cryonics and public relations

cryonics and public relations

Joined: June 8th, 2009, 3:02 am

June 27th, 2009, 1:30 am #1

The sad news of Michael Jackson's death only brings to mind more the need for us to let people know that cryonics services are really an option. I believe there are countless wealthy and famous people who simply don't know about it. If they knew, then they might gladly fund cryonics for themselves and so advance this whole sluggish thing that's been waiting for decades to happen it seems.

Who will be the next unfortunate celebrity to die? I can think of several now. We, via better public relations, should help by providing them with at least the choice of cryonics instead of the normal cruel and unacceptable death scenarios.
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Joined: June 8th, 2009, 3:02 am

June 28th, 2009, 4:00 pm #2

Funny, I thought the posting was appropriate and relevant. Perhaps there's just nothing anyone can suggest or add to this thought. It is a complicated issue. One thing apparent to me is that many people on this "board" are not actually funded members of any cryonics facility. This might give them a very different perspective and maybe one that views this whole thing as somewhat less imperative than truly a matter of "life or death". I think we need to get serious here.( and that is no nasty criticism to anyone in particular.) All the techno. talk and other thoughts on cryonics are more or less no where if the whole thing simply collapses for lack of support. And so I again say that we need some notoriety and much, much better cryonics public relations to get things going and out of stagnation.
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Joined: October 2nd, 2004, 8:27 pm

June 28th, 2009, 9:33 pm #3

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/notoriety

no·to·ri·e·ty
n.
The quality or condition of being notorious; ill fame.

Example of use in context: The Alcor Life Extension Foundation gained considerable notoriety from their cryopreservation of Ted Williams, and in the years since, their Executive Board continues to refuse to promise they will never again provide unfunded services for "celebrities" or other persons.

You may have mischosen that word, but you were uncannily right on (except for the part that we need more notoriety, which obviously we do not).

As to the idea that the wealthy and famous are unaware of cryonics, and if told about it would beat down the organizations' doors, I think you might be mistaken. Robert Ettinger if I recall correctly has a story or two to tell about his efforts in trying to get them on board. ettinger@aol.com .

As to the idea that we even need more people signed up for cryonics, I am not sure if we do. When we have a real product to offer, that is proven to work, that will be the time to promote it, and people will prove out the "build it and they will come" principle. For now, we are still in a highly experimental alpha stage, and everyone who is signed up or thinking of being should fully understand it is a very chancy thing as to it ever working out for them to be successfully resuscitated, repaired, and cured. There are probably too many in the current "movement" who do not fully understand that, but should.

FD
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Joined: April 30th, 2006, 1:38 am

June 29th, 2009, 2:33 am #4

The sad news of Michael Jackson's death only brings to mind more the need for us to let people know that cryonics services are really an option. I believe there are countless wealthy and famous people who simply don't know about it. If they knew, then they might gladly fund cryonics for themselves and so advance this whole sluggish thing that's been waiting for decades to happen it seems.

Who will be the next unfortunate celebrity to die? I can think of several now. We, via better public relations, should help by providing them with at least the choice of cryonics instead of the normal cruel and unacceptable death scenarios.
You are assuming that people don't know about cryonics, rather than that they know about it, but don't opt for it. I doubt this is true, as certainly most people have at least heard about cryonics. I think the main problem is that, the minute they go to investigate it, they see a lot of amateurish, unprofessional and unethical behavior. I think it's unreasonable to expect the general public to believe that people with little-to-no education in the medical sciences, can perform successful cryogenic preservations. Of course, we don't know how much damage can be repaired, in the future, but I believe a lot more people would sign up, if they knew real medical professionals, using real medical equipment, were going to perform the procedures. I believe cryogenic procedures are a logical extension of existing hypothermic medical procedures. However, for as long as a bunch of layman whose educations consist of 12 weeks of EMT-basic school, with no subsequent experiences other than a few practice runs with a pig, my answer to signing up is still, "Thanks, but no thanks."

