Why Alcor Should Only Have 14 Members Left

Why Alcor Should Only Have 14 Members Left

Joined: October 2nd, 2004, 8:27 pm

December 20th, 2010, 2:12 am #1

The recent release to the public by Mike Darwin via the publicly-readable Google Group "cryonics-europe", of Parts 1-3 of his "Cryonics Failure Analysis" PDFs, in particular of revealing material in Part 3, and a response on the same Group by Brian Wowk, should be serious cause for concern by all cryonicists, especially Alcor members.

To begin with, the following excerpts from Darwin's Part 3 on pages 82-84:

"Unfortunately, if we also take a hard look at the quality of clinical care most cryonics patients are receiving it seems unlikely, bordering on impossible, that they are realizing much benefit from 'vitrification' as it is currently being practiced. ... fracturing occurs in solutions or tissues that vitrify (even partially) when they are cooled to below Tg (glass transition point). As you can see in this slide (225) such fracturing is quite dramatic when seen in a flask of transparent vitrification solution. It is even more dramatic when it happens to the brains of humans who are cryopreserved using significant concentrations of glass forming cryoprotectants ... In fact, the temperature and the degree to which fracturing occurs upon cooling to below Tg is in large measure a function of the glass forming ability of the cryoprotectant agent(s) with which the tissue has been treated. What this means for vitrified patients is that they will experience more serious fracturing than frozen patients. ... The Tg of the vitrification solutions now in clinical use are in the range of ~ -120 to -135C which would suggest that a relatively 'safe' storage temperature will be in the range of ~ -135 to -145C."

The key issue here is that both organizations that currently use vitrification as the cryopreservation protocol for their patients who are in good enough condition for it, regularly and customarily follow it up with storage at liquid nitrogen temperature, way colder than the recommended safe temperature range mentioned above. Darwin believes the vitrified patient stored at liquid nitrogen temperature experiences more fracturing than a patient who is merely frozen!

Under development for years, Intermediate Temperature Storage (ITS) systems are now available which prevent a vitrified patient from experiencing temperatures outside the safe range above.

On page 88 of his Part 3, Darwin writes: "The ITS system developed by Brian Wowk at 21CM works by storing the patients in a highly conductive and well insulated chamber contained within a standard high vacuum cryogenic dewar. Liquid nitrogen provides the refrigeration and compact, solid-state heaters maintain the temperature in the patient storage chamber at the desired temperature within a fraction of a degree C. And yet these units are not being used by Alcor, or any other cryonics organization even now, 4 years after they were first validated!"

Brian Wowk, who is also an Alcor board member, says this in response to the above, on the "cryonics-europe" Forum:

"Actually the ITS unit you describe was quietly purchased, delivered, and put into service by Alcor in December, 2008, for neuropatients who had privately arranged for storage at intermediate temperatures. This was never publicly announced, in part because it was followed shortly afterward by an Alcor management change. There will be an article about it in a 2011 issue of Cryonics magazine. The board still has to decide whether to offer this storage mode to the general membership given that it is believed to presently only reduce fractures, not eliminate them, and that long-term storage in this system is approximately three times more expensive than Bigfoot storage."

Will Alcor never learn??!! It is bad enough that its board believes it is good and proper to occasionally give preferential treatment to "special people" such as celebrities, in particular as to the financial arrangements (e.g., Ted Williams). The above example of preferential treatment and lack of integrity far exceeds the Williams matter in impropriety!! In letting a handful of members secretly sign up for ITS service, it created a whole secret class of members, elite, unknown until now by the ordinary member.

Worse yet, in Mike Darwin's view, that handful of "elite" members are the only ones with even a remote chance of benefitting from being cryopreserved by vitrification. The others, the "rabble" class of Alcor member - "bordering on impossible" he says. Not to mention he thinks they experience worse fracturing than those merely frozen!

