Volume 6 no 47. First published October 1994. ISSN 0964-5659.
Letters Cryonics Institute, Smoking, DNA, F ish Oils, Project Mind, Vitamin D-3, Colds can Cause Heart Failure, Trees
From prions to nanotechnology Yvan Bozzonetti
The American Frontier and Cryonics by Bob Brakeman
Preventing Osteoporosis Douglas Skrecky
A Cure for Osteoarthritis? Douglas Skrecky
Science Can Become Holistic - A Possible Utopia David Devor
Pay Now, Die Later Brian W. Haines
Communication Chrissie Loveday
The Sless Case and Magna Carta Brian W. Haines
From Robert Ettinger: (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Yvan Bozzonetti thinks liquid nitrogen storage is a poor bet because revival technology is likely to be hundreds of years in the future and there would probably be an interruption of liquid nitrogen supply--if not collapse of the storage organization--in that time.
This reasoning seems very dubious to me in several ways:
1. The pessimistic (long) time estimate is just a guess. Against this we must weigh the KNOWN FACT that liquid nitrogen storage does less damage than the other types of storage mentioned, freeze drying and chemical preservation.
2. Although there have indeed been many social/political/economic upheavals in recent centuries, there have also been examples of relative stability, especially in the U.S. and Britain. Thomas Donaldson used the example of the graves at Canterbury.
3. If you want to envision disasters, how much do you really gain by using shelf storage instead of cryogenic storage? If society collapses and vandals run wild, any storage building might be destroyed, whether it contained cryostats or just dried, embalmed bodies. On the other hand, if you don't have a conspicuous storage building run by an organization, but instead use small, private storage, dangers seem even greater. If you use permafrost storage or other storage in remote areas there might be less danger of deliberate destruction or vandalization, but much more danger of the site being simply forgotten and ultimately destroyed by natural processes.
4. There are many steps we can take to reduce risks with cryogenic storage. Eventually we can have our own energy sources (ideally based on thermopiles) and our own liquid nitrogen generators or refrigerator/cryostats.
The Cryonic Institute's new building can probably hold 500 patients in liquid nitrogen. If we reach that number in the next 50 years, our patient care fund will exceed $10,000,000--probably twice that, based on likely average suspension funding (voluntary funding above the minimum). Because of economies of scale, and the new rigid, open-cell foam insulation we expect to have, this will be much more than needed for maintenance, and the excess could be used to increase self-sufficiency in various ways--if this has not been previously done. (Space and time prevent much more detailed discussion right now.)
5. Finally, we should remember--and this should further bolster our motivation--that the very existence of the cryonics program will in itself tend to reduce the likelihood of social/political/economic disasters. Immortalism is a stabilizing influence. People with long time horizons are not reckless or pathological.
Henry Ford said "History is bunk!"--and he was partly right. Some themes tend to be repeated, but there is always something new that makes history partly irrelevant. Immortalism is one of those new things.
From Mr Brian Blair-Giles:
I have definitely ceased smoking now simply by quietly not buying lighters or matches. I have saved £100 in ten weeks. I find it is best to have a neutral view of the subject - neither for or against: just to forget about the habit. There was a TV program showing the reactions of children when told of all the illnesses caused by smoking: lung cancer, sexual impotence, constriction of blood vessels, loss of breath and waste of time and money and life style! The second illness made them all decide not to smoke! Hitherto, the first one was the only one they had heard about! It is important to educate!
The DNA Technology that was practised by high school children: Practical Work for Schools Exhibition was presented by the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh; Science & Plants for Schools Program. It demonstrated sectioning of DNA, slide preparations and computer presentations.
You have probably heard that fish oils are good for rheumatoid arthritis victims, and acupuncture or Amazonian bark mixed with French red soil cures muscular arthritis, but as far as is known there is no cure for osteo-arthritis yet. Many of the residents of the retirement home where I live suffer from arthritis, blindness & deafness or strokes caused by falls.
From Mr David S. Devor:
S.E.N. REVIEW of PROJECT MIND
The following is Alilah Renwick's review of the book Project Mind by T.Kun upon which the Project Mind Foundation is based. This review appeared in the spring 1994 issue of the newsletter of S.E.N., the Spiritual Emergence/Emergency Network based in Soquel California. (S.E.N. assists those going through spiritual awakening and who are sometimes misdiagnosed as psychologically troubled).
Project Mind: The Conscious Conquest of Man & Matter Through Accelerated Thought by T.Kun, Unimedia Publishing, U.S. $14.95 soft cover.
As children we are in touch with our essence, sure that all things are possible, until our spirits are crushed by society's imposition of a limited reality. According to T.Kun, the worst of all the lies we are fed by the dominant culture is the notion that death is a good and natural thing. Project Mind is an explanation of Kun's world view and a call for unconventional thinkers who survived with some childlike vision intact.
The project itself will create an environment free from distraction, a place where Accelerated Thought can flourish. Accelerated Thought is a "process driven by essential desire whereby the infinite intelligence latent in man finds expression through the rapid revelation of natural and cosmic secrets." The unlocking of these secrets will bring an end to war and hunger and will lead, ultimately, to physical and spiritual immortality.
In Project Mind, Kun described his personal process in coming to this vision, the set and setting of the project, and specific characteristics sought for participants. The book is written to recruit candidates for Accelerated Thought who will set this plan for world transformation in motion. Kun says, "It is about time the power of fanaticism was harnessed to benign and constructive ends."
# # #
Project Mind - The Conscious Conquest of Mind & Matter Through Accelerated Thought - by T.Kun, softcover, 304 pages including appendix, glossary, index and references, $17.45, postpaid, foreign $19.45, from Unimedia Publishing, Box 247, Indian Rocks Beach, FL 34635. Distributed by Baker & Taylor, New Leaf and BookPeople. Available through most bookstores.
Interested parties may contact:
David S. Devor, Exec. Director
Project Mind Foundation
8 Mevo Hamaavak
French Hill tel: 972/2/814941
Jerusalem 97877 fax: 972/2/823276
Israel email: email@example.com
Scientists have yet to discover that science is the ultimate spiritual endeavour in which the whole body must become an instrument of creative vision serving holistic, abundance-generating, restriction-eliminating, spirit-liberating, world transformation. - T.Kun
Join our MOCHIN mind/matter list discussing world transformation! Send: subscribe mochin your full name, to: firstname.lastname@example.org or write me for details: email@example.com
From Mr Yvan Bozzonetti:
Vitamin D3 seems indeed useful against common cold, I have now near one year of cold free experience. Vitamin D2 is not good for that use it seems, at least if there is not an intense UV source to convert it to D3. The same remark holds for hair protection.
There was, some time ago, a report in New Scientist about the link between a common bacteria invading the respiratory tract after a common cold and heart failure: The bacteria finding its way to the circulating blood system and clogging it. That may be traced to other information about the link between dental decay and heart failure. If vitamin D3 blocks any lung infection, it could help to suppress the first step of cardiac or brain blood starvation. Have we have at hand a way to reduce heart attack and gain something like five years in our longevity possibilities?
On the 27 May I have received my first parcel from New Zealand with some Dacrydium trees. There was some difficulties with the custom service: They can't understand why an individual may want some cypress-like trees from so far away. I don't try to speak about antioxidant properties of Rimu. A tree collector was all they could admit. Any person interested in dried, powdered Rimu may get it from me free (except for postage costs).