If well-funded organizations like Alcor and Suspended Animation would quit playing around and hire some professionals, I believe more people would sign up. Both those organizations can afford to hire professionals, yet they continue to pay laymen salaries in excess of those earned by medical professionals. In addition, there's a whole lot of man-hours that neither I, nor anyone I know working in cryonics, can justify. In other words, a couple dozen people are getting paid a whole lot of money, on a weekly basis, to accomplish very little, and no one seems to give a damn. My guess is, they plan to keep it that way, for as long as possible.
Last edited by melmax on June 29th, 2009, 2:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: July 1st, 2007, 8:16 am

June 29th, 2009, 1:21 pm #5

Melody: “If well-funded organizations like Alcor and Suspended Animation would quit playing around and hire some professionals, I believe more people would sign up. Both those organizations can afford to hire professionals, yet they continue to pay laymen salaries in excess of those earned by medical professionals.”

These organizations cannot hire medical professionals for the simple reason that the people who finance and control them will never allow it. It they allowed it, they would lose control and would be pushed out. Cryonics is a highly specialized area of medical science. It should be managed by M.D.s, just as any other area of medicine. Is there a single hospital, or a clinic anywhere in USA that would not be managed by an MD? NO. Such situation would never be allowed to happen. Yet, all we see is that cryonics is being financed and managed by lay people without medical education, who never would be allowed to perform medical procedures in any other area of medicine.

I believe those are the main reasons why the public at large considers cryonics a quackery, if not an outright fraud, or even something resembling a “cult” of misguided. Many rich and famous people are well aware of the cryonics potential, but after researching the situation, they simply do not want to be a part of it. For obvious reasons, as stated above. It is quite clear that the cryonics business model is faulty, in sore need of change. Unless a drastic change occurs and medical doctors and medical professionals enter the field, cryonics will be limping along, on the verge of extinction. Just as it has been limping along, on the verge of extinction for the past 30 years. Despite ongoing huge cash infusions by lay, non-medical people who want to control cryonics.

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Joined: May 17th, 2009, 5:13 pm

June 29th, 2009, 5:04 pm #6

I am skeptical that there is so much money to go around at those organizations. The prices are high, but the volume is low and overhead is nontrivial. Replacing staff entirely with doctors would probably be very expensive. You would most likely need to pay significantly more than the industry standard in order to attract them, since cryonics is not widely recognized as a medical occupation.

Fortunately the skillset needed to stabilize a patient for future treatment is usually substantially lower than the skillset needed to actually treat a condition. That is what EMTs are for. I just completed an 8-hour class yesterday that certifies me to do CPR and first aid. It made me realize how just that tiny bit of extra knowledge, properly applied at a critical point (while waiting for EMS) could save someone's life.

The mission of a cryo org is to be an ambulance to the future, not to fix what is wrong with the patient. It makes sense to have well-trained laypersons doing most of the work. The team isn't there to diagnose any illness or treat any condition. The most important part is being in the right place at the right time, and following the correct procedure.

Actually designing the procedure in the first place, training the team to follow it properly, evaluating performance, etc. are the areas where a specialist is most called for.
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Joined: June 8th, 2009, 3:02 am

June 29th, 2009, 6:12 pm #7

The sad news of Michael Jackson's death only brings to mind more the need for us to let people know that cryonics services are really an option. I believe there are countless wealthy and famous people who simply don't know about it. If they knew, then they might gladly fund cryonics for themselves and so advance this whole sluggish thing that's been waiting for decades to happen it seems.

Who will be the next unfortunate celebrity to die? I can think of several now. We, via better public relations, should help by providing them with at least the choice of cryonics instead of the normal cruel and unacceptable death scenarios.
Vocabulary isn't really the issue, but the need for committed people to get things moving. Generally in the business community, competition is helpful, but maybe it's not here. Having excellent p.r. is imperative and seems definitely lacking. I am still convinced from lots of personal experience that very few people understand what cryonics is all about or have ever heard of it. "Publicity", hopefully favorable, would definitely help. There are volunteers or employees who welcome new members, but then there seems to be lacking a supportive environment for them once enrolled. I want to see this work. How can we make it work? That is the question.
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Joined: June 8th, 2009, 3:02 am

June 29th, 2009, 8:21 pm #8

I am skeptical that there is so much money to go around at those organizations. The prices are high, but the volume is low and overhead is nontrivial. Replacing staff entirely with doctors would probably be very expensive. You would most likely need to pay significantly more than the industry standard in order to attract them, since cryonics is not widely recognized as a medical occupation.