IMO, in view of all the above, Alcor should have only 14 members left: those who will fit in the one ITS unit smilingly demonstrated by Wowk on page 87 (slide 229) of Darwin's Part 3, obviously the same 14 "elite" members who were permitted to secretly sign up for a privileged level of ITS service. Since there are only 7 compartments shown in the device, I would assume that each elite member has also chosen their favorite roommate for this exciting and chilling adventure.

The rest of you Alcor members who were not given the opportunity to enter the secret chambers, and who will be worse off for being vitrified than merely frozen? - upon learning of this latest shameless, arrogant and corrupt act by Alcor's board (accountable to no one), will you let them know by your vote exactly what you think of it? That would be the only vote you have - with your feet.

Disgusted,

FD
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: October 11th, 2006, 4:20 am

December 20th, 2010, 3:01 am #2

he is speaking directly to other cryonicists and others who are of like mind and background and perspective. This is a very tiny audience. He is preaching to the choir. And targeting a tiny tiny audience.

Darwin, the only real cure for cryonics is LOTS more members, which would mean lots more money for research.

And how do we get lots more members? By targeting an audience that is orders of magnitude larger--ordinary people!! Darwin is talking to a few hundred people, and maybe 5000 people at best.

But when I say that the Bible commands the followers of Jesus to raise the dead and that cryonics is the way to that, I am talking to tens of millions of people. When I say that soem scientists say that the universe will go on forever just as it is, and that Jesus wants us to live as immortals on this earth, in this eternal universe, I am talking to millions. The real goal is immortality, not extended lifespan. And the Bible shows the way to that.

If you want to perfect cryonics and cryopreservation, you need the membership dues of a million members, not 1000 members.

Cloistered, incestuous, inward looking. This is the culture of cryonics. Just as we cryos shut ourselves off from the world as young kids by reading science fiction books, we do the same thing now by speaking only to those who are like ourselves.

And we see the results--1000 members after 40 years.

Quote
Like
Share

Joined: October 2nd, 2004, 8:27 pm

December 20th, 2010, 4:47 am #3

After all the shady crap Alcor has presented over the years, I bet you're still a member, right? That's because you have no sense of business or other ethics needed to make cryonics credible to the world. You, OTOH, think it should be marketed using religion and churches, and you are an admitted atheist! That is worse hypocrisy than any "sins" presented by Alcor or its board, that I know of. But it's no wonder you still think they are great, probably for having put your own dues income moneys at risk by extending illegal credit to celebrities, and now slapping run-of-the-mill members' in the face yet again by forming a secret elite in the double-digits who get ITS storage and YOU DON'T, which only proves you are still Alcor's official Bird as I dubbed you years ago - THE OSTRICH with your head in the sand.

Alcor, OTOH, if it is to have any chance at long-term survival, needs foremost, INTEGRITY, and that demonstrated over decades of time. Alas, it has not even begun this paradigm.

Thanks for the opportunity to tell this story,

FD
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: October 2nd, 2004, 8:27 pm

December 21st, 2010, 5:59 pm #4

The recent release to the public by Mike Darwin via the publicly-readable Google Group "cryonics-europe", of Parts 1-3 of his "Cryonics Failure Analysis" PDFs, in particular of revealing material in Part 3, and a response on the same Group by Brian Wowk, should be serious cause for concern by all cryonicists, especially Alcor members.

To begin with, the following excerpts from Darwin's Part 3 on pages 82-84:

"Unfortunately, if we also take a hard look at the quality of clinical care most cryonics patients are receiving it seems unlikely, bordering on impossible, that they are realizing much benefit from 'vitrification' as it is currently being practiced. ... fracturing occurs in solutions or tissues that vitrify (even partially) when they are cooled to below Tg (glass transition point). As you can see in this slide (225) such fracturing is quite dramatic when seen in a flask of transparent vitrification solution. It is even more dramatic when it happens to the brains of humans who are cryopreserved using significant concentrations of glass forming cryoprotectants ... In fact, the temperature and the degree to which fracturing occurs upon cooling to below Tg is in large measure a function of the glass forming ability of the cryoprotectant agent(s) with which the tissue has been treated. What this means for vitrified patients is that they will experience more serious fracturing than frozen patients. ... The Tg of the vitrification solutions now in clinical use are in the range of ~ -120 to -135C which would suggest that a relatively 'safe' storage temperature will be in the range of ~ -135 to -145C."

