Comments on: ii Mirror mirror hanging on the wall, CryoX: Birth of NeoInsurgent Cryonicst A revolution in time. Thu, 11 Apr 2013 01:11:28 +0000 hourly 1 By: Shannon Vyff Shannon Vyff Fri, 23 Mar 2012 04:58:48 +0000 Well we obviously have to be accepting of all types of people. There are many more of the non-super-rich out there, the “99%ters” -cryonics already has an image of being too expensive. I find it amusing that it is looks “too poor” to some.

By: chronopause chronopause Wed, 14 Mar 2012 06:39:35 +0000 This was done a long time ago, and was repeated again, tonight. — MD

By: chronopause chronopause Wed, 14 Mar 2012 03:57:57 +0000 A snob? Definitely. And he wasn’t any too pleased at what he found when he arrived here. He was visibly disappointed when I met him at the gate in worn khakis and a T-shirt, instead of having “dressed for dinner.” He was impressed with Charlie, my purebred Boston Bull Terrier, but not so impressed to learn she is rescue dog, given to me by two friends from the dustbin. He lasted longer than most people do in my home – a little over an hour – before crawling the walls and begging to “go somewhere” where we could talk. Despite my warning that going into town was a particularly bad idea, we went anyway. I think maybe he made it three feet into the Corral “Cafe” before he became immobilized, like a straight guy who realizes he’s accidentally stepped into a gay leather bar, and then he slowly, carefully backed out. We ended up at the Denney’s in Williams, which is about a 15 minute’s drive from here.

OK, so he’s an Ivy League snob. That’s actually the least of my problems with him (more on those shortly and elsewhere). Pick somebody Mark, pick anybody who’s done something meaningful in any area of human of endeavor in the and tell then me about them. A few will be genuinely, all around nice people. But the majority will, at best, be people – people with significant flaws. I know you watch MAD MEN. Think about the key characters on that program. They’re a good representation of what real, creative, productive people are like. Not superstars, just people who held those kinds of jobs at that time and place. In many ways it isn’t a pretty picture. Don Draper and Roger Sterling are both deeply flawed men. And the thing is, they were undoubtedly worse when they were young. It just isn’t as obvious, because young people are cut more slack, they have less authority (and can thus do less damage) and historically, what they write has been less visible. Much of the written (and acted out) idiocy of youth was made invisible by the passage of time. The Internet has changed that. Indeed, Max recently had a very unfair time-warped taste of that himself. One of the central, underlying story elements of MAD MEN is a youthful decision to assume another man’s identity that Don Draper made. At least as done there in that way, it wouldn’t even be possible today. Youthful indiscretions are not only more immediately apparent, it appears they are likely to be forever given video cameras and Youtube!

My point is, I now find myself struggling with problems I have no clear answers to. I’ve been dealing with young(er) assholes in cryonics for 20+ years. Some of them turned out to be really bad news and ended up costing both me and cryonics time, trouble and in some cases, money. In other instances, they proved to be great assets. Hell, arguably one the greatest assholes to arrive on cryonics’ doorstep was me. Some bright young people who show up are nice and easy to work with. But to be honest, very few of those go on to “greatness.” In fact, I can think of only two. Most are “difficult” in one way or another. That does not mean that they are nasty or mean, just that they are “difficult.” I speak often and highly of Thomas Donaldson here, but I found him difficult. Not because he was in any way a bad person, far from it, he was a nice and decent man. But, because he was brilliant and opinionated, he was damn difficult to deal with at times.

There are different kinds of snobs, and the truth is, we’re all snobs in the end. A few years ago, late one night in Managua, Nicaragua, I had gotten lost and I was talking with these two prostitutes on a deserted street. Once it was determined that I was “maricon,” the conversation loosened up considerably. After much raucous laughter and exchanging of stories, the gist of our final conversation was that, “Nobody is ever the worst whore.” By that what was meant, “No matter how base or degraded you station has become in life, you will always comfort yourself by noting that there is someone lower than you.” So, if you are in the sex trade, you may do many “vile” things, but there are some things that even you won’t do.

