Volume 3 no 27. First published June 1991. ISSN applied for.
The Saga of Charlie Amlin Bob Brakeman
The First Biostasis Operation in Germany Klaus Reinhard
Letters Cow Pox, Pharmaceutical Imports, Alcor vs CI, Bauge's services, poems
Postmortem Signup Assistance Trygve B. Bauge
"And Hell Followed With Him" Bob Brakeman
Mark Sunlin Changes his Mind Mark Sunlin & John de Rivaz
Frankly I'm Very Scared Bob Brakeman
Lyophilisation A plan to create an affordable alternative to cryonics. Yvan Bozzonetti
The Saga of Charlie Amlin
by Bob Brakeman
Charley Amlin had gotten used to the idea of being a local celebrity, but not to the idea of being dead.
He was, intellectually, an immortalist.
But he was also in danger of ending up just as perfectly annihilated as non-immortalists - in danger of rotting or burning even though he understood there was a better and saner alternative.
First, his celebrity status.
In southern California (which you godless heathens from elsewhere should refer to as God's Country), Charley's activity-level as he approached his 90th birthday rivalled that of the average teenager. He appeared on local television regularly, he tap danced at dozens of public functions, he crusaded for the separation of church and state, he publicly attacked irrationalism generally, he corresponded with immortalist organisations all over the country and he was featured in the local newspapers repeatedly. He was doing, in short, just about everything do-able, except for providing for his own cryonic suspension.
That omission wasn't his fault.
Because he had absolutely no at-home support on the subject of immortalism (no other immortalists in his immediate neighbourhood, wife opposed, no good legal contacts, few local financial contacts), and because the national cryonics organisations seemed to have nothing to say about his kind of situation in the promotional material they'd sent him, he was prepared to rot, even though he believed in the better way of cryonic suspension.
In the late 70s and early 80s, he was one of several people who became "life-saving projects" of the present writer. As a friend and longtime correspondent of Charley's, I was saddened (appalled, is what I really mean) to see that his case represented a dramatic and depressing irony: A man who was actually a committed immortalist but was gonna-rot-anyway. That shouldn't be tolerated, and we decided not to tolerate it.
The "we" there isn't the Royal one - it encompasses several executives of our company, Bob Brakeman Inc, as well as some outside attorneys/accountants who work with us. We determined to convince Charley that all his reasons for not going ahead with his own cryonic suspension were (A) representative of real problems, but (B) problems capable of being solved. Over the course of two years and more than two hundred detailed letters we explained to him how to solve the problem of no local support, how to put away the money to pay for his cryonic suspension, and how to deal with one of the national immortalist groups (the Cryonics Institute, as it turned out). Since he was getting no support inside the house (wife), we detailed ways in which he could get it outside (friends loyal to him who would respond in an emergency, a local mortuary). Since he needed continuing income now while still providing for his ultimate suspension, we contacted the key Michigan bank we use and got them to agree to an ITF account for Charley, under the terms of which he had control of the account during his lifetime but the $28,000 principal went to CI upon his suspension. Since the national immortalist groups had pretty much ignored him as a prospect even though he'd corresponded with them for years, we became the intermediary with the group which best suited his particular needs: the Cryonics Institute. We wrote several dozen letters to Bob Ettinger, Mae Junod, Andrea Foote, and David Ettinger on Charley's behalf, urging them to (A) contact him right away (because after our 200 letter correspondence we had him ready to sign up, since now he saw how all the problems could be overcome) and (B) pay him a personal visit if possible. CI officials did both those things, with the result being that the Conqueror Worm just lost a round: Charley Amlin, now a 91 and more vigorous that your average punk 61 year old, is a full suspension member of the Cryonics Institute. He will survive, not self-destruct.
EPILOGUE: This was a reference, early in this article, to "several" people who became life-saving projects of ours in the early 80s. All were successful projects1 - Charley, a Michigan woman (Gail Gloomis, whose story will be told here later and who's now a CI suspension member), her two children, two people of substantial wealth who will be privately suspended,2 etc. Some of those case histories will be described in these pages later.
EPILOGUE TO THE EPILOGUE: A collection of letters in our files, from Charley Amlin thanking us for getting him to "see the light" are, as the cliche goes, "thanks enough" for our efforts on his behalf. But in a spirit of serious greed, my associates and I would like further thanks---in the form of every reader of this article putting forth similar efforts on behalf of the Charley Amlins they know (people who are intellectually immortalists but still in danger of visiting Rot City). There are plenty of Good Deeds one can do for one's friends, but this one is The Deed.
1 Although one might have to be labelled only a partial success: A Santa Monica, California, woman contributed money to immortalist causes and helped in other ways, but died off before signing the documents for her own cryonic suspension. All the other individuals we spent our time on have all provided for their cryonic suspension.
2. It is an act of conceit for the existing cryonics groups to think that they are the "only game in town," that individuals interested in being suspended must by definition pick one of the groups. The existing groups all have serious flaws, and as was predicted by the present writer in an article in The Immortalist magazine four years ago, some people of wealth have already begun (with our help) to choose private suspensions. One of those individuals may be willing to go public in a couple of years, and allow us to (A) detail his preparations for suspension and (B) explain why he is choosing that route instead of going with CI or TT or Alcor.
