“Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so.” — Bertrand Russell
Wouldn't you rather participate in the experimental group
or can you truly prefer to remain with the control group?
Cryonics: less crazy than the alternative!
The Kriosgrad Project
The prospect of Integrated RecoverySM
A new business model towards universal coverage for cryonic neurosuspension as facilitated
by the crafting of lasting social institutions and optimal non zero-sum strategic alliances of winning synergy
New concepts in subversive Thanato-Futurology:
As yet still a proposal for free cryonic neurosuspension as an optional incentive in reward for organ/body donors.
So simple in principle, yet so complicated logistically.
My name is Aaron Agassi, and there's a serious gap in my healthcare coverage, that causes me understandable anxiety: Dental is limited, spinal care (Chiropractic, massage, acupuncture, etc.) is not covered, but perhaps worst of all, I am without coverage for Cryonic Suspension in case of death by whatever cause. Therefore, like so many others, I am trying to arrange appropriate contingency plans within budget. I have struggled with the logistics and to control the expenses, but the delays and obstructions in resolution only drag on and on indefinitely.
What we all need is a turnkey solution!
And so, here is my standing offer to the human materials industry: Let me be the first to offer to posthumously donate my entire body for every medical, scientific or educational purpose whatsoever, with special stipulations regarding for my brain, brainstem and spinal cord, that immediately upon death, my brain, brainstem and spinal cord, as scientific donations, will immediately be administered anti-ischemic treatment and Cryostabilzation, then placed and maintained in Cryonic Suspension, pending technological advance, until such future time as I may be restored to life and full health.
After all, donors remain perpetually in critical short supply. What could be more fair than the chance for life in reciprocity? How would such provision be any different in principle, than the currently topical idea of bumping up donors in priority on the recipient lists? The additional similar provision in question that by distinction, disadvantages no one, is only fair and the decent thing to do. -A win-win scenario and an obvious bargain: Why, monetary donations at all equivalent to the various fees and expenses collected pursuant to to the harvest and transplant of my kidneys alone, or even just tissue banking my bone marrow, would more than cover the costs of my Neurocryonization overseas! And I am confident that many others besides myself will also be very interested in becoming donors on these terms and stipulations, if only offered.
And so, human materials industry, any takers? The desire to escape death by means of advanced future technology, indeed the very will to survive, is so often vilified as morbidly selfish. But as with many like minded, my only hesitation in becoming a donor, is my interest in Cryonics. However, if whatever needless procedural conflicts as may come between the different life saving procedures, can only be worked out logistically, then I'm all in, because, after all, I never blame, but fully empathize and sympathize, in all solidarity, with all others who, by whatever opportune and feasible contingencies, only want to live, just as we all do.
So, what's your excuse, gentle reader? If you spurn Cryonics, then why aren't you an organ donor already?
What follows is a case presentation for a new business model towards free universal Cryonics coverage, in rehabilitation of Cryonics by inclusion in a proposed improved coordination of all medical/scientific/educational cadaverous donation herein dubbed: Integrated Recovery.
The ultimate heroic measure in preservation of life, is Cryonic Suspension, a method of preservation and storage of the clinically dead using current technology, however crude, in hopes of future restoration to life, health and youthful vigor via significant future technological advance. For this, however, only the brain is most crucial to preserve. Cryonic Neurosuspention is the cryonization only of the brain and brainstem, which is far less costly than full body Cryonic Suspension. But some consider the spinalcord and especially the lumbar sacral plexus, possible important. Therefore option of cryonization all thereof as well, is herein dubbed: Full Neurosuspention.
Different kinds of post mortem body, organ and tissue donations, are so poorly integrated as even to come into legal and logistical conflict. This is wasteful, considering the critical shortage of donors. What is needed is a comprehensive integrated mode of post mortem donation. Cryonic neurosupension should also be integrated, if so desired. There is no reason why anyone who wishes to benefit from contingencies for Cryonic Neurosuspension, the Cryonization of the brain only (or even Full Neuro), should not also be able to be a post mortem donor of everything else! Indeed, herein is proposed, that as an incentive, Cryonic Neurosuspension for any donor that wants it, could be readily covered even as an almost negligible expense, from the revenues in tissue storage and other services crucial in the life saving endeavors of organ and tissue transplantation and scientific research.
What a marvelous reciprocity towards mutual human survival! It's only fair, after all, and just the decent thing to do. Nothing is simply too good, that can be imagined and desired.
Automated Network Sociometry and Project Kriosgrad are two vastly different social entrepreneurship business models showcased here on FoolQuest.com nevertheless bearing in common strategy of offering innovative and transformative services to the public that urgently need to be universal and free of charge in order to function broadly as necessary in society, all at comparably negligible cost from tremendous profit potential in the range of lucrative fee and commission based service byproducts, with the empathy and deep human understanding for reframing commerce for innovation of whole new areas for growth.
Deathism, in bigotry against Cryonics, remains subtle and insidious. Actually only the most vulgar and marginal are openly hostile. Only the most hysterical plot obstruction. And yet, our frustration remains with sheer inertia, societally. Cryonics is not taken seriously, and trying to get anything done can be frustrating. Cryonics still is not integrated into the mainstream of care, thus denied crucially needed infrastructure. Indeed in quest of logistics, the most straightforward of business arrangements and relationships, even initially promising, tend mysteriously to stall and pitter out stillborn. Ironically, it often seems that it is Cryonics itself that displays suspended animation! Saul Kent, no less, has put forth that we have done it to ourselves, by retreating from the main stream and seeking to go it alone. We have not been team players! Integrated Recovery is a new business model seeking to amend the reclusion of Cryonics in a big way.
The feasibility of Cryonics?
While there are volumes of expert publication in support of the prospect of delayed resuscitation and reanimation from cryonization, in all this time and after so much fuss there are still none to demonstrate the contrary position how and why reanimation from cryonization would be impossible or unfeasible, scientifically or technologically. For despite all admittedly daunting challenges and serous problems that must be fearlessly confronted and addressed, Cryonics presents a tantalizing engineering feasibility in principle, the best of a bad job in preserving dead brain tissue at extremely cold temperature, making do with currently available methods however crude, even as some would complain: thanklessly desperately well meaning and amateurishly botched, until such time as the technology progresses for the reconstruction therefrom of the personality, all nevertheless, like unto data recovered from a crashed hard dive! Significant advances in neuroscience, computing power and nanotechnology will all be required. In principle it all hinges upon progress, and in practice, at all if barely adequate long term preservation and logistics with luck against all mishap over the years. And as shall ne seen, the proposed program of Integrated Recovery, by breaking the current and lacerable reclusion of Cryonics, will also greatly advance vital professionalism therein.
Imagine the emergence of a promising but uncertain potentially lifesaving treatment, that first allows keeping otherwise terminal and by then otherwise dead patients indefinitely comatose, while scientists continue for as long as it will take, to work out the second stage of the treatment in order to effect revival and complete cure. Or imagine a time machine as a last resort for sending currently incurable patients into the future for more advanced medicine, but we won't know if the patients arrive safely on the other end, until that future arrives. Such is the prospect of Cryonic Suspension of the clinically dead.
So, is current preservation even possibly sufficient, no matter future technological progress? Indeed, exactly what is the minimum required success in preservation for the theoretical feasibility of reanimation? As Saul Kent points out, mainstream Cryobiologists are often as skeptical as nanotechnologists can be optimistic. Everyone needs to listen more. But that's just Socratic Wisdom.
Yes, improvement in the preservation technology to begin with, will be most welcomed. And there is hope of breakthrough in a nondestructive actually chemically reversible preservation process. There has even been progress in chemical free cryopreservation without damage. But such measures remain contingent upon even uniform cooling, so that success has only been achieved with tissue shavings on slides. But from a standpoint of hydraulics, it should be possible to make use of the circulatory system of the brain, for gradual and uniform cooling. And this poses an ongoing research challenge, however underserved and underfunded, only to basic mechanical engineering. And now there is new hope:
Indeed, ischemia may be averted by means of RhinoChill: A New Way to Cool the Brain Quickly, eliminating trade-offs by first of all actually improving chances of short term revival, let alone improving preparation for cryonization, instead of surrendering immediate hope of revivakl to the lethal toxicity and liability of chemical anti-ischemics for the last ditch contingency of cryonization. Indeed, just conceivably, perhaps under optimum conditions, by somehow or other provision also for ongoing oxygenation along with gradual uniform cooling in some conceivable artificial circulation process, the very neurocellular process of life might actually be maintained more smoothly into suspension, not just suspending the dying process and merely arresting decay. However, even bringing into practice all such crucial advances and improvements, cryonization will still remain a significant trouble and expense, a long shot far off the beaten path, the ultimate heroic measure of last resort in the preservation of life. But the struggle for survival on the frontiers of adversity, has always been so.
KrioRus, currently based in Moscow, already offers Cryonic neurosuspension at the unheard of impulse range bargain price of a paltry ten thousand dollars. And so often contending with widespread financial hardship throughout Eastern Europe, they even often work out payment plans over time for the families of cryonized patients.
KrioRus also coordinates the international interdisciplinary research effort in development of a comprehensive diagram of the aging process, that organizes out from confusion and obscurity, the sheer unsorted bulk of hitherto inert medical and scientific knowledge into a comprehensive branching timeline revealing even at a glance, viable strategies for intervention and directions for further research, into the conquest of the single greatest health hazard and killer of all, the pervasive congenital degenerative condition known as aging.
When I first discovered the KrioRus website, I was quickly impressed by the mission statement, to make Cryonic suspension the standard contingency, and by their offer to assist Cryonics activist around the world. Here was a door standing open to me, where I found at last, an outlet for aspirations and ideas that hither to I had no clue how or where to pursue, beyond perhaps simply browsing and posting online to whatever various Cryonics forums.
I have been very pleased to engage at length in far ranging and in depth conversation of strategic problem solving in cooperation with KrioRus. This electronic document is a recruitment outreach towards formation of a working group towards feasibility study ultimately towards management team formation and new venture creation.
Post to my blog on KrioRus.ru or just email me if it's private.
Prospects for the rehabilitation of Cryonics from taboo,
often so dangerously, unjustly and irrationally despised and even persecuted
“Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.” — Benjamin Disraeli
Cryonics is so taboo, and neurosuspension in particular so subject of ridicule and revulsion, that squeamish objections often become unintelligible and unfathomably bereft of good faith sensmaking. Nevertheless, Cryonics providers in policy turning against neurosuspension, dropping the service and advising clients against it, in no small part for fear of adverse Public Relations, is frankly reminiscent of Blacks straightening their hair and Gays butching up: More risk of weakness, lost opportunity, division and wastefully duplicated effort, than any hope of advancing public acceptance by ever softening the most virulent opposition. This is not metaphorically flying under the radar, but rather the timid paralysis of the proverbial deer trapped in the oncoming headlights.
Cryonic Neurosuspension is the Cryonization of the brain and brainstem, all the more seemingly macabre, actually decapitation and freezing the entire head, because the skull is relied upon as the best protective vessel for the brain, already provided by nature. But people seldom make such a fuss over a cadaver's brain on display in a glass jar for purposes of medical education, even despite long becoming such a staple of monster movies, as are, after all, by far the more macabre standard burial practices to dwell thereupon. Therefore, might a Cyonized brain likewise excised from the skull and thus with no dead staring face hanging thereupon, possibly ever meet with at all any less squeamish public reception? After all, indeed Cryonics at all to begin with, meets with such stubborn resistance.
peace of mind
that comes in knowing that every helpful possibility is well implemented
The proverbial elephant in the room
Who wants to live forever? Everyone, really! What we all sorely need can be nothing less than or short of practical immortality, affordably at that. Indeed, even though death is well recognized among the roots of Existential depression in the human condition, nevertheless death itself is still generally simply accepted as inevitable while Cryonics no matter how rational, remains not merely uncertain, expensive and inconvenient, but perhaps worse: abstract and intangible. Indeed, a significant obstacle may be sheer public failure of imagination. Hence even the taboos against Cryonics and Radical Life Extension may be regarded as only a special application of the much broader taboo upon relevance itself and even upon hope at all, so blithely dismissed as pipedream for wont of prior authoritative foundation or justification. And yet perhaps hope endures nevertheless:
“Death is evil, so the gods have judged, or they all would die!” — Sappho
Environmentalism once so obscure, dismissed and consigned to the lunatic fringe, quickly rose to the top of the mainstream political agenda. How then likewise to achieve widespread acceptance for and finance of Cryonics coverage for everyone?
Answer: By overcoming both failure of imagination and virulent prejudice and taboo against Cryonics via the repositioning of Cryonics currently so stigmatized as morbid and unnaturally selfish, instead as a byproduct of a well understood, accepted, established and authoritatively benevolent institutional process:
But how? Answer: Simply by offering Cryonic Neurosuspension as an optional incentive for post mortem cadaverous donation to science and medicine, for research and chemical extraction, for surgical transplant, for education, organs, skeleton, tissue, etc., everything except for the brain to be cryonized, though technically another separate experimental scientific donation. This would entail an integration of the different post mortem donations that currently may even come into legal and logistical conflict, needlessly and wastefully.
Although, technically, under law, no money may change hands for the organs and samples themselves, there is a tremendous, some would say obscene, amount of money and profit, tied up in all aspects of post mortem recovery, storage or: banking and emergency transportation of scarce bodies, organs, tissue, chemical extraction, etc., from which added expenses of neurocryonization and interment would be easily affordable for the gain of each crucial additional post mortem donation.
After all, supply is short except in countries such as France among other nations, where consent is presumed and everyone is a post mortem donor by default unless one explicitly opts out. Another proposed solution is a policy of “required response” or “mandated choice” would require that all competent individuals record an explicit choice regarding organ donation. But as things stand, donor recruitment efforts are disorganized and inconsistent, and not only are the numbers of registered donors low to begin with, but worse still, so is the percentage of registered donors whose organs are actually harvested after their death. And so the murderous burgeoning trade in black market organs thrives, while thousands die on the waiting lists. Debate actually rages aver serious proposals of making it legal to sell ones own kidney on the open market! (Think twice: You might indeed live with only one kidney, but you'll probably need both in order to stay healthy.)
The need for the crafting of enduring social institutions
I have discovered nothing less than a convincing argument for all to many, to even go on living:
I have found, generally, that though the dying and the imminently bereaved just won't go for the option of Cryonization, they are nevertheless profoundly appreciative of the unique extra effort of thought and it's extra measure of kindness. So, how to get any further?
Interestingly, I had opportunity briefly to discuss my ideas of Integrated Recovery with an acquaintance openly uncomfortable with if not hostile indeed actually towards the very notion of Cryonic Suspension, and rejecting the prospect. As I understand it, he is a registered organ donor and a regular blood donor. And so I asked him, hypothetically, how he'd feel about being offered Cryonic Neurosuspension (in hopes of delayed resuscitation and reanimation, eventual future technology permitting, in order then to go on living anew) as an entirely optional reward in thankful appreciation for his public service signing up as a donor. And lo, he replied that indeed he might feel better and more comfortable about the option on those terms, where they to be implemented!
Repeatedly, resistance of distinct discomfort or indifference (but not any other stronger interpersonal friction or resistance), was reversed dramatically by the aforementioned re-contextualization then even praised as a good idea. If informal results continue to be so promising, then perhaps a focus group might be in order and quite illuminating. The new business model of Integrated Recovery could be just the thing to address syndromes of anxiety and survivor guilt, and finally get more people off the fence about both Cryonics and post mortem donation!
No one left behind
Universal coverage via Integrated Recovery
If the Bioconservatives perceive that Emortalism, in pressing the obvious, indignantly mocks them, then quite frankly they would be correct. Effective mass persuasion is not abstract nor does it press the obvious or tautological, rather it must appeal to values of deep sentiment, by meaningful and consequential action in demonstration rather than by polemics. Whereas literal self preservation is so readily and blithely decried as morbid and unfair to others, only sympathy for bereaved families has garnered any public approval of Cryonics. Indeed, far from shock and horror, in my experience the offer of assistance and connection in making urgent Cryonics arrangement for the dying and bereaved, is warmly appreciated yet generally declined, for whatever stated reasons, perhaps as if even loath actually to expect too much and somehow to press undue imposition upon life itself! It only goes to show the sheer thwarted irrelevance of altruism except given selfish needs and desires of others in order respond to so altruistically. And that is precisely why the one moral charge in particular, against Cryonics and Radical Life Extension, of selfishness against nature, actually turns out to be the one Moralistic Deathist argument that can be most resoundingly rebutted in persuasively demonstrative action. Meanwhile, the resistance and inconvenience of patient cost and logistics must finally be untangled.
Therefore, let Cryonics take PR position in favorable light before the collective psyche: A powerful and enduring myth indeed, is that of salvation by the redemptive formula of equivalent exchange for human transmutation, protection for the individual from the sting of death, purchased by works of faith, acts of charity effortlessly employing, in one remaining opportunity, that for which they can have no more worldly use. -A sacrifice coming at little sacrifice, like lead in to gold, a new cycle of help, mitzvah, wherewithal, hope and commiseration in tragedy, to replace the ancient cycle of helpless sin and redemption only by mortification of self or else other, penance or else extracted revenge and humiliation. Postmortem organ and tissue donation is a point of light in an ocean of bereaved despair and darkness. Neurocryonozation for the donor, can only fan that flame at least a little brighter.
Indeed, arguing mythologically, the concept of Integrated Recovery incorporates Cryonics into what amounts to the most plausible possible active self affirming and pro-social expression and fulfillment of the redemptive formula instead of vaguely blaspheming against it and arousing only ignorant resistance to what is decried as unnatural selfishness. Indeed, interfaith work and relations will also be desirable for meeting the needs and sensitivities of patients of different creeds, various rights and ceremonies, the consecration of Cryonic vessels and more.
Disheartening as it may be to witness such blithely ubiquitous disrespect towards the individualism and responsible autonomy demonstrated even in looking into Cryonics for oneself and ones loved ones, in whatever unwarranted malign equivalency with amoral yet judgmental Objectivism, nevertheless, embrace of the values of reciprocity, give and take, the ideals of social entrepreneurship: doing well by doing good, all as epitomized in the concept of Integrated Recovery, can be no less welcome. Therefore, let the dire Necromancy of Cryonics, after all the only true hope of resurrection barring, if ever, the advent of retrograde time travel technology, join with our routine vampirism of blood transfusion and the sheer commonplace Frankenscience of organ transplantation, in the respectability of good will and reciprocity within the human family.
Integrated Recovery is a new business model and bold concept in subversive Thanato-Futurology towards universal coverage for cryonic neurosuspension as facilitated by the crafting of lasting social institutions and optimal non zero-sum strategic alliances of winning synergy: Free cryonic neurosuspension as reward for organ/body donors. So simple in principle, yet so complicated logistically.
The ultimate heroic measure in preservation of life, is Cryonic Suspension, a method of preservation and storage of the clinically dead using current technology, however crude, in hopes of future restoration to life, health and youthful vigor via significant future technological advance. For this, however, only the brain is most important to preserve. Cryonic Neurosuspention is the cryonization only of the brain, which is far less costly than whole body Cryonic Suspension.
Some people of whatever their own sensibilities, may deliberately opt for any one mode of post mortem donation among many, but not another. Whereas, many other people might opt to maximize their contribution, if only offered the alternative. Indeed, one might naively assume from the most obvious common sense, that optimization of a so scarce and vital a resource would be the norm. Alas, however, on actuality, different kinds of post mortem body, organ and tissue donations, are so poorly integrated as even to come into legal and logistical conflict. This is lamentably wasteful, considering the critical shortage of donors. What is needed is a comprehensive integrated mode of post mortem donation. Cryonic neurosupension should also be integrated, if so desired. There is no reason why anyone who wishes to benefit from contingencies for Cryonic Neurosuspension, the Cryonization of the brain only, should not also be able to be a post mortem donor of everything else! Indeed, herein is proposed, that as an incentive, Cryonic Neurosuspension for any donor that wants it, could be readily covered even as an almost negligible expense, from the revenues in tissue storage and other services crucial in the life saving endeavors of organ and tissue transplantation and scientific research. What a marvelous reciprocity towards human survival! It's only fair, after all, and just the decent thing to do. Nothing is simply too good, that can be imagined, desired and striven for to the full measure of human ingenuity!
At this point as things stand, alas the optimum strategy for overseas patients of KrioRus, would probably be to fly one way into Moscow while still barely alive! Because long delayed standing repatriation arrangements are still in the works, and the red tape is overwhelming. For another thing, although, remarkably, within Russia hospitals actually cooperate and open their facilities for Cryonics at the wish of dying patients, there are as yet no provisions for standby teams and cryostablization, for foreign patients, who arrive without benefit thereof, aside from cooling in transit, being packed cold by the mortuary shipping. That is no small part of why the fees at KrioRus remain so low: They only begin upon patient arrival.
Indeed, Cryonics standby teams are extremely exorbitant! But under Integrated Recovery, Emergency Medical Personnel would begin cooling and stabilizing patients, for the entire gamut of heroic measure, as appropriate, and work with organ harvesting teams trained also for harvest and preparation towards Cryonic Neurosupension and even Full Neuro, anti-ischemia included. -Then safe and reliable transport into Cryonic internment. All cost would be covered, profitably to the transplant and human materials industry, with no financial burden to the families of the Cryonics patients having already made their contribution as donors, to recipients also gaining their own new lease on life.
Oh, those tragically misguided Egyptians and their mummies! The brain, viewed as no more than a radiator for cooling the blood, they simply discarded. Instead, in their canopic jars, the ancient Egyptians preserved the wrong organs, organs and more that modern medicine uses, instead, in modern mitzvah, miracles of science, in the blessing conferred of saving other lives. For what is there that qualifies as the soul, essential to consciousness and identity, except in terms of memory, experience and refection, information as encoded in the brain? Cryonics is the true enterprise of faith and hope, precisely because it is uncertain. Take a chance, what is there to lose? After all, deep down, we all have always ever only wanted much the same thing: unthreatened survival, time to flourish in happiness free from needless danger.
And one day together we may yet proclaim, in the trenchant prose of Philip K. Dick: "What God promises, we deliver!"
Finally, the 9/11 First Responders Health Care Bill is passed. But for too many of the heroic 9/11 First Responders, their only comfort will be in the knowledge that their palliative care will not bankrupt their loved ones. And that just won't do! Indeed, do those heroic and tragic 9/11 First Responders who have truly ultimately sacrificed in order to save lives, who are diagnosed as terminal, deserve anything less than Cryonic Neurosuspnsion for any who want it? Integrated Recovery would offer a way. Now, the organs and tissues from bodies that sick and damaged, might be of limited use, except perhaps in scientific study of the pathologies, which is also important of course. But much as in an insurance pool that includes those better off along with the most needy in order to balance the books, the rest of us then, by also signing up to participate in Integrated Recovery, would thereby help to carry the expense for the terminal 9/11 First Responders. As ever, participants in the proposed Integrated Recovery program would be helping other while helping themselves. The prospect of Integrated Recovery brings hope that together, we can strive towards even howsoever uncertain second chances, rational science and technology marshaled in the preservation of life and in valiant opposition to the ever looming darkness of deranged lunatic Fundamentalist hardcore Deathism, relentless in deranged exhortation to seek, embrace and share annihilation.
Indeed, I imagine one day perhaps actually working in Integrated Recovery donor/cryo-patient recruitment. As you can see, I even went ahead and designed a business card!
Cryonics failure to launch: The crisis in business planning and implementation
The dire need for the crafting of enduring social institutions
The value of long term community partnership and strategic alliance
Although, technically, under law, no money may change hands for the organs and samples themselves, there is a tremendous, some would say obscene, amount of money and profit, tied up in all aspects of post mortem recovery, storage or: banking and emergency transportation of bodies, organs, tissue, chemical extraction, etc., from which added expenses of neurocryonization and interment would be easily affordable for the gain of each crucial additional post mortem donation.
Cryonics businesses need to widen profit margins by moving forward in taking any market share of the routine Cryogenic storage of various human and livestock tissue samples as well. Indeed, as the first lynchpin of Integrated Recovery as a new business model, likely in legal and transparent collaboration with mortuaries, Cryonics diversification into post mortem tissue extraction and storage is where the big money is to be found in order to drive growth industry in financial support of universal neurocryonization coverage free of charge to donors along, also, with the steady development of indispensible world class facilities in Cryogenics and Cryobiology and major research fund raising. For finance and other indispensible services will be key.
· The Nasty Side of Organ Transplanting: Body Parts and Business
“NO cryonics millionnaire has left substantial cash flow or working capital to the "next generation" of cryonics activists [only] "perpetual trust" whereby cryonics millionnaires have legally tied up their estates” — Rick Potvin
If indeed the cryonics millionaires will never see reason and rally in solidarity within the Cryonics community in order to break reclusion, then other sources if capital, though scarcely any more readily accessible, must be cultivated via the proposed strategic alliances entailed in the institutionalization of Integrated Recovery.
The task will never be easy: Much as Environmentalism rose in urgency, from the crackpot margins to the top of the respectable global political agenda, likewise so too must Cryonics and Radical Life Extension. Indeed, the Mormon hospitals, charities and disaster relief, along with the famed Mormon Tabernacle Choir, for that matter, if somewhat less constructively, the multimillion dollar enterprises of Church of Scientology, like unto the vital commercial network and facilities of the Jews in Medieval Europe, all demonstrate how to become influential, indispensible and respectable even whilst remaining stigmatized. Rich and powerful institutions can also afford significant political lobbies. And this will be crucial given that the demands of Cryonics need to be facilitated by reformation of practices not only in repatriation of the dead, but also rescue, medical evacuation and more.
Inconvenience is another barrier in the market and to the consumer. If ordinary funeral arrangements are already a costly tribulation and distress, then Cryonics logistics are a discouraging exorbitant hurdle fraught with daunting stumbling blocks engendering hesitation and procrastination. Cryonics preparation cannot remain such a lonely test of committed responsibility and personal well organized preparedness unto oxymoronic Nietzschean Moralism. Smooth and reliable turn-key procedures must be realistically coordinated, implemented and made available to all ASAP.
The secure broad acceptance of Cryonics remains a problem quite aside from technology, a challenge of the creation of enduring social institutions, even in the face of hostility. Solid corporate facilities are a major improvement in stability from the dicey garage operations of yore, too often so fraught with incompetence, fraud and scandal. But not nearly improved enough. There is legitimate concern that Cryonics providers in the United Sates will simply face bankruptcy when the Baby Boomers begin dying out. Whereas as far as KrioRus, I hardly need remind anyone how that organization operates at the margins of a fairly unstable developing nation, with matters by no means improved by the recent international banking catastrophe.
Third party life insurance policies are the most common and recommended mechanism for financially securing Cryonic Suspension. But a good friend of mine in financial modeling suggested a far better idea: Insurance companies enhance their profits by using and reinvesting fees collected for years before ever paying out. A Cryonics company could benefit from the same flexibility by cutting out the middlemen by themselves doubling as an insurance provider. And the beneficiaries of insurance companies enjoy protection in case of corporate failure, that Cryonics patients do not. Indeed, Cryonics company could also enjoy all manner of protection from failure by obtaining permits and becoming its own bank.
Why, just imagine that Cryonicists might ever actually gain renown as the responsible conservative captains of finance, after all, in it for the long term!
Cryonics and fresh perspective: Resolving needless conflicts of interest
Hippocrates, The Doctor's Dilemma, Cryonics as a probortunity in the
Medical Ethics of organ transplantation
The Hippocratic oath taken by all Medical Doctors is famously summarized to admonish: "First, do no harm." Of course, though howsoever the unforeseen exempts no responsibility within the well foreseeable, it remains really impossible to literally do no harm at all, because there are always tradeoffs and unforeseen consequences. Moreover, occasionally there is no other option except for such manifestly and seriously harmful procedures indeed, as surgery, even amputation, and not to mention radiation and Chemotherapy, after all ever with life at stake. So perhaps the famous howsoever derivation from the Hippocratic Oath should be better understood as admonition to realistically minimize and avoid doing harm, as much as possible, practical and practicable.
Moreover while the practice of medicine, as likewise with education, is not experiment, both remain, nevertheless, experimental, guided by fallible hypothesis, trial and error. Therefore responsibility demands the open embrace of the experimental nature of human endeavor. Demanding impossible guarantees, only guarantees disaster. Indeed, much as security constraints most generally, must never exceed the boundaries of liberty and the dignity of risk by curtailing pursuit of happiness and thwarting gratification of any range of salient human needs, tangible and intangible, callow and profound, the same above Hippocratic admonition should also apply to the regulation of health care practice. In the process of providing patient protection, regulation must strive to avoid collateral damage of depriving patients of possibly beneficial options, most especially when there is nothing to lose.
No medicine or therapy should ever been deemed unsafe, except by comparison to whatever other available treatment options if any, and including simply doing nothing at all, but only as at all tenable within hope whatsoever. To wit: The patronizing truth, that with years of study and practice of medicine, comes a superior understanding, and an inevitable communication gap with the panicked and grief stricken layperson in the heat of the moment. -The doctor's considered appraisal, thereby, when continued efforts with no chance of success, becomes tantamount to willful torture for all concerned. Therefore controversy rages over the contention that patient autonomy is not an absolute moral right and that health care professionals sworn to do no harm, are actually thereby not only permitted, but are sometimes morally obligated, to withhold and/or withdraw futile treatments even if the patient or the patient's surrogate request, even demand! that the treatments continue, because of medical futility and therefore wasted effort and resources and needless and pointless suffering. -Also, by any possible implication, because of protracted desperation of false hope, where surrender would be more merciful for everyone concerned. And this skirts disturbingly with "termination without request or consent." After all, even the best doctors can be wrong, fallible, ever more often jaded, arrogant, Moralistic and no less overworked and overwrought than anyone else.
In the face of true medical futility otherwise, there should always be recourse to Cryonics on standby. Indeed, what more zealously stringent and concrete demarcation of medical futility might there be, but circumstances where continued support offers no hope of recovery and only worsens deterioration thus ultimately undermining best Cryonic preservation? How better to protect the interests of both desperately determined patients and/or proxies and of misunderstood compassionate doctors? Cryonics is the preservation, above all, of hope. And hope must never be squandered. We must no longer abandon our dead, much less the dying. If you really want us all to share a clinical attitude towards death, then at least provide clinical treatment for the dead.
Indeed, and as for Cryonics, what's the harm at all? The harm from Cryonics is nothing practical, but only to the peace of mind of squeamish sensibilities of Deathism being: whatever comfort of sour grapes taken in the morbid cultural glorification of death. The harm from the very idea of Cryonics therefore is a collateral damage from exercise of freedom of speech in the face of taboo. Which means that the solution is from greater freedom of speech, howsoever honest, straightforward, blatant and insensitive, or indeed approaching Deathism as a delicate Psychodynamic issue, Psychotherapeutically and Dialectically. And the Hippocratic Oath famously summarized as: "First do no harm" applies in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy as Freud's injunction against suggestion at all (let alone the devious manipulative conditionality and coercion intrinsic to Behavior Modification). And in the Psychodynamics of Deathism there is new hope in Public Relations via sensitive and effective counterpropaganda indeed as facilitated by all the appealing and pro-social aspects of Integrated Recovery in dealing with pervasive and pandemic societal survivor guilt complexes.
Of course, under actual current circumstances, via any conceivable arrangements of Integrated Recovery, it would be organ harvest that would mitigate not only onus but liability from cryostabilization, because a patient can hardly be deemed dead enough for organ donation, but not dead enough to be prepped for Cryonic Suspension! Nevertheless, as a matter of Medical Ethics, there is a great deal that integration with Cryonics might be able to accomplish for the sake of transplant medicine in order, as it where, to return the favor:
Controversial tough decisions deserve every sympathy and understanding towards the requisite hardnosed objectivity, but never exemption from equally tough criticism. Case in point, an even somewhat insidiously surreptitious and even needlessly mealy mouthed return to "non-heart beating" death criteria.
The return to "non-heart beating" circulatory death criteria (scroll down to bottom of linked page)
The dilemma is of how organ transplantation requires living viable organs for transplant, therefore the medical Ethics of organ donation seek definition of some demarcation for medical and legal death, but before the donor organs will become unsalvageably damaged. Even though coma patients have ever been known to awaken even after years, either on their own or with any new treatment breakthrough, statistically, the longer a patient remains comatose, the lower the chances ever of recovery and awakening. However, whereas, brain death is the distinct determination of observed diminished brainwave activity indicating cessation of higher brain function leaving only autonomic brain function for a patient sustained on life support and with diminishing distant little hope of recovery and resumption of higher brain function and consciousness, declaration of "non-heart beating" death upon claims of irreversible loss of circulatory and respiratory function, goes well beyond merely observation that at the given moment, for whatever reason, heart beat is no longer self sustaining necessitating life support to begin with. Hence, howsoever often even quite without actual brain death determination, 'Cardiopulmonary' or "non-heart beating" death is not actually a diagnosis at all, but a best prognosis of imminent death, a surrender of all hope for the donor patient in order to open the way for timely organ harvest. -Indeed, striving to establishing any workable boundary precisely because literal cardiac cessation of cardiac death is prevented by mechanical life support, and where allowed, would then preclude viable organ harvest, only at best any tissue and corneal donation. Hence given as often by convenience of accepted protocol, the custom of pronouncement of "non-heart beating" death simply premised upon whatever length of time on life support having not yet resulted in patient reconstitution to resume breathing independently, two taboo questions are begged that are then uncomfortably pressed by Cryonics, indeed much the self same legal conundrums that frequently jeopardize the practice Cryonics:
it's no wonder how serious
over death criteria
increasingly mounts as regards questions of adequate testing
Methodology: What, the donor is not actually brain dead yet?! Shouldn't anyone
even double-check?! And secondly: If
the donor is not clearly and definitively brain dead, then precisely what prevents independent
respiration from resuming naturally, and how, even by whatever costly and elaborate
unconventional heroic measures, might whatever underlying problem be
aggressively treated in order best to facilitate the successful achievement
of patient resuscitation? Answer: First by aggressive ongoing mechanical
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
with pure oxygen using a device called a heart-lung-resuscitator (HLR)
under anesthetic medication to reduce the brain's need for oxygen and also to
inhibit shivering, under temperature management,
cooling down (but not freezing or suspending) the whole body intact rather
than just the harvested organs. -In short by means of Induced Therapeutic
Hypothermia AKA Cryonics Stabilization in order to buy more time
for transport and surgery
to locate and repair whatever damage or obstruction actually prevents
resuscitation. Although, much as with transplantation surgery back during its
infancy, a tragically low success rate might be expected, whereas instead
the donor organs could far more reliably save far more other lives.
Nevertheless, all such extra effort on the behalf of the patient, regardless
if the patient is registered as a prospective donor, can only help allay
fearful urban mythology that organ donors will be denied full treatment, in
order to kill them in order to harvest their scarce organs! Moreover, in
the long term, such means of life support also greatly extends the window of
opportunity for viable organ harvest. So transplant may still remain a
possibility, in case whatever circulatory problem continues to defy
diagnosis and treatment, and only further decline seems likely.
So, all as above given, precisely how can Cryonics ever actually help extricate Transplant Medicine from so ghastly a classic Doctor's Dilemma, from dire moral quandary of triage, in climactic resolution beyond merely further unwelcome dramatic obstacle prolonging seemingly intractable moral complication even further?
Answer: Now, even if patients waiting on dry ice, are indeed often actually Cryonized hours or even days after often sudden and unexpected death, such is considered less than ideal, whereas, optimally, Cryonic Neurosuspension likewise seeks to harvest a different organ, the brain, likewise preferably in best condition as soon as possible, though for cryopreservation rather than say, taking the head for a precedent setting whole body transplantation (yes, an ambitious surgeon having retained facilities offshore, actually keeps a waiting list of adventuresome quadriplegics).
Hence, then, similarly the question will be of when to surrender diminishing hope in ongoing heroic effort at resuscitation and begin Integrated Recovery procedures. And thus the question now shifts from phony Epistemologically Methodologically and Ontologically dubious Faustian morally troubling procedural demarcations or indeed, to be more honest about it, hopeless prognosis of death in service of the pressingly real agonizing triage between the interests of donor candidates and those of waiting recipients, to instead merely deciding in best good faith, even however conjecturally and in doubt and with entirely enough second guessing and crushing Existential despair nevertheless, in the best interests of the patient, which option best improves chances of long term recovery by minimizing deterioration of the brain, continued life support or cryonization.
Thus, organ donation would remain a fortuitous byproduct as arising from misfortune, the metaphorical silver lining of the proverbial black cloud, and no longer a operant consideration of triage, while the glimmer of hope and meaning brightens in two fold new lease on life, for both neurocryonized donor and for grateful recipient. Moreover, under Integrated Recovery, with consequent legitimization for Cryonics in heroic preservation of life, medical institutions still howsoever derelict in the harvest of cadaverous donation from registered donors, will no longer merely be indirectly sealing the doom of some desperate and hapless unknowns at the bottom of the various recipient lists, but directly withholding vital treatment to the donors themselves as Cryonics patients.
What a shame then, that neither blood transfusion nor transplant surgery much care to be associated with Cryonics. Alas, no respectable vampire or Frankenscientists cares to be seem with a poor vile Necromancer!
Expanding compassionate end of life choices and care along with the range of heroic measures
Various death rights proponents are also obvious strategic allies to Cryonics, but also, just perhaps, reproductive freedom activism, a common theme being the overthrow of biological destiny. Whereas, for example, in Russia hospitals cooperate fully with Cryonics, within the United States and the European Union, the expense alone of flying in specially trained and dedicated professional Cryonics standby teams can easily run into the tens of thousands of dollars. And not every locale around the world has local volunteer cryonics emergency teams trained and equipped. It might be best also if those few doctors, locally, and their professional networks and advocacies, courageous enough for the responsibility and legal jeopardy of assisted suicide, might be cost effectively enlisted also for Cryonics standby services of cryostabilization including not only temperature management and induced hypothermia but the administration to legally dead patients of drugs even in lethal dosage towards minimization of ischemic damage and indeed, actually in prevention of resuscitation which would be calamitous agony and pointless if the patient would still only be dying nevertheless. For there is indeed notoriously zealous precedent in a New York District Attorney Hell bent on seizing, thawing and autopsying the head of a defenseless Cryonics patient, by actually charging Saul Kent with euthanizing a patent via cryostabalization, his aged and sickly mother Dora Kent, already legally dead at the time! -Although, of course, organ harvesting is never similarly challenged or harassed, despite far more significant ethical ambiguities in current practice, as surrounding "non-heart beating" death.
For another matter: Any challenge of intractable ennui becomes especially pertinent, given that the threat of eventual sheer protracted boredom is perhaps still the most frequent and hoariest misanthropic cliché Deathist objection raised against radical life extension and the quest for practical immortality or: Emortalism. But frankly, this insults the intelligence. Death remains the Draconian solution to any suffering, given surrender of all other hope, but preemptively, by passively remaining mortal? Does any such recommendation of status quo, not smack of sour grapes? And who will really stick with aging and dying when radical life extension becomes readily available? There are always those abiding in such dread of boredom or any moment's pause in reflection at all, indeed as to become thrill junkies ever hastening of their own demise. But you can have it! Time is ever among desirable resources, not hindrance, towards fulfillment. And diminishing and negative returns from any one resource, only signal the demand for whatever other necessary complementary resources. Indeed, even the most miserable unhappiness accrues satisfaction in expression, understanding and sympathy, attention being, not only as in the words of Simone Wei, “the rarest and purest form of generosity” but after all, another function of engagement and the time invested. Indeed, under the law, metaphorically putting assisted suicide on the proverbial table, as in the state of Oregon, has been observed to bring the beneficial effect of forcing practitioners to understand, attend and rise to the needs of desperation and suffering of different kinds. Where there is life, there is hope. Lengthening healthy life lengthens hope. Death only ends despair where there is despair to begin with.
Medicine may soon be capable of selective removal or suppression of memories, on demand. Amnesia, if it could only be had, would spare one from the pain of loss, but memories may be all one has left of any past happiness! I will remember. Indeed death, the end of consciousness, is bereft even of thought at all. Phenomenologically, to live and to experience, is then to remember and to reflect. In the Anime 'Cashern: Sins' when Death, in sojourn through the wastelands at first as an amnesiac, amongst the living, finally recognizing the right to survive though condemning the desire as callow, departs the world, he warns darkly lest the dead may ever be forgot; for then he, Death, shall return to remind the world!
Any wish for death, immediate or eventual, or perhaps instead merely if not for amnesia, then sublime apathy, is sheer escapism, the yearning to end suffering which is natural. But the most radical pain management strategy of whatever mode of annihilation cannot be the preferred solution, despite the manifest efficiency and availability as ever the craven cynics are so quick to point out. Suicide and death, like rape and violence, are grand dramatic themes romanticized in fantasy spoiled by excessive realism. Deathism simply panders to the yearning for escape, generally a fantasy more safely and productively processed Psychodynamically than ever taken lightly and blithely enacted, even passively howsoever by simply allowing nature run its course into terminal aging.
In truth, what is attendant upon the appropriateness of grief, suffering that persists with whatever the injurious cause thereof, therefore valued as useful, even howsoever aversive, as often highly beneficial and meaningful motivation, is the impulse of expression, a desire no less that such relief cannot actually be called pleasurable. That and the yearning for understanding. There is no self salvation, no dignified exit. Barring intolerable suffering with no hope to give any reasonable point in delaying the inevitable, suicide only comes from dispirited self pity filling that void of yearned for expression net with understanding. And even the latter case of the worst suffering, may nevertheless actually be the more motivated by the sheer crushingly lonely sense of isolation because no one seems to comprehend their extreme plight, than by the relief from any other and more palpable adversity. Alas, death may often be a release more for onlookers who really can't be bothered, those malignant angels of death. For again, in the words of Simone Weil: “Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.”
The slippery slope argument may be a notorious logical falsity to begin with. Alas, however, that hasn't stopped the Dutch euthanasia zealots from from sliding down that very slope with a moribund gusto! Perhaps most egregious are elderly and infirm actually made to live in trepidation of "termination without request or consent." Even the specter of Eugenic infanticide may be rearing it's ugly head again, if the Pro-Lifers are to be believed. And then there is the assisting in the suicide of all manner of non terminal cases deemed incurable, even legitimizing, permitting, facilitating if not, indeed, actually pandering to the self harming suicidal impulses of the mentally ill or extremely depressed, abused and neglected.
Paternalists, bent upon benevolent authority and coercion, argue correctly, that even the highest values of individual free choice, let alone, for that matter, such aggregate thereof as the fabled Invisible Hand of the Market, can never be inviolably sacrosanct, being after all, human, fallible and prone to incidental misjudgment, let alone disastrous subversion. That argues to protective intervention, even however forceful, on needful occasion. But just because some, ever, is good, hardly means that more is better, automatically. The question is of civilized responsible interaction and review, proportionate intervention and compromise, no less fallibly than individual decision or market results to begin with. And this applies no less to individual pleas and societal market demands, for assisted suicide.
So at what cost then, and to whom, must the deranged be protected from themselves and from no less unbalanced and misguided practitioners? Clearly, responsibility is not best served by the manifest social contradiction of thwarting everyone uniformly simply in order to protect a mentally incompetent minority, nor indeed, even for purposes of at all curtailing the over zealous mercy of actively homicidal "Angels of Death," a practice that must remain subject to criminal investigation and prosecution. -A serious international concern given trends not only only of legalization of assisted suicide but euthanasia outright, and even with neither request nor consent at that! With Pandora's deadly box open, is there even hope of feasible regulation at the bottom? But then, was it ever really so tightly closed at all? At the very least, physicians have long been pulling the plug on life support, withholding care to terminal patients, or increasing dosage of pain medication to dangerous levels when there is nothing to lose, all towards merciful hastening of the end. -Never mind the more clandestine actively homicidal "angels of death" ever at work entirely on their own initiative.
