Addressing cryo needsJune 14 2009 at 12:40 PM
|Luke Parrish (Login lsparrish)|
I've been thinking lately about how the cryo community's needs could be better addressed. Here are some ideas:
- Videoconferencing. Skype perhaps, or an open protocol like SIP. This would help to keep in touch with people who may need prompt attention, on at least a daily basis. That way the Orville Richardson predicament may be prevented.
- Fundraisers. Get groups of young people together to raise money to put otherwise underfunded people into cryostasis, fund research, and/or save lives by other means. Raising the money could be done by the traditional methods used by civic and religious groups; selling T-shirts, snacks, bumper stickers, etc.
On the topic of saving lives, note that orphans with a short food supply or medical problem who can be saved today have the potential to live to see actuarial escape velocity -- in which case the total benefit would be just as great as cryopreserving someone. The guaranteed benefit is greater, since we don't know if cryo will work. Furthermore, we can raise money specifically to put children and adults in undeveloped countries who die of poor conditions (including plagues like AIDS) into stasis if they want it.
- Get the youth involved. I don't mean directly targetting young children, but those 16 and up are relatively young, growing independant, and in need of something unselfish to focus their efforts on. Saving lives via cryonics and other means is a good way they can do this -- and can be really a lot of hard work for the older generation of cryo proponents to do alone.
Seeing young people involved in something unselfish is typically a great encouragement to members of the older generation. If they all understood that the younger generation is enthusiastic about keeping them around, it seems likely that more older people would more strongly consider opting for cryostasis instead of burial. A huge segment of the baby boom generation (or at least generation X) might be saved this way if we hurry.
- Appeal to the right. The cryo movement is mainly pro-life as I see it. However where the assisted suicide issue comes up we find ourselves on both sides. On the one hand we can't imagine anyone wanting to die earlier than they have to, but on the other hand we have a practical consideration where we feel (for valid science-based reasons) that legal death at an earlier point in time may help avoid actual death.
Practically speaking, the left may be easier to appeal to on this. Nobody truly wants to die (i.e. everyone is pro-life) but most leftists feel that as a practical matter they should accept death while avoiding needless suffering. If we emphasize that death is not necessarily something that has to happen even under such extreme circumstances, assisted suicide cases could be given encouragement to seek cryostasis instead of death.
- Get colleges involved. There are a host of intellectual issues to test your critical thinking skills on, so professors should jump at the chance to use this on their students. There is also a huge amount of basic science research to be done for damage-prevention during preservation and damage-repair during revival.
- Encourage parent-child dialogue. Children are likely more capable of seeing the logic of cryonics than adults because they have fewer societal prejudices. Targetting them independently of adults is probably not a good idea, but I don't see a problem with giving them the message to talk to their parents about it. Parents, faced with having to explain to their child why death is a good and unavoidable thing, may be more likely to reconsider -- and thus save their lives.
These are all seperate pursuits, and I'm sure there are more I haven't thought of. It is a mistake to think that all we need are cryo facilities like Alcor and/or CI. There really needs to be a lot of cryo organizations, which focus on their own specialized aspect of promoting cryonics.
Small community-based educational organizations like Oregon Cryonics are a good idea -- there could be one in every community, so that trained volunteers are available in every area for CPS and cooldown procedures. These can grow to become cryonics facilities in their own right as volume increases.