largest PCBOARD System - 416-629-7000/629-7044

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