A friend is building some greenhouses on a three acre field for more Rimu and Agathis trees. After two years of experiment, I find my experimental plot in southern France too dry in summer and too wet in winter for Rimu and D. Dacrydioide, Only Podocarpus Totaras fit well. So, I can't use a larger field rented in the same region for that activity.
I have found two interesting plants in Chiltern seeds catalogue: Psidium Cattleianum (1064A), a strawberry-tree from Brazil and Actinidia Kolomikta (42H), a vine. Both plants produce fruits with high content of vitamin C, I assume there is too some other antioxidants and related vitamins.
The July 1994 issue discusses which research is of relevance to cryonicists, and suggests avenues for people of various scientific disciplines to add to the knowledge base.
It also looks at brain ischemia, memory and neural networks as electronic simulations of the human brain.
Periastron PO Box 2365, Sunnyvale, California 94087, USA. (email firstname.lastname@example.org or CompuServe 73647,1215) Subscriptions cost $3.00 per issue. Articles are welcome on computer media or via e-mail. If you pay for many issues in advance, you avoid any possible price rises. If the newsletter does not continue for any reason, unused subscriptions will be refunded with interest!
Poems by Joy Cass
October V 1994
My Fourscore years of life on Earth,
Are "mix" of sorrow, tinged with mirth.
Aeon of Speciality
So, Happy Birthday, do wish me
That on that day no doubt I'll be
Delighted - geriatrically
Peter James informs me that the paperback version of his novel Host about computers and cryonics will be published by Penguin under ISBN 014 088376. For more information contact Penguin on 071-416-3000.
Even if you have no interest in cryonics, the computer side of this story will make it enthralling reading and it contains masses of interesting ideas presented in fictional form.
An article in Electronics World and Wireless World dated September 1994 (p713) outlined the reality behind much of the fiction of Host. Mike Lamming and his team at the Rank Xerox Cambridge EuroParc are reported to be working on a project to design a human memory prosthesis. The group are studying how various different research projects could be linked to create a system that records every place we go, everyone we speak to, what we say and what we do.
This is not for people suffering from memory deficiency diseases, or for political manipulation. The purpose is to ease the problem of finding files, papers and notes, recalling names of people and places, procedures and lists and remembering to perform tasks in the office environment.
The equipment will prompt users when they enter particular locations or encounter particular people. It will help him recall events that he didn't even know he needed to remember.
However the article concluded that there could be strong political opposition to the use of such a system, because although the user may be quite happy with it, people all around him would also be recorded without their knowledge or consent.
I have the following comment: If an individual has an excellent memory and access algorithm, then he naturally records all the aforesaid information around him and can recall it when required. Such people are usually the most successful in our civilisation, and amass great wealth and power.
Human progress would certainly benefit if more of us could be like this. However taken as a class, those who already have this gift would have to share their wealth and power more widely if their number becomes larger. Indeed, if everyone has this gift, then those exceptional people would not longer be exceptional, and other talents that still could not be augmented by "prostheses" would become the tickets to success.
Therefore those people who already have this gift, who are already in positions of power, are likely to use every means at their disposal to suppress its introduction. Civil liberties complaining about privacy is likely to be their main weapon. They will probably introduce licensing, and try and cripple introduction of the prostheses by license fees and taxes. Government agencies will be formed which have powers vastly in excess of the normal police to enforce these license conditions and payment of fees.
In the long run such methods probably will not work. After all, logarithms, slide rules, mechanical and electronic calculators had to run a similar gauntlet, yet are now commonly accepted. These devices aided arithmetic, a branch of mathematics which is easier for people with disciplined memories (for holding carry sums). At present databases and PCs are running this gauntlet, and no doubt other products that allow people to increase their productivity and hence earning capacity will follow.
From prions to nanotechnology.
by Yvan Bozzonetti
Prion, a name coined by Stanley Prusiner describes an infectious agent made only from a protein, without genetic material. Nevertheless, prions can "reproduce". Some strange illness such as Scrapie, Creutzfeld-Jacob Syndrome or Mad Cow Disease seem to be propagated by the abnormal form of an universal protein. That protein, designated PrPc in its normal form and PrPSc in the pathogenic one is a normal component of nearly any cell membrane. PrPc can be broken by digestive enzymes, but this is not the case with the Sc pathogenic form. So, PrPSc builds up until there is a degenerative process triggered by that accumulating protein.
From species to species the illness name may be variable, but the reality behind theses definitions is the same. The difference between c and Sc versions of PrP is not chemical, and so is not defined at genetic level, it is a folding difference. All proteins are made from a string of amino acids specified in the genetic code, after the string synthesis, the protein is "moulded" by a chaperone protein complex. In water solution, short proteins can find themselves the right form but for larger ones there is often many possible forms and only one is active. PrP is such a many stable forms protein; what is particular to it is than one of these forms, the Sc one, seems to be its own chaperone with more efficiency than the normal one. When it is present in a cell, it force all new PrP string into its own indigestible shape.
What is most interesting in this state of affairs, is the universality of the process: Alzheimer's syndrome for example seems to work the same way with another protein (or proteins). From a longevity perspective that state of affairs looks bleak: We are as a dry bush waiting for the first spark to burn. If we have a badly formed protein, then it will convert all the other similar protein to the same dangerous or useless form.
May be a part of ageing stems from such protein conversion, producing no definite illness but simply a dead weight of useless elements. From the acute Scrapie and rare Creutzfeld-Jacob to the common Alzheimer's disease to the universal ageing, there may be a similar cause at work.
PrPSc seems impossible to digest because it contains large strand of so called beta sheet folding in its structure. That form of folding is common in conjunctive proteins, so that a product able to destroy that Sc form would too break apart the whole organism. Another solution could searches for a "super-chaperone", able to fold back the PrPSc into the PrPc. I have said before in another paper how clay minerals can stabilise a protein in a given form and how that could be used to fold back denatured proteins after freezing. The same idea could work here, so that researches to exploit cryonics in a reversible way could too serve to solve the Alzheimer cases and a part of "natural" ageing.
Unfortunately, that idea may be too good: there are enduring reports of a link between Alzheimer and aluminium oxide poisoning or use of clay as stomach pain remedy. Clay is made from small crystals of aluminosilicates, may be the active converter PrPSc works with a clay crystal in its back. That put the causative agent of Alzheimer and part of ageing process back to the first ages of life on Earth, when biochemistry evolved as an add-on phenomenon of clays making. From cryonics to Alzheimer to ageing, the spectrum of bio-clay technology get more and more larger. Who will start this activity?
For prions, scrapie, Alzheimer and S. Prusiner works, see: Georgina FERRY's article: Mad Brain in New Scientist 28 May 1994 p. 32 - 37.
For the origin of life as a product of clay evolution, see: A.G. CAIRNS-SMITH: Seven clues to the origin of life, Cambridge University Press, 1985.
by Yvan Bozzonetti
For some years now, I have a hair problem. In the summer holiday season, when I am on the sunny Mediterranean coast, I have undergone heavy hair loss. May be the effect of the Sun or salt water...? My first reaction was to wear a large hat every time I was going outside. Surprise: my hair loss ceased completely ... at least until the next autumn.
