Helping the cryonics cause

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Helping the cryonics cause

Postby jordansparks » Thu Mar 28, 2019 4:55 pm

I talk to many people who want to help advance cryonics. They want to somehow contribute to our cause. Well, I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but there's really nothing you can do. It's too big of a problem, and you have too few resources. You can't volunteer or donate or do anything else that will change the status quo at all.
What I would suggest instead is to look very closely at how you might improve your own chances of a good preservation. Quit thinking about "the cause" and just focus on saving your own life. Even after you have narrowed your focus, you will still find it to be an extremely daunting task. The odds will still be very much against you. Mother nature is cruel and merciless. Even if you work really really hard on just saving yourself, you will probably fail. But at least your priorities will be rational.

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Re: Helping the cryonics cause

Postby DetnPx » Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:36 am

I usually tell people to quit their current day-time job, if they can afford it. The people who've made improvements to cryonics in the past and still do, are the ones who devoted 40-100% of their productive hours to it. Background is not very important, as it can be anything from design, outreach, fundraising, technical R&D to science. Focus, preferrably full time, is essential.

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Re: Helping the cryonics cause

Postby jordansparks » Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:19 am

That's the complete opposite of what I'm suggesting. How does quitting your daytime job help ensure your survival? It would just make you poor and unfunded. I'm trying to discourage people from any outreach, fundraising, volunteering, etc. My entire point is that it's all completely useless because it's chasing the wrong goal. What action should you take? I have no idea. But at least start by defining the appropriate goal. "Improving cryonics" is a completely insane quixotic goal. I'm certainly not trying to improve cryonics other than as a completely incidental byproduct of trying to ensure my own survival.

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Re: Helping the cryonics cause

Postby DetnPx » Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:51 am

Imagine if Aubrey de Grey had setup a forum and had written what you just wrote, do you estimate any useful technology and science developing towards the goal of slowing or ending aging would have happened?

Ofcourse not.

Even if the goal is your own survival, you have to pull in others to create exponential development. If your quote would be everyone's approach, how will revival ever happen? Impossible. 1,000,000+ preserved brains from ancient historic relics, most damaged beyond realistic repair, noone ever bothering as it doesn't aid their own survival.

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DataPacRat
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Re: Helping the cryonics cause

Postby DataPacRat » Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:03 am

One option that might be worth considering is to examine the suggestions made by 'Effective Altruists' on how to be most effective at one's altruism, and then apply those same tactics with the goal of personal survival. For example, very few people have any special skills at doing charity, or at performing cryonics outreach; in which case a viable strategy may be to target your career at acquiring as much cash as possible, which can then be spent on hiring somebody with the right skills to do a better job than you can do on your own. (There are some limits to this strategy, such as that working hard enough to negatively affect your health defeats much of the point; but a strategy with some constraints can still be a useful strategy.)

This is an adaptation of the principles behind a long-known piece of economics, the 'Law of Comparative Advantage'. That is, even if a every one of a bunch of people can all do any piece of the work, if they each focus on what they're best at, they can all end up better-off than if they just work at whatever's most obviously useful.
Thank you for your time,
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Re: Helping the cryonics cause

Postby DetnPx » Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:20 am

DataPacRat, I completely underwrite that theory explicitly and employ this on a daily basis by hiring every best expert for every possible position, and not doing such myself when I don't have the particular expertise.

Yet, the problem in cryonics is, on a global scale, ~nobody is an expert in cryonics. Like maybe 20 years ago, nobody was an expert in the physical principles of human aging. We have to train people ourselves, and chasing them away doesn't do anything. If Alcor had told Steve Graber to keep working on custom cars manufacturing, his greatest expertise before he joined Alcor as a volunteer/employee, how would Alcor benefit? Even if he had donated 25% of his other job's salary, Alcor would be a stand-still. Steve Graber is currently making the most in-house developments at Alcor.

My personal theory for cryonics is, we have to align someone's non-cryonics expertise towards the field of cryonics so that they can do a productive job moving a part of the process towards improvement (which definately includes outreach and fundraising, as this funds can fund the people who do the actual R&D).