Bob Brakeman, the author of more than 2000 articles on Immortalism and Public Affairs, resides in Malibu, California.
The Society for Venturism will be holding their Third Annual July Fourth Festival at the Mountain View Lodge in Wrightwood, California from July 5 to 8 inclusive. These festivals are open to all cryonicists and immortalists, as will an Alcor meeting (unconnected with the 4 July Festival) to be held at the same premises on July 7.
Amongst the usual menu of healthy activities such as hikes etc., topics to be discussed include: The Essence of Personhood; What is The Nature of Happiness, and Can we Extend it into Eternity?; and the morality and ethics of cryonics.
The latter topic will include debate on the ethics of dissuading someone from cryonics on the grounds of conventional religious belief, and the morality of rejecting cryonics and allowing oneself to be burned or to decompose.
Dormitory style accommodation will be available, as well as single and double rooms. This will be charged on top of the registration fee of $20.
Further information on this and the Venturists' publications are available from PO Box 458, Wrightwood, California 92327, USA.
The First Biostasis Operation in Germany
by Klaus Reinhard
It can be reported that since February 1991 a man in Germany is trying to arrange a durable preservation of his father who has deanimated without cryonic arrangements. As far as I know, this is the first serious attempt for a biostasis operation in Germany with the aim of revival in the distant future. A prominent politician, Franz Joseph Strauss, is also embalmed and preserved, but no one wishes a later resurrection. At first the son of the patient wanted a cryonic suspension of his father. But because of some unfortunate events it was not possible to get the patient cryonically prepared or frozen soon after deanimation. The son asked an embalmer from Belgium* (he did not find one in Germany) to make a kind of chemical preservation of his father. Now he is searching for a place where the patient can be stored durably. I am sure that there will be more biostasis operations and cryonic suspension in germany, because the number of people interested in cryonic is increasing.
* Editorial note: Herr Reinhard is unable to give the name of the embalmer until all matters appertaining to the preservation have reached a satisfactory conclusion.
From Mr James McNabb
About 17 years ago I had an inoculation of cow pox to immunise me against small pox prior to an overseas trip. The injection caused a violent reaction and fever.
Years later, warts appeared on various parts of my body. There is a lump in the muscle of the left arm - the opposite arm to the one which was inoculated. I am not a doctor nor have I read the book The Poisoned Needle, but it seems these effects result from the cow pox injection.
Perhaps some of your readers would care to comment.
Do you have any idea where to obtain information on the plant Uxtali mentioned previously in Longevity Report. It may be very useful to restore lost youth.
We get a number of queries about Uxtali, but regret that we have no new information. Life Extension Products did attempt to follow it up with the official organisations mentioned in the first report, but did not even receive the courtesy of a reply.
If any reader has any useful comment on the cow pox matter, then please feel free to write in.
Frcm Mr F. Albertario
Here is another overseas supplier of pharmaceuticals that may interest your readers:
Inhome Health Services PO Box 3112 CH2800 Delemont Switzerland.
I found it in the winter 1990 issue of Mondo 2000 magazine (again!) and after writing to them I have just received a price list.
They seem to stock roughly the same products as Interlab, and some of the items are cheaper, others more expensive, but they are not, as you can see, UK based. And this is good news because they can sell direct to UK customers, unlike Interlab.
I haven't as yet ordered anything from them so I can't really comment on the quality of products or service.
Finally may I add that I totally agree with your comment to my letter to Longevity Report 25: use of these products must be monitored by a physician. It's no coincidence that these companies won't send you their goods unless you sign a legal disclaimer, included in the order form, saying that their products are (I quote) "used with the consent of my physician."
From Mrs Mae A. Ettinger
First a comment on Dave Pizer's statements about Alcor's lead in storage and its greater financial security:
These are highly arguable. Among other things, Alcor's units require periodic transfer of patients to allow baking the unit and hardening the vacuum; there is no indication that Cryonics Institute's will have any such necessity. And financial security depends not only on income, but also on overhead and other expenses, which are much higher for Alcor.
Concerning Mr. Bauge:
Publication of Mr. Bauge's letter to a prospective client in Longevity Report 26 was an extremely offensive breach of confidentiality, both with respect to individuals and organizations. Discussion of principles is of course permissible, but we hope there will be no repetition of publication of private information.
Perhaps this would not have happened if Trygve were able to take a spoken "No" for an answer. He seems to have an inability to incorporate negative incoming messages into his consciousness when they are delivered over the telephone.
My concern is less for the cryonics industry than for Trygve, himself, who appears to have aroused enmity on an international scale, at least as far as I have been able to determine from the mail that crosses my desk and from telephone and personal conversations.
In our experience at CI with Trygve's earnest efforts to influence positive outcomes in our business, we have had negative comments from various individuals, even hostile comments, about him. But he has sometimes been helpful to the prospects.
Perhaps it is a sign of the arrival of Cryonics into the industrial area of the world that we now have a consultant who can have a function. Perhaps it is reasonable that there are some bumps along the road to the development of this phenomenon.
Perhaps what is needed now is an operational definition of the role a consultant may play.
While energy and enthusiasm and drive (which Trygve has in abundance) are all effective tools when used with wise professional judgement, they can be turn-offs when they are used immoderately.