If only, of course, the wishes of the patient to begin with, among other restrictions, are at all to be enforced, strategic priorities in a bold new reframing of quality of life issues, may even be informed by the patient's own living will or Advance Directive. For example, one patient might prioritize any hope at all, even however slim, of resuscitation even by unusual and aggressive measures, before ever resorting to to the ultimate fall back position in measures of Cryonization, while another might instead prefer Cryopreservation and prioritize best possible immediate preservation of the brain at all costs in hope of future reanimation to full health, even over short term hope of resuscitation but coming at the cost in quality of life and integrity of personality, of increasingly certain risks of severe brain damage. The dilemma, of course, is in the evaluation and preference of foreseeable risks over hoped for benefit, anywhere between the two strategic extremes of heroic measure. For that matter, under any circumstances, actual mercy freezing, essentially what Saul Kent was falsely accused of, being: euthanasia under temperature management in preparation for Cryonic Suspension, which offers a means to curtail suffering without entirely abandoning future hope, is the only conceivable meaningful long-term compromise regarding assisted suicide. And understand compassion in action demands that people in all such dire straights making such impossible decisions either for themselves or for others unable for themselves, surely deserve to have and to know every available option. Anyone confronting only whatever extremes suffering either of physical pain and/or helpless final indignity, let alone the sheer loneliness of inexpressible terror that so breaks the spirit, all so pointlessly and without hope of recovery and survival, and already therefore bent upon assisted suicide, ought, no less than anyone else, aware as we are of our ever impending mortality, one way or another, at least to be provided every recourse to the real and precious hope, even deemed however slim, offered by Cryonics which should become standard for everyone.
Moreover, though Cryoperfusion threatens to contaminate organs for harvest and organ harvest by excision en bloc massively punctures the circulatory system thus complicating perfusion, in the alternative Cryonic Neurosupension involving perfusion of the brain alone, eliminates such conflicts, potentially resolving the contradictions.
Alas however, the current existing procedures for post mortem donation as long standing and accepted, remain in real and significant disarray: At least in France among other nations, cadaverous organ harvest is routine procedure under presumed consent, and hence organ donation is effectively the default under law, unless the individual actually and specially opts out by leaving in their will explicit instructions to the contrary. Another proposed solution is a policy of “required response” or “mandated choice” would require that all competent individuals record an explicit preference regarding organ donation. Until more nations, as they eventually might, follow suit either way, throughout the world, there may actually remain obstacles to organ donors. Moreover, though the casual lay person might assume that the scarce and precious utility of a donated body would be maximized, alas, then the casual lay person would be mistaken. Because, in America at least, one must choose one from amongst the different applications of donation: organ donation to save lives, whole body either for science or education, Plastination, or tissue donation or chemical extraction. Some people for whatever reason, are only comfortable with one application but not another, but for anyone seeking to maximize the benefit, perhaps under international law, a less wasteful protocol might be devised and instituted.
So, what has any of the above legalities to do with Cryonics? Answer: Legally, Cryonics falls under whole body donation. And with the option of Cryonic Neurosuspension, why shouldn't the rest of my body go to optimal good use? Things as they stand seem criminally wasteful and negligent!
But conflicts or: contradictions and tradeoffs between the vital needs of organ harvesting as well as Cryonics and those of autopsy in the service of crucial medical and criminal investigation, must be optimized and resolved. Indeed, the rights of deceased individuals willing themselves Cryonized, is a vastly underserved legal concern and was the focus of presentation before the "For the right to life" human rights organization on September 6, 2010 at the State Darwin Museum by Danila Medvedev of KrioRus, under the auspices of the Russian Transhumanist Movement, and with pro-bono legal support provided by: Ассоциация Адвокатов России за Права Человека the Association of Russian Lawyers for Human Rights (Russian Bar Association for Human Rights).
A fully Integrated Recovery procedure with autopsy and dissection with international participation by Medical and Chiropractic students, can only vastly improve future acceptance by the next generation of care givers. Concurrent with cryoprofusion, even the blood of a donor should be recovered, especially core blood and rare blood types. Anything recoverable will be accepted somewhere in the world where it is most sorely needed, even if there is resistance anywhere else.
Indeed, there are those advocating the treatment of organ donors as national heroes. And what better befits thereof than the ultimate in medical heroic measures, being Cryonic Neurosuspension, free of charge? The expense can be easily covered within the revenues from the rest of Integrated Recovery, especially tissue harvesting and storage. At long last, there can be universal coverage for Cryonic Neurosuspension! Integration of cryonics into recognized pro-social endeavors can only be image rehabilitative and complementary to vertical integration within the stability and reputability of long term institutions of commerce, also taking the lead in world class scientific and commercial cryobiology and tissue storage facilities. Cryonics even if indeed most reviled for Nietzschean individualistic selfishness against nature, has nevertheless been increasingly more sympathetically received in context of family tragedy, indeed as a pact between loved ones in hope and striving to reunite. Likewise Integrated Recovery, Cryonic Neurosuspension as an optional reward free of charge for post mortem donors, should be aggressively promoted as the very epitome of most noble reciprocity within the human family wherein every death is a grievous loss diminishing us all, and the survival of one the triumph for everyone.
And a further incentive might be emulation or integration of the existing LifeSharers Program for organ donors to join, a compact wherein living members as ever needing organ transplant, are to be afforded priority from suitable member donors if and when as whom ever might become comatose and declared legally dead. However, there is again need for legal framework to be brought up to date with needs and practices, because even whatever ethical misgivings aside, critics contend that the current agreement is not legally binding, and therefore, or so one must imagine, dependant entirely upon the honor system and moral suasion thereof upon the donor's surviving family. More officially, Israeli law grants transplant priority to registered donors.
Although routinely monitored full time, in a pinch, a corpsicle or brainsicle kept in a dewar or: cryostat freshly topped off with liquid nitrogen, can even go untended for up to three months thence, and remain undamaged.
Tanks with hatches and pressure seals, are far more expensive than double lined dewars with simple lids, retain low temperature better, and therefore make even longer use of liquid nitrogen, with better and longer safety margin in case of cooling system failure.
So the cost projection would be of amortization of savings in liquid nitrogen over increased initial outlay of tanks instead of dewars. Tanks may also be more readily available than dewars. Cryonisists have been making their own dewars, since hostile Cryogenicists have begun pressuring dewar manufacturers out of selling to Cryonicists. Whereas tank manufacturers are not so dependent upon mainstream Cryobiology for business, and sell to all comers.
Location, location, location!
International cooperation also advantageously allows for facilities anywhere in the world. And Latvia has been proposed as an ideal location by Cryonics activist Roman Lyubimov who's home city of Liepaja offers a major year round ice free seaport gateway between East and West, best facilitating international transportation and logistics.
Less restricted developing Eastern European legal infrastructure along with doctors and hospitals actually cooperative with Cryonics, affords flexibility and promise in better meeting the unfolding needs of Cryonization. All operating expenses, especially real estate or rent, are vastly reduced by the current economic downturn whereby Latvia has been particularly hard hit. The climate reduces year round cooling expenses of Cryonic Suspension. And while dry ice, let alone permafrost burial, is considered vastly inadequate for purposes of long-term Cryonic preservation, even permafrost as a natural fall back in case of catastrophic failure, is still arguably better than no such contingency at all, and certainly buying any extra time for whatever rescue or repair efforts possible.
Who even remembers that Silicon
Valley in California, the world renowned center of computer industry,
was once called Sonoma? Perhaps one day there will be a locale in Latvia,
having grown and flourished as a global center for Cryonics, that will
likewise come to renown as Kriosgrad, complete with
theme park and ice hotel for Cryotourism!
Going at all more High Brow, the salient underappreciated Morality Play of the notable and truly forward looking Science Fiction movie 'Vanilla Sky' is subtle in subversion of hoariest cliché: The expectation is built up for yet another cliché Sci-Fi B-movie sermon about how man was never meant to play God. But then no hint thereof ever materializes between interacting characters after all populating a future setting wherein the technological overthrow of mortality, far from hubris, is already common place. Indeed, the very thought never so much as occurs! For in the famous words of Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr: "The more things change, the more they remain the same." To wit: The hardest part of life is living. Indeed, as it turns out, removing the dreadful prospect of death is without secondary Existential ramification, unless of course quite simply, one fears life even more than death. Maybe it makes some sense to fear life more than death. Life is risk, while death is beyond harm. Still, you can have it.
In the words of André Gide: “What would there be in a story of happiness? Only what prepares it, only what destroys it can be told.” Therefore dramatists must ever quest for some downside at all, even to freedom from death. And hack Deathist trope and cliché are easiest and fall most readily within reach. Whereas meaningful Existential exploration is by far the higher dramatic aspiration. And what 'Vanilla Sky' so brilliantly accomplishes is to vindicate the worthiness not so much of life's rewards, as first of all, of life's problems. It is indeed the Philosophical person most suited to rise to the prospect of Emortality: Freud sought to transform extreme neurotic suffering into ordinary unhappiness. A wistful melancholy as the protagonist David Aames arrives to instead of any dire ennui, well qualifies. For while the depths of ennui are long reputed as interminable and dark, the sweet melancholy of even David's saddest might have beens still touch eternity by evocation of hope and value, so that he can confidently choose to continue living and to strive in pursuit of happiness, or at least in rebellion against the Absurd, with the entire richness and range of human emotion, from hope and opportunity to the appropriateness of grief, even given every caveat of all of life's vicissitudes, yes, even indefinably into a mysterious and uncharted future. In the words of R.M. Perry, Ph.D.: “The individual ought to endure - for a life rightly lived is never rightly ended.”
Father of Existentialism Albert Camus writes that "it is essential to die unreconciled and not of one's own free will". Does that mean that it is first of all, essential to die? Or would that just be quoting out of context? After all, how could Camus deem it essential to die? Camus only denied intrinsic external meaning to discover, in favor of meaningful human experience to express, as by the arts. For to deem dying essential, would that not constitute reconciliation with death? In like rebellion against the Absurd, Groucho Marx declared “I intend to live forever, or die trying.” And that has become motto for Emortalism. How absurd a rebellion against the Absurd, an empty insincere griping in collapse under its own weight of pretensions, then to balk as practical immortality actually looms into feasibility! Far better to extend rebellion against the Absurd, fearlessly and indefinitely! Futility in the face of the Absurd should never deter us from unrelenting struggle.
As Kathy muses in ‘Never Let Me Go’ (2010) from the novel by Kazuo Ishiguro: “Maybe none of us really understand what we've lived through, or feel we've had enough time.” Perhaps the humility of Deathism is actually squeamishness at the prospect of the eternal and therefore boundless inadequacy of the immortal nebbish, therefore cherishing the extinction of thereby finite individual fallibility. Indeed, Existential inadequacy from comparing so poorly to God and Divine perfection, is actually a common complaint. Again, the hardest part of life is living.
In truth, what is attendant upon the appropriateness of grief, suffering that persists with whatever the injurious cause thereof, therefore valued as useful, even howsoever aversive, as often highly beneficial and meaningful motivation, is the impulse of expression and the yearning for understanding, a desire no less that such relief from expression, indeed the reliving of unresolved suffering, cannot actually be called pleasurable. Indeed, such exactly may be all that the suicide seeks to protect themselves from being overwhelmed and from the very catharsis that may ever bring any Psychiatric relief.
Psychodynamically, most of the kind of people to whatever degree actually finding themselves veritably hanging on by their proverbial fingernails, teeth clenched only waiting for death, adamantly refuse to be honest with themselves about their dismal life strategy. For such abide so shamefully, the loneliness of pent up bad faith and denial eating away at them. And death will only rob them of any last chance for the only release, that of expression met with understanding, that anyone truly needs in order to more wholeheartedly press on and appreciate life. There is no self salvation, no dignified exit. Barring intolerable suffering with no hope to give any reasonable point in delaying the inevitable, suicide only comes from dispirited self pity filling that void of yearned for expression met with understanding. And even in case of the worst suffering, may nevertheless actually be the more motivated by the sheer crushingly lonely sense of isolation because no one seems to comprehend their extreme plight, than by the relief from any other and more palpable adversity or even the most searing physical pain.
Alas, death may often come as a release more for onlookers who really can't be bothered, those malignant angels of death. For again, in the words of Simone Weil: “Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.”
“To be, or not to be?” -questions the Bard. Or less succinctly in the words of Albert Camus: “There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy.” But this remains somewhat imprecise. Rather, it is a matter not of deciding only whether life is always worth living, generally speaking, but of judging whether life is ever worth living or not, whether, even in principle, life can be worth living at all or even endured temporarily, never mind, in all human frailty, limited resolve and finite endurance, preserved and extended indefinitely.
In Augustine's famous prayer: “Grant me chastity and continence, but not yet” he makes ironic confession of what he condemns as his own weakness in such dividedness, in contrast to the blithe ambivalence of Deathism in likewise putting off, essentially, suicide. For such is eventual natural or circumstantial death by whatever avowed preference, sour grapes not withstanding. And many have taken Psychodynamic, Existential and Situational inventory of sexuality, taken opposition to shame and guilt, embracing Eros and Agape both, ideals of Hedonistic sexual liberation and dignity in harmony with the quest for meaningful intimacy. Alas, however, survivor guilt remains even the more intractable and concealed, than frustration with anti-sex!
Perhaps the flimsiest and most gloomy amongst tropes of Deathist apologetics, not to mention patronizing beyond belief, remains the implication that too squeamish for suicide, we need natural aging and death, randomly timed but generally on schedule, in order to relieve us all of just such weighty decisions for us, just as the Pro-Lifers similarly contend that nature must be allowed to take its course in procreation, because without the cycle of nature, people by themselves are simply without autonomy, aimless and bereft of initiative in charting our own destiny or rising to any other opportunities in life as may ever present themselves, let alone family. But this is true only of heteronomy. And heteronomy is learned not innate. Bioconservatism, be as manifest in Pro-Life doctrine or as in Deathist sensibility, simply romanticizes decidophoia. And in truth, life or death is all the same to decidophobia, so long the outcomes are already selected for us. For the decidophobe responsibility in the face of change and the unknown, is actually more frightful than death, and hence the allure of heteronomy.
Indeed, judging whether life ever can be worth living, and perhaps even under what abstractly possible or conceivable conditions of practical implementation, might even be deemed the most central of all questions to the human condition. And hope for life worth living is either actively vested in the quest for honest integrity together with the pursuit of happiness and functional relationship or else Nihilistically rejected and condemned as by Zen Mysticism that is rightly so often called out as a cowardly religion, being after all so loath even to risk living life unadulteratedly burdened by the human condition of ego and often even morbid Phenomenal inner reflection, conscience that makes cowards of us all ever dwelling upon suffering from misfortunes occurring in external reality, the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.
There are indeed those who at whatever level, actually cling with adamantine desperation not even to sheer fantasies of blissful afterlife, but in anticipation of annihilation and release into oblivion, in order to render the burden of life at all tolerable in the interim. Such being the case however, why do they put it off at all? It does rather seem somewhat ambivalent. But then, it is often adversity rather than calm and comfort that spurs the very stubborn will to live that is both so celebrated and so denounced. Alas, some rain must fall into any life, of course. Nevertheless, rejecting all variously and dismally lowered expectations, what conditions, be they of pursuit of excellence, liberating play, or anything else, might ever remain in balance engagingly pleasurable and meaningful enough to finally quell any serious temptation of suicide, even passively? And how long need one live and endure in order ever to discover and attain true fulfillment?
It is often preached that only death gives life meaning so that there must be some vague chronological cut off point to the value of living. How so? Countable or measurable goods are subject to diminishing returns at any given moment, but life is a supply over time. There is never any excess from the standpoint of sheer survival instinct. One moment of life covers one moment of time exactly. And diminishing returns from any one ingredient assumes fixed supplies of whatever other ingredients. In the ongoing struggle against boredom and loneliness, fulfillment essential to human flourishing, is transitory but renewable. That is the only meaningful natural cycle that intrinsically defines the human condition. Otherwise, exactly what value will be exhausted in too long an entirely healthy life? Beyond any healthy dose of sheer gregarious superficial Hedonism, all that longer healthy lives will truly demand at any given moment, will be the hope of a longer meaning thereto, achievable only in rejection of the near and far taboo. Yes, perhaps, like Yaotl/Max Winters, the ever growing and self improving deathless person must indeed become more contemplative and philosophical, but like David Ames and unlike Yaotl/Max Winters, finding the wherewithal to live rather than the resolve to die.
Can people actually become too miserably ashamed to go on living?
The Existential crisis of survivor guilt: morbid and unnaturally Selfish?
Practical immortality is a profoundly subversive idea: Objection to Cryonics is frequently predicated upon the risk and the expense, but also cynical doubt as regards to progress in very principle, and fear of all that the future may bring. As Mike Darwin points out in Part I of ‘Cryonics An Historical Failure Analysis’, Cryonics and the tantalizing though uncertain prospects of delayed resuscitation and reanimation, by the very hope offered, extend the strain and dystress of uncertainty and anxiety over life threatening illness into that of cryonic suspension, eliminating the closure and finality of death (of course barring, if ever, whatever any conceivable future prospect of retrograde time travel). Cryonics disrupts every conventional cultural and psychological defense mechanism in the face of impending bereavement. Moreover, unlike the dead and buried beyond all further harm, helpless and vulnerable cryonized corpsicles, like unto the mummified Pharaohs of antiquity, require indefinite care, vigilance and protection, and as history shows, very possibly ultimately unreliable. The logistical challenges and responsibilities therefore must be fulfilled in order to achieve any safety at all of true practicality and real hope out from sheer engineering feasibility in principle.
And perhaps worst of all, those who act and make the needed preparations in order to save themselves, may reflect in even consuming remorse and Existential despair, upon their failure to act sooner and more aggressively in order to save loved ones already dead without benefit of cryopreservation. But then, rightly or wrongly, we already feel much that same remorse, collectively, over the long overdue elimination of deadly oppression, war and famine, don't we? - feelings that we all hold in check, all the time. Not to mention how the overthrow of biological destiny as manifest in reproductive choice, has already promoted such great cultural upheaval, never mind what is to come from the abolition of aging and death into the space age!
It is hoped that the new business model of Integrated Recovery could be just the thing to address syndromes of anxiety, Existential despair and survivor guilt, and finally get more people off the fence about both Cryonics and post mortem cadaverous donation!
In the time honored tradition of all patronizing Gothic Morality Play of monster movies and the like, no good ever comes from the hubris of defying death! Deathism, the set of attitudes with or without supporting beliefs, such as that glorifies or at least accepts death and rejects or even despises immortality, typically argues that the elimination of death is impossible, unnecessary because of the hereafter (religion), and otherwise anyhow not so bad, even wonderfully good. Admittedly, death is indeed natural, but what of it? Absurd shit happens! Nature is Hobbesian: All manner of terrible events that we seek to prevent or to remedy are after all, only natural. What of it?
Procreation and memoirs are among the commonly extolled alternatives to simply not dying. All fine things as those may be in each their own right, obviously such are just not actually equivalent to survival of individual consciousness, but somewhat patronizingly transparent bait-and-switch.
“I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying.” — Woody Allen
Perhaps it is the seeming sheer individualistic selfishness of self preservation against nature, misguided Deathist exhortation to veritable passive mass agathusia (benevolent suicide) that brands both Cryonics and Radical Life Extension as so odious in the often Ludite and heteronymous public perception, all as endemic to the Moralistic formula of mortification embracing both the virtue of self sacrifice and the impulse to blame and punish others, along with the pervasive failure of imagination that accepts the current limitations of artificial scarcity of resources and ignores better non zero-sum alternatives.
The last ditch strategy towards the misguidedly yearned for but impossible and unattainable return to innocence and a clean slate, requires not only successive generations of the newborn, but the investment of self sacrifice and ultimate measure of heteronymous faith and devotion manifest in aging, fading away, perishing and making way for successive new generations, the hope of the future. -Indeed, an ultimate self sacrifice coming actually at no real additional sacrifice, but only given sour grapes and resignation to aging and death as natural and inevitable. After all. any prejudice such as Racism or Sexism never stands out but actually fades from notice within the bigoted milieu or setting, and it is much the same with Deathism here and now. Indeed, the uncertain and anxiety of personal autonomy at all is typically made to seem a small sacrifice in exchange for whatever peace of mind promised by heteronomy whereby at the same time, every effort is made to assure continuity and tradition, even in perpetuation of the fatalistic terminal fanaticism that is Deathism. So much, then, for innocence and a fresh start! This is sheer ambivalence and needs to be acknowledged as such in order ever to restore autonomy.
So one can see, then, how any prospect of Practical Immortality by Radical Life Extension, let alone actually reversing even clinical death itself by means of delayed resuscitation and reanimation out from Cryonic Suspension, might tend to threaten and upset the entire carefully constructed rationalization and adaption of reaction formation. Therefore the proposed strategy of optional universal coverage for Cryonic Neurosuspension under Integrated Recovery, re-appropriates the same redemptive formula in a manner that instead resolves its core ambivalence.
The most common indictment against the prospect of Radical Life extension and the prospect of eliminating death from aging, is as likewise against Cryonics, of unnatural selfishness in the face of limited resources to be shared by all.
But actually, it is aging that already presents such a tremendous drain upon the resources of society. Indeed, the massive population of the baby boomers is entering into old age, and the imminent projected logistical and economic burden will be somewhat daunting to say the least. Therefore, in truth, far from a burden upon scarce resources due to the increased population, in the eradication of aging, the sooner the better, is actually projected tremendous healthcare and other savings, especial as currently incurred during the final year or so, of the most awful, medically expensive and generally wretched suffering declining years of life into the looming ever nearer horror of death. At long last, consciousness is raising, that the best way to treat all the various different maladies and infirmities symptomic of the epidemic pervasive degenerative condition called: aging, perhaps even Alzheimer's, will be actually once and for all, to reach to the root of the problem and treat aging itself.
Moreover, the problem of resources to begin with, remains that of vast inefficiency of so many kinds, not of demand to begin with. And with or without a regular death rate, as per what Thomas Malthus actually said, the aim of population control remains that of simply restraining the rate of population increase to remain within the rate of production increase. And the most effective means thereof has actually been in raising the standards of living. Indeed, with the extension and even perpetuation of youth, productivity, health and fertility, many people will naturally and responsibly tend to put off procreation first in favor of other desires and ambitions and also in order first to optimize circumstances for planned parenthood and best child rearing.
Aside from logistical misunderstanding of the threat of overpopulation, other even more feeble arguments against Cryonics and radical life extension often begin from current medical and technological limitations of the very kind that will obviously have been overcome long before delayed resuscitation and reanimation out from Cryonic Suspension will ever come to pass. For prime example, the pointlessness of reviving and curing the terminally decrepit, doomed to suffer and quickly die all over again. But the Tithonus Error makes for a silly retort, typically impatient and deaf to all explanation that radical life extension and the aging cure, looming as it does upon the horizon of current scientific progress, is after all far closer to realization than delayed resuscitation and reanimation out from Cryonic Suspension. Therefore, obviously, just as, if all goes well, reanimation would be for purposes of then curing whatever killed the patient to begin with, likewise a cryonized patient would be returned not only to life, but to full youthful vigor rather than merely resuming decrepitude and decline, even eternally.
In all fairness, there is simply no comparing the ordinary and reasonable selfishness any understandable and sympathetic human fear or desire with, for example, and despite nigh exponential inequality to begin with, the level of sheer amoral cleptocratic greed and fraud on such a scale as to continually undermine and threaten global finance. Indeed even such blatant greed aside, there is all manner of outrageous and endemic bureaucratic, military and other wasteful inefficiency on the most massive scale, routinely. Indeed, Buckminster Fuller famously estimated, if anything perhaps too generously, that the world is running fifteen percent efficient. And that's assuming only limited Terrestrial resources and ignoring the vast untapped riches off world and in the deep oceans. Therefore, demonizing Cryonics and even Radical Life Extension, hysteria over the burden of the resources to be consumed by an individual at all less than eager simply to simply roll over, die and make way, is surely as hypocritical, bigoted and intolerant as blaming the sick, the poor and the unemployed!
If anything would highlight the obvious desirability of contingencies of Cryonic Suspension, let alone provision of Radical Life Extension, imagine in a Science Fiction story set in a world where either are common place and available to all, the plight of an individual barred from either as any sort of a punishment or discrimination or howsoever whatever unfortunate circumstances or situation.
Indeed, the true anxiety of uncertainty regarding Cryonics, is not in scientific validity of engineering feasibility, but in the building of trust with the rest of humanity to see things through and follow up on behalf of the helpless corpsicles, ironically, the age old fear, all the more, of becoming forever forgotten after death and disappearing completely. Indeed, will the future want us, no matter what one has to contribute, especially to history? After all, our planet, still skirting the edge of ecological disaster, remains embroiled in genocidal oppression and destitution even amid unprecedented affluence. All of which makes raising awareness of the prospect of cheep access to outer space not as some cultural luxury, but crucial to our survival and prosperity, most urgent. But radical life extension research labors in obscurity and Cryonics isn't even on the radar as a priority at all!
Yet we may yet choose to embrace reality not in despair, but as a spur to understand the logistical challenge and striving of Cryonics as inextricable from humanism and the effort towards a kinder and more rational world, an extra nice place where policies of brutal and draconian triage are no longer perpetuated in normalization of deviance, and no one is ever simply abandoned helpless to their fate while their is still recourse. And Integrated Recovery is a proposed implementation strategy from that desire.
Therefore while it remains all the more disheartening to witness such blithely ubiquitous disrespect towards the individualism and responsible autonomy demonstrated even in looking into Cryonics for oneself and ones loved ones, nevertheless, embrace of the values of reciprocity, give and take, the ideals of social entrepreneurship: doing well by doing good, all as epitomized in the concept of Integrated Recovery, which also addresses the the financial and logistical barriers and inconvenience, can be no less welcome. Therefore, let the dire Necromancy of Cryonics, after all the only true hope of resurrection barring time travel technology, join with our routine vampirism of blood transfusion and the sheer commonplace Frankenscience of organ transplantation, in the respectability of good will and reciprocity within the human family.
Nihilism and Patronizing Moralistic Sour Grapes
Of course, if our fable as according to the above Science Fiction plotline, where instead to be themed as typical contrived and sentimental hack Deathist pandering propaganda, then one might well expect to be exhorted to believe how the protagonist comes to appreciate death, and thereby rises spiritually above the healthy long-lived Utopia now standing unmasked as an unnatural and effete Dystopia!
— Anthony Burgess
WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH - and leave us not forget: Death is glorious Life Eternal! The first rule of propaganda pandering, is that anything can most readily be either glamorized or vilified, formulaically, so that vivid illustration will seem like convincing demonstration. After all, seeing is believing, as the old platitude goes, but ultimately, it is the mind and not the eye that sees. Never mind what history really teaches us. In the vivid pandering of unfettered propaganda fantasy that pretends all manner of daring and provocative perspective, slaves can be happy, totalitarianism efficient and even wild sex a real drag, until the protagonist finds God! Even life and survival can be made wearisome and disgusting, heightened and ecstatic only by the thrill of self destruction, so that death itself may be extolled as transcendent and beatific release from all cares and woe, indeed in ultimate crowning fulfillment of the Zen Mystic's quest for futility, committed sacrifice making way for return to innocence in generations to come.
Indeed, when Socrates famously muses that the oblivion after death can be no worse after all, than the oblivion before birth, even Mystical overtimes aside, such is merely rationalizing attachment disordered Psychotic pragmatism in bad faith denial of emotional motivation, via the Nihilistic value destruction that is Nirvana Principle, being the misanthropic ideal of the reduction or elimination of human needs and drives, all ubiquitous themes also of Zen Ecclesiastical futility. We are to be consoled that the proverbial glass is metaphorically half full rather than half empty, or as Kurt Vonnegut Jr. would have it, take gratitude because most mud never got to sit up! But sour grapes and Deathist rationalization for resignation and satisfice be damned! Indeed, it's likely that the entire narrative of the last day of Socrates was just artful propaganda to salvage the reputation and credibility of the routed followers of Socrates who failed even to rescue their esteemed and beloved mentor from execution.
Yet the very prospect of living longer, may even be seen to escalate the very problem of suffering, dissatisfaction and lonely unhappiness, and of ever setting any limits of sheer endurance thereto, the ultimate worthiness of life and the comfort of an eventual release in death. For in rejection of nature's reliable and Draconian remedy, can there truly never be any more desirable alternative? It is argued that death provides definition, the very sort of predictable boundaries from which the randomness of gambling pastimes are extolled as Existential remedy. In truth, neither irresponsible recommendation is any less decidiphobic of fateful free choice and the perceived burden of liberty. Life is enough of a gamble within boundaries, no matter what. And no moment of truly excellent circumstances could ever become burdensome, even extended unto eternity, or unworthy of pursuit. In the words of R.M. Perry, Ph.D.: “The individual ought to endure - for a life rightly lived is never rightly ended.”
The trite observation of movement in cycles, the transitory nature of all phenomena, that death is natural, is narrow-minded popular platitude du jour, as if everything natural is therefore good or fixed and unchangeable, or that the long and leisurely geological cycles and the quick life in a day of a mayfly, are all much the same in consequence and personal desirability. Mortality of course, is neither good nor fixed. Deathism, then, is cowardly luzerly closed minded and stubborn and depressive failure of imagination that insults the intelligence! -As Nietzsche might say: Nothing so profound, indeed not even shallow! In truth, can the myriad conceivable alternatives even be listed exhaustively? Outside of myth and fable, looking to mortality for consolation is no trade that anyone ever really agreed to in advance, but merely the kneejerk of making graceful virtue of necessity afterwards; indeed the ironic ultimate in sour grapes, considering the oppressive morbid sense of Ecclesiastical futility that looming death has always inspired in the first place. Indeed, even though death is well recognized among the roots of Existential depression in the human condition, nevertheless death itself is still generally simply accepted as inevitable while the practice of Cryonics and research into radical life extension, either no matter how rational, remain not merely uncertain, expensive and inconvenient, but perhaps worse: abstract and intangible.