The best explanation I could find was an enduring vitamin D deficit all along the year and a more satisfactory situation in the summer. I don't know about the biochemical link between vitamin D and hair loss, if anybody has something to suggest, I am interested.
Well, the next year I started to take some synthetic vitamin D. The hair loss comes and goes as I cease or restart my vitamin supplementation. This autumn, I don't want any more experiments and used the vitamin D on a continuous basis. Here was nevertheless one more experiment: I have always been very sensitive to common colds and flu, a situation not specially favoured by my working environment. Surprise, up to now, I remain indifferent to any viral insult. The vitamin D is the only difference I can see with the other years, how does it work? I don't know, is there anyone with similar experience?
If the contamination probability of the flu could be reduced substantially, the full winter pandemic could be stopped. Have we the solution at hand with fifteen drops a day of vitamin D ? I found the liquid form more active than the solid one once sold by Life Plus. They seem not to have sold any more of that vitamin, a sad situation.
The American Frontier and Cryonics
by Bob Brakeman
"Colter's Hell", they called it.
But before there could be a Colter's Hell, there had to be a Colter. John Colter was a Virginian, born about (he was never sure) 1775. In 1803 he was among the first to sign up with Lewis and Clark; he'd always wondered what was over the next hill, and here was a chance to see what was spread over the entire American West. Colter did his job reliably enough on the trip west, but it was during his trip back that he came into his own. He was granted special permission to leave the expedition and join a party of trappers, and eventually he began to make his way back east, back to Saint Louis. But on the way he met another expedition going west, that of trader Manuel Lisa; he was immediately retained by them as a guide to the mouth of the Big Horn River, where they built a fort.
Colter again had thoughts of Saint Louis, but his plans to go back east were again derailed when Lisa sent him on a mission to the quasi-friendly Crow Indians --- a mission which produced Colter's Hell. Although his precise route can't be traced in detail(mainly because Colter himself wasn't sure where he was part of the time), it's reasonably certain that this was his achievement:
Alone, and on foot, he:
(A) Crossed the imposing Wind River Mountains.
(B) Crossed the even more formidable Teton range, including Grand Teton.
(C) Explored the very strange place now known as Yellowstone National Park.
The Wind River Mountains and the Tetons presented Colter with magnificent scenery, but Yellowstone showed him Colter's Hell. He saw monster-geysers whose boiling waters exploded 100 feet into the air.
He saw menacing paint pots, where the earth itself seemed to be boiling.
He saw giant hot springs, where steaming mineral waters poured down over terraced hill sides.
He saw waterspouts and mudspouts and a mountain made of glass - and the public didn't believe a word of it.
Because the GPP(the Great Psycho Public) is always dominated by neophobia, fear of the new, they are always terribly resistant to reports of the existence of anything unfamiliar to them. Even though Colter had a reputation for extreme truthfulness and reliability, and even though men of similar reputations vouched for him, Colter's reports of his encounter with that hell-like place were laughed at back east. People wondered if perhaps he'd been munching on some of those funny roots the Indians were said to have. A man who'd just performed one of the epic explorations of the American west was suddenly a laughing stock, among even "educated" people. In the east and in Europe. Because of neophobia and the related ailment of Localist/Parochial Blunders (if-it-ain't-happening-right-here-in-my-suburb-it-ain't-happening), there was no chance that the GPP would accept the truth about Colter's Hell; that appellation itself was of course meant to ridicule his claims - meant to give him a little friendly advice and suggest that he keep his booze-produced nightmares to himself.
Half a decade after the GPP ridiculed U. S. A.Colter's truthful reports about the American frontier, they got a chance to do it again, this time in connection with another kind of western "hell". Because people in Missouri are strange, they've taken a town named after Madrid Spain and decided to pronounce it New Madrid. In the winter of 1811/1812, that Mississippi River town was the scene of the most severe earthquakes in American history: There was no Richter Scale then to do the measuring, but seismologists are in general agreement that the New Madrid quakes were more severe than any which have occurred in California or Alaska series of more than 1800 shocks hit the New Madrid area over a two month period, and among their dramatic effects were these: Giant lakes were created where none had existed an hour earlier, including one of the largest lakes in western Tennessee, Reelfoot Lake; other lakes suddenly disappeared within an hour, as the earthquakes' massive shocks shifted the course of the Mississippi and caused it to swallow up those lakes; islands in the river disappeared under suddenly-rising waters; at other spots new islands were produced as the river dropped at those points; Indian and white villages were gobbled up by the earthquake-traumatized River; at spots where the River ran straight it suddenly developed loops and coils; in places where it had loops it suddenly ran straight; and, briefly, the world's Great River reversed its course and ran north instead of south.
It only took the Great Psycho Public about ten seconds to decide that it didn't believe any of that, once the reports of those events began to dribble back east (no telegraph in 1811). Once again, because of neophobia and localist/parochial blinders, they were unwilling to accept as true accounts of events with which they'd had no experience. When the pseudoeducated heard about events near New Madrid Missouri, they talked little of earthquakes and much of boozing and hallucinations (some commentators even said the whole thing was about as likely as the existence of Colter's Hell, which is where we came in .......).
If one now glances back at the title of this article, it probably doesn't need much detailed explanation; neophobia is going to be an obstacle cryonics people are going to have to overcome, in dealing with the public. It's important to point out that the average person does not merely find it hard to understand new concepts, he/she actively hates them, because processing new and unfamiliar information is painful; most people think abstractly even about things familiar to them, so getting them to do that when the subject is something new/different is a real struggle. Furthermore, the resistance to the new and the resistance to things-that-haven't-happened-right-here in our street is usually so strong, in the case of the new life extension technologies, that it can survive even direct evidence of the new: The New Madrid quakes were so violent that the rang church bells and broke windows in Boston and Washington, DC, a thousand miles from the epicentre of the quakes; yet people in those cities preferred to attribute those local events to demonic forces rather than accept the truth of the New Mexico quakes. Similarly, when other frontiersmen and mountain men began to confirm John Colter's account of Yellowstone, the GPP still laughed (you know what those mountain men are like!) and keep laughing when sketches and paintings of the area began to arrive in the east. To those whose (mental) lives are dedicated to processing only information which is already familiar, conclusive evidence is no evidence at all.
That sounds like a gloomy conclusion to this article, but it's actually only the penultimate conclusion; the ultimate conclusion is this, more optimistic, one:
Cryonics is in a better position to overcome neophobia and localism/parochialism than Colter & the reporters of the NM quakes were, for several reasons: One is that the rationalist percentage of the public is now larger than in the early 1800; another is that instantaneous media of communications now make it possible to show-anyplace-to-anyplace-else at a moment's notice, including showing strange-and-successful results in a cryonics laboratory sometime in the future (a live TV feed from Yellowstone would have severely cut the number of people laughing at John Colter); and perhaps the most important reason is that future cryonics success, as we work our way up the mammalian freezing-and-revival chain to humans, constitutes Good News: The events at NM & Yellowstone were merely interesting so doubters had no special incentive to want take them seriously --- but it seems safe to say that the ending of the annihilation-process misnamed "natural death" is something people will have an incentive to believe in, once proper proof is provided.
