X-Message-Number: 9396
From: Ettinger <>
Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 09:54:37 EST
Subject: money strategies


Seems to me the problem with Charles Platt's post yesterday ("Cryonics is a
religion.") is a hangup on labels and a corresponding lack of flexibility.

Labels do or can matter, of course, as a matter of psychology; but we can and
should de-emphasize them.

Yes, in some respects cryonics is like a religion, at least to some people.
But it can also be compared to a family, which is less pejorative. Or
"community" might be better. In a community, there is a delicate balance
between questions of psychology and morale on the one hand, and financial or
productive efficiency on the other. In order to look out for number one, it is
usually necessary also to look out for the others--not too much and not too

I'm not sure if Charles is right about the majority of cryonicists being
Libertarians; I very much doubt that. But it doesn't have to matter. We take
what we can get, and we work with what we have. I believe we can work with
most of our constituency and potential constituency.

Charles in recent posts seems to have had a tendency to blame the "customer."
Dave Pizer says blame management. I think Dave is closer to being practical.
The "customer" may not always be "right," but he always commands our
attention. We (management) have direct control only over ourselves. 

As a practical matter, some in cryonics (as everywhere) will take the maximum
and give the minimum. Others will be "generous" because that is their nature,
and more (like myself and Charles) will be "generous" because they feel it
serves their interest. 

No, it isn't "fair" that others contribute less. Those who take advantage of
CI's minimum suspension fee of $28,000 are being subsidized by those who pay
more. But we STILL NEED them, both for psychological and financial reasons. CI
is much better off with the mix than it would be with only those who are
generous. Among other reasons, those who have not YET shown "generosity" (or
appreciation of the need) may yet do so, and are more likely to do so if
already committed at the minimum than if they remain aloof.

No question that Dave Pizer is right about skillful fund-raising being at
least part of the answer. This has been proven so many times, in so many
different contexts, that it isn't even debatable. It is "just" a question of
will and execution.

Dave says there are (relatively) lots of rich people in cryonics, and they
have been (relatively) our worst hangers-on. As far as I know, none has made a
half-way respectable commitment--meaning a commitment that displays an
appreciation of his own predicament. One small beginning to correct this may
be as follows.

At the Alcor conference, I am suggesting that the cryonics organizations
should pool technical skills and financial resources to expand and improve the
network of morticians providing emergency services, up to and including
washout and perfusion. This will rely in part on contributions by local
members. It should be comparatively easy to convince wealthy members that they
can SIGNIFICANTLY improve their own chances CHEAPLY by contributing to the
training and equipping of funeral directors in their own localities. If this
effort succeeds, it will be important in itself and may also help those
wealthy members get a better perspective.

Robert Ettinger
Cryonics Institute
Immortalist Society

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