Although, in the alternative, what remains so popular are the most nebulous abstraction of sophistry in place of the outright Fairy Tales of Mysticism, religion and the hereafter! And yet, in truth, only continued individual survival by whatever means can bring the otherwise somewhat abstract and selflessly altruistic promise of future generations within personal reach, by sharing rather than vacating the world of tomorrow. Immortality meaningless? Sour grapes indeed! Survivor guilt remains the true obstacle. And Integrated Recovery is the answer.
In truth, what is attendant upon the appropriateness of grief, suffering that persists with whatever the injurious cause thereof, therefore valued as useful, even howsoever aversive, as often highly beneficial and meaningful motivation, is the impulse of expression, a desire no less that such relief cannot actually be called pleasurable. That and the yearning for understanding. Psychodynamically, most of the kind of people to whatever degree actually finding themselves veritably hanging on by their proverbial fingernails, teeth clenched only waiting for death, adamantly refuse to be honest with themselves about their dismal life strategy. For such abide so shamefully pent up in denial, and death will only rob them of any last chance for the only release they truly need in order to more wholeheartedly pursue anything better, that of expression met with understanding. There is no self salvation, no dignified exit. Barring intolerable suffering with no hope to give any reasonable point in delaying the inevitable, suicide only comes from dispirited self pity filling that void of yearned for expression met with understanding. And even the latter case of the worst suffering, may nevertheless actually be the more motivated by the sheer crushingly lonely sense of isolation because no one seems to comprehend their extreme plight, than by the relief from any other and more palpable adversity. Alas, death may often be a release more for onlookers who really can't be bothered, those malignant angels of death. For again, in the words of Simone Weil: “Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.”
The phrase: "sour grapes" is an expression originating from 'The Fox and the Grapes,' one of Aesop's Fables, and refers to the strategy of denial and even howsoever thinly masking of frustration and disappointment, by the evincing of unconcern for anything actually desired but lacking or even unattainable and just out of reach, much like those proverbial grapes so irksomely tantalizing the fox. Ironically, the habitual guile of the fox here is futile, and we must imagine, of slim consolation even to him. A common tragic theme in real life no less than in drama, is failure to attain ones heart's desire, for fear of even trying and failing or meeting with rejection or perhaps worse, eliciting the envious scorn and retribution of controlling bullies for reaching beyond ones station in life or dating out of your league. -And therefore even worse, denial and suppression of the very motivating desire, for fear of the sadness and frustration, or of standing out and never fitting in.
And indeed such rationalized defeat, though once understandable given the formerly intractable human condition of inevitable mortality from time immemorial, may, indeed all to often does, even remain entrenched and ingrained beyond whatever initiating circumstances of such long standing frustration and disappointment. Consider that were gasoline introduced nowadays as a new technology, it would most certainly be rejected flatly as explosively unsafe, let alone environmentally unfriendly. But as things stand, internal combustion technology has long been grandfathered to us, so to speak. In Engineering, all such as above learned helplessness into sins of omission wherein malfunctions simply become accepted, is called: normalization of deviance. Any prejudice such as Racism or Sexism never stands out but actually fades from notice within the bigoted milieu or setting, and it is much the same with Deathism here and now. The Challenger disaster well demonstrated the fools paradise of lowered expectations in the face of standing problems, the unflaggingly exuberant Zen extol of exactly such coping strategies not withstanding. Let us therefore compare different instances sour grapes and consequent normalization of deviance:
Zink Alpha 2 Glycoprotein supplementation, a therapeutic after all this time finally coming any closer to approval for weight loss and management, thus far seemingly entailing risk only from the unknown, because all mounting evidence thus far increasingly appears to suggests that interventions such as ZA2G supplementation may well actually be safer not only than available drugs and surgery, but even than diet and exercise, every significant inconveniences, continual risks and serious drawbacks whereof have been long so blithely accepted and only managed as best as possible, all for hitherto wont of other better or at least safer alternatives, indeed as if somehow inextricably inalienable to the human condition much as death itself.
Moralistic sour grapes should not compel the acceptance of any misfortune, should that suffering become unnecessary. Indeed, consider the ready parallels in discourse upon fat acceptance before the prospect of a Thin Pill (either preferably a Zinc Alpha 2 Glycoprotein supplement, or else even angiogenesis inhibitors) with debate over Deathism or if you will: death acceptance, in the face of such prospects as Radical Life Extension by some curative treatment of the complex degenerative condition known as aging, let alone delayed resuscitation, reanimation out from Cryonic Suspension in actual reversal of clinical death.
Of course metabolic problems of obesity impact health and longevity. Disposition to obesity increases with age, as levels of ZA2G production decline. And so, ZA2G supplementation back to more youthful and slimmer levels, essentially restoring nature, may offer the ideal adaptation to modern living that has so reversed the natural order by making food plentiful and exercise scarce, so that older people, once so much less able to fend for themselves and survive, no longer need better fat retention.
Weight loss is well known to help all manner of physical and metabolic disorders, including type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea and back pain. Indeed, it may well come to pass that ZA2G will become the first ingredient, already existent, in the hoped for anti-aging medicinal cocktail, that latter-day elixir of perpetual youth, quested for by radical life extension research. For by down regulating lipid uptake into adipose tissue, keeping all that fat in the blood stream, ZA2G supplementation thereby rendered overfed laboratory mice not only slim and svelte but actually more energetic! ZA2G even increases skeletal muscle mass, without any of the harmful side effects of steroids.
Yes, even in the struggle for continued survival at all and over all, let alone any lesser related priority in its own right such as weight management, realistic cost-benefit equation must first be pondered responsibly without hysterical catastrophism!
And though nevertheless, some actually even do so Moralistically decry that effortless weight loss and management facilitated in the advent of the thin pill, even in the face of perpetually ecstatic gluttony, all without effort and sacrifice, would eliminate the virtuous discipline and character building derived from arduous exercise and diet under the natural punishment for unnecessarily consuming food so desperately needed for immediate survival by the masses of those inescapably trapped in impending sickness and death by starvation and malnutrition, at least no one seriously predicts the moral downfall of modern society from the improved per capita mass market sex appeal as resulting from an on average vastly slimmer citizenry, the way they so often do population explosion as somewhat erroneously projected consequence from extended youth and life!
True, it is, indeed, manifestly unfair, how the rich, but not the poor who starve, can pay inflated prices for food during crop failures. Moralism dwells upon that aspect of the problem to the exclusion of all practicality, entirely ignoring how even the most virtuous diet and exercise, transmit not so much as one calorie of food to the desperately malnourished. In the end, Moralism, angry judgment and sacrifice without compassion or generosity, is as heartless as it is irrational and impractical. Rather, Hedonism is what inspires sympathy for any who suffer, and efficiency is what drives solutions to all wont.
Regrettably, it is true, for prime example, that greater sexual freedom is indeed often experienced as pressure by those who are squeamish and ambivalent about sexuality. Therefore sexual freedoms are so often obstructed, curtailed and even persecuted, all in the name of propriety or for appearances sake, whatever any of that really means, by "Pro-Lifers" so-called, controlling bullying prudish culture warriors actingout in whatever abuse of power and unwilling to own whatever their own motivations of irrational and cognitively dissonant hostility.
Therefore, should better and easier treatment of obesity be likewise suppressed in order not to insensitively pressure and offend fat accepters? Actually, what is the current state of the art in metabolic disorder treatment practice, but a craven conservative embrace of status quo? And is it impolite, by ones own insensitive example of skepticism and resistance to mortality, to agitate and discomfort the complacent resignation of the sheeple to the slaughter? Because why else the logistical nightmare in cadaverous donation, much less Cryonics, all best addressed by Integrated Recovery? Is is right to stifle progress and value for everyone, out of sheer squeamish Reactionary Nihilism?
In the words of James Arthur Baldwin: “Sex is like air. It's not important unless you aren't getting any. Money, it turned out, was exactly like sex, you thought of nothing else if you didn't have it and thought of other things if you did.” In most every important way, any modern day vagrant sleeping in the back of their car, lives better than an 18th century French nobleman in their palace. With technological advance, all standards of living rise to unprecedented new heights. Moreover, in the imminent future, everyone will be young, fit and suitably fuckable! So perhaps there are worse risks than becoming blasé and ennuied: Indeed, there is all that inane Nihilistic Luddite propaganda towards sheer anticipatory ingratitude!
Weak praise in favor, yet such virulent hostility in defense, of death
The worst of course, are the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, regarding humanity as a blighting cancer upon the face of the Earth to be eradicated lest we migrate into Outer Space and contaminate the Universe! Alas how much public sympathy for any such misanthropy.
Bio-Luddite oppression: Alas that Deathists are not always content simply to go quietly into that dark night
As Eliezer Yudkowsky concludes upon death and character building in ‘The Meaning That Immortality Gives to Life’ “Only things unvirtuous of themselves, must be excused by philosophizing them into excuses for virtue.”
Indeed, no inspiration is ever truly intrinsic to the source, but to the individual. And should it ever really be the case, anyone that actually needs death in order to appreciate life, may indeed find themselves that much more prone even to passive self harm, and would be far better off to discover any other, better, saner, generally safer Existential adaptation.
For ostensibly spiritual longing, indeed the appreciation of death, is often actually predicated upon the extol of virtue and sacrifice under adversity that amounts to an admiration of drama ever heightened by raising the stakes, which mortality indeed accomplishes to the utmost.
But all of this is entirely forgetful that what makes for good drama in fiction are what would be in reality adverse circumstance and suffering. Martyrdom is not to be sought for.
After all, it is the same issue ofmortality that has always fueled the no less dramatic questing for immortality. And the attainment of true practical super longevity and the conquest of death, is hope for a happy ending, the outcome in doubt being necessary in Technique of Suspense plotting.
“[Ray Bradbury] opposed vast extension of the human life span not because it would result in stagnation, or social injustice, but rather because it would lead to the diminution or termination of those elements of human suffering and weakness he considered essential to being human. Without death, and forgetting and constantly being “reset” to that fraction of our libraries each human generation might be able to absorb before, in turn, being extinguished, there could be no pathos of the kind that was Bradbury’s stock and trade. Bradbury saw, quite clearly, that practical biological immortality would transform man into something fundamentally different, alien even, from his current state of being and he was deeply repulsed by that. To be human is to be mortal and to suffer and to die and to live out a history of error and folly over and over, indefinitely. A history that would recede into the dim mists of living memory. A history that required the storyteller to shape the critical parables for mankind to live (and die) by. A history that required men like Ray Bradbury. His final remark in our conversation was that he would have immortality through his books which was the only kind of immortality to which men were entitled.”
‘Ray Bradbury: When the Writer Mistakes His Books for Himself’ by Mike Darwin
But the emortal person, however growing in Philosophical sagacity, must remain fallible. And the same story tellers are ever reshaping their parables anew for the same people in different times and life passages, never mind only to successive forgetful generations. The Transhuman will only present fresh new demand for culture throughout the long road ahead before any true dawning of the Post Human. And even the Post Human, however advanced, strange and unrecognizable, will be shaped by evolution of whatever their own unprecedented and hither to alien motivation and necessity.
Not all pathos is equal: Resignation by preference, is neither heroic nor dramatic. Senseless vicissitude is melodrama. Practical immortality will open new chapters in human adventure. The future is not doomed to indolence. Even with the elimination of adversities of privation, fresh drama awaits in the striving towards new challenges. What is better? The mortality, the eventual extinction, of humanity ourselves, by even willful failure to adapt? Or else the mortality merely howsoever and to whatever extent, of the human condition in the limited frame thereof as we have known it, simply because of progress, growth into any way of life at all truly new under the sun?
And can any of that truly become so boring and irrelevant for capable and incisive creative writers and commentators? - that they might some day confront an audience at all the lees naive and therefore the more worthy of the author's respect? How insufferably patronizing!
• Is That What Love is? The Hostile Wife Phenomenon in Cryonics
And here I thought that trashing hubby's comix collection was belligerent!
Is Reactionary Deathism, after all, truly so fearful of stagnation,
or indeed, rather, of
reflection and progress?
“If man were immortal he could be perfectly sure of seeing the day when everything in which he had trusted should betray his trust, and, in short, of coming eventually to hopeless misery. He would break down, at last, as every good fortune, as every dynasty, as every civilization does. In place of this we have death.”
Charles Sanders Peirce
However stagnation is not a factor of time alone, of long life, but rather of various circumstances that can be addressed in order to sustain even intense engagement of meaningful breadth and depth of individual human character growth, learning, autonomy and progress, not to mention just havin' fun, so that death remains the most absurdly Draconian solution given any other viable options. Indeed, jadedness ever for fresh novelty, seems the best protection from future shock! Not everyone is on a rut, or at least not so completely and irrevocably. And not everyone indeed in a rut, even knows it or suffers therefrom, certainly not suicidally! Must we all then abide by the suicide pact of the Bio-Luddites, regardless? Is not any conceivably wider range of option the more desirable?
“Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.”
— Anaïs Nin
In truth, the greater problem is nothing so trifling or abstract as any purported specter of perpetually adolescent ennui: It is suffering and tragedy that so builds and mounts in life to crush the spirit so. The bane of mythical immortals has always been ever renewed bereavement outliving their loved ones again and again. But not if only they are permitted to share their gift! And that exactly is what the future holds for those who will only live to see it. Generations to come will never know the loss of bereavement. That is the only feasible realization of the yearned for mythic return to innocence for humankind, and without deception and oppression in heteronymously stupefied preservation of naivety. The elimination of bereavement will redefine the very human condition even no less than individual practical immortality in and of itself.
The true Morality Play of ThunderCats 2011 Episode 4 - ‘Song of the Petalars,’ an entertaining rendition of the romanticized thematic trope of ephemeral life, remains no less elusive to many who miss the real point of how young and impressionable Lion-O, enchanted and beguiled by the earnestly optimistic fatalism of the Petalar Emerick, then very nearly leads his comrades into a desperate, grand and futile last stand against their enemies, but for the deus ex machina that they are conveniently rescued in the very precious nick of time, by the older, wiser and far more experienced Panthro, with all the preparedness a real survivor, making his grand entry in the Thundertank and routing the enemy. For even howsoever valid priority of quality over quantity or duration, how well one has lived rather than merely how long, exactly as so beatifically extolled by the quickly wilting Petalar Emrick, may often tend to be anything of a false dilemma somewhat arbitrarily ruling out both at once. Indeed, quality is often a function of quantity, the wheat sifted from the chafe. By trial and error, quality must often be ferreted out out from sheer quantity, which takes more time. For sagacity accrues from experience, not naivety. Indeed, as Kathy muses in ‘Never Let Me Go’ (2010) from the novel by Kazuo Ishiguro: “Maybe none of us really understand what we've lived through, or feel we've had enough time.”