That’s really the essence of snobbery. But there’s another side to it, too. If you or I go out and buy the trappings of wealth above our station, that is idiocy. It’s the intelligence of a parrot – and NOT of an African Gray parrot. It’s mimicry. It may work briefly – long enough to get a girl into bed and inseminate her, or get an invite to a party, and thus a meal and some drinks. But it won’t work as a long term strategy. That’s why “dumb” animals do it, because it does indeed work as a reproductive strategy or to grab a bite to eat. So, when I see middle, working, or lower class people obsessing over and paying small fortunes for “designer” objects, I see it as a mark of their very limited intelligence, which is likely what is keeping pinned them where they are in life.

However, I ran Cryo-X’s piece because I thought he raised a valid point regarding Alcor. Whether his particular’s are right or not, I wouldn’t know. I’ve not rubbed shoulders with such people on a regular basis. The closest I’ve come in a cryonics context was a few years ago, in a Hacienda in Spain, and I grew so infuriated that I stormed out of the meeting and spent the rest of my time there holed up in my room (my apologies, again, to my gracious hosts). But, having said that, that very meeting was part of the reason I decided to run the piece, because all of the people I met there had made exactly the same kinds of comments about cryonics in general. And while I have no first-hand knowledge of this, I’ve heard that ~3 very rich individuals or families have poured millions into efforts to create their own cryonics capabilities, because of just the kinds of dissatisfactions.

Oh yes, one more thing, Cryo-X had a Smythsons cover thingy for his iPad in sort of an electric green. I had no idea – but he told me while complaining about the plastic glasses at Denney’s.

There is much more I have to say about my decision to run both of CryoX’s pieces, but that is reserved for a main posting on Chronosphere. — Mike Darwin

By: Mark Plus Mark Plus Tue, 13 Mar 2012 17:58:27 +0000 CryoX sounds like a snob, thinking that he can signal “superiority” by buying stationery from Smythsons Diary. I have to laugh at people who think that way under current circumstances. They can’t buy health care dramatically better than the kind available to everyone else, though they can pay physicians to bend the rules. Steve Jobs bought, and wasted, a perfectly good transplantable liver for himself which should have gone to someone with a better prognosis. If anything, with enough money you can get physicians to do riskier things to your body which could possibly shorten your life, or more likely won’t extend it while wasting your money in the process. As Robin Hanson has argued from empirical evidence, when you consume more health care above some margin, the marginal benefits compete with the marginal iatric damage, and the two effects tend to cancel each other out.

By contrast, three of my grandparents, poor white Southerners, made it to about 90 or so with the sort of health care they could get in Oklahoma and Arkansas paid for by Medicare.

As for, “If you want peace and privacy, then you don’t travel by commercial means at all. That’s for the peasants.” What about the marvel that the “peasants” can fly anywhere now? The economic revolution of the past 200 years worked primarily to raise the living standards of people from the gutter like myself; rich people’s standards of living increased by smaller marginal amounts, and almost as an afterthought.

By: Max More Max More Tue, 13 Mar 2012 08:05:49 +0000 Before I quit for the night, and probably quite a bit longer: You asked where I want to have my critical conversations — in public or private. That depends on what you mean by “critical conversations”. If it’s a matter that’s critical to the other person, I generally prefer private, where my conversant won’t feel the need to perform for an audience, or prove him/herself in terms of conventional thinking. As for me, I have no preference. Depends on the situation. Public conversations can reach many more people, but private conversations can be far more personal and allow us to connect on a much deeper level. Why do you ask?