The key issue here is that both organizations that currently use vitrification as the cryopreservation protocol for their patients who are in good enough condition for it, regularly and customarily follow it up with storage at liquid nitrogen temperature, way colder than the recommended safe temperature range mentioned above. Darwin believes the vitrified patient stored at liquid nitrogen temperature experiences more fracturing than a patient who is merely frozen!

Under development for years, Intermediate Temperature Storage (ITS) systems are now available which prevent a vitrified patient from experiencing temperatures outside the safe range above.

On page 88 of his Part 3, Darwin writes: "The ITS system developed by Brian Wowk at 21CM works by storing the patients in a highly conductive and well insulated chamber contained within a standard high vacuum cryogenic dewar. Liquid nitrogen provides the refrigeration and compact, solid-state heaters maintain the temperature in the patient storage chamber at the desired temperature within a fraction of a degree C. And yet these units are not being used by Alcor, or any other cryonics organization even now, 4 years after they were first validated!"

Brian Wowk, who is also an Alcor board member, says this in response to the above, on the "cryonics-europe" Forum:

"Actually the ITS unit you describe was quietly purchased, delivered, and put into service by Alcor in December, 2008, for neuropatients who had privately arranged for storage at intermediate temperatures. This was never publicly announced, in part because it was followed shortly afterward by an Alcor management change. There will be an article about it in a 2011 issue of Cryonics magazine. The board still has to decide whether to offer this storage mode to the general membership given that it is believed to presently only reduce fractures, not eliminate them, and that long-term storage in this system is approximately three times more expensive than Bigfoot storage."

Will Alcor never learn??!! It is bad enough that its board believes it is good and proper to occasionally give preferential treatment to "special people" such as celebrities, in particular as to the financial arrangements (e.g., Ted Williams). The above example of preferential treatment and lack of integrity far exceeds the Williams matter in impropriety!! In letting a handful of members secretly sign up for ITS service, it created a whole secret class of members, elite, unknown until now by the ordinary member.

Worse yet, in Mike Darwin's view, that handful of "elite" members are the only ones with even a remote chance of benefitting from being cryopreserved by vitrification. The others, the "rabble" class of Alcor member - "bordering on impossible" he says. Not to mention he thinks they experience worse fracturing than those merely frozen!

IMO, in view of all the above, Alcor should have only 14 members left: those who will fit in the one ITS unit smilingly demonstrated by Wowk on page 87 (slide 229) of Darwin's Part 3, obviously the same 14 "elite" members who were permitted to secretly sign up for a privileged level of ITS service. Since there are only 7 compartments shown in the device, I would assume that each elite member has also chosen their favorite roommate for this exciting and chilling adventure.

The rest of you Alcor members who were not given the opportunity to enter the secret chambers, and who will be worse off for being vitrified than merely frozen? - upon learning of this latest shameless, arrogant and corrupt act by Alcor's board (accountable to no one), will you let them know by your vote exactly what you think of it? That would be the only vote you have - with your feet.

Disgusted,

FD
Someone who knows way better than me, pointed out something that should be clarified:

While lowering vitrified tissue below the glass transition point (Tg) probably causes more cracking than freezing to the same temperature does, freezing tears up molecular structure not seen in vitrified tissue, causing possibly unrepairable damage (it's likely much easier to just mend a crack), so I probably misstated in saying that vitrified patients lowered to liquid nitrogen temperature with resultant cracking are worse off than those frozen to that temperature.

Alas, that does not change the facts that cracking (fracturing) is not desirable either, Intermediate Temperature Storage units greatly reduce the chance of cracking, and neither Alcor nor CI provide that to their members as the storage component of their services, other than Alcor to its 14 or so formerly-secret elite insider bunch.