And yet, there endures the distorted romantic nostalgia for the adventuresome life quick, merry and bold. Indeed, Parkinson's Law which states that the work expands to fill the time allotted, has actually been speciously advanced to contend, without supporting evidence, that longer life and health only accrues further procrastination instead of greater productivity. Need that be dignified with response? There is even the implicit misanthropic Moralism to the effect that mounting decrepitude is constructive as a necessary punishment for the callow false invulnerability of youth! This of course devalues experience in its own right. Lastly, there is the canard of immortality and ennui, even doctrine to the effect that life and worldliness is intrinsically dull eventually necessitating drastic escape.
Why, just imagine all the people: Historically, the entertainments of affluent culture was actually invented in order to stave off the boredom of peace and plenty sans the adaptive stimulation from violence, suffering and the struggle for survival. Imagine, then, if per chance practical immortality will similarly spur human culture by producing the effect of raising the stakes and therefore sharpening the focused priority of ongoing fulfillment and richer true to life drama of greater and better free choice and autonomy in order to nurture, sustain and intensify experience of meaningful breadth and depth of individual human character growth and progress, moment by moment even indefinitely into the vastness of the looming future, an immortal ocean of time with no far shore, into at long last replacing the long standing passive reliance upon the Deathist melodramatically decidophoic coward's way out, then all the world will be as one, in the same proverbial boat, stewing in the lonely boredom of underserved needs and desires from frustrated intrinsic motivation. Imagine an unprecedented new era ensuing, not only of comfort and affluence, but of expanding human fulfillment. So can the playing out of so plainly happier a future scenario truly be what anyone is so desperate to avoid? In a word: yes. Indeed, what could be more dreadful from the vantage point of anti-intellectualism? Because, it is children of any age, who get set in their ways. In time enough, they must set childish things behind them. And if neither simple Hedonism nor blithe complacency cannot sustain perpetual superficiality, then radical life extension will eradicate the unexamined life once and for all!
“The soul is born old but grows young. That is the comedy of life. And the body is born young and grows old. That is life's tragedy.”
— Oscar Wilde
For stagnation is not inevitable, ultimately only reflection, the waning of innocence and growth into sagacity. Only change itself remains constant. Whether for people or for societies, time is the cure for stagnation. Only annihilation forestalls further change. Under any circumstances, mass ennui may be among the most fruitful motivating challenges ever to confront humanity throughout history, and well into the foreseeable future. Competition within the species first drove evolution of engorged human cerebrality well beyond the needs of environmental adaptation, resulting in the motivating intrinsic human stimulus needs and thence struggle with boredom. That was the first loss of innocence, mourned as the fall from grace and celebrated as the theft of fire. Again, what Deathism as any other decidophobic manifestation of heteronomy so fears, is nothing less than the Existential burden of freedom. Deathism extolling definition in human mortality, is simply Agoraphobia along the axis of time.
Yet the very prospect of living longer, may even be seen to escalate the very problem of suffering, dissatisfaction and lonely unhappiness, and of ever setting any limits of sheer endurance thereto, the ultimate worthiness of life and the comfort of an eventual release in death. For in rejection of nature's reliable and Draconian remedy, can there truly never be any more desirable alternative? It is argued that death provides definition, the very sort of predictable boundaries from which the randomness of gambling pastimes are extolled as Existential remedy. In truth, neither irresponsible recommendation is any less decidiphobic of fateful free choice and the perceived burden of liberty. Life is enough of a gamble within boundaries, no matter what. And no moment of truly excellent circumstances could ever become burdensome, even extended unto eternity, or unworthy of pursuit. But unless there are any pleasures and/or values in life at all, then even momentary survival, let alone longer, must be of little concern. However, in the words of R.M. Perry, Ph.D.: “The individual ought to endure - for a life rightly lived is never rightly ended.”
“It is possible to provide security against other ills, but as far as death is concerned, we men live in a city without walls.”
— Epicurus (Quoted in Epicurus, 1967)
Those who have experienced dying second hand, by witnessing the transformation that comes over the psyche of a dying person, those who by friendship, by relating to the dying with compassion and respect, and who are even seduced thereby, indeed even concluding that there is something that they have indeed thereby observed, are actually correct as far as that goes: dying is something. Any near death experiences, whether one recovers or not, whether one may skirt oblivion or ultimately succumb, Phenomenally, near death experiences unfolding, are tautologically experiences no less than any other experiences, and may even be deemed profound, by whatever criteria of profundity. It is said that because of how dying can be misunderstood by such metaphors of life, as of how death grows within the dying person, indeed as cancer, that is alive and actually does grow, that perhaps together with wishful thinking, confusion sets in so that dying and death actually seem somehow pregnant and life bearing, with or without fantasy of hereafter for which suicides may actually be known, symbolically perhaps, to pack their bags. Indeed, there is a transformation, a passage. But that hardly rules out that it is a passage to nowhere and to nothing. Perhaps the dying are wont to cope by classic Freudian identification with the persecutor, in this case, mythologically thinking, Death himself. And in poetical ambiguity or polysemy, the line blurs between bearer or agency of death and essential telos thereof, final cause or aim, being the cessation of the condition of living. But there can be no such thing as nothingness as an entity. Nothing is nothing. Nothingness is the empty set. And death itself, being dead, inert, lifeless, no matter the process thereto, is nothing, the extinction of consciousness, the end. So, even if the near death experience truly strives, opens and grows towards anything ineffable, just as any other life and thought, whatever that is, if ever achieved, even whatever mysterious sense of eternity, is intimately nevertheless and nonetheless transitory as any other satori, and dies as well forever and is lost, ending all the more completely along with life itself.
Even without overt hallucination, the private long goodbye, ongoing intensely lonely introverted intimacy with gradual bodily deterioration and the innately Mystical profound inward turning even anally retentive self involvement with dying often brings about those very changes in attitudes and values that are so prized of Zen Mysticism that quests for emptiness extolling apathy while cursing desire and hope. Therefore, can we then be so parochial as to dismiss the sincere conviction so often attendant upon an altered value system that must be deemed as innate to the human condition as eventual dying itself? In a word: Yes.
Obviously, psychological adaptation to dying, is otherwise survival impaired, even Masochistic and self destructive. Let us never abandon our fellows, or console them to meek resignation, but bear one another up should we fall, and strive to save and protect those who sicken and become vulnerable, even unto erosion of the very appetite to live that is the first thing to return with restored health and sane autonomy. Even the most dispirited terminal patient recognizes the efforts to save their lives as love, and appreciates the gesture, even if they have lost the initiative to reach out for help and cooperate. Becoming so profoundly frightened, beaten and submissive, even if that finally gives them whatever false sense of peace, what they may often need is actually to be given permission somehow, especially by an authority figure that they have come to depend upon. Likewise, there are those who appreciate the gesture of Cryonics as a contingency, but being mortal, thus even in preconscious sheer anticipatory identifications with the helpless regression into childhood and heteronomy of dying, already need anything the likes of Integrated Recovery in order to afford them the sense of moral permission. That's what love is: Love and respect, among other things, first of all, encourage well being and survival. Let no one say otherwise. What emerges, then, is that how very taboo notion of practical immortality and the eradication of death, truly opens subtle new frontiers of consciousness in autonomy: the challenge to imagine no longer identifying as mortal. Indeed, what is the yearning for peace, but the dream of a world full of people who refuse to die and refuse to kill? For such is the next step forward comparable to the difference between infection, squalor and ignorance amid the black plague, and living in modern affluence, sanitation and comfort with full health care. Or can we seriously imagine that at this stage, at the cusps of unprecedented medical and biotechnical advance, that progress will somehow grind to some near halt, preserving all the ills of the familiar human condition along with all of our complacent parochialism?
of Deathist sentiment is a certain
admiration for the way in which animals die, how loving pets make their
goodbyes and become consumed with the work of dying. For other animals than
the human species, are unselfconscious and without time binding
consideration of past and future
characteristic of the human ego.
Nevertheless, innocence is once again vastly overrated. For in truth a dying
animal, to begin with feeling increasingly run down just physically, all the
more therefore simply becomes understandably depressed with their impending
fate, that they do, it would seem, at all experience any intimation of what
lies in store. And what really shows how sensible animals can be, is that
should the animal instead recover, then there is no sign of any yearning for
death in a frisky pet very much relieved to survive their ordeal! And that
is what should be our lesson in context.
What other animal than human beings ever hesitates to draw breath so long as
they remain adequately healthy? Given the fait accompli, finally we won't,
Medicine may soon be capable of selective removal or suppression of memories, on demand. Amnesia, if it could only be had, would spare one from the pain of loss, but memories may be all one has left of any past happiness! And death, the end of consciousness, is bereft even of thought at all. Any wish for death, immediate or eventual, or perhaps instead merely if not for amnesia, then sublime apathy, is sheer escapism, the yearning to end suffering which is natural. But the most radical pain management strategy of whatever mode of annihilation cannot be the preferred solution, despite the manifest efficiency and availability as ever the craven cynics are so quick to point out. Suicide and death, like rape and violence, are grand dramatic themes romanticized in fantasy spoiled by excessive realism. Deathism simply panders to the yearning for escape, generally a fantasy more safely and productively processed Psychodynamically than ever taken lightly and blithely enacted, even passively howsoever by simply allowing nature run its course into terminal aging.
In truth, what is attendant upon the appropriateness of grief, suffering that persists with whatever the injurious cause thereof, therefore valued as useful, even howsoever aversive, as often highly beneficial and meaningful motivation, is the impulse of expression, a desire no less that such relief cannot actually be called pleasurable. That and the yearning for understanding. There is no self salvation, no dignified exit. Barring intolerable suffering with no hope to give any reasonable point in delaying the inevitable, suicide only comes from dispirited self pity filling that void of yearned for understanding. And even the latter case of the worst suffering, may nevertheless actually be the more motivated by the sense of isolation because no one seems to comprehend their extreme plight, than by the relief from any other adversity. Actually, death may often be a release more for onlookers who really can't be bothered, those malignant angels of death. For in the words of Simone Weil: “Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.”
When a dying person ceases to display agitation, this may be interpreted as the dawning of inner peace as Earthly cares begin to fade away, at the very least: comfortably numb. Or actually have they have sunken into an abyss of despair? Perhaps much as with lost innocence, likely resignation too is simply over rated by the angels of death, those who encourage discouragement as the end looms near in the conditionality of their dubious comfort to the most desperate and alone. For quiete defeat is conflated with peace and therefore cherished over desperation and despair. Such are those angels of death, friends, family and care professionals alike, those angels of death ever present for throwing anvils to the drowning, that they may clutch for cold comfort on the way down, and not even straws of hope for them to grasp.
For indeed drowning men are said to grasp at straws, straws that with foresight may woven into raft even for many a dauntless mariner who have braved that angry dark sea of annihilation. And is not such a raft Cryonics? Just don't put it off for too long...
“The individual ought to endure - for a life rightly lived is never rightly ended.” — R.M. Perry, Ph.D.
Cryonics is the ultimate heroic measure in the striving to save lives, the last resort beyond all other last resort, the proverbial hail Mary pass, the veritable prayer if not to Jude, patron saint of the impossible, then instead, whatever hopeful investment in sheer possibility of engineering feasibility. Some argue that first further advances in cryopreservation technology are required. Indeed, the same may be said of cancer medicine, though no one would dare such murderously contemptuous dismissal, because, obviously, so many have found themselves without the luxury of time to wait. Therefore we must be ready to make best use of tools currently available. Even the most significant differences between chemotherapy and Cryonic Suspension are moot as regards this single fundamental parallel. Of course, the success of any round of chemotherapy in staving off impending death from cancer, can be seen soon enough thereafter. Whereas, the success of Cryonics, being the hoped for delayed resuscitation out from Cryonic Suspension into healthy reanimation and cure, will remain on hold indefinitely. -That's rather the point: Buying time for the requisite technological progress. For what is more precious than time, and what is more powerful than progress? Only life (the process of consciousness) and hope! Both chemo/radiation therapy and Cryonics are heroic measures and remain uncertain. And so, the criticism against Cryonics because the results can only come in the future, is actually nothing more or less than an aversion to deferred gratification in very principle! How immature and petulant. But then, such is often the natural effect of the mortality and the abiding terror of death: regression into childhood, vulnerable to heteronomy.
Epistemologically and Methodologically, heteronomy rejects all real and uncertain hope, demanding instead, impossible guarantee such as in religion, or failing that, despairs into Nihilism, and even then therefore still typically strives to quell doubt viewed as weakness, often by sheer commitment as measured by all manner of personal investment and self sacrifice, whereas autonomy striving in uncertainty, nevertheless to solve problems and improve life, instead embraces fallibility and seeks to dispel doubt by investigation and experiment. Thus Heteronomy is notoriously reluctant to relinquish any position no matter how bleak, until manifestly untenable, and even then, only surreptitiously. Any prejudice such as Racism or Sexism never stands out but actually fades from notice within the bigoted milieu or setting, and it is much the same with Deathism here and now. Perhaps out of sheer decidophobia, more common milder degrees of Deathism are purposefully designed so as to allow gradual and surreptitious progress, but without surrender of all manner of investment in complacency of status quo, instead to the investment and opportunity, of hope and desire implicit to open embarkation upon the anxiety provoking experimental fallible uncertainty of anything as yet seemingly so distant in abstraction as of practical immortality.
Hence even the taboos against Cryonics and Radical Life Extension may be regarded as only a special application of the much broader taboo upon relevance itself and even upon hope at all, so blithely dismissed as pipedream for wont of prior authoritative foundation or justification. But it is precisely the rational capacity for abstract reasoning along with every beneficial accomplishment therefrom, that differentiates the human condition, and embrace whereof that defines Humanism.
“If we had an immortality pill, the demand for it would be instant and overwhelming and I’ve noticed that in myself, with all my ambivalence, when I read a newspaper story or exciting journal article in this field and suddenly that goal seems plausible, I can tell the world would look very different to me and to everyone if you could go to drug store and buy those pills tomorrow. I really don’t think we would hold back, or governments could hold us back.”
— Jonathan Weiner interview
“Human tool-makers always make tools that will help us get what we want, and what we want hasn't changed for thousands of years because as far as we can tell the human template hasn't changed either. We still want the purse that will always be filled with gold, and the Fountain of Youth. We want the table that will cover itself with delicious food whenever we say the word, and that will be cleaned up afterwards by invisible servants. We want the Seven-League Boots so we can travel very quickly, and the Hat of Darkness so we can snoop on other people without being seen. We want the weapon that will never miss, and the castle that will keep us safe. We want excitement and adventure; we want routine and security. We want to have a large number of sexually attractive partners, and we also want those we love to love us in return, and be utterly faithful to us. We want cute, smart children who will treat us with the respect we deserve. We want to be surrounded by music, and by ravishing scents and attractive visual objects. We don't want to be too hot or too cold. We want to dance. We want to speak with the animals. We want to be envied. We want to be immortal. We want to be gods. But in addition, we want wisdom and justice. We want hope. We want to be good.”
