ISSN 0964-5659

Longevity Report 70

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Self-esteem George Smith

Some Reminders About Cryonics and Cryobiology Robert Ettinger

Growth in Cryonics Robert Ettinger

Odyssey of Knowledge Gary Lee Fletcher, L. Ac.

As Others See Us New Hope International

Comment on Excessive Vitamin C Gordon Mudd

A Look At the Past, Followed by A Look to the Future. Louis Epstein

How to Tame the "Weirdness" of Cryonics: An Idea Mark Galecki

Methylsulfonylmethane Robert Ettinger

Do We Have to Choose Between Meat and Computers? Raphael T. Haftka

Have a Nice Day Chrissie Loveday

Volume 11 no 70. First published March 1999. ISSN 0964-5659.


Self-esteem

By George Smith <Smithid@ix.netcom.com>

Self-esteem, in essence, is an unnecessary mental step - a self-EVALUATION which I see as directly causative in most neurotic human behaviour. For numerous details and examples, see Albert Ellis Is Objectivism A Religion?. For a small partial treatment, read on.

People say (and believe) they are their occupations ("I am a doctor, lawyer, etc") which are actions (processes) not identities.

People say and believe they are their current emotions ("I am a jealous, angry, happy, etc. person) which are passing feelings (processes of psycho-somatic sensation) not identities.

People say (and believe) they are their thoughts (especially opinions) the best classical example coming from Descartes' "I think therefore I am", while thoughts are mental processes and not identities.

To identify with any experience requires a mental step of (in essence) declaring to oneself I am ... followed by the process in question with which one identifies.

Once identified with said process, any criticism of it is easily perceived as an "attack" on you (as "you" chose to identify with that process).

For example, people who study Egyptology long enough and secure jobs in that field usually identify with being "Egyptologists". When people doing geology (who themselves "Geologists") declared that the Sphinx was worn by rain, and rain had not fallen in Egypt for 9,000 years and therefore the Sphinx had to be at least 9,000 years old, "Egyptologists" declared that these facts could not be correct because it did not match their belief "as" "Egyptologists" that the Sphinx was constructed no more than 6,000 years ago. Thus we see another example of otherwise intelligent minds stopped dead in their tracks due to false identifications, in this example individuals identifying with a body of previous research to the exclusion of the examination of new information - and from a group with which they are not identified: geologists.

Experience

I do not say that experience is an illusion. (I do suspect the Experiencer to be a mental illusion).

I am suggesting that you as the experiencer cannot be the experience. If you believe that you are what you experience, I am suggesting that that is an illusion. It is popular and reinforced by language syntax (the exception being the English subset known as E-Prime which lacks the verb "to be") but is nevertheless an illusion.

You are not what you do, feel, think or "own". This is easily demonstrated.

The experiencer is not the experience. When people identify with their experiences, they tend to defend these identifications rather than just use them. This inhibits clear thinking and stunts decision-making as well as technological progress in general.

What I am suggesting is rather difficult at first but should not be identified with any known religion or philosophy. I have found the basics in Albert Ellis' work and a few others, but usually not many clear examples outside of psychology.

I am remaining very firmly grounded in the demonstrable fact that in any honest search for "the self" you cannot find "it" in any experience. Take any experience and you can ask "yourself" "Can I know about this experience?" If the answer is "Yes", then IF there "is" an experiencer you call "you", quite clearly there is "you" (the experiencer) and "it" (the experience). This can be applied to any "external" experiences (the physical universe) and any "internal" experiences (thoughts, memories, dreams, etc.).

When someone drops identification with something he gains emotional freedom from defending its qualities.

For example, if I stop identifying with being an Egyptologist, and instead recognize I am "doing" Egyptology, I quickly discover I no longer feel emotionally pressured to "defend" what I do. Instead I can treat Egyptology as a "tool" in that I can use it, question it, and even possibly improve on it.

For example, if I stop identifying with my memories and behaviour patterns as George Smith, and instead recognize that I am "using" the George Smith personality, I quickly discover I no longer feel emotionally pressured to "defend" George Smith. Instead I can treat George Smith as a "tool" (actually a bunch of tools) that I can use, question, and even possibly improve on.

I have found no need to identify with anything in particular but great value in dropping the illusion of identifying with many "things" (and processes).

I would suggest that if some members of those religions that identify with the "non-self", then that would cause them to emotionally need to defend their religious perspective and this is what probably most contributes to their rejection of cryonics.

What I am suggesting is not an affirmation of identity (what or who I "really" "am") but a recognition of delusion based upon errors in identification (what "I" am not).

The classic comic image of the nut who thinks he is Napoleon comes to mind. If he can come to see he is not Napoleon, I am submitting he is only popularly, culturally "sane". Now he needs to stop believing he is everything else he has been doing as well to become "more than sane", the psychological condition I am describing here.

I have also noticed that in each category I have challenged and de-identified from, I am more willing to examine it for error. It becomes simple and easy to say, "Maybe I am wrong" and then consider what is being presented.

In a world where most people reject cryonics for "reasons" that truly make no sense at all, it is useful to consider that they are rigidly identified with the role imposed by their culture and are very willing to die rather than seem "odd" to their friends and neighbours.

I realize these ideas are alien to our culture - but so is "survival sanity" (to coin a term) as demonstrated by the near-universal rejection of cryonics.

I feel there is a strong connection which is why I have expressed some of these ideas here.


Some Reminders

About Cryonics and Cryobiology

by Robert Ettinger, Cryonics Institute, Immortalist Society, <http://www.cryonics.org>

First, don't get lost in technical details, even if you are confident of your mastery. Some of the overarching facts are:

The problem of identity, or of criteria of survival, and guesses about the nature of nature, the interpretation of quantum mechanics, even cosmogony and cosmology--all of these could be highly relevant to your personal decisions right now or next year. It won't do simply to shrug these problems off as "too hard" or "premature"--you are compelled to make timely decisions, and can rationally do so only on the basis of your best current guesses or estimates. Passivity or inaction is just one choice among many, and sometimes the worst. For inattentiveness or laziness, the penalty may be death.


Growth in Cryonics

Robert Ettinger, <Ettinger@aol.com>

There has been increase in interest in cryonics in recent years, but slowly and irregularly. Growth in patient population -- at Cryonics Institute in particular -- has been more striking than growth in membership. We currently have 29 human patients (all full body), of whom all but two came in this decade, and seven in 1998 (including two transfers from another organization). Interest as measured by media requests for interviews and tours has also increased in the last couple of years.

My guesses as to explanations are mainly as follows:

1.The overriding reason for slow growth has always been, and continues to be, just the weight of cultural inertia, our radically different viewpoint, together with the reluctance of almost everyone to expend effort and money for an uncertain reward (however potentially large) in a dim future and in the absence of support by major institutions.

2. The main reasons for noticeable recent improvement in interest include (a) the cumulative effect of constant new achievements in science and medicine, including more and more open talk about "immortality;" (b) the cumulative effect of books including fiction such as Halperin's The First Immortal, and (c) the greater ease of locating us and becoming informed through the Web.

I believe that, beneath the surface, public psychology is slowly shifting in our favour, and any of several possible catalysts or triggers could suddenly produce a surge of action. The catalyst need not necessarily be anything dramatic (such as a break-through in perfected cryopreservation methods), and may not even be identifiable after the fact (just as reversals of stock market psychology are sometimes not clearly identifiable even by hindsight).

As always, the thing to remember is that your personal participation, as soon as possible and as actively as possible, will improve your own chances both directly and through its contribution to your organization, the immortalist movement, and public perception.


Odyssey of Knowledge

by Gary Lee Fletcher, L. Ac., <arnis@primenet.com>

Kali On Line; http://members.xoom.com/arniskali/

No limits to knowledge exist. The more we come to know, the more we realize how little we know. Today we laugh at how little we knew yesterday. Tomorrow we will laugh at how little we know today. The more we understand, the more clear it is that everything we have learned is nothing compared to what we have yet to learn. Behind each field of knowledge we have uncovered, we have managed to open are still more and more, and so on without end. It is not easy to arrive at a set of facts and theories. We, instead, end up with an infinite series of questions. The most brilliant people have been those who have sought not the right answers to give, but the right questions to ask.

Think about our technology of around 3000 years. Think of where we'll be by the end of the 21st century. Project that rate of growth 1000 years into the future. The knowledge we'll have only 50 years from now is many layers beyond our current imaginations. Our consciousness has already outstripped nature's slow and cruel process; the forgotten desperation to accrue shelter, food, medicine, communication, transportation and technology. It's no longer such a struggle just to survive.

Think about how we have progressed from ignorance to mistake to failure to insight --- to discovery about ourselves and our universe and how things work. It happened very slowly at first and then gained momentum. With the dawning of the new millennium upon us, it has reached a dizzying speed. We have seen revolutions in just about every branch of human knowledge. I wonder how many pages in my high school science books still stand?

From the beginning of our introspective consciousness to the first automobile took almost 3000 years of accumulated knowledge. Then within 100 years, man went from the auto to the airplane, to the moon, and now to super computers for everyone. Just imagine the technology of beings who have enjoyed geometrically accumulated knowledge for a million years. Human-like consciousness can quickly advance from building cities to fusion energy, developing super computers, taking flights into space, corralling astral matter, and beyond, forever.

It's almost embarrassing to hear an ordinary high school kid tell us about weird stars and invisible forces in the universe that no astronomer knew a thing about only a few years ago. Kids today know that continents are constantly on the move, fixed to vast plates that slide over and collide into one another, rocking the earth. When I was a boy, television still seemed magic and space exploration was something I read about in my comic books. Today's children take television, computers, and cellular telephones for granted, as they do space stations and missions to Mars. Most of us have forgotten about iron lungs, steno pools, rubella, and even phonographs.

Man's quest for knowledge has impacted all of our lives and changed us in ways that we ourselves cannot yet comprehend. Lifesaving medical miracles, though imperfect, have become so commonplace that we whine and complain about any one in a million side effect. We want cures for heart disease and cancer and other diseases, and we want them now! We have come to expect too much from experts and professionals. Yet we distrust and fear science and technology too, and it is not unreasonable that we should, given all of the dumb mad scientist movies we have been raised on, along with all the evil people who have tried to use its destructive side. We understand that it can be a double-edged sword --- a wonderful servant but a terrible master.

Consider the billions of earthlike planets undoubtedly existing in the universe that are millions of years older than Earth. Now, among those billions of earthlike planets are life forms billions of years old with knowledge far more advanced than our own.

What will we be doing with our super-advanced technology and knowledge a thousand years from now?

Well, I have a few comments about your question because, even though I am not what some would call a "fundamentalist" Christian, I have been saved by the blood of Jesus Christ and do indeed believe in "life-after-death".

Personally, I find no conflict between Christianity and the extension of human life. Human life is extended, probably for millions of individuals, every single day. It is extended every time a doctor perscribes medication to someone with a horrible infection or disease, a doctor performs emergency surgury on an accident victim, when a premature infant is put into an incubator, etc, etc, etc.

In my opinion reversing the human aging process is just another way of extending human life just like all of the above.

You see in my opinion there is NOTHING wrong with wanting to live for as long as possible on this planet. For those of us who are Christians, our belief is that after death we will be spending all of eternity in heaven. So each and every moment living as a mortal being on earth is very important, because we are only here for so short a period of time. Because of that fact, I think it is VERY important that everyone try and live for as long as possible.

One thing I think we need to help people realize is that even if the aging process is totally reversed, we will not be "immortal". We will still be capable of dying, but perhaps just not by old age.

Usually when I talk to someone I know about all the potential anti-aging therapies that are being developed, they approve of them very quickly after I explain to them that when it is their time to die, God will still be able to take them. But instead of a long, horrible, dragged out experiance in a nursing home or a hospital, it will probably be from an accident of some sort.

Hey, and you know what? People a long time ago in the bible lived to be many hundreds of years old. Some people believe that to be an actual historical fact, and others believe it to be a myth. But lets just assume for a moment that it is indeed true. Well, what then caused people to live shorter lifespans? If we could figure that out then we could possible correct whatever happened to our DNA and live the "normal" lifespan of a human being! :-)

Even if you do not believe in the above, and if you do not I totally respect your unbelief, it is a good way to convince Christians that there is NOTHING wrong with anti-aging therapies.

Best Regards,

William (on Netcom)


As Others See Us

New Hope International Review - http://www.nhi.clara.net/online.htm

NHI Review, 20 Werneth Avenue, Gee Cross, Hyde, Cheshire SK14 5NL

#66

There really are people who write, talk and dream of immortal life, not as some kind of religion or science fiction fantasy but as a commodity or lifestyle choice. This newsletter provides a fascinating, if chilling, glimpse of the future through the thoughts of some of those obsessed by longevity, cryonics and life extension technologies. The first impression is of a photocopied seventies style newsletter with badly printed photographs, then you realise that nearly all contributors have a website or email address, so you wonder who they are producing this document for. There are articles about visits to organisations which freeze people, presumably in the hope that they may be able to work out a way of bringing them back to life sometime in the future, and an update on someone's FLY LONGEVITY EXPERIMENTS (no, nothing anyone is likely to be impeached for, just what substances make the insects live longer). Apparently one organisation boasts over 400 members, 35 of whom are in suspension as at April 1998. The thought that they might be brought back to life and imposed on a future generation makes the blood run cold. Such bio-engineering is surely more sinister than genetic modification of the humble soya bean.

reviewer: Adrian Green.

#67

This issue carries a reminder to we reviewers that

cryogenics is the science of low temperatures.

cryobiology is the science of low temperatures as applied to biological systems, and

cryonics is the science of the application of the above two disciplines to the cyopreservation of human beings at the point of death so that they may be kept unchanging until technology has advanced sufficiently for them to be restored to a healthy, youthful and indefinite lifespan.

Saul Kent discusses the catch-22 situation promoters of cryonics find themselves in. It needs to attract interest from high-profile celebrities to gain more credibility with the general public, but the rich and famous are wary of their image and won't be seen to endorse it until cryonics has achieved greater credibility. George C Smith, describes Kent as a cryonics pioneer, and respectfully disagrees with his views concerning credibility:

Is there any historical evidence to support the hypothesis that because something is scientifically demonstrated to be true or workable that it is then embraced? ... acceptance is an issue of popular whim based upon emotion, not science nor even reasonable evidence.

He uses examples of other irrefutable scientific proofs, still steadfastly disbelieved to put the point that it takes two generations for scientific theories to become generally accepted - and he cannot wait that long!

reviewer: Abigail North.

#68

This is a twenty-page long A4-sized newsletter which concentrates primarily upon the sciences. This issue deals with cryonics - freezing the body after death to be reanimated later in time - and explores the effects of cryonics on genes, religion, NDEs (near-death experiences) and the commercial market. The articles are submitted by both professionals and those with an interest in the field. There are no graphics apart from the front cover, and the copy is printed in double columns, in a large font which makes the whole newsletter quite mundane and monotone. Though I am not interested in cryonics, I found the newsletter somewhat interesting, and not at all as boring as I had anticipated. The articles were written in a light, informative tone, dealing for both the initiated and those who know nothing of the subject matter. I can recommend it for readers with both a passing interest and an obsessive interest in science.

reviewer: Heather Ward.

#69

This has been around for some considerable time now, its special area of focus being human life extension. This issue has a broad remit, looking at the effects of BSE, CJD and breast cancer on life expectancy. There are also articles looking at the financial implications of long life, trust funds, insurance compensation claims and even the future of money.

reviewer: John M Peters.