At the BIL 2012 conference, I had a completely unexpected one-on-one conversation about cryonics. The person I conversed with turned out to be a “natural” who wanted to right away make cryopreservation arrangements (not unlike I did when I first heard of cryonics being done for real — you will know about that, Mike). That kind of conversation, which took place over lunch on the Queen Mary in Long Beach, could not have happened publicly. But public discussions, like my “Join the 0.00002%” talk at BIL 2012, can reach more people and kickstart their thinking with a broader effect.

By: Max More Max More Tue, 13 Mar 2012 07:56:19 +0000 As far as I can tell, you’ve made up this person in order to tell a story. If you what you say is real, why not encourage me to talk to me personally? Obviously, he’s an American. His “undergraduate days” were definitely not mine.

This “person” (if he is) said: “I should have called to be sure Max was going to be there instead of just booking for the tour. Stupid.” So why do you ask why I didn’t get him into dialogue? If I wasn’t there… Something here rings false. If this was someone I knew, and came to visit, you can be damn sure I would talk to him in depth.

My challenge: Tell me who this person was, and how to contact him. At the very least, ask him to call me.

By: chronopause chronopause Tue, 13 Mar 2012 05:43:58 +0000 I’m glad you commented Max, because I wasn’t going to be the first to comment on this. He came up here the day after touring Alcor. No, I don’t expect you to believe that, but it’s true. And it’s funny and it’s creepy and it’s strange, because it reminds me so much of 30 years ago and you and Luigi… That’s not strange, but what is, what is really strange, is when I think about him and and the other young guys like him and the possible juxtaposition between them and me 30 years from now, and then I realize, oh shit! Yeah, oh shit.

I haven’t seen the redo at Alcor; it looks better than any of the reception areas I ever “decorated.” But, I think the criticisms are spot on. And his writing is fresh and funny. I didn’t get all of it, and I had to do some heavy editing in terms of language. It’s strange old world as our mutual friend Garret would say. It is now permissible to say “fuck,” but heaven help you if you p or t. You guys should warn all visitors taking limos from the airport about the “Acoma Paradox.” I had a cow laughing when he started telling me about that – in fact, I literally had to run to the loo because I’ve been unwell for awhile. When Damila, Valerjia and I came to visit we had EXACTLY the same frustrating experience. In fact, I was at pains to try and prise out a description of the driver to see if the same guy who burned up an oil well of petrol in a stretched limo cruising use around in search of Alcor. This MUST happen with some frequency – it can’t be a coincidence.

I just shot you the stats on Chronosphere. They are both interesting and unfortunate. I’ll insert a link right here a little later. I’m pressed for time now. It’s unfortunate that negatives of any kind result in positive spikes in readership. FYI, I do zero blog positioning/promotion beyond generating tags. I think Eugen does some referring, but basically there is no promotion, no blogroll, zip. So what you see is the most basic response. The earlier, gigantic spike was apparently in response to information interpreted to be of use in preparing for Armageddon. Longer baselines show that anything controversial boosts numbers – even if I had no idea it would be controversial. I now understand viscerally why tabloid newspapers out-competed serious journalists.

Finally, try to get them to stay, Max. You got him in the door, but didn’t get him into dialogue? Why? And here’s an even stranger, and arguably much more important question. Where do want to have your critical conversations? In public or in private, and why? Actually, both spaces can be good, but I’d be curious to know how you make your choices and why others make those choices in dialoguing with you, as well? — Mike Darwin

By: Max More Max More Tue, 13 Mar 2012 04:15:52 +0000 No, Natasha had nothing to do with the choices. It was all people here at Alcor. I’m not surprised you don’t like it. Everyone else who has commented has thought it a major improvement, except that someone thought the Alcor lettering was too large and intimidating.

One slight agreement with you is that I think there’s too much chilly blue in Alcor’s printed and promotional materials. Warmer colors may be better.

You are mistaken about the infinity mirror. It does draw comments. It gives visitors something to talk about as they relax in what is, for many, an unfamiliar and sometimes uncomfortable place. Then they find it easier to talk with the friendly Alcor staff. But that’s only my experience, based on several dozen cases.