A final General Optimism point is this: Although John Colter and those reporting the NM earthquakes were laughed at for a long time, they of course were eventually vindicated. Cryonics will be too, although a lot of innocent people will needlessly perish in the meantime, due to neophobia and localism/parochialism. Just make sure you (& your procrastinating friends) are not among them; it's a little late to reward John Colter for telling the truth by saving his life through cryonic suspension --- make sure it's not too late for you.
1 It was Colter and other Mountain Men and explorers who named the Teton Range and Grand Teton. It seems likely that no translation from the French is needed here; it's enough to say that if a guy's out alone in the wilderness long enough, he gets his priorities straight when it comes to naming features of western topography.
2 People in Missouri should send their complaints to my literary agent, who has instructions on what to do with them.*
3 A short course in seismology (don't forget to mail in your tuition): The reason that the New Madrid earthquakes were more severe than California quakes is this: California quakes occur where the edge of the North American plate and the Pacific plate come together (because you were, in llth grade, thinking about the same thing the mountain men were thinking about when they named Grand Teton, when you should have been studying geology, you may have forgotten that the Earth's surface is not a solid sphere, but is instead made up of a series of plates which are in contact with each other - that contact causes earthquakes); in spots located near the edge of a plate, the rock is young and not fully hardened yet, so when an earthquake strikes what happens is that the rock quickly breaks near the point of impact and the shock wave is therefore localized, because once the rock has broken it stops transmitting the shock. But the NM earthquakes occurred in the middle of a plate rather than at the edges; in the centre of a plate the rock is much more ancient, it is fully hardened and fully solidified, and when an earthquake hits there, the rock, because it is not still-soft-and-brittle, does not break - instead it remains intact and keeps right on transmitting the shock wave for hundreds of miles in every direction. This is perhaps the best analogy: If you bang a pie crust with a spoon, in the centre of the crust, you will feel no impact out around the perimeter of the pie crust, because the crust will express its softness by simply breaking-where.-hit & will not then be able to transmit the shock of the hit any further. But if you hit a pie tin in the centre with a spoon, you will be able.to feel the impact out at the perimeter, because the metal of the tin will not break--- it will transmit the impact to the outer regions.
* Hey! These anti-Missouri cheap shots are all a joke & I can prove it: My third-favourite spot on earth is in Missouri (Saint Charles, where the Missouri thunders into the Mississippi), and besides, all 10 of the states fortunate enough to be located on the Mississippi are pure-by-definition & can do no wrong, in the same way that the Parole Board can do no wrong in telling the former member of Congress sitting before it "Not this year, son".
Bob Brakeman, the author of more than 2000 articles on Immortalism and Public Affairs, resides in Las Vegas, Nevada.
by Douglas Skrecky
The only agents that have been approved in the United States for preventing osteoporosis are estrogen, calcitonin and calcium. Sodium fluoride has also been tried, but while it increases bone mass, it also seems to increase bone fragility. Exercise strengthens, while smoking or vitamin D deficiency weaken bones.1
Calcium when it is in the form of calcium carbonate has little or no preventative effect on osteoporosis.2 The results are much better when other forms of calcium are used.3 The reason for this seems to be because the production of stomach acid required for absorption of calcium in its carbonate form falls off with age.4 Calcium supplementation may also increase the risk of cardiovascular disease if magnesium intake is marginal, so magnesium supplementation is recommended.5
Other minerals besides calcium can slow bone loss as well. Potassium bicarbonate slows bone loss due to a low calcium diet.6 A daily trace mineral supplement of 5 mg copper, 2.5 mg manganese and 15 mg zinc has been found to stimulate bone formation and slow the progress of osteoporosis almost as much as 1000 mg of calcium in the form of calcium citrate-malate. When given together the trace minerals offered a synergism with calcium and completely reversed the process fo osteoporosis.7
Recommendations: Faced with the choice between a calcium carbonate supplement and a one-a-day multivitamin & multimineral pill, choose the latter as it is more likely to be beneficial in preventing osteoporosis. If an additional calcium supplement is desired, avoid those containing only calcium carbonate. These may be cheap, but they are also virtually useless.
1 The Prevention and Treatment of Osteoporosis 620-627 Vol.327 No.9 1992 The New England Journal of Medicine
2 Does Calcum Supplementation Prevent Postmenopausal Bone Loss? 173-177 Vol.316 No.4 1987
3 Effect of Calcium Supplementation on Bone Loss in Postmenopausal Women 460-464 Vol.328 No.7 1993 The New England Journal of Medicine
4 Calcium Absorption and Achlorhydria 70-73 Vol.313 No.2 1985 The New England Journal of Medicine
5 Interrelationship of Magnesium and Estrogen in Cardiovascular and Bone Disorders, Eclampsia, Migraine and Premenstrual Syndrome 442-458 Vol.12 No.4 1993 Journal of the American College of Nutrition
6 Improved Mineral Balance and Skeletal Metabolism in Postmenopausal Women Treated With Potassium Bicarbonate 1776-1781 Vol.330 No.25 1994 New England Journal of Medicine
7 The Role of Trace Minerals in Osteoporosis 384-389 Vol.12 No.4 1993 Journal of the American College of Nutrition
A Cure for Osteoarthritis?
by Douglas Skrecky
Despite increased synthesis of cartilage matrix those suffering from osteoarthritis gradually still deteriorate as their joint surfaces continue to erode. The prostaglandin inhibiting drugs commonly used to treat this disease only ease symptoms such as pain and inflammation. Unfortunately these same drugs actually tend to accelerate the progression of osteoarthritis1. However help may now at last be at hand.
The activities of enzymes such as collagenase and neutral proteases which degrade cartilage is largely determined by the availability of calcium ions. When the joints of rabbits are injected with a solution containing 2mM of the calcium chelator EDTA cartilage degradation is greatly inhibited, while synthesis is actually enhanced2. If this outstanding result can be duplicated in human subjects then it is possible that EDTA treatment may form the basis for the first truely effective therapy for osteoarthritis.
1 Effect of Non-steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs on the Course of Osteoarthritis 519-522 September 2 1989 The Lancet
2 In Vitro and In Vivo Effects of Metal Chelators on Cartilage Metabolism 72-77 Vol.8 No.1 1990 Journal of Orthopaedic Research
by David Devor
Let no one deceive you. Your capacities, aspirations and conceptions prove that you are not formed for time, but for eternity. Max Theon
New Age attitudes condemning science can no longer be ignored. Increasingly these attitudes influence popular thought and especially the attitudes of youth who lean easily toward philosophies of nihilism, protest and rebellion.
New Age philosophies accuse science and technology of betraying the utopian promise of peace and abundance that the pursuit of knowledge has always implied. This so-called "betrayal" is seen to be reflected in third world misery, in the spectre of global ecological, economic and military disaster, and in the degradation of the human spirit through materialism.
New Agers often cite the very advances of science that many fear (e.g., discoveries in quantum mechanics), as proof that the world is fundamentally spiritualized while others, if not actually adhering to the "back to nature" school of thought, are only willing to tolerate science provided its applications are screened and supervised through a kind of technological assessment that would require clairvoyance to work.
The word that perhaps best expresses New Age aspirations is "holism." Holism includes many things but, most generally, advocates returning to a sacred, tribal-like respect for the ecosphere, earth, nature and life. It envisages the unification of body and spirit, usually in the framework of a world or earth consciousness included in the notion of "Gaia." In some minds, the notion of holism includes the idea of integrating outer and inner reality and of reconciling science and spirituality.