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Re: Helping the cryonics cause

Postby DetnPx » Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:31 am

Hypothetical conversation, 5-8 years ago:

Steve Graber: "Max, how can I do something for cryonics? Can I volunteer?"
Max More: "NO! GO AWAY! NOBODY CAN DO ANYTHING FOR CRYONICS! KEEP YOUR CURRENT JOB AND MAKE MONEY TO SURVIVE!"

Bam. The most productive engineer at Alcor chased away and dozens of pieces of equipment would never have been constructed.

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Re: Helping the cryonics cause

Postby DataPacRat » Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:40 am

DetnPx wrote:We have to train people ourselves


The trouble there is that we bounce right back into the problem of cryonics' general lack of acceptance. With cryonists being on the rough order of one in a million of the general population, any strategy at increasing interest in cryonics which doesn't have a good model for why 99.9999% of people aren't interested, and thus can reduce that percentage, seems unlikely to succeed. And if somebody has that psycho-social model ready to go, then that opens up a lot more options than simply training more researchers.


(Yes, I have a very rough theory for such a model; it's largely based on David Graeber's "Debt: The First 5000 Years", but isn't a good enough model for me to figure out how to counter it. Very roughly, it's that human minds equate being permanently separated from one's family and community with permanently dying, and cryonics' promise of being revived in some distant future among strangers doesn't offer enough to counter-balance that instinct, save in a rather small part of the population. Naturally, this model could be entirely wrong, and as soon as I see a reason to chuck it in favour of something else, I'll toss it without a qualm.)

Edit:
Hypothetical conversation


And how does that differ from applying the law of comparative advantage? Ie, finding somebody skilled instead of fending off countless unskilled folk with a suggestion they leverage their skills at money-acquisition instead?
Thank you for your time,
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jordansparks
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Re: Helping the cryonics cause

Postby jordansparks » Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:40 am

My advice is the most rational, so I think it's also the most common course of action, including in all your examples. My advice won't change anyone's mind. I'm just stating what should be obvious and what most people already do intuitively.

Aubrey probably followed that path because he wanted to solve aging for his own selfish reasons. We will have to agree to disagree on whether he has had any success. Alcor actually does turn away many volunteers. Steve probably went to work at Alcor because he thought it would help his survival.

> Even if the goal is your own survival, you have to pull in others to create exponential development.
The technology really isn't that complicated. Both aldehyde fixation and cryopreservation are very mature techniques. No exponential development needed.

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Re: Helping the cryonics cause

Postby immorta » Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:24 pm

I think i can help with general communication of needs, resources and abilities of/for the Cryonics community in general,
so we can figure about what we have, know, what we're up to.

I do a Cryonics Community map project http://cryonet,info
& I'm an Admin of several Future-oriented and cryonics meetup groups in NYC, forming workgroups on that topic.

5100 https://www.meetup.com/BLKNY30/
460 https://www.meetup.com/PaxSolaria/
250 https://www.meetup.com/Transhumanism-An ... larity-AI/
620 https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Biohacking/
160 https://www.meetup.com/Cosmism-Meetup/

I am also manging 2K members "Algorithm and data structures" developers meetup - you can propose a hackaton or a programming project.
https://www.meetup.com/algorithm/

What's your particular :
1) needs
2) resources
3) abilities ?

Do you have R&D projects descriptions ?

it is better to double your answer here izobrel at icloud.com

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Re: Helping the cryonics cause

Postby PCmorphy72 » Sun May 26, 2019 12:48 pm

“You can't volunteer or donate or do anything else that will change the status quo at all.”
“What action should you take? I have no idea … other than … trying to ensure my [your] own survival.”
Spreading some knowledge about cryonics could help our rational confidence in some 1% chances, and our natural skepticism/pessimism, both in who knows something about cryonics and in who knows almost nothing (or knows many wrong commonplaces and potentially can change his mind): perhaps it could even bring people uninterested in cryonics from 99.9999% to 99.9998% within 10 years (or the visitors of this website/forum from e.g. 1000 to 2000, in order to spread the opportunity to read the many interesting/more-rational-than-entertaining/should-be-obvious statements within).

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Re: Helping the cryonics cause

Postby Mati_Roy » Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:19 pm

Jordan, I'm not sure what's your point. Is it one of those:
a) That if one thinks they care about other people they are wrong about this preference and didn't introspect properly?
b) That even if someone cares about other people, there's nothing they can do about it (with respect to cryonics)? (either for most people or literally for everyone)

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Re: Helping the cryonics cause

Postby jordansparks » Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:49 pm

No, neither of those is my point. I'll be super simple and blunt. If you want to help cryonics get more members, or if you want to help start a new organization to improve local support, you can't. Quit thinking you can.