— Margaret Atwood, ‘In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination’
And the proposed strategy of optional universal coverage for Cryonic Neurosuspension under Integrated Recovery, recommends the wisdom of best facilitating hope of personal practical immortality by the greatest good for others as served by cadaverous donation.
Deathism: The passive suicide pact of the Bio-Luddites
Because death is so good for you! So good we gotta share!
This entire addendum only strives in further attempt first of all to fathom, then to rebut, the prevalent and frankly mystifyingly misanthropic unserious decoy objections to Cryonics and Radical Life Extension and in preservation instead of status quo mortality under deepest despair masquerading as hope itself.
animals and the prospect of meat without suffering? Brief digression
into another innovative business model:
In Vitro Meat – Money may never grow on trees, but meat can grow in labs nowadays. Scientists already have the capability to grow synthetic meat tissue or in vitro meat (IVM) from animal cells, but the cost is currently too prohibitive for it to be used widely. Plus there is the problem that many recoil from the idea of eating lab-grown meat. But as the cost comes down and as public awareness of the food industry's practices grows, aversion to IVM might also diminish. From making humans and the planet healthier to solving the ethical dilemma of eating animals, this technology has the potential to revolutionize the way we live.
excuses for death may be deemed understandable given the formerly
intractable human condition of inevitable mortality from time
immemorial, but now circumstances are finally changing.
If freedom is just another word for
nothing left to lose, then why, nevertheless, such paralysis obsessing for
wont of impossible guarantees? Of necessity, we experiment with life and
death continually. Why not make every best effort openly and responsibly? Why are experimental drugs, no matter how
highly effective but still pending approval, withheld even from the
imminently terminal? Precisely what are they being protected from? Indeed
one such therapeutic is Halsa
Pharmaceutical's Zinc Alpha 2 Glycoprotein
blocker, to counter the run away production from tumors that brings
about cachexia. And we have all
been acquainted with people who have so horrifically wasted away from cancer.
Once doctors in America where often arrogant, rampant and unaccountable, even to their professional peers. But now we have the opposite problem. Only the most courageous dare stick out their necks at all. Opposing camps of doctors subvert authority in order to persecute one another, instead of conducting scientific experiment and controversy. Doctors live in terror of the own tyrannical examiners boards, however qualified medically, often arrogant, rampant and unaccountable, if not actually intimidating bullies prone to abuse of power, then at best nonetheless so clearly untrained, unconcerned and unfit for what is a judicial process and sensitive responsibility. There remain however two exceptions, two kinds of doctors unbowed nevertheless: For the outright career criminals in medicine are in the end answerable only to the police and the courts, while at all short thereof, the worst malpractitioners are typically too burnt out to notice or care about the regulators who, after all, tend to ignore rather than to redeem or to punish the true burnt out malpractitioners. All in all, the practice of medicine has become such an HMO cookie cutter operation. Doctors may deem themselves exceptional for keeping abreast of approved therapies, but never research or discovery, actually happy to be kept in the dark, because their number one priority is to avoid controversy. Hence, with routine and livelihood to protect, careers to protect and families to feed, their foremost responsibility is to remain heteronymous and perpetually irresponsible. In any better spirit of autonomy, more democratically, they should press feedback into a complacent sustain, organize and agitate for improvement within medicine for the patient. But who has time?
As a generality, no doubt that the time and expense of lengthy and convoluted safety approval process stifles competition and innovation even in the very domain of safety itself! But what about protection of the vulnerable public? Those haughty Radical Libertarian Social Darwinists who decry all nanny state intervention, advocating instead, complete freedom for natural selection so that fools may eliminate themselves, seldom imagine how they themselves often resemble that very remark! Instead, to be realistic, one among many more nuanced problems is how the FDA and equivalent regulators around the world, follow a mandate of approving therapies for safety in their own right, but that alone is actually irresponsible. Indeed, it may well be that the authorities are accomplishing as much harm as help, by doing exactly as they are supposed to. Scientific results, conclusions from experiment and research, may ever be deemed conclusive, however one sets the bar. And yet it remains that nothing can ever be truly certain. But what remains even the more complicated and salient, is how responsible decisions can follow only from weighing whatever preponderance of evidence in the assay of projected cost and risk versus benefit from any given moment in time. The risks and benefits of providing any therapeutic option under any range of foreseeable circumstances, must weighed against those of howsoever withholding it, and also compared to those of whatever other available options. Moreover, the time needed for testing and whatever approval process, must be estimated, with the cost and dangers of such possible and likely delay estimated and considered. But none of this is even pondered, at least not routinely and systematically.
The malaise that is Deathism
“Immortality - a fate
worse than death.”
Indeed, why does anyone prefer mystical or stoical striving towards quiescent acceptance of status quo to arousal and hope in Humanist progress and change for the better by overcoming adversity? Answer: Because heteronomy to the former introverted strategy in striving more directly assuage unpleasant emotion, is therefore so evangelically extolled and proselytized as more reliable, being entirely within individual power as well as societal approval. Denial, emotional survival instinct, often overwhelms true relevantly extroverted survival instinct. When desire and value are kept dormant by denial mechanisms of sheer willful of failure of imagination, no yearning beyond status quo is allowed to awaken, merely put out of mind. Deathism is suicidal escapism from the dread of futile and meaningless lives.
Sheeple reconciled with death are dignified and comforted by knowing ones place, as if such where ever changeless. For the embrace of progress is not hubris but the appropriate humility to inevitable fallibility, and realization, with due respect and apology to Ben Franklin, that not even death and taxes can remain certain forever. Suicide and death, like rape and violence, are grand dramatic themes romanticized in fantasy spoiled by excessive realism. Deathism simply panders to the yearning for escape, generally a fantasy more safely and productively processed Psychodynamically than ever taken lightly and blithely enacted, even passively howsoever by simply allowing nature run its course into terminal aging.
Relative and sufficient peace with ourselves is perhaps braver even that the Transhunanist aspiration to god-like social and technological evolution. And hope in fallible progress is the greater challenge to faith, than all precisely such reconciliation and resignation as so often rationalized by clumsy abstraction to the effect of implicit limitation by duration, even upon the very value or motivating desire for survival. Such a gloomy outlook is even less prudent than the historic and persistent lack of foresight into the explosive demand for computing and telecommunications that was imminent. -fresh new demand for hither to unimagined novelty.
The psychopathology of Deathism
Suicide and death, like rape and violence, are grand dramatic themes romanticized in fantasy spoiled by excessive realism. And the passive self aggression, of simply allowing nature and aging to run their course, may appeal to decidophobia. Deathism simply panders to the yearning for escape, generally a fantasy more safely and productively processed Psychodynamically than ever taken lightly and blithely enacted, even passively howsoever by simply allowing nature run its course into terminal aging. Deathism assumes that boredom and ennui, that are a part of life, are cumulative over time, whereas, rather it is novelty and progress that accumulates over longer stretches of time, ever more profoundly. The anti-intellectualism of the Zen condemns the loss of innocence as characterized by the very capacity for subjective inner refection. Perhaps the true downside more specifically, is the capacity for melancholia and suicidal brooding, or worst and even more specifically, any such as the misguided succor of assisted suicide for extreme depression in the Netherland. In In the struggle against whatever deepest grief, let alone mere boredom, surely the embrace of death should come only as very last resort, not determined routine fallback!
Deathism, the sentimental morbid glorification of death. For whatever desperate solace of whatever fantasies or rationalizations, explicitly religious or otherwise, is no longer even arguably harmless. For Deathism is to any dawning prospect of Radical Life Extension, much less to the ultimate heroic measures that are Cryonics, what Christian Science is to all life saving Medicine! More over, if death isn't so bad, what can be terribly wrong about murder, especially as via Deathist propaganda pandering, by manipulative pressure and persuasion alone? Ob the contrary, such is the appropriateness of grief to the harm of death and loss, that we are compelled to remember the dead because we need to. As Mark Twain: observed, funerals are for the living. Only the bereaved may seek for whatever solace. The only possibility at all of ever actually helping the dead remains with Cryonics.
Perhaps in truth that oft praised dignified face in confronting death, after all, is a matter of courtesy to onlookers, so as not to alarm the other sheeple! For in truth, is it not actually themselves whom those Moloch worshiping angels of death so struggle to comfort? How cruel is the demand for willful positivity, to strip away from the suffering, even the validity of their own grief instead even of sharing their sorrow and showing understanding with compassion, ultimately not by consolation alone, but by the life affirmation of taking any possible measure improve matters if at all possible.
Do people want only to avoid or blot out the emotion of sadness, or don't we actually desire to prevent and to avoid or at least minimize actual misfortune? Pain persists until cause is removed and injury healed. Negative emotion, even howsoever aversive, is often highly beneficial and meaningful motivation. For even though nowadays many threats are psychological rather than physical, the same primitive impulse to destroy the threat yet arises. And the ability to quickly discern friend from foe is essential to survival because mistaking either can be deadly. Disgust motivates the avoidance of all that which is toxic and corruptive. Contempt distances one from the unworthy. Suffering mobilizes escape from harm while pity thereof raises alarm and succor. Fear of death is the good sign of life! And there can be no happiness except in life, and no profit in simply giving up a-priori.
In defense of the Hedonic treadmill How raised expectations promote the will to continue living
Deathism is a pure faith, the residue of Mysticism and religion, even without whatever intellectualization from Ontological apologetics. Does Deathism then envy the hope and courage to defy death as manifest in radical life extension research and the practice of Cryonics? Or is it worse than that? It is said that even despair must be livened by even so much as a glimmer of hope. Perhaps what Deathism actually so abhors in such anathema, is the risk of becoming inspired by the example of radical life extension research and the practice of Cryonics, and losing their own heteronymously hard won solace. Why then so disrespect their heartfelt convictions, and risk robbing anyone of such a treasure? Obviously, to stop them from sharing it! To help stave off such proselytizing and the infection of resignation. To save all of our lives, if at all possible. For prevailing Deathism is defensive denial, malignant, weird and dangerous. Deathism is the psychological barrier to long term survival and progress. Bah humbug then, and a long over due decent burial, to Deathism! Because all such convoluted denial can only undermine responsible action towards survival, happiness and well being.
In closing: A Cryo-evangelical interfaith outreach
Cryo-Zen? Zen arguments in favor of Cryonics and radical life extension
What attachments are more insidiously malignant and unwholesome than those of Deathism? Embrace any prospects of Cryonics and Radical life Extension with unperturbed equanimity. Support Integrated Recovery out of Buddhist compassion.
Epistle to the Theists in imminent critique: Emortalism in the sight of almighty God?
Even those most misguided of wretches determined and set forth upon whatever personal road to Damascus, as it where, yea, even in the most virulent persecution against Cryonics, may yet come to their senses! Rather than yielding to any such as above manipulative emotional blackmail in propaganda rationalization of oppression and obstruction, Moralistically and Masochistically shunning all the great gifts of social and technological progress and freedom in such monumentally arrogant ingratitude, instead we should all strive to become more worthy thereof, better organized and proactive thereby to hasten improvement in our lives. For what is the yearning for peace, but the dream of a world full of people who refuse to die and refuse to kill?
Remember: Every prospective Cryonaut is a trailblazer! Everyone who opts for Cryonics, helps in making it "okay" for others even to dare hope.
“The last enemy
that shall be destroyed is death.” Corinthians 15:26
Let who so has an ear, hear, and and even one eye, only look about them: Does everyone so obsessed with reading prophetic signs and portents, ignore the skies above their heads, and the ominous weather of global warming? And are they likewise bereft of all sense of history and current events? Lo, if there is a time for all things under heaven, for every task that falls to the human hand, then the time of Cryonics as a fall back in case of whatever personal fatal mishap is already beginning, and radical life extension enfolding the aging cure and practical immortality, is surely nigh as the space age in earnest is finally dawning.
Oh, why then, do those who believe that God wants us to be wealthy and productive, extol faith, perseverance and hard work as partners in creation together and ever closer with the loving God, but those who believe that God intends, as they proclaim that it shall come to pass, to smite down the Angel of Death and raise the dead eternally, therefore extolling in passive submission and humility, discourage the privileged exaltation and inspiration of, to putting it al in such Theistic terms, rising together in quest of harmony with His/Her mysterious ways, to take any active part in unfolding history thereby still be counted among God's elite together striving to advance what must surely be hailed, blessed and praised as God's greatest work for ultimate salvation for all humankind from the woeful tribulation of death?
Alas, the most obvious assay of motivation remains the surmise of sheer pigheaded monopolistic protection of the opiate of the masses as the only pacifying solace of pious piffle and resignation in the face of human mortality. For shame! Is not the saving of life the very highest priority under Jewish law?
“But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” James 2:20
Indeed, in this case, one might even go so far as to venture that faith without works is death!
Wishing doesn't make it so, nor however should the ubiquitous wishful thinking and outright sour grapes of Deathism (explicitly Theistic or otherwise), the morbid cultural glorification of death, in short: utter despair masquerading as hope springing eternal, obstruct attainment of desires and even survival. Martyrdom is to be bourn courageously as ever may befall, but never sought for, not actively nor by passive sins of omission. And that's a fine line.
Alas that the solace of coming to terms with mortality, emotionally battered into submission to grim inevitability, is so hard won as to inspire the secret terror that even the very glimmer of hope in Radical Life Extension might refresh and enliven long lurking despair out from hitherto rationalization and deep denial into the unconscious, freshly welling back again into conscious suffering dread.
For those who maintains, in the words of John Gillespie Magee, Jr. that: “God is my copilot” then how most exaltedly best to glorify Him? For to quote Epicurus: “Skillful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempest.” Even in most fervent supplication for succor from On High to the most helpless and not only those that help themselves, dare one therefore like unto the pious Ludite in wringing their hands and rubbing the book of scripture as though Aladdin's Lamp, simply presume upon miraculous Divine Intervention? What hope or faith at all be vested in whatever entirely sanguine and passive “sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life” [The Anglican English Book of Common Prayer] if indeed the resurrection be deemed certain and preordained? Or is it not more noble and sublime, first of all, to rise, aspire and strive for ones own strength and clarity in whatever comfort of prayer or meditation? Indeed is there not a better example for us all in the mariner resolved in finding himself set sail upon uncertain seas, who takes heart and gives his all to the task with every means at his disposal, and who by that act of faith is said to put themselves in God's hands and thereby the utmost to glorify Him in the noblest works of humanity? What truer act of faith is there than Cryonics? Take a chance! What is there to lose? Support the grand mitzvah of Integrated Recovery.
Copyright Aaron Agassi 2010 - 2012
ALL HAIL FRANKENSTEIN, The NEW PROMETHEUS