[ExI] May Cryonics issue

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Mon May 28 18:55:51 UTC 2012

I just finished reading Ralph Merkle's analysis of pricing for neuro
versus whole body Alcor patients - it's excellent! Kudos to Ralph for
providing a lot of minute yet important details that may be vitally
important for our future.

One thing that strikes me is that there seems to be no escape from
human irrationality, even in the frigid depths of a dewar. It appears
incontrovertible to me that the neuro suspension option is superior to
the whole body version - the quality of vitrification is better, less
likelihood of suffering from ice crystal formation in the brain (which
could spell the end of your life, if the synaptic strength information
becomes scrambled beyond recovery), it's no less than 10 times cheaper
to maintain, and the likelihood that the future reanimation procedure
would actually benefit from having a whole body is, in my opinion,
nil. Despite that at present 76% of all Alcor members want whole body
suspension, which for reasons of dewar geometry results in zero
marginal cost for a neuro maintenance (read the article for details) -
yet, we neuros still pay only 4.4 times less into the suspension trust
(Patient Care Trust) than whole body customers! So, while the cost of
our cryonic maintenance is at present equal to zero, we still have to
pay real money for it, in this way subsidizing the cost of whole body
suspensions. This is no way to disparage current Alcor management -
the subsidy evolved as a result of multiple decisions made by various
persons over decades.

So imagine - knowledgeable people who may have less money (some of us
select the neuro option for financial reasons) are paying for those
who probably didn't think the cryonics issue through, for some reasons
cling to a procedure that is of both lower quality and higher cost,
and have potentially much more money (as shown by willingness to spend
on the whole body option).

Ralph is hinting at the need to increase the relative prices for whole
body vs. neuro suspensions and I wholