Comments on: Cryonics: An Historical Failure Analysis, Lecture 2: Inherent Failure Mechanisms and Risks, Part 3 A revolution in time. Thu, 11 Apr 2013 01:11:28 +0000 hourly 1 By: Mark Plus Mark Plus Tue, 08 May 2012 01:13:19 +0000 I bring this up because some cryonicists display a weakness for get-rich-quick schemes and dubious fads, which could appeal to the sort of personality already interested in the more empirically grounded forms of life- or body-hacking.

By: Mark Plus Mark Plus Mon, 07 May 2012 16:34:18 +0000 Mike, since you’ve brought up the psychological characteristics of cryonicists, I’ve noticed a tendency among us to look for ways to become functionally “transhuman” in the here and now, sometimes even before we discovered cryonics, by applying the known science of the time.

For example, Ed Thorp in his book The Mathematics of Gambling writes that during his graduate study of physics in the 1950’s he performed what today’s Millennials would call “body hacking”:

“I had read about the psychology of learning in order to be able to work longer and harder. I found that ‘spaced learning’ worked well: study for an hour, then take a break of at least ten minutes (shower, meal, tea, errands, etc.).”

Others have studied and experimented with body building techniques, special diets, alleged “anti-aging” supplements, cognitive enhancing drugs, psychedelics, fringe philosophies like Objectivism and so forth, instead of leaving their human potentials to the haphazard. Do you have the impression that cryonicists tend to experiment upon themselves to push the envelope more than the general population?

Of course, this tendency can go astray. I know someone on the outskirts of the cryonics movement who suffers from a really bad case of Dunning-Kruger and believes every woo claim he comes across, especially regarding diet and health.

By: cath cath Mon, 30 Apr 2012 07:03:26 +0000 When I left Australia I was a senior biochemist in charge of an analytical laboratory that tested antibiotic pharmaceuticals for the FDA equivalent in Australia, and as an “Official Analyst” was invested with the legal authority to defend such analyses in court. The work was exacting and many people would find its exacting nature boring, especially people with a requirement for novelty and excitement. In the US I worked in drug regulatory affairs for a pharmaceutics company, on the opposite side of the fence. This work too was exacting and meticulous, and had serious legal consequences for the company if it were stuffed up.

As a hirer of staff I read about the psychological attributes of people fitted for this work. High on the list was conscientiousness, being observant, patience, the respect for the need and competence in keeping records, good eye-hand coordination, capable of extended periods of intense concentration and low on arrogance. In training staff, an overall appreciation of the dynamics and pattern of working, the need for scrupulous attention to sterile procedures (bacteria and fungi are used in testing some antibiotics) and the need for organization were paramount. I found bit-by-bit instruction failed, as it did not allow the trainee to understand the reasons behind procedures. Mike trains people well, but I found group training sacrificed detail at times, and sometimes wondered at the benefits as the group dynamic set up in these sessions could be perpetuated. The careful detail-oriented ones are often submerged by the showy lovers of excitement. Careful can become quick, but always-excited people seem in my experience not to be able to slow down, they live in a kind of hazy mix of impervious self confidence and glibness of intellect. I don’t know what you found here, Mike.

Despite all this, there are people who do not have the aptitude for this type of work, and even those who are careful workers can become flustered under pressure of time and circumstance. Repetition is immensely beneficial for work under pressure, especially because one can pick up and rectify mistakes as they happen by a kind of sixth sense, that something in the complex ballet of thought and movement is amiss. People attracted by the potential for excitement are a disaster in waiting.

Since in cryonics willing and competent volunteers are in short supply, we are faced with forming a team of imperfect candidates that will function to people’s strengths. I write this to support Mike’s observations about training while knowing there are quite a few people who will not be able to do this work despite quite a lot of training. I hope I have said more than the “bleeding obvious”.