Letter to the Editor

From: Mr Gordon Mudd <Gordon.Nudd@t-online.de>

Comment on Excessive Vitamin C

re Volume 11 no 58. First published March 1997. ISSN 0964-5659. Side Effects of Excessive Vitamin C. Scott Ballantyne

There is an far greater problem with excessive Vitamin C. This problem has hardly been noted anywhere in the literature and most books, including Linus Pauling who left it out completely! - the loss of minerals which is of course extremely important. (May be noted as cramps in sports people after extended exercise which increases the problem, for example. - problem vanishes when the vitamin c is stopped.).

Comment: of course most organisations now recommend a multi vitamin preparation such as Life Extension Mix which the Life Extension Foundationhave formulated using a balanced mixture of various vitamin products and minerals.


A Look At the Past,

Followed by A Look to the Future.

By Louis Epstein <le@put.com> http://www.put.com

The following are the Guinness-authenticated persons who have featured in tables or sidebars in various editions from 1970 on, or been otherwise mentioned as having passed muster with their documentation standards.

In the earlier periods, they were not necessarily the oldest people alive that the Guinness Book was aware of ... starting with Izumi, they are.

I omit those who did not make it to 110, which no longer gets onto a table when they publish one.

Chronologically

Name Years Days Born Died
Pierre Joubert 113 124 July 15,1701 November 16,1814
Thomas Peters 111 354 April 6,1745 March 26,1857
Geert Adrians Boomgaard 110 113 September 23,1788 February 3,1899
Margaret Ann (Harvey) Neve 110 321 May 18,1792 April 4,1903
Delina (Ecker) Filkins 113 214 May 4,1815 December 4,1928
Demetrius Philipovitch 110 150+ March 9,1818 alive August 1928
Hon. Katherine Plunket 111 327 November 22,1820 October 14,1932
El Hadj Mohammed El Mokri 112 +?? 1844 September 16,1957
[Gunther's Inside Africa claims he was younger,1851 or so]
Martha Graham 114 c. 180 December 1844 June 25,1959
John B. Salling 113 1 March 15,1846 March 16,1959
James Henry Brett Jr. 111 220 July 25,1849 February 10,1961
Baks Karnebeek 110 5 October 2,1849 October 7,1959
Yoshigiku Ito 110 114 August 3,1856 November 26,1966
Johanna Booyson 111 151 January 17,1857 June 16,1968
Marie Bernatkova 111 + October 22,1857 alive October 1968
Ada (Giddings) Rowe 111 339 February 6,1858 January 11,1970
Josefa Salas Mateo 112 228 July 14,1860 February 27,1973
Khasako Dzugayev 110 + August 7,1860 alive August 1970
Ada Sharp 110 39 April 6,1861 May 15,1971
Alice Stevenson 112 39 July 10,1861 August 18,1973
Elizabeth Watkins 110 234 March 10,1863 October 31,1973
Mito Umeta 112 65 March 27,1863 May 31,1975
Shigechiyo Izumi 120 237 June 29,1865 February 21,1986
Virginie Duhem 111 c. 210 August 1866 May 1,1978
Fannie Thomas 113 273 April 24,1867 January 22,1981
Rozwlia Mielzcarak 112 +?? 1868 January 7,1981
Augustine Teissier (Sister Julia) 112 66 January 2,1869 March 9,1981
Jane Piercy 111 235 September 2,1869 May 3,1981
Gerada Hurenkamp-Bosgoed 110 141 January 5,1870 May 25,1980
Lambrini Tsiatoura 110 +?? 1870 February 19,1981
Mamie Eva (Walter) Keith 113 182 March 22,1873 September 20,1986
Anna Eliza (Davies) Williams 114 208 June 2,1873 December 27,1987
Florence Knapp 114 93 October 10,1873 January 11,1988
Diminia Sette 110 +?? 1874 February 25,1985
Wilhelmine Sande 111 89 October 24,1874 January 21,1986
Carrie C. (Joyner) White 116 88 November 18,1874 February 14,1991
Caroline Maud Mockridge 112 330 December 11,1874 November 6,1987
Jeanne Calment 122 164 February 21,1875 August 4,1997
Orpha Nussbaum 112 259 August 13,1875 March 30,1988
Christina Van Druten-Hoogakker 111 322 January 20,1876 December 8,1987
Maren Bolette Torp 112 61 December 21,1876 February 20,1989
Kate Begbie 111 238 January 9,1877 September 5,1988
Charlotte(Milburn) Hughes 115 229 August 1,1877 March 17,1993
John Evans 112 295 August 19,1877 June 10,1990
[Guinness inexplicably miscounts as 292 days]
Ettie Mae (Thomas) Greene 114 171 September 8,1877 February 26,1992
Jean Michael Reskens 111 241 May 11,1878 January 7,1990
Maria Corba 111 190+ August 15,1878 alive March 1990
Fanny Matilda Nystrom 111 90+ September 30,1878 1989
Margaret (Seward) Skeete 115 192 October 27,1878 May 7,1994
Wilhelmina (Geringer) Kott 115 60+? March 7,1879 alive early 1994
Domenico Minervo 111 11 May 10,1880 May 21,1991
Marie Louise Febronie (Chasse) Meilleur 117 230 August 29,1880 April 16,1998
Sarah (Clark) Knauss 118 100+ September 24,1880 STILL ALIVE 1/99
[forgot her name!] 114 220+ May 3,1881 early 1996
Nellie (Hardman) Eby 110 331+ May 17,1881 alive April 13,1992
Hulda Johansson 111 350+ February 24,1882 alive February 1994
Janina Izykowksa 116 + February 27,1882 STILL ALIVE 2/98
Anicuta Batariu 115 300+ June 17,1882 STILL ALIVE 4/98
Christian Mortensen 115 252 August 16,1882 April 25,1998
Lucy Askew 114 60+ Sept 1883 Dec 9,1997
Chelidonia Merosi 111 100+ October 11,1883 alive February 1995
Suekiku Miyanaga 114 77 April 4,1884 June 20,1998
Asa Takii 114 94 April 28,1884 July 31,1998
Tase Matsunaga 114 191 May 11,1884 November 18,1998
Yasu Akino 113 +113 March 1,1885 February 12,1999
Anne Kathrine Matthiesen 110 60+ November 26,1884 alive February 1995
Jeanne Dumaine 112 c. 300 March 11,1886 Jan 1999
Marie Bremont 112 c. 260 April 25,1886 Alive Jan 9TH 1999


(Laura Hansine Svehaug of Norway, Nov 19 1886,and Irene Vanderhaegen of Belgium, June 26 1887,have lately had their 110th birthdays certified by their countries' authorities...Vanderhaegen would break her country's Guinness record, Svehaug must pass Torp. There have doubtless been other authenticated 110-year-old claims for countries with higher records). (Izykowska is accepted by Warsaw authorities, Miyanaga, Takii, Matsunaga, Akino Japanese, Batariu Romanian, Dumaine, Bremont French)

Ranked by Age

Name Years Days Born Died
Jeanne Calment 122 164 February 21,1875 August 4,1997
Shigechiyo Izumi 120 237 June 29,1865 February 21,1986
Sarah (Clark) Knauss 118 100+ September 24,1880 STILL ALIVE 1/99
Marie Louise Febronie (Chasse) Meilleur 117 230 August 29,1880 April 16,1998
Carrie C. (Joyner) White 116 88 November 18,1874 February 14,1991
Janina Izykowska 116 + February 27,1882 STILL ALIVE 2/98
[Certification apparently only by Warsaw authorities]
Anicuta Batariu 115 300+ June 17,1882 STILL ALIVE 4/98
[Certification apparently only by Romanian authorities]
Christian Mortensen 115 252 August 16,1882 April 25,1998
Charlotte(Milburn) Hughes 115 229 August 1,1877 March 17,1993
Margaret (Seward) Skeete 115 192 October 27,1878 May 7,1994
Wilhelmina (Geringer) Kott 115 60+? March 7,1879 alive mid 1994
[forgot her name!] 114 220+ May 3,1881 early 1996
Anna Eliza (Davies) Williams 114 208 June 2,1873 December 27,1987
Tase Matsunaga 114 191 May 11,1884 November 18,1998
Martha Graham 114 c.180 December 1844 June 25,1959
Ettie Mae (Thomas) Greene 114 171 September 8,1877 February 26,1992
Asa Takii 114 94 April 28,1884 July 31,1998
Florence Knapp 114 93 October 10,1873 January 11,1988
Suekiku Miyanaga 114 77 April 4,1884 June 20, 1998
Lucy Askew 114 60+ Sept 1883 December 9,1997
Fannie Thomas 113 273 April 24,1867 January 22,1981
Delina (Ecker) Filkins 113 214 May 4,1815 December 4,1928
Mamie Eva (Walter) Keith 113 182 March 22,1873 September 20,1986
Pierre Joubert 113 124 July 15,1701 November 16,1814
John B. Salling 113 1 March 15,1846 March 16,1959
Yasu Akino 113 +113 March 1,1885 February 12,1999
Birdie May (Musser) Vogt 112 354 August 3,1876 July 23,1989
Caroline Maud Mockridge 112 330 December 11,1874 November 6,1987
Jeanne Dumaine 112 c. 300 March 11,1886 Jan 1999
John Evans 112 295 August 19,1877 June 10,1990
[Guinness inexplicably miscounts as 292 days]
Marie Bremont 112 c. 260 April 25,1886 Alive Jan 9th 1999
Orpha Nussbaum 112 259 August 13,1875 March 30,1988
Josefa Salas Mateo 112 228 July 14,1860 February 27,1973
Augustine Teissier (Sister Julia) 112 66 January 2,1869 March 9,1981
Mito Umeta 112 65 March 27,1863 May 31,1975
Maren Bolette Torp 112 61 December 21,1876 February 20,1989
Alice Stevenson 112 39 July 10,1861 August 18,1973
Rozwlia Mielzcarak 112 +?? 1868 January 7,1981
El Hadj Mohammed El Mokri 112 +?? 1844 September 16,1957
[Gunther's INSIDE AFRICA claims he was younger,1851 or so]
Thomas Peters 111 354 April 6,1745 March 26,1857
Hulda Johansson 111 350+ February 24,1882 alive February 1994
Ada (Giddings) Rowe 111 339 February 6,1858 January 11,1970
Hon. Katherine Plunket 111 327 November 22,1820 October 14,1932
Christina Van Druten-Hoogakker 111 322 January 20,1876 December 8,1987
Jean Michael Reskens 111 241 May 11,1878 January 7,1990
Kate Begbie 111 238 January 9,1877 September 5,1988
Jane Piercy 111 235 September 2,1869 May 3,1981
James Henry Brett Jr. 111 220 July 25,1849 February 10,1961
Virginie Duhem 111 c. 210 August 1866 May 1,1978
Maria Corba 111 190+ August 15,1878 alive March 1990
Johanna Booyson 111 151 January 17,1857 June 16,1968
Chelidonia Merosi 111 100+ October 11,1883 alive February 1995
Fanny Matilda Nystrom 111 90+ September 30,1878 1989
Wilhelmine Sande 111 89 October 24,1874 January 21,1986
Domenico Minervo 111 11 May 10,1880 May 21,1991
Marie Bernatkova 111 + October 22,1857 alive October 1968
Nellie (Hardman) Eby 110 331+ May 17,1881 alive April 13,1992
Margaret Ann (Harvey) Neve 110 321 May 18,1792 April 4,1903
Elizabeth Watkins 110 234 March 10,1863 October 31,1973
Demetrius Philipovitch 110 150+ March 9,1818 alive August 1928
Gerada Hurenkamp-Bosgoed 110 141 January 5,1870 May 25,1980
Yoshigiku Ito 110 114 August 3,1856 November 26,1966
Geert Adrians Boomgaard 110 113 September 23,1788 February 3,1899
Anne Kathrine Matthiesen 110 60+ November 26,1884 alive February 1995
Ada Sharp 110 39 April 6,1861 May 15,1971
Baks Karnebeek 110 5 October 2,1849 October 7,1959
Diminia Sette 110 +?? 1874 February 25,1985
Lambrini Tsiatoura 110 +?? 1870 February 19,1981
Khasako Dzugayev 110 + August 7,1860 alive August 1970


Chronological Oldest Living Listed Persons Since 1959

Name Years Days Born Died
Martha Graham 114 c. 180 December 1844 June 25,1959
James Henry Brett Jr. 111 220 July 25,1849 February 10,1961
Yoshigiku Ito 110 114 August 3,1856 November 26,1966
Johanna Booyson 111 151 January 17,1857 June 16,1968
Marie Bernatkova 111 + October 22,1857 alive October 1968
Ada (Giddings) Rowe 111 339 February 6,1858 January 11,1970
Josefa Salas Mateo 112 228 July 14,1860 February 27,1973
Alice Stevenson 112 39 July 10,1861 August 18,1973
Elizabeth Watkins 110 234 March 10,1863 October 31,1973
Mito Umeta 112 65 March 27,1863 May 31,1975
Shigechiyo Izumi 120 237 June 29,1865 February 21,1986
Mamie Eva (Walter) Keith 113 182 March 22,1873 September 20,1986
Anna Eliza (Davies) Williams 114 208 June 2,1873 December 27,1987
Florence Knapp 114 93 October 10,1873 January 11,1988
Carrie C. (Joyner) White 116 88 November 18,1874 February 14,1991
Jeanne Calment 122 164 February 21,1875 August 4,1997
Marie Louise Febronie (Chasse) Meilleur 117 230 August 29,1880 April 16,1998
Sarah (Clark) Knauss 118 100+ September 24,1880 STILL ALIVE 1/99

Progressive List of Recordholders

(After eventual authentication, not as published initially)

Name Years Days Born Died
Delina (Ecker) Filkins 113 214 May 4,1815 December 4,1928
Martha Graham 114 c. 180 December 1844 June 25,1959
Shigechiyo Izumi 120 237 June 29,1865 February 21,1986
Jeanne Calment 122 164 February 21,1875 August 4,1997


Persons born in the 1870s rewrote the record book, and persons born in the 1880s are just now getting their crack at it. Given the greater numbers, greater care options, and better documentation for those born in later times, it's a given that the documented longevity records will continue to increase...but at what rates?

The Life Extension Foundation, I think, was the organization whose stationery depicted a man at 20,50,80,110,and 140,with the ones after 80 reprising the 50 and 20 year old pictures...but I think the first 140-year-olds are likelier to look 80 than 20.

Simple arithmetic tells us that the 140-year-olds of the year 2050, if there are any,will be people born in 1910.How many of them are left, and what shape are they in? Preserving them will be a much easier task than cycling them back to a youthful prime somehow.

The chart above tells us that it will be some time yet before people born in the vicinity of 1910 get their crack at the records(someone born in 1910 could not pass Calment before 2032 WITHOUT the record increasing, and it could increase as soon as 2003). I've wondered for a while just what the time someone born at the same time as Heinlein's Lazarus Long (Woodrow Wilson Smith born November 1912) would really become "the Senior"...you'll note that Sarah Knauss, who has a daughter born the winter the Wrights first flew, is older even than Lazarus's mother.

Just WHAT will enable the lifespans of our dreams is unclear ... nanotech, pill-popping, gene therapy, or whatever. But just looking at the trends, persons born in 1960 (the potential 140-year-olds of 2100) were around twice as numerous to begin with as those born in 1880, and have had far more advantages...what's the ratio between the number now surviving and the number of 1880-born alive in 1919(in the thick of the flu pandemic)?

Watching the bell curves play out, and doing what we can to right-shift, will be interesting. Since I was very young I have wanted to live to be very old. And I'll do it or die trying, as will we all.


How to Tame the "Weirdness" of Cryonics: An Idea

by Mark Galecki <marek@greenspring.com>

I have been involved in cryonics for several years, but this is my first article here. I have just started dating a wonderful woman of my dreams, and decided to tell her about cryonics, which occupies a central part in my personal profile, quickly, so we can still "backpedal" before things get too complicated.

I rehearsed mentally and recited flawlessly, but then she did not say anything, and I had not prepared further contingencies. My mind, forced to come up in a few seconds with a rescue, in a mad scramble, created the following idea.

Most people hope for another life, or some kind of continuation, after death. This enhances their joy of life and adds meaning to it. Most people do this through the concept of "God" or religion. God created them, they will behave according to his (her?) concept of good, then it (yes, let's better use "it") will "save" them, from death, that is, and bring them eternal life.

Well, I said, cryonicists are no different. I don't believe in God; I believe in evolution and science. Evolution created me, I will behave myself well according to rational, scientific principles (not smoke, exercise, drive carefully, restrict calories, use best available approach to brain information preservation - cryonics), then hopefully I will be saved, too.

See, this is very similar. Everybody wants to get from point A to point B. I drive a Honda and you drive a Ford. I believe in Honda and you believe in Ford. But the goal is the same. In short, we all want to save our sorry asses and not die.

Now, I submit to you that both methods are unproven, and it is at least debatable which has better prospects. If the religious enjoy widespread acceptance of their method, then I should too.

I think this may be a good way to tame the "weirdness" of cryonics to many people.


Methylsulfonylmethane

by RCW Ettinger <Ettinger@aol.com>

Perhaps you tend to wince when you see another health supplement book with the word "miracle" in it. Maybe you tend to grimace when you see a health book with lots of anecdotes or testimonials. Possibly you tend to be suspicious when writers are mavericks who complain about the establishment (even though the cryonics movement has its own complaints against the establishment). Me too. Even so, I believe this new book is serious and deserving of attention.

The book is the Miracle of MSM: the Natural Solution for Pain, by Stanley W. Jacob, M.D.; Ronald M. Lawrence, M.D., Ph.D.; and Martin Zucker. Published by Putnam, 1999.

Stanley Jacob is Professor of Surgery and director of the DMSO clinic at Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland. He also is (or was) a cryobiologist on the side; I had some friendly correspondence with him thirty years or so ago. Dr. Lawrence is a neurologist and a founding member of the International Association for the Study of Pain and the American Association for the Study of Headaches. Martin Zucker is an experienced health writer, and presumably he did the actual writing, under the supervision of the doctors.

The authors acknowledge that their opinions are based mainly on clinical experience, but this experience is very extensive, involving thousands of patients over many years. The book appears to contain, as references, only one controlled study on humans and one on rodents.

I believe it is a legitimate complaint against the medical establishment that evidence other than in controlled studies tends to be disregarded as worthless. Both common sense and the historical record confirm the validity of this complaint. To begin with, every medical advance begins either with an accidental observation or with a mere idea; nothing advances to the stage of controlled studies until previous experience suggests the expense of further investigation might be justified. Certainly anecdotal evidence must be viewed warily, but it should not be dismissed out of hand. Most physicians take seriously the reports of their patients.

One of the best known and well documented cases of long years of neglect of a valuable prophylactic is that of vitamin E. Canadian physicians Wilfrid and Evan Shute noticed, more than fifty years ago, that vitamin E is good for the heart. Confirming reports by other physicians kept streaming in, but the establishment refused to listen. It is only in recent years, as far as I recall, that the controlled studies appeared in sufficient numbers and with sufficiently influential authors to make the establishment take notice. In the interim, probably millions of people died earlier than they might have with vitamin E.

Dr. Jacob has for many years been involved in a crusade to make available the benefits of DMSO (dimethylsulfoxide). It is used in many places around the world for treatment of arthritis, muscle and skeletal disorders, head and spinal cord trauma, and other conditions. In the U.S. it has been approved by the FDA only for treatment of interstitial cystitis. (Readers on this list also remember that it is a well known cryoprotective agent.)

MSM--methylsulfonylmethane--is a metabolite of DMSO. Veterinarians have used it for more than fifteen years. This book lays out the benefits observed in patients using MSM, including relief of muscular or skeletal pain, reduction of inflammation, improvement of blood circulation, reduction of muscle spasm, and softening of scar tissue. Conditions in which patients benefited include the main types of arthritis, muscle pain, tendinitis and bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic back pain, chronic headache, heartburn, sinusitis, and fibromyalgia.

According to the authors, MSM is about as non-toxic as water, and is available over the counter at health food stores. (I haven't checked ours yet.) The book gives suggested dosages (of course with the usual disclaimers that this is not individual medical advice and everyone should first check with his physician).

The authors also debunk a number of claims or assertions made by vendors promoting MSM.

Those interested in buying the book can go to the Cryonics Institute web site http://www.cryonics.org; on the menu at the bottom of the home page, click on "What to Read;" then click on the Amazon.com logo at the bottom of that page (or on the book cover, if that is already posted). The Immortalist Society will then get a small cut of the discounted price. If you are reading this on the web, just click here to go to the Cryonics Institute book link directly.