Fortunately the skillset needed to stabilize a patient for future treatment is usually substantially lower than the skillset needed to actually treat a condition. That is what EMTs are for. I just completed an 8-hour class yesterday that certifies me to do CPR and first aid. It made me realize how just that tiny bit of extra knowledge, properly applied at a critical point (while waiting for EMS) could save someone's life.

The mission of a cryo org is to be an ambulance to the future, not to fix what is wrong with the patient. It makes sense to have well-trained laypersons doing most of the work. The team isn't there to diagnose any illness or treat any condition. The most important part is being in the right place at the right time, and following the correct procedure.

Actually designing the procedure in the first place, training the team to follow it properly, evaluating performance, etc. are the areas where a specialist is most called for.
Luke, it's great you got that training. Most of us at UCSF used to hate those trainings. I'd always go away thinking: "This is stupid", "It isn't going to really help." I wasn't then imagining it being used to truly save lives as in cryonics. I was wrong in my negativity.

Oh, now on to Max Moore's philosophy and his "proactionary principle".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proactionary_Principle) I strongly maintain that we do need to have some very rich and famous people make the news by opting for cryonics; whereas, my doing it is nowhere and no one will pay any attention to me. We need to think positively about this because it's a very valid way to promote and advance cryonics.
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Joined: September 24th, 2005, 6:53 pm

June 29th, 2009, 11:20 pm #9

Vocabulary isn't really the issue, but the need for committed people to get things moving. Generally in the business community, competition is helpful, but maybe it's not here. Having excellent p.r. is imperative and seems definitely lacking. I am still convinced from lots of personal experience that very few people understand what cryonics is all about or have ever heard of it. "Publicity", hopefully favorable, would definitely help. There are volunteers or employees who welcome new members, but then there seems to be lacking a supportive environment for them once enrolled. I want to see this work. How can we make it work? That is the question.
Suggest you research the history of this field (cryonet.org is searchable). For more than 40 years, cryonics has received copious press coverage, to the point where I would guess at least one-quarter of the adult US population has a rough idea of what it means. And, of course, anyone can find the organizations online. If publicity was going to work, surely it would have worked years ago.

I see two ways to increase membership: Personal interaction with potential clients, and improving the procedures to the point where they encourage greater confidence. I don't see any shortcuts.
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Joined: September 24th, 2005, 6:53 pm

June 29th, 2009, 11:37 pm #10

Luke, it's great you got that training. Most of us at UCSF used to hate those trainings. I'd always go away thinking: "This is stupid", "It isn't going to really help." I wasn't then imagining it being used to truly save lives as in cryonics. I was wrong in my negativity.

Oh, now on to Max Moore's philosophy and his "proactionary principle".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proactionary_Principle) I strongly maintain that we do need to have some very rich and famous people make the news by opting for cryonics; whereas, my doing it is nowhere and no one will pay any attention to me. We need to think positively about this because it's a very valid way to promote and advance cryonics.
Has the known interest of Ray Kurzweil, Eric Drexler, or Marvin Minsky encouraged anyone to sign up? Perhaps a few, but only a tiny fraction of the number who have read Kurzweil's books. And that readership constitutes an extremely promising audience. If celebrity sponsorship was going to work, we should have seen some sign of it by now.

The most common response to a cryonics sales pitch goes something like this: "Yes, I guess it makes sense, but not for me." There is an invisible but very large gap between "something those other people do" and "something that I will do myself."

Two years ago I made a conference presentation to a dozen or so people, one of whom was Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com. Bezos sat maybe ten feet from me, made eye contact, was friendly, asked numerous very smart questions, seemed genuinely fascinated, and was very receptive. At the end of it, he thanked me much, and walked off to learn about something else. I think he could see why other people were interested in doing it, but I don't think for a moment he considered doing it himself.

Mike Darwin is the only person I know who could goad people into leaping the gap. He seemed to do it by scaring them. "You are all going to die," was his opener. But that kind of thing requires charisma which I, for one, do not possess.
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