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Re: Helping the cryonics cause

Postby Mati_Roy » Thu Jun 06, 2019 4:50 pm

Thanks for the clarification.

Maybe I shouldn’t take your claim literally.

Maybe you say this in response to various people trying some form of outreach that is either useless or even harmful to the image and goal of cryonics, and possibly people that are not even themselves in a position to receive a good cryopreservation (ex.: because of where they live). Maybe people that would have more positive externalities if they focused more on themselves. Maybe you’re emotionally exhausted from doing outreach to people that don’t seem to care about their life.

Maybe you say this so that people realize what they are up against. That training a few funeral directors or nurses in a theoretical setting in your region and having a kit in your house is nowhere near enough. That maybe, if you want to start an organization, at the very least you need to train 5 doctors on hundreds of bodies and test all your procedure and equipment improvements like that.

I mean, your claim is probably not meant as literal as you yourself might become one of the best counter-example to your own claim.

But I’d like to show another example. The Wait But Why article might have brought about 50 new cryonicists. Of course I didn’t run a parallel universe without the WBW article to verify that claim, but here’s my Fermi estimate (this is research I had done prior to this thread).

The WBW article was published on 2016-03-24. At that moment, 329,861 people were subscribed to the mailing list, meaning they all received the article in their inbox. And I assume this represents a minority of the total amount of readers. Currently, 656,504 people are subscribed to the mailing list.

According to Alcor stats, in 2016 they got 62 more members (that is, new members minus members quitting) which represents a growth of 5.56%, and in 2017 it was 27, which represents a growth of 2.36%.

Top 10 years of relative growth (once they had at least 100 members):
1 1991 30.88%
2 1989 23.45%
3 1990 22.87%
4 1992 20.47%
5 1988 9.91%
6 2005 9.29%
7 2002 9.17%
8 1996 8.48%
9 2000 7.95%
10 2003 7.56%

Top 10 years for absolute growth:
1 1991 84
2 2005 73
3 1992 70
4 2016 62 <---
5 2002 56
6 2004 52
7 2003 50
8 2015 44
9 1990 43
10 2000 41

In the 10 years before, the number was 27 on average. In 2016, their membership increased by 35 more than average.

Also that year, CI broke their record: 111 more members (although only about half of CI’s members are fully funded); their average in the 10 previous years was 66, so that’s an estimated 22 fully funded members more than previous years.

KrioRus doesn’t publish their membership statistics, but it seems likely they also had more members that year.

Also, I think the article is really solid, and will continue to be the best reference for a while. Also, even if only a few people went to sign up right away as a result of this article, it might still have significantly influence the public perception of cryonics, which could be really valuable in the long run when compounded with other improvements.

Of course, the causation chain is much more complex. Maybe some of those people will revoke their membership. Maybe some will sign up their children or will tell a friend that will sign up. Etc.

And maybe there were other factors to this peak in 2016. But I doubt it was just a random fluke.

Another major event in 2016, although it was only at the end of the year, on 2016-11-18, was when a 14 years old person won a legal battle. About 136 articles were published on cryonics that day (as indexed by Google). This resulted in a peak of Google search for “cryonics” (source: Google Trends). Sure, in that case the outreach was an externality of wanting to preserve oneself (which maybe is a point you’re trying to make too).

Beside, just telling a friend I think is already valuable outreach which I don’t think should be discouraged. I’ve introduced cryonics to at least 3 people that are now signed up, and I expect many more to come, and I’m ready to accept bets on this. I’ve identified 81 people I personally know in Montreal that are interested in cryonics.

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Re: Helping the cryonics cause

Postby jordansparks » Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:05 pm

> Maybe you say this so that people realize what they are up against.
Yes, that's right. And no, I have not succeeded. I might succeed in the future, but this is way harder than I ever thought it would be. Someone with less resources will fail. I'm not trying to discourage conversations and a few sporadic successes. But I've been at this now for 25 years, and from where I'm sitting, the numbers have hardly budged at all. Just don't expect much.


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