In this context, many would accuse conventional science of being mechanical, unconscious and polluting. In return, many scientists fault metaphysicians for their lack of empiricism, accountability and for their alarmism. Despite the schism between the extreme pro and anti- science factions, many scientists are espousing what would have to be called "New Age perspectives" while many young New Agers continue to become scientists. Still, on the whole, the factions remain separate and, sadly, there is still very little to suggest how one might define the problem in a way to satisfy both sides let alone dissolve within each of us that which separates mind and spirit.
This commentary is based on extracts from the recent book, Project Mind - The Conscious Conquest of Man & Matter Through Accelerated Thought1. The author points to matter and the real and addictive forms of deprivation that matter engenders in the human spirit as being the most fundamental of mankind's problems. Accelerated Thought, as the basis of a new holistic and comprehensive science, is envisaged as the solution.
Science can be likened a wood-burning steam locomotive entering a long, unventilated tunnel. The limited and thus polluting character of the technology of its locomotion virtually guarantees suffocation and stoppage. Only mid-tunnel transformation into a higher, less polluting form of combustion (e.g., diesel) can assure safe passage. Like the caterpillar, science has the capacity to metamorphose into a more evolved, more encompassing, more intelligent form. A more holistic, more vision-driven science will give birth to more benevolent, more efficient, less polluting technologies. At the heart of our existential dilemma lies the incompleteness of our understanding of matter and its place in the cosmos.
Matter is like a small ripple on this tremendous ocean of energy. David Bohm
What is the matter? "Matter" is the matter. Matter - the substrate of our daily existence - is the object of our needs and cravings, hopes and dreams. Matter sustains us, it is true, but it also divides and alienates us from ourselves and others. It forces us to compete and ultimately to conflict with one another.
What would happen in a world where matter and its attendant manifestations of greed, envy, passion, vice, and injustice became irrelevant - actually neutralized by unlimited material abundance, security, universal health, longevity, and well-being? Is it possible for the negative influence of matter to be neutralized?
"Mind over matter" is not just a metaphysician's dream, it is the basis of all innovation. When you think about it, miniaturization - the art of getting equal or better performance from a smaller package - involves replacing matter with intelligence or "mind," in the sense that a 1950s room full of tons of electronic tubes, heavy equipment and miles of wiring (representing much matter indeed), is today reduced to a chip that will sit comfortably on the tip of your little finger. That silicon chip, seen exclusively from the perspective of matter, is basically a pinch of common sand. The rest is intelligence - mind. Just as the restriction of mind by matter occludes mind, the restriction of matter by mind reveals mind.
The intelligence of the chip consists of very special dispositions of matter, including highly specific material compositions, circuitry and other complex, functional patterning, all of which could be included under the term "form." It is this form embedded in the silicon of the chip that constitutes the essence of its intelligence. While the composite substance of that chip is the best material that could be found for the job until now, it is inevitable that newer and more "intelligent" materials (e.g., gallium-arsenide) will soon replace it. With technical progress, the marriage between form and substance grows more and more intimate, and the resulting "matter" expresses more intelligence and becomes more lifelike.
"Functional complexity" is form imbedded in matter. We see that, as matter becomes more "intelligent," the form that it embodies becomes more intricately structured. As matter and the form contained within it become ever more compatible and more perfectly mated, they eventually become indistinguishable from one another, until we can no longer discern where one ends and where the other begins. As intelligence becomes manifest, the aspect of matter seems to recede into the background. The most perfect union between matter and form is to be found in the phenomenon of life, and more particularly, human life.
Undoubtedly we will someday learn to measure and quantify intelligence. I believe this will then make possible the elucidation of a formula at least as elegant as Einstein's famous e=mc2, to show the spectacular inverse relationship between matter and mind. Observe the diversity, flexibility, richness, and subtlety of function in the human being - a truly miraculously compact package of capacities. Yet, in material terms, we are mostly water, and the rest merely biological precursors to an urn full of ashes. The essence of this "package" is the intelligence innate to our humanness - truly a triumph of mind over matter.
Technology - the increasing embodiment of intelligence in matter - problematic as it is from other standpoints, has raised standards of living and relieved us of much drudgery. Many New Agers overlook that, while ancient forms of inner, spiritual work indicate a desirable direction, these forms do not offer a challenge to which most modern people can relate. It is hard to imagine the masses sacrificing illusions and physical comforts for the uncertain and protracted pursuit of spirituality or even for the obvious merits of environmentalism.
While our lives are inescapably moulded and conditioned by the discoveries of science and the products of technology, it is not a simple matter to influence research priorities even when we believe we know what those priorities should be. Our frustration before this seeming impotence tends to mask the fact that the problem is not so much which scientific inquiries we pursue or even a question of being more careful in the research we do pursue. The problem is hiding behind the seldom asked, more fundamental question of how to approach science altogether. While New-Age-type philosophies have long claimed that science tends to be "Cartesian," ignoring metaphysics, it has been a long time since anyone seriously questioned what we call the "methodology of science" or proposed a new methodology.
Notwithstanding widespread disillusionment with science and technology, our failure of planetary stewardship is increasingly attributed to a general failure of creativity, of vision. Some are beginning to conjecture that the breakthrough we need will of necessity be revealed through the faculty of creativity. Harman and Rheingold, in their Higher Creativity2, go into this at some length. While today's visionaries and prophets of transformation are still far too vague, they do consider possible and even necessary, a world that is alive and conscious - without limits or boundaries. Yet they fail to be explicit about how even the best intentions can change deeply ingrained, centuries-old beliefs concerning the limitations that govern our lives.
The new methodology mentioned here and outlined in Project Mind plans to reconcile science with spirituality and make science whole and "holistic." It is called "Accelerated Thought." It is a vision-driven, contemplative method that obviates long, expensive, tedious cycles of hypothesis and experimentation. By using more of the mind than ever before, the scientist will be able to penetrate more deeply and more quickly into the secrets of matter.
Although it will use special psychological techniques, environmental aids and sophisticated computerization, the key of Project Mind - the project - is its understanding of the fundamental nature and importance of essential individuality. To generate the ultimate expression of individuality is to release the incredible creative potential hidden at the deepest levels within human essence (man's fundamental form and substance) and reveal the relationship of essence to consciousness, reality and truth.
Just as the Eureka experience provides brief moments of brilliant insight - the divine sparks of genius and inspiration that have fuelled the sudden advances in scientific progress until now - Accelerated Thought will provide sustained creative vision. This will establish an ongoing link with higher consciousness, producing a powerful cosmic current channelled through essence from a higher dimension. This will fuel the transformatory breakthrough-science of the future and render it holistic and comprehensive.
Although the Eureka experience is not exactly Accelerated Thought, it is very closely related, and its habitual exercise is the trademark of creative genius. Just as, to a prepared mind, a salutary shock can at the right moment produce a Eureka experience, a series of Eureka experiences can under favourable conditions induce, in a properly prepared psyche, a chain reaction which can develop into Accelerated Thought. Accelerated Thought is a high-energy mental process whereby realizations (consisting of problems and solutions) arrive second by second in rapid-fire sequence rather than once a week, once a year or once in a lifetime as is typical with Eureka experiences under a regime of conventional, reflective thought.