Our fledgling industry does not need the negative influence of undue forcefulness and enmity-arousing determination. These characteristics may work with clerks and underlings, they are counter-productive with principals. We do not want prospective members to feel assaulted and overpowered. Nor do we want to have to resist such efforts ourselves. A consultant should be a facilitator, not a goader. He can be most useful in the area of details of transportation, export paperwork, etc.
We emphasize once more that CI does not seek or accept payments on behalf of a consultant, and that negotiations must be direct, and that CI is committed only by representations in writing signed by an authorized officer of CI.
Obviously I must accept some of the blame for printing what was sent to me. However I would be astonished if any readers of Longevity Report know who this Mr Saby is and if they do can or would cause him grief as a result of the publication of his discussion with Mr Bauge.
As to the behaviour of people over the telephone, I know that this is similar to the way people's behaviour changes when they get behind the controls of a car. I recall when I was working in industry how a colleague, if he went into an office and found the person with whom he wished to speak engaged in conversation, would go into an adjoining office and phone him up, thus using the telephone to butt into the conversation.
The cost of a cryonic suspension is commensurate with the cost of buying a house. When one buys a house, even from a national firm of housebuilders or a government department, one employs several experts* to negotiate the transaction. Therefore the use of negotiators with cryonics seems inevitable eventually, although as Mrs Ettinger implies the industry may still be too young to support this additional level of bureaucracy.
Anyway for the sake of completeness, we are concluding Mr Bauge's series of articles this issue, and I hope that the readership have found the controversy they have caused interesting and
*Solicitor, chartered surveyor, and possibly a structural engineer, and an accountant or another financial advisor. But these cause more problems than they can solve, in many instances!
From Mr Brian Blair-Giles
At last I have published my latest book A Collection of Brian Blair-Giles' Century of Poems for Centuries 96pp, price £15. It is available from the author at Norbury Hall, 55, Craignish Avenue, Norbury, London SW16 4RW. Now I have published my 100 poems I will concentrate on cryonics and nanotechnology for three months. I may lecture to medical students, youth and adult societies. Then I shall spend three months completing A London Suburban Life, the third volume of my autobiography.
I have been seeking charitable status for The British U.K. Cryonics and Nanotechnological Society for five years and have received only a legal quibble. I shall seek the help of a solicitor if I can get legal aid.
I wish you all good health, happiness and success in all you do.
Post Mortem Signup Assistance - Part Three
by Trygve B. Bauge
Life Extension Systems, Biosphere Technologies, and Private Fortifications Unlimited.
(303) 499-7771 1085, 14th Street, Suite 1001, Boulder, CO80302, USA.
Important editorial note to newsletters with reciprocal publishing arrangements with Longevity Report: These are suspended for this article. Please contact the above for details if you wish to reprint.
To those who promise on the 'phone to reinsure me for my time and expenses: Since you orally promised to reimburse me for my time and 'phone bills, I hope that you will honour your commitment and wire $2,000 to my account: Trygve B. Bauge account number 64-85-27-100 at the First National Bank in Boulder Colorado 80302 USA. The bank's 'phone number is 303-442-6770 USA. Ask for Darilyn in the international wires department. Alternatively you can wire the money to any of Western Union's offices in Boulder Colorado e.g. Western Union H and L Communications 1705-14th St, Boulder CO 80302, 'phone 303-442-4842 with instructions for forwarding it to me at my home address 4800 Osage #16, Boulder CO80303 'phone 303-499-7771. Please immediately call and tell me when and where it was wired!
I also have a list of useful contacts available to show you who you can draw upon in your area. If no such list yet exists for your area, I will create one for you, before faxing the list to you.
Postmortem cryonic suspension sign up of bodies from abroad checklist for use by anyone requesting post mortem sign up
Preferably call a cryonics company before someone dies and make the proper arrangements to sign up and fund the suspension.
If for some reason you are waiting until after someone's death to arrange cryonic suspension:
Call around to the press and to your US embassy to find a cryonics company. [Why? this article gives the details of the three available! - ed?]
Call the cryonics company, ask if they can arrange cryoprotective treatment. If the company turns you down or isn't willing to get involved give them the nearest fax number and ask that my cover letter be faxed to you.
Receive my cover letter by fax.
Hire a translator that speaks English
Call me with the translator present
Have present name and age of the deceased, time of death. Name, 'phone number and fax number for hospital, morgue, doctor and translator
Wire me $2,000
Hire a local funeral home to assist
Secure extension time for storage at the hospital - if possible maintain body circulation
Cool the body to plus 4oC and have the blood replaced with cryoprotective solution.
If cryoprotective treatment is not feasible or has been performed, place the casket with the body in a bigger casket with a closed lid and immediately and gradually add dry ice between the two caskets. The idea is to secure gradual cooling of the body a few degrees per hour. Then continuously maintain dry ice in the casket by adding more every day. It is important to keep the casket as cold as possible preferably at -79oC until liquid nitrogen storage can re arranged. The higher the temperature the faster the body deterioration!
Call me back with name and phone number of the funeral home.
Select service level and corresponding cryonics company.
Fax medical certificate and death certificate to the cryonics company
Receive translated contract by fax. Have it translated if necessary
Read and sign contract.
Fax contract back to cryonics company.
Contract takes effect upon payment.
Keep the body at -79oC (on dry ice) or as cold as possible until you can afford transfer to a cryonics laboratory.
Keep negotiating a payment plan.
Once you are ready to pay us, let us know.
If the body is coming in from abroad, we will then fax medical certificate, death certificate, contract and cover letter to the Federal Center For Disease Control in Atlanta Georgia.
We receive cover letter back from the Center For Disease Control.
We fax all documents including the contract to the US Embassy or Consulate nearest you The embassy agrees to issue a mortuary certificate and import permit upon your completion of a contract with the cryonics company, eg upon your payment to the cryonics company of such an amount that it takes to have the cryonic suspension go into effect.
Your local funeral home presecures local airport permits.
Upon seeing that financing is secured and all permits are about to be granted, wire up front payment to the cryonic company $30,000 to $160,000 depending on the service you are paying for.
We notify the embassy and they complete the import papers.
Pay the funeral home to ship the body.
Buy or rent a travel casket.
Have the empty travel casket shipped in.
Pack the body for shipment. (Small casket within big casket, dry ice in between.)
Pay for airline shipment, at special [high? -ed] rate for human remains.
Call us for port of entry and with the exact port of exit, and entry time.
We notify the Centre for Disease Control in Atlanta Georgia.
They alert the Quarantine Officer at the port of entry.
Have the funeral home pick up the airport papers and ship the body
Come and visit the cryonics facility too at any time!
The above sounds simple, but usually it runs into all kinds of unforeseen obstacles, that I keep 'phoning around to prevent or resolve.
"... And Hell Followed With Him"
by Bob Brakeman
I heard the voice of the fourth beast say: "Come and see".
And I looked;
And behold a pale horse;
And his name that sat on him was death;
And Hell followed with him.
Because Hollywood so rarely has anything useful to say about anything useful, it's always a pleasure to come across a film which says the right thing about a subject of significance. It's doubly encouraging (and doubly rare) to find a movie that takes the right position on two issues of worldwide importance.
Pale Rider is that kind of film. (It is available for rental or purchase [Warner Home Video])
Because Clint Eastwood has been the top box office attraction in the world for the past almost-30 years1 it seems odd to say that a profitable film of his got lost in the shuffle, but that's what happened with Pale Rider in 1985. It happened to be released in the same 18 month time-frame which produced three other Eastwood films guaranteed to get a lot of attention: (A) The fourth instalment of the Dirty Harry series (Sudden Impact); (B) His long-awaited double-star vehicle with Burt Reynolds (City Heat); and (C) Tightrope - which received a lot of attention both because it co starred Eastwood's daughter Allison and because it dealt with kinky sex. Competing against the mid-80's log jam of C.E. pictures, Pale Rider managed to make a fair amount of money, but major critics didn't really analyze it the way they might have in a less congested Eastwood environment.
What analyzing it would have shown was this: The screenplay by Michael Butler and Dennis Shryack badmouthed both the main obstacles to the eventual triumph of the immortalist movement - religious irrationalism and the government.
Religious and mystical irrationalism is a crucial obstacle because it almost always includes a belief in a mythical "afterlife" - and people who think they're gonna sit at the feet of the baby Jesus are not going to bother to preserve their physical selves; and the state is a crucial threat to immortalism because only it has the power to
(A) "Illegalize'' it out of existence or
(B) decide that cryonics is not a good use for "our scarce resources" in the midst of the ultra hard times represented by a bloodbath depression.
The sociopathic Right is the leading candidate for the first kind of anticryonics intervention (if you don't understand that the psychopathic and fundamentalist Right would illegalize cryonics right now as "blasphemous", if only they controlled the state, you're not smart enough to deserve to survive); and the criminal-Left (which is to say, all the Left) is the principal candidate for the second kind of anti-cryonics terrorism (In the Bloodbath Depression which decades of government intervention will produce in the next decade or so, when many people won't have enough to eat, it'll take exactly 14 seconds for the first Member of Congress to go on television and announce that we cannot tolerate having scarce resources spent on "rich people freezing themselves when babies are going hungry" - and funds devoted to those kinds of purposes will be seized in the same way that gold investors ("Rich people") were swindled in the last bloodbath, in the 1930s. (Wealthy and middle class investors were robbed of about $55 billion dollars when the government invalidated the "gold clauses" in contracts on which they were owed money, thereby letting the debtors pay them off in worthless-by-comparison paper dollars rather than the gold dollars the debtors had agreed to pay.)
In Pale Rider, both religious mysticism and the government are seen clearly. First, the storyline: In a mining town in Northern California in the 1850s, the poor to middle class gold miners and their families are being terrorized by the local millionaire, who is trying to drive them off their claims so that he can claim them by default. The small miners are rescued by the Clint Eastwood character, who rides into town one day - a ride captured in one of the most dramatically structured scenes in the history of the western:
As a young girl (Sydney Penny2) alternately reads from the Bible and looks out the window, Eastwood's white horse comes into view just as she speaks the words "And behold a pale horse" aloud; then as Eastwood is photographed sitting on the horse in a medium-shot, she reads aloud "And his name that sat on him was death"; and then as Eastwood is filmed against a violently threatening dark sky she reads "And hell followed with him".
The Eastwood gunman becomes involved with Penny and her family (mother Carrie Snodgrass3 and soon to be stepfather Michael Moriarty), and he helps them and the other small miners get rid of the Big Miner who's terrorizing them. Then (of course) he rides out of the town and out of their lives, leaving behind him no name but a sarcastic one: "The Preacher".
Calling a professional killer a preacher is the screenplay's minor shot at religion (Eastwood is nice to the small miners, but the skill with which he annihilates the bad guys leaves them no illusions about his occupation - he's a hired killer). But an even more direct shot is taken in a key scene involving Sydney Penny, as the 14-year-old girl who develops a crush on Eastwood. She takes the film away from the adult stars, and her best (and most sociologically significant) scene is one in which she buries her little dog, shot down by the minions of the Big Bad Miner.4 She somewhat sarcastically says a prayer as she does the burying, and then she adds to the sarcasm-level by arguing with each line of the prayer as she says it: Babbling about dwelling in the house of the Lord forever is countered by her protest that she'd like a little more of this life, if you don't mind; comments about God's love and omnipotence are countered by her asking "oh yeah then how come my dog got killed for no reason"; her lack of belief in the prayer's lines is summarized when she qualifies one line by saying "if you do exist" - and so on.
Pale Rider's badmouthing of the government comes in its treatment of the Big Bad Miner's principal helpers. When he is unable to scare off Eastwood's bloody-preacher, he imports the most bloodthirsty killers in the territory, a group of psychopaths who'll murder anyone for a dollar and a half, and a group which consists of a United States Marshal and his six deputies.
Oh no, they're not pretending to be US Marshals the way Eastwood's gunman is pretending to be a preacher. To make it, clear that that's what they really are, The Big Bad Miner's telegram reaches them at the US Marshal's office in a nearby town, and their badges are prominently displayed at all times, and all the small miners have known about Marshal Stockburn5 for years. For those of us who understand that the state is always and everywhere an engine of murder and terrorism, it is a satisfying sight to see: The agents of the state shooting a miner more than 100 times while he is doing nothing more offensive that being drunk in the street - as their Marshal's badges catch the sun; the Chief Marshal (Stockburn) using his revolver to put a .44 slug into the forehead of the same miner, at three-foot range - and to have the insignia of the government be revealed when he reholsters his guns and the seven most psychopathic killers in the territory fanning out across town to slaughter the Eastwood/goodguy character - as the rest of the town whispers that it's "Marshal Stockburn and his deputies" who are terrorizing them.
It can't be stressed too strongly that the seven US marshals are not former marshals or renegade marshals or fake marshals: they are the real and total law enforcement apparatus for the territory; only those intellectual-children who believed what the government's indoctrination factories (apparently they call them "schools") told them about the state will be shocked to see those resident agents of the state portrayed as crazed killers.
Pale Rider's final scene is a lyrically beautiful one. As the Eastwood character rides out of town, Sydney Penny's young girl character arrives just too late to say goodbye to him. She yells after him, as both she and he are framed by the high country grandeur of the Sawtooth Mountains in one direction and the Salmon River Mountains6 in the other: "We all love you ... Thank you". For those who see that religious irrationalism and the government are the principal obstacles to immortalism, that's exactly what we should yell out to the producers of Pale Rider.
1 After coming out of nowhere in 1964 (well, out of television, which is pretty close to nowhere) to become a huge star in the first of the "spaghetti westerns" (westerns produced in Italy), A Fistful of Dollars, Eastwood went on to make three decades worth of films that have, in the aggregate, grossed almost two billion dollars worldwide.
2 Sydney Penny was no doubt the most beautiful teenager to appear in films during the 1980s - so beautiful in fact that we forgive her for having an overly cutesy mother who gave her a boy's name.
3 Eastwood is famous, within The Industry (that should of course a]ways be reverently capitalized, in honour of the purity and godliness for which Hollywood is famous) for surrounding himself with the finest actors around, and he outdid himself when his personal production company, The Malpaso Company, cast Pale Rider. Carrie Snodgrass came up with a legendary performance in 1970's Dairy of a Mad Housewife, but then she retired for most of a decade to move in with rock star Neil Young (Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young) and become a mother. Her return to films, in the 1980s, made more than one critic decide that she is the actress of her generation. Michael Moriarty has won both a Tony on Broadway and an Emmy on television, and his excellence is such that it's just a matter of time before he captures an Oscar.
4 The Big Bad Miner was played by Richard Dysart. His performance was so impressive that it got him the role which made him rich and famous - the senior partner on L.A. Law. One of his employees is Richard Kiel, best known as the seven foot "Jaws" giant of the James Bond films.
5 In a casting move which was both brilliant and nostalgic, Eastwood (who produced and directed in addition to starring in the film) cast John Russell as the mad government killer, Marshal Stockburn. Russell was a famous star of the first generation of TV westerns, in the 1950s; he starred in Lawman at the same time C.E. was appearing in Rawhide on another network. Approaching 70 at the time of Pale Rider, Russell created in Marshal Stockburn a villain so frightening and psychopathic that the audience doesn't merely want him dead - they want the molecules of the resultant corpse broken down into their constituent atoms and then scattered at random throughout the Andromeda Galaxy, so that there's no chance of Stockburn ever coming to life again (through cryonics or any other way).
6 Although the story is set in northern California, the film was made in Idaho, amidst the scenic splendour of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area.
Bob Brakeman, the author of more than 2000 articles on Immortalism and Public Affairs, resides in Malibu, California.Mark Sunlin Changes His Mind
Letter from Mr Mark Sunlin:
I am going to have to revoke the article I sent you. In your first letter you told me flatly "I see no reason why we couldn't produce a booklet along the lines of the 20 page booklets produced by Nutribooks," and yet now you have turned completely around and essentially backed away from the project. Since I have already written 20 pages based on your word, I am not at all amused by this.
If the problem is putting the manuscript on a disk, then you are too amateurish anyway, as I have never heard of a publisher asking a writer to do this - the publisher's job - for them. As to your remarks on word processors, as I said, my father holds advanced degrees in computer science and electrical engineering, so I am familiar enough with how word processors operate, but I do my revising in longhand. Having published over 100 articles, including post-doctoral-level papers, I hardly need instructions from you on writing. Quite the contrary, actually.
I had submitted the article in question solely to support the booklet we had discussed. From now on I will stick with professional publishers and I will have less reason to regret such things.
Sincerely, Mark W. Sunlin
Box 656 Saratoga CA95071 USA
I am sorry that you wish to withdraw your article from Longevity Report. Unfortunately the article was too long to print as it stands, but was divided into parts, and part one has already been published. However we are withdrawing subsequent parts, and I am publishing your letter by way of explanation, together with this reply. In addition, I am publishing your full address, so readers who are interested in obtaining the remaining parts of the article, or who wish to learn from you of your future plans for publishing articles, can contact you direct. Longevity Report is read by other, larger, magazine publishers and indeed some may wish to contact you in respect of their own journals if they like the sample of your work that they see.
Turning specifically to your comments, my further proposals re your booklet were simply based upon getting for you the best possible deal. You need maximum exposure for your booklet, and serialisation in Longevity Report followed by publication by Nutribooks would have given you far greater exposure than we could ever have hoped to have achieved on our own. This may well be unprofessional as you say, but I had thought that you were fighting on my side in the war against death and disease. My view of something professional is when the professional person tries to rip off his client as much as he can for the smallest amount of effort on his part - a viewpoint that is probably prevalent in the Libertarian community.
Also on "professionalism" re disks: either you are trying to pull the wool over my eyes because you think I am ill-informed as to matters of publishing, or your are simply ignorant yourself. I can assure you that many publishers here in the UK request work in this format, and even specify specific word processing packages to be used. I would be astonished if matters were more primitive in the USA, and indeed I simply don't believe this to be the case. Obviously from your comments re word processors you have an underlying reaction to them that is not logical. It is possible that at some time you have typed in pages without backing up and have lost a lot of text, and you have never got over it. This is a common problem, and word processors such as WordPerfect now have auto back up facilities. In the newspaper industry in the UK there was what amounted to a small civil war as publishers changed to this method. Those taking your viewpoint suffered the same fate as Saddam Hussein and Adolf Hitler.
One thing that "professional" publishers will have which I don't is the ability and willingness to deal with people with reactive minds, I am afraid that I am only able and willing to deal with people who have objective logical minds. Therefore as far as I am concerned correspondence with and concerning you, Mr Sunlin, is now closed, although the subjects raised may be debated in a rational and logical manner in the letters columns of Longevity Report.
by Bob Brakeman
This article grows out of several previous ones.
Those earlier ones, published variously in The Immortalist or Cryonics or Long Life [now out of print - ed] or Venturist Monthly News or the general press, dealt with the hypocrisy with which certain celebrities dealt with death as an issue. The way they dealt with it is of course hinted at by my use of the word "hypocrisy" in their public stance and their private opinions were quite different. In public they took the usual and demented line ("Death is natural, and nothing to be feared, and all part of God's great plan"); in private correspondence and conversations they admitted they were terrified of the whole idea and took an "is this trip really necessary?" line.
Some recently released correspondence, and some recently published biographies, showcase the same phenomenon in connection with ageing, as opposed to death per se; the relationship between the two (ageing/death) is course close, but they're nonetheless distinct, particularly with respect to people's fears about them. Many people who don't anyway shrink for the idea of non existence (never liked life much anyway, or whatever) are nevertheless quite fearful of what precedes it: The feebleness, diseases, and degeneration of the swell aging process. Conversely and similarly there are some people who are perfectly tolerant about what ever might go wrong with them physically as long as it's not non-existence, annihilation, or death that's being talked about.
The correspondence and biographies alluded to above deal with the life of David Niven. He never seemed to say much about the result of the aging process (death), but he had plenty to say about the A-process itself - and 50% of it was completely insincere.
Niven on a London talk show: "My sixties and seventies and eighties will no doubt be the best time of my life, and I'm looking forward to them."
Niven privately: "Old age has got to start creeping up on me soon, and frankly I'm very scared."
Niven promoting The Pink Panther film: "It's silly to fear getting old. I've worked with many older people in my career, and I think in many ways they're better off than those of us who are younger."
Niven in private correspondence: "I don't want to be old. I've always felt so young, and I don't want to be old."
Niven during an interview in Switzerland, where he'd moved for tax reasons: "I guess I'll be here throughout my 'Sunset Years,' and I believe that's exactly what they'll be - my best years, because old age gives us a much better perspective on life than youth does."
Niven in private conversation in Monaco: "I want to stay just the way I am - I want to stay young, or at least not old."
For readers who want more of this depressing stuff, the Niven correspondence is in the process of being published, and good biographies by Sheridan Morley and others are being published. But those half-dozen samples are surely enough to make the point. Even someone as rich, famous, admired, beloved, and secure as David Niven felt absolutely compelled to Lie in Public. Pro-death attitudes and pro-aging attitudes are so prevalent in our culture that he feels at risk when saying aging is bad and death is horrible; so they either don't say it at all, or say it privately and then Lie Publicly. Niven's aging is bad / aging is good performance is mimicked a thousand times a day by people less famous than he, from the little old man who pretends to his friends that the 57 varieties of degenerative diseases from which he suffers are no big deal and all part of God's Great Plan (while privately he curses them) to the little old lady who pretends her husband's radical senility is just a minor inconvenience, when in fact it he's destroyed his life (and hers). Every immortalist is used to telling no lies about death - we say it's just as not nice as it really is; but we should be equally sure to tell the same high-quality truths about aging per se: it would be a tragedy even if it didn't end in death, and our words actions cash should be directed as forcefully against the Penultimate Enemy (the degeneration of aging) as against the Ultimate Enemy (death).
Bob Brakeman, the author of more than 2000 articles on Immortalism and Public Affairs, resides in Malibu, California.
by Yvan Bozzonetti
Cryonic drawbacks are well known, the worst of them to be price, both for perfusion and then for replenishing boiled off liquid nitrogen (LN2). After ten years or so, LN2, a corrosive product, destroys pumps, pipes and vessels. This produces a new "starting cost" ten times in a century, a fact rarely mentioned.
On the other side, even LN2 temperature cannot stop chemical decay: Radiation from radioactive products inside and outside the body produce as much damage as a 150K temperature (-123C), well above LN2 temperature (nearly -180C). Add to that cosmic rays from outer space, quantum tunnelling effects at any temperature, and protection becomes far from perfect.
Sadly, I cannot suggest a better way, only a cheaper and not worst one: lyophilisation. After freezing at low temperature, objects are desiccated at low pressure. When all water is sublimated (boiled of directly from solid to gaseous state), the object may be stored at room temperature in a tight plastic bag filled with an inert gas such helium, krypton, or neon.
Here, storage costs nearly nothing, no more than for soluble coffee, instant soup or potato flakes! The process is cost effective and widely used, without technological problems.
For some time now, the technology has spilled outside supermarkets into new domains. One such domain, starting in the USA, is dead companion animal conservation. Californian dried cats have a better chance of new life than most people today!
I think such a business may be started and sustained anywhere, without marketing it as cryonics. After dried food, animal preservation is the second level of this technology.
Next comes biological preservation. Activities such as human genome mapping and sequencing (add beer yeasts, drosophila flees and mouse genome today) open new ways. We have an open road towards general sequencing of any specie on Earth and a capability to rebuild them if they are wiped out by "civilisation".
Many species will be destroyed before that technology becomes cheap and common. For insects, birds, plants, small or big, in tropical rain forest or badlands bush, the last survival chance may be in the dried fragments collected by tourists. When a forest is burned or saw-levelled at a continental scale, collecting useful chunks of wood are not elaborate botanical studies. Most species are not even known.
If objective is to rebuild a specie, many individuals are needed to form an acceptable genetic basis. If ten peoples brought back leaves of the same specie, nine of them are usefulness for collectors, it is not the case when all the genetic spectrum needs to be stored.
Only one leaf contains millions of cells with as many copies of the full genome, more than we need to recover it. A thousand leaves from the same specie are worth the value if they come from different individuals, preferably largely spaced.
Why undertake such a task?
First, it may be a last chance for many species. As the most powerful specie on the planet, it is our responsibility to do what we can when we can. Outside any moral view, millions of useful products may come from plant or animal genomes.
Exploration starts only now, so we need to store any jeopardized information locked in endangered species.
Second, this is an ecological activity with many people potentially interested. It adds a scientific and useful dimension to any travel in remote countries. More: it gives both the collector and local people he/she meets, a consciousness about endangered species value. It may be more useful for protecting wildlife than protests and petitions (seen in many countries as colonial ignorance). On the learning side, it looks as an activity with effects at the century scale of time: a good way to see far ahead, well beyond the 5 - 10 years limit of economical rentability or political stability. A sane start to begin to think about longevity.
Third and last: The charity aspect of that undertaking may qualify it for financial support from state, collectives or established firms as well as individuals. This is a market for cryodessication and a start for storage facility.
Now, the next step becomes straightforward: it is brain storage for recovering its information content: memory, experience and personality built upon brain genetic wiring and life.
If here is some political or legal constrains, the "storage facility" may simply be an air-tight reinforced aluminium coffin, buried in ordinary cemetery. Such lyophilised storage cost may run in the £2000-3000 domain, without more costs for 100 years at least.