Do We Have to Choose

Between Meat and Computers?

Raphael T. Haftka <haftka@ufl.edu>

University of Florida

Department of Aerospace Engineering, Mechanics and Engineering Science http://www.aero.ufl.edu/~haftka

Thomas Donaldson made a good point on the Internet that one should disassociate the question of identity from the question of duplication. Instead of the destruction of the first self that he proposes, I think that there is also a chance of a slow migration to a different medium. In particular, I expect that the migration to non protoplasm memory may not be that far off. Here are the steps that I see in my crystal ball (murky as it is).

1 Computers that can communicate directly with our brains through electrical impulses. These will probably be developed first for severely handicapped people.

2. People getting used to store factual information on a computer they wear on their belt or on their head, because communication is so easy.

3. Communication upgraded to allow people to store the signals from their eyes, ears, nose and taste buds in computer memories for later retrieval. People getting used to replaying past events with perfect fidelity.

4. Communication upgraded to allow people to store some forms of thoughts and feelings.

I do not claim that silicon(?) memories will have the same texture and feel as the protoplasm ones. However, they will have so many advantages in terms of fidelity and ease of access that people will migrate to them anyhow.

Note that the same type of migration happened once in history with the invention of writing. We sometimes marvel at the memory feats of ancient bards who passed orally from one generation to the next the history and mythology of their tribes. People living today do not develop the kind of memory that these illiterates had.


Have a Nice Day

by Chrissie Loveday

Being polite and friendly is not easy, whether you are posting a question on <sci.cryonics> , trying to persuade your solicitor to engross an unusual will, or you are a telephonist dealing with endless "stupid" questions from the public. Chrissie Loveday looks at the problems.

When the phrase "Have a Nice Day" crossed the pond, many Brits groaned. So insincere. So forced. It washes by most of us now, like supermarket muzak. When I first visited the States last year, I found that people in shops did managed to sound sincere, greeting me with something like, Hi! How are you? The current UK greeting seems to be All right then? Think I do prefer the US greeting, on the whole. Is one supposed to reply? I'm never quite sure! I must say though, the British book buying public were much less friendly than the Americans. When I did my signings in both countries, the UK folk usually looked the other way and turned back for a surreptitious look (in case I was famous). In the States, everyone said "Hi" as they came into the store and often stopped for a chat. Mind you, the English accent helped, I'm sure.

Moving on, we have adopted some things from US. Dial any business and a team of Mandy's, Michelle's or similar tell us who they are and ask how they might help us. I never quite catch the name in time, as I am usually thinking of the subject matter, so it isn't a great deal of help. I also particularly hate the music played whilst on hold, especially if I am paying for the call. I thought about the serious phone calls we have to make in life. The professional people we have to speak to. It is daunting to think of speaking to, for example, a lawyer. "Hello, how are you?" 2 already? "Fine thanks, How are you?" (5?) Exaggeration, maybe but you get the message!

I had cause to contact British Telecom with a fault last week. The operator said, (most sincerely) "Oh I'm sorry to hear that. How can I help?" I was impressed. As I progressed along the line of "the persons I really should be speaking to", they all said exactly the same thing in exactly the same tone. I was less impressed. It makes it very difficult for the P.R. scriptwriters, doesn't it?

I recently had to visit my G.P. My usual doctor was not in and I saw another, newish member of the practice. He most politely asked if I was willing for him to examine me. Did I require a nurse to be present? He almost apologised for needing to carry out the process. He took blood samples and once more apologised for the needle insertion. Although I was suffering only a minor problem, I wasn't feeling at all well and as I left, he actually said he hoped I'd feel better soon. I came out with a feeling of being taken seriously, of being cared for and generally, felt better than when I went in. Whether misplaced or not, I felt a degree of confidence in my treatment and certainly did not feel I had wasted anyone's time. Somewhere between the "Have a nice day" and being treated as a nuisance, lies the secret to good PR. My GP certainly had it and I hope it is the start of a much improved medical service. Nice to have the room for a compliment in the National Health Service. It is usually an organisation where complaints are the everyday routine.

I gather that many professionals are beginning to feel threatened by the new found pseudo-experts from the Internet. I can understand some of the worries. It is perhaps like reading the ubiquitous medical dictionary and realising you have every symptom for every illness. Maybe it's the 'little bit of knowledge can be dangerous' syndrome. The mysteries of any profession are becoming available to more of us. Thus the mystique is getting lost. In order to combat their diminishing usefulness, we may be told that our knowledge may be superficial, not quite appropriate in this case. Where are we leading to in the future? Will we ever be able to make our own decisions based on information obtained? Will legal, medical or other interventions be able to be carried out without consulting the professional? I somehow doubt it. There will always be someone who needs to take care of us, in case we have missed some little loophole. They will probably make sure of that.

Being more user friendly is a start. Having a nice day is surely what we all want. We just haven't got the whole picture right yet. I suppose I shall always be one of the difficult people who discovers some small piece of information and who wants to make my own decision about using it for my own benefit. Especially if it means I don't have to consult a fee earning expert.

Have a nice day y'all!

Chrissie Loveday's website is http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Den/7345 where you can find details of her published novels, including excerpts from one and the full text of an otherwise unpublished one.

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