The discovery of each new possibility suggests, at least unconsciously, the prospect of removing all that limits us and bars our way to "Paradise." (i.e., a poetic euphemism for unlimited joy, omnipotence, omniscience and above all, immortality). At the slightest hint of these prospects, one's spirit soars as a great energy of hope and anticipation begins to circulate.
Thus true creativity is the immediate, ongoing, waking vision of a unified intelligence quickly overcoming all forms of restriction. Yet, traditionally, creativity is seen to be a tool for "problem solving," comprised of discrete stages including self-application, incubation, Eureka, elaboration, etc. - depending on the point of view. This insistence upon separate phases rests on the almost universal misconception that the run-up or ignition phase forms an integral and inseparable part of the creative process, and thus must be repeated anew for each creative thought or act. But the ignition of a process or engine is, or at least should be, nothing more than incidental to its running. In these terms, the process of creativity, as popularly perceived, is likened to an automobile that stalls every few inches and never actually gets going. "Elaboration" similarly presumes that the process is soon over and that the details are worked out in a prosaic frame of mind. Creativity is almost universally considered to be an inherently brief condition and not the continuing state of Being that, potentially, it is.
What is it that constrains genius and the discovery of breakthroughs? There is no formal policy or élitist conspiracy to hold back progress. Quite to the contrary, there is plenty of rivalry, competition and incentive to egg scientists on. Yet no artificial constraints need to be imposed upon thought when that thought is already fettered by conventional, distracted consciousness. "Distraction," the term used by T. Kun. in Project Mind. Charles T. Tart calls it "consensus trance" in his book Waking Up3 which explains the phenomenon at some length. Conventional living siphons off our energy and conditions us to a low grade, "reflective" form of thought that we mistake for real, conscious thought. This is the key to understanding why things rarely go exactly the way we want them to and how we are so easily deflected from our purpose no matter how resolved we believe ourselves to be.
Conditions of existence around us provide little opportunity for the unbridled development of the spark of creative consciousness with which we are all born. Culture soon infects us all with the virulent infirmity of distraction through the good services of our distraction-afflicted families and the servile and sclerotic complicity of the educational system.
Yet human intelligence, fundamentally, is one. That there seem to be distinct as well as higher and lower forms, including automatic skills of mind and body appearing to be autonomous and unrelated to creative vision, is distraction's way of throwing sand in our eyes. Sterile, uninspired, mechanical mentation feeling and movement appear, for all the world, to be independent faculties quite free and unrelated to intuition, insight and vision. They are, in fact, all that is left of true thought after the creative core and soul of thought - consciousness - has been compromised. We are thus alienated from the intelligence that, essentially, we are. We are alienated from our potential, from our essence, from ourselves.
The generation of Accelerated Thought, described in detail in Project Mind, is accompanied by a spectacular increase in vitality and a feeling of elation. There is an accumulation of awareness for real possibilities that lifts the mind and the individual as a whole (for in these moments one is mind) to a more integrated and conscious level of functioning. Increased integration and increased energy are but two sides of one coin - the coin of consciousness.
But even more important than a new vision-driven scientific method fully harnessing creativity, are the results it will bring such as the spectacular acceleration of our already growing mastery of matter. This is not to imply that an unlimited abundance of what we call wealth and power is the whole answer to man's happiness and salvation, nor that satisfying greed or pandering to vice will extinguish human failings. Rather, a growing consensus and consciousness concerning the vanity of materialism will be the unavoidable consequence of unlimited abundance. This implies a devaluation of materialism analogous to that of salt when, in medieval Europe, it became abundant and lost its status as a currency.
The commercial exploitation of scientific breakthroughs generated through Project Mind and its clones - replications that will inevitably spring up in science and industry - will follow its natural course. But modes of exploitation and the attitudes of those who concern themselves with commercialization will, in a dynamic atmosphere of hope, increasingly reflect a genuine concern for the welfare of others as the trend away from the covetous and cynical accumulation of wealth and power becomes established.
Breakthroughs will increasingly localize and individualize control over the means of production and bring about the true democratization of physical materiality. For example, Drexler, in his Engines of Creation4, describes how universal abundance could come about. He convincingly speaks of nanotechnology, nanocomputers, molecular engineering, nanomachinery, gene synthesis machines, cell synthesis machines, cell repair machines, assemblers, replicators, etc. He lovingly calls these, "engines of abundance," and deeply regrets their delay. He easily envisages molecular-sized nanomachinery supported by nanocomputers manufacturing or "growing" before one's eyes, a home or car or steak dinner using almost anything, including sewage and garbage, as raw materials. Furthermore, bread, fruit, meat and vegetables, made in this way, will be indistinguishable from the real things except that they will contain all the organic nutrients they should while sparing animal and vegetable life we now destroy so wantonly. Molecular synthesizers and replicators are almost visible on the horizon.
Regardless of what technical means become available, we must come to realize that it is the limits of our vision - consciousness - that determine the risks of abuse and pollution. While many people pay lip-service to the ideal of rising above materiality, the very real perspective of matter not mattering is hard to imagine. For most of us it is still hard not to consider one another as objects of satisfaction or frustration.
Violence, passion and craving are gross distortions of our natural needs and stem from psychological and systemic imbalances induced in us by societies preoccupied with material considerations. By physically eliminating the foundations of these evils - lack and the addictive power of material possessions - the young will be freed to develop without vice and depravity and the old will be relieved of many of the already accumulated stresses and pathologies of envy and competition. Technically backward nations, rich and poor, will be relieved of the corrosive humiliation of craving the advanced products they took little or no part in creating, while social and political adjustments to universal abundance will allow the revelation and expression of their own inner, creative capacities.
In a world that awakens our appetite for reality, we will find that vice and escapism lose all meaning. They become obsolete. Thus the abundance envisaged by Project Mind must not only answer our real, immediate, physical needs, but also must be so encompassing as to alleviate the irrational basis for our impulse to accumulate and consume. The need for ownership can represent various levels of attachment to the matter of this world. And while this need can account for legitimate needs and real vulnerabilities that pertain to the physical nature of our bodies, the extent to which we exaggerate these needs suggests how little we acknowledge the non-physical side of our natures.
That some can seem completely satisfied by materiality, can be attributed to the anaesthetizing effect that the abundance of privilege can have on our personalities. We constantly seek to tranquillize our anxieties by trying to compare favourably with others through the instrumentalities of wealth, power and status - all materially determined and determining. While we know from everyday experience that appetites vanish once they are satisfied and don't return until the feeling of lack returns, complex lacks and appetites, especially when they include artificial and acquired aspects, are more difficult to satisfy. The appetite for ownership has five main drives - comfort, power, jealousy, prestige, and security:
1 Comfort - Behind the obvious fact that a certain degree of abundance can free us of real deprivation and its associated anxieties, the use of material means to cultivate and satisfy acquired needs, artificial needs and vice-related needs engenders the illusions upon which the quest for comfort, power, prestige and security are based. Once the means exist to satisfy all physical needs, real and imagined, the foundation for generating illusions concerning the general importance of such satisfactions will be undermined.
2 Power - Material advantage confers power, directly through the real and addictive needs of others ("wage slaves") or indirectly, through politics. With universal abundance, no one will need to depend upon the material wealth of others.
3 Envy - There is always someone who has more of what is generally considered worth having. To be the focus of others' admirative attention enhances one's sense of existence. Even he who has most will want to increase his lead and prestige. When material advantage disappears, envy will gravitate to objects of finer materiality such as aesthetics, knowledge and wisdom.
4 Prestige - The adulation of the envied affluent who serve as models for those "less fortunate," creates fashion that provides status symbols - props - which support emulation and amplify envy. When the objects of popular interest change, those who embody higher values will become prestigious. The higher the values, the finer the objects embodying those values and the more difficult to counterfeit and use as props for emulation.
5 Security - Those having material advantage are often better equipped to defend themselves against deprivation, aggression and disease. This encourages the unconscious illusion of immortality concerning those who appear to be privileged in all things. Once the means become available for objectively increasing health and security for all, without distinction, and the prospect of physical immortality5 becomes real, anything other than reverence for life and the values that enhance life will be inconceivable.
Once new conditions of existence, ushered in by Project Mind, deliver us from these aspects of lack and deprivation, we will soon become aware of other, more essential, more spiritual insufficiencies. We will, at last, realize what Socrates actually meant when he said that those who pursue wealth and honour are distracted from the pursuit of truth, wisdom and virtue. Once we have nothing to gain from our neighbour's deprivation and everything to gain from his well-being (virtue, unlike material benefits, cannot be appropriated), loving our neighbour will be our only remaining option.
We will discover that each individual's uniqueness complements our own and can help us reveal aspects of higher reality to which, by his very uniqueness, our neighbour is closer. Then together, and acting in concert, we will be able to work toward eliminating the root cause of all slavish attachments, the only remaining objective basis of our vulnerability - mortality - by assailing our primordial Achilles's heel - the materiality of our body.
The prospect of waking up to reality and taking full possession of their faculties has always interested certain men and women. They deeply intuit that no "virtual"6 or simulated reality or other fantasy, however vivid, can compare to the natural, holistic reality that awaits us.
The utopian conditions postulated by Project Mind will not spell the culmination of humanity or signal a state of stagnation but will be man's first real emancipation. Freed from the obscuring distraction stemming from material lack, man will discover that what he had always called "desire" and "will" was in fact impulse, inclination, appetite, and craving. In feeling the first stirrings of authentic, spiritually oriented, essential desire, he will have begun his odyssey in a world of multi-layered reality - an adventure in which freedom from physical and biological restrictions will be only the first of many steps.
Spiritual striving of whatever colour will no longer be the uncertain, tedious, interminable, fluctuating, élitist affair it has been for millennia. Instead, it will be a universal, transparent movement in which all will share consciously - each according to his particular essence - thanks to the dissipation of the distracting and confusing influence of material lack and the pettiness it breeds in man's spirit. With unobstructed reality as our teacher, our empowered, individual essences will unfold revealing that all their myriad facets are conditioned by unity and harmony.
This will be achieved only by scientifically, technologically, philosophically and psychologically relegating matter to its proper place in the cosmos as the mere crust of existence.
1 Kun, T. 1993. Project Mind - The Conscious Conquest of Man & Matter Through Accelerated Thought. Indian Rocks Beach, FL: Unimedia.
2 Harman, Willis and Rheingold, Howard. 1984. Higher Creativity. Los Angeles: Jeremy P. Tarcher.
3 Tart, Charles T. 1987. Waking Up - Overcoming the Obstacle to Human Potential. Boston: New Science Library, Shambala.
4. Drexler, K. Eric. 1990. Engines of Creation. N.Y.: Anchor Books.
5 Ettinger, Robert C.W. 1965. The Prospect of Immortality. London: Sidgwick and Jackson.
6 Rheingold, Howard. 1991. Virtual Reality. N.Y.: Summit Books
. Pay Now Die Later
by Brian W. Haines
The B.B.C. have a reputation for being very conservative, yet recently a few programmes have shown some producers are aware of new ideas. The television series Heretic is a good example of questioning the established rules of science. And yet the very newspapers who have accused the B.B.C. of negative thinking sneer at the series and treat it with contemptuous condescension.
For those who either missed the programme or do not have television, the common thread running throughout each programme is the rejection by the established forces of science of individual mavericks within their own ranks. The great strength of each presentation is the selection of well qualified scientists who have dared to propose that they have performed experiments to prove the existence of some other set of values other than the accepted rigid physical laws of the Universe.
The series has not dealt so far with Cryonic Suspension, possibly for the very good reason that at the present time there is no prominent scientist who can show there is any possibility of recovery. It has however dealt with the effects of massive dosages of Vitamin C, Homeopathy, the Para-Normal and Evolution. In each and every case the attitude of the establishment has been absolute in ostracising the offending proponent. There is no room in the conventional order for a revolutionary approach.
Rather surprisingly B.B.C. Radio 4 featured Cryonic Suspension in a piece of very good and quite unbiased reporting, [in the series Big Bang. - ed] They endeavoured to gain both sides of the question and have one of the most favourable chances to each side of the question to state their point of view. A full and reasoned explanation of the work of Alcor together with the costs were detailed. There was a full and frank admission that it was a gamble on the future. There were no false hopes, nor undue claims peddled to entice the unwary. In very fundamental terms the situation was laid out that you pay now for your body to be preserved in the hope that one day it can be brought back to life. It is in effect the absolute opposite of cremation as a way of disposing of your body at your funeral.
Now who could object to such a procedure? If you want an exotic funeral why not? It is your money, your body, your own salvation. If you choose to waste your money upon a whim it can be no business of anyone other than yourself. But no, that is not the way it is.
A leading scientist in the field of Cryogenics was asked to comment upon the chances of success in the future of rejuvenating a preserved body. The reporter on the Radio 4 programme put the question without any emphasis upon one side or the other. The answer was in the form of the establishment to the heretic. Cryonic suspension is fantasy, cryogenics is science, there is no common ground. There was a point blank refusal to discuss the possibility.
For the average listener it seems reasonable that if you can unfreeze a chicken and it is as good as the day it was frozen then why not do the same with a human. Of course there is a difference. A chicken is still dead and is intended to be eaten, no-one is suggesting eating humans.
Although what may be in the future in that regard is as much a possibility as bringing them back to life. Ideas do change. It is no good castigating science for a lack of vision if you are not prepared to consider all political possibilities as well. For the moment it is more acceptable to believe the world will not work on a pure farm yard principle.
There is then a great gap between freezing organic material and reanimating organic material. It was a point the Radio 4 scientist made and perhaps he was right not to consider the question and to claim it was the stuff of science fiction.
Science does not know what the basic life principle is, nor where it is found. Anyone who believes it is possible to breath life back into a dead body must of necessity go against all religious doctrine and see the life force as a product of the physical laws of this world. The whole idea of a heaven and a final judgment must go out of the window.
Just to recap, getting frozen chickens back on their feet and running round the farm is not within the contemplation of anybody, but surely it should be the first step in the experiment. We have been able to freeze chickens for the last 400 years believe it not. The Chinese used snow to preserve food over 3000 years ago. This is hardly modern technology! [editorial note - This is not a fair comparison. When people are frozen the conditions are optimised as best we know how for recovery by future science. When meat is frozen, conditions are optimised for eating it.]