How to recover the brain's content? Here is at least two potential ways: The holographic X-ray microscope, limited today at millimetre scale sample - a lens production problem - and the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance scanner (NMR), called these days: magnetic resonance imaging, to get ride of awful word "nuclear" (The technology deals with radio waves, nothing to do with nuclear power and radioactive wastes).
Today, NMR scanner resolution remains limited at .1 mm level in medical apparatus. It reaches .001 mm (one micron) in the lab. For "brain reading", the needed scanning power must be in the .00001 mm range, a 100-fold improvement.
The key factor here is the strength of smooth magnetic field we can get. Magnets developed for high energy particles accelerators may allow a ten time improvement on the best actual laboratory NMR. Frankly nobody sees how to go beyond in this way. New superconductors may bring the answer some day, at least if they can be put into cheap, high current carrying products. Even that cannot be sufficient: powerful magnetic fields produce heavy mechanical strains in magnets and distort calculated field line path. The resulting field is not homogenous.
If we accept unequal fields, we can get another order of ten improvement in resolution with current magnets. So we can read brains as magnetic tape with current technology. Unfortunately, unequal fields give distorted and blurred pictures, so we lost more than we gain with the augmented field strength ... at least at first sight.
In fact, all pictures are blurred in the same way. So that, if we start to produce pictures of known objects (such small brain samples analyzed before by a X-ray microscope or a known fractal structure) we can restore the full magnification power. This process, called Computerized Mathematical Deconvolution is exploited in the space telescope picture processing. Here, pictures are only bidimensional and smaller than 3-dimensional brain ones. Unfortunately for astronomers, there is no way to put a test star in the line of sight to define exactly what is the blurring.
As for lyophilised storage, we need here to break down the full problem in smaller manageable steps. The first may be to exploit a deblurring computer code in two dimensions. I think large, low cost amateur telescope products may open a market in this way.
If there is some readers with opening in NMR scanner, it may be a good thing to ponder about high definition experiments. Organisations such as CERN at Meyrin near Geneva have a lot of high power magnet left from LEP (Large Electron-Positron) collider building work. Hamburg's HERA synchrotron produce itself a good lot of magnets of the shelf. In the years to come, Texas' Superconducting Super Collider (SSC) will produce far more of them, as well as CERN's LHC if it is built.
The last step now is: what to do with brain pictures if we get them? Such pictures contain all information to run a brain simulation on a computer. I see optoelectronics or optic massively parallel computers as the only practical issue in this way. To build a brain's picture from raw NMR data in first instance is a somewhat taxing task. To run a brain on computer is no more simpler.
Each neuron function needs 10000 floating point operations per second (flops), or 10 Kflops.The peak power of largest computers is near ten billions of flops (10 Gigaflops). The largest computer envisioned today may be somewhere in the trillion flops (teraflops), that is 100 millions equivalent neurons or .1% of a brain. Hopefully, fractal data compression technologies, such wavelet analysis, may reduce processing needs by a factor of 500 times. The 1995 supercomputer generation is then rated at .5 brain power. Allow then 20-25 years to get this power in the individual reach. Brain on computer may becomes an economic possibility 30 years from now.
This will come true if here is perceived public needs for nearly endless computing power. The first step here is to promote computing hungry activities at individual level. Picture processing looks as a good start.
I think the best lessons we can get of all that may be: Brain conservation is well in the realm of present day technologies at affordable cost for nearly everyone. Its reading by NMR scanner ask for no new basic science or even technology. A brain on computer may be no more than two generations from now. The worst problem we are facing here stands as: How to convince uninformed and technologically uninterested peoples of all that? If we find a way around, a brain on computer is at hand.
To end at grass roots level, let me place my personal classified ads:
Who is interested in metric amateur telescopes? (production or marketing).
Are you interested by dead pet animals lyophilisation activity? I am! My seed proposal amount to a ten per cent start financing. I think I can find a good technical specialist on the subject (Where to buy, what to buy, how to run).
These subjects are no longer mere philosophers' private domains: it is time to go beyond paper cutting.
Despite being absolutely frantic for time, and having finished Longevity Report for the printers, I felt that I just had to re-organise it to include this article. Some of the newspaper clippings have therefore been held over.
The route to a sensibly priced immortalist storage option has been laid out: a pet freezing program, with equipment big enough to take people. I can't see how anyone can object to the pet freezing program being started, and this will provide a facility and all the materials and supplies needed to freeze-dry people.
The humans would be buried in special canisters in ordinary graveyards or possibly crypts, so the legal people can close up their paying-in books and look elsewhere for fee income. The whole thing from a legal point of view is an ordinary graveyard.
Of course there will probably be floods of objections from cryonicists, but let's have well argued ones and debate this in an unemotional logical manner in the next and future issues of Longevity Report. Mr Bozzonetti sent his article on an MSDOS 5¼" disk, which was much appreciated.
One possible objection will be that the brain cells will be oxidised by free radicals by the time they are freeze dried. It could take an appreciable time to freeze dry an organism as big as a human. Possibly a solution can be found to this in an article by Douglas Skrecky, in Canadian Cryonics News January 1991, which proposed a non toxic anti-oxidant, diethylhydroxylamine as an adjuvant to a proposed mummification process called anhydriobiotic biostasis.
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