Regrettably,

FD
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: June 5th, 2009, 12:29 am

December 22nd, 2010, 3:00 am #5

After all the shady crap Alcor has presented over the years, I bet you're still a member, right? That's because you have no sense of business or other ethics needed to make cryonics credible to the world. You, OTOH, think it should be marketed using religion and churches, and you are an admitted atheist! That is worse hypocrisy than any "sins" presented by Alcor or its board, that I know of. But it's no wonder you still think they are great, probably for having put your own dues income moneys at risk by extending illegal credit to celebrities, and now slapping run-of-the-mill members' in the face yet again by forming a secret elite in the double-digits who get ITS storage and YOU DON'T, which only proves you are still Alcor's official Bird as I dubbed you years ago - THE OSTRICH with your head in the sand.

Alcor, OTOH, if it is to have any chance at long-term survival, needs foremost, INTEGRITY, and that demonstrated over decades of time. Alas, it has not even begun this paradigm.

Thanks for the opportunity to tell this story,

FD
Use the ross forums complaints, as a what to do list to make cryonics credible.
Then actually do it!

TA DA!

Unfortunately, for un, un is one of the problems. 8D
Quote
Like
Share

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

December 22nd, 2010, 7:08 am #6

Given the mindless repetitious ranting and outrageous distortions at the ross forum, I sincerely doubt they have any clue what needs fixing in cryonics nor any sincere desire to fix it. I don't know how anyone in their right mind could consider them the slightest bit credible.

Even David Gerard, who fought with some of them against scientology a few years back, acknowledges that they are currently completely off their rocker on this issue. Their entire topic of discussion has been, from the start, not whether cryonics is a cult but how it is a cult. They're playing with loaded dice. It's not fair, and it's not right.

I'm more inclined to trust the critics who have an actual interest in the success of cryonics, e.g. Mike Darwin and Charles Platt. A disinterested third party in their right mind who understands what they are talking about would be worth listening to as well.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: June 5th, 2009, 12:29 am

December 22nd, 2010, 2:42 pm #7

You'll please notice I wasn't specific.
I did notice one of them just mostly foams at the mouth.
That said, I also noticed there was some points to find worth the effort of reading through the crap.
Would anyone like me to make a list here for discussion?
Knowing the "enemy" and the weapons he's using against you would be valuable. (I think)
Dismissing them as nutcases is the ez way out, and won't advance cryonics.
Working on their criticisms might advance cryonics in the eyes of the general public....
Think of melody maxim as the safety officer,
and ross institute as quality control ;)

Quote
Like
Share

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

December 22nd, 2010, 3:14 pm #8

That sounds like a great idea. I trust you to be at least honestly trying to see both sides.

I'm still of the opinion that there's nothing terribly wrong with cryonics as it is, it just needs more warm bodies, especially of folks with solid social and organizational skills.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: September 16th, 2010, 2:14 pm

December 22nd, 2010, 5:10 pm #9

You'll please notice I wasn't specific.
I did notice one of them just mostly foams at the mouth.
That said, I also noticed there was some points to find worth the effort of reading through the crap.
Would anyone like me to make a list here for discussion?
Knowing the "enemy" and the weapons he's using against you would be valuable. (I think)
Dismissing them as nutcases is the ez way out, and won't advance cryonics.
Working on their criticisms might advance cryonics in the eyes of the general public....
Think of melody maxim as the safety officer,
and ross institute as quality control ;)
> Would anyone like me to make a list here for discussion?

Please do. There is no way I'm wading through everything there, but I'd like a sane and sanitized list of their objections for consideration.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: September 16th, 2010, 2:14 pm

December 22nd, 2010, 5:11 pm #10

That sounds like a great idea. I trust you to be at least honestly trying to see both sides.

I'm still of the opinion that there's nothing terribly wrong with cryonics as it is, it just needs more warm bodies, especially of folks with solid social and organizational skills.
> I'm still of the opinion that there's nothing terribly wrong with cryonics as it is, it just needs more warm bodies

More warm bodies taking care of more cold bodies.
Quote
Like
Share