So what is going wrong? Why does established science always refuse, to consider the fantastic? Progress never takes place unless there are people of vision who are willing to look to the events of the future.
Part of the answer to this question is there has to be a brake upon ideas. It is very easy to propose a desired effect, it needs years of dull conservative research to get there. The routine of experiment is not suited to people who have flashes of imagination, the work cannot be done by a work-force of impatient adventurers into the unknown. Many prominent scientists are no more than well qualified and experienced technicians, they cannot permit themselves to think in any other terms than that of standard theory. And that actually explains why some seem to see the light only at the end of their lives.
In a way it is fear. A fear of the unknown, a fear established thinking will have to change. Over ninety-nine percent of people want a set ordered existence that remains unchallenged, only the few want disorder and change. Even now the thought of dying and waking up in a new world of peace and tranquillity reflects this desire.
Why not give it a try? Pay now for your preservation.
Suppose you have your wish and they do manage to revive you. But the world has changed too, you are to be fattened up to use as food for the fishes. Is it such a good idea after all? It is a risk isn't it?
A point of fact: There is no basic reason why you have to pay now for your future preservation. You only need pay at the time the preservation is carried out. Unfortunately the legal profession have so tied up wills and probate that it is difficult to guarantee payment at that time. Therefore wills are not suitable for funding cryonics. However trusts and life insurance get around the hurdle of probate.
With regards to reviving people to be fattened up as food seems a bit peculiar. Why go to all that trouble - if the future world is this way inclined, then it would be easier to make people by the conventional process.
by Chrissie Loveday
I mentioned in my article last month that the magazine Bella was to produce a piece about cryonics, John and myself. Apart from the necessarily sensational phrases, typical of the magazine, it wasn't too bad. Even the photograph of me was almost bearable. (Why do we never look the way we imagine ourselves to look?) The interest it has provoked is continuing and we have had an item on local radio, a piece in the local paper and a piece on regional television. One realises the care and attention that is necessary to produce such an item when you see how long is spent on filming it. The producer and cameraman were here for two and a half hours, filmed for forty-five minutes and produced a three minute item!
It made me think about communication. I was probably in touch with more people for my three minutes of television, than I have spoken to in all my life. I have spoken on national radio a couple of times and local radio, often. I was never aware of anyone else listening from the radio studio (perhaps they weren't!) and the film was very easy to do. Standing in front the whole school to take assembly, amateur dramatics and any sort of teaching has never presented me with problems, but do I actually communicate? John says he would find any of those mediums of communicating quite horrendous, but we all know he can communicate by the written word, better than most. I was marking exam papers in school once and said to my colleagues,
"I had thought of giving up teaching, but marking this lot, I realise I already have."
So, I was being frivolous, but there is more than a grain of truth. You can spend hours preparing a lesson (speech, film, anything), but until a way has been found to force feed the information, it is difficult to assess whether communication took place at all.
My current work with people who are profoundly disabled presents, perhaps, the greatest challenge ever in communicating. I ask you, how do you teach life-skills to a wheel-chair bound lady, who is deaf, almost blind, has no movement except for her uncontrolled arm reflexes, due to cerebral palsy? Yet, despite the fact that I have no specific training for this, I have found a way of communicating and am rewarded by a sort of whoop and huge grin, when I arrive to do the session with her. I can't really explain how I do communicate with her, but obviously I do. It's like trying to speak in a foreign language, when we wave our hands around, point to things and try the English word with what we consider to be a foreign accent.
So what of the future? If (or when) we are reanimated from cryonic suspension, what will be the accepted form of communication? Will the language be the same? Will people still talk in the familiar way? Will they have so much recorded material from our times, that they don't want to know much about our memories? What will we have to offer the future peoples of Earth, that makes it all worth while? I see my always present curiosity as my driving force. When I have asked them several hundred questions about their lives, I shall begin to talk about my own experiences ... and so communication will be established. No-one can resist talking about themselves and their opinions.
There will be features in the Bella's of the future,
The couple who came back
from the past!
Chrissie Loveday's humourous novel Do It Tomorrow is published early in November by New Millenium at £7.95. Ask for it at your booksellers (please!)
The Sless Case and Magna Carta
by Brian W. Haines
It is only in the USA that such a blatant theatrical appeal to a Jury could be tolerated. The actual speech owed all to Hollywood script-writing rather than either historical fact or law. It is amazing that such utter rubbish can be accepted in a Court-room.
King John never said anything about law coming out of his mouth. And in any event the Barons asked only for an affirmation of the rights laid down in a previous Charter by Henry I and the laws of Edward the Confessor. It was never called "Magna Carta" at the time and certainly contained nothing about "due process of law Additionally it was not in the order of paragraphs so beloved of commentators of today.
The Charter John signed was repudiated immediately by the Pope and to the extent repudiated by John on the grounds of duress, it never came into effect. What we are now pleased to call "Magna Carta" was rewritten and signed by Henry III, and subsequently passed into law and legend. It was called Magna Carta by the clerks to distinguish it from the Forrest Charter which was physically smaller. Two Charters being promulgated at the same time it was necessary to describe which was being talked about.
The John Charter is in Medieval Latin and incomprehensible to any except highly placed law officers of the day. Certainly John himself, nor any of the Barons could have understood it. In all it deals with money and nothing else. In other words the relief from the burden of Taxes by the Barons, not a word about ordinary men and women.
John inherited a bankrupt country due to the idiocy of his brother Richard who spent most of his time abroad on ridiculous Crusades. When Richard finally decided to return home he was captured by the Germans and held for a massive ransom John was obliged to raise. It was this raising of money the Barons finally rebelled against BUT they did not deny it was a legal imposition or that John had no right to do it.
For a long time Britain and the USA have been divided by a common language. It leads to many misunderstandings, words do not have the same significance nor the same meanings. The fundamental process of law is different.
In Britain, Government can do what it likes, it can if it wishes decree white is black, or men are women. It can change the law at the drop of the hat. The reason is there is no over-riding constitution which is above the Government. In the USA there is a basic Constitution, said to be founded on "Magna Carta" which is above Government. The Constitution is enshrined within the rights of the people and therefore in the US a Jury can question laws made by the Government on the grounds that they "unconstitutional". No such question can arise in Britain for the simple reason the Government always make the laws and therefore cannot be wrong.
Incidentally many European States had similar "Magna Carta's" long before they arose in England. It is not a unique English idea. Prior to the founding of America Magna Carta had no place in the popular fancy. Reflect upon this, Shakespeare wrote a play about King John and there is not a word about Magna Carta in it. The reason is simple, Magna Carta matters to the US not to Britain as it was used, mistakenly, to challenge the right of central government to tax the colonists.
"Magna Carta" is one of the biggest historical flights of fancy of all time. It never contained any rights for the common people, or anyone else for that matter.
What a shame!
The Sless Case was a case in which Rodger Sless was acquitted of charges following what was described as a Gestapo raid on his business premises by the FDA. The FDA were attacking the freedom of the American people to consume GH-3, and saying that Mr Sless was breaking the law by selling it.
A printout of the closing speech in the Sless case is available from us for an A4 sized SAE stamped for 60 grams (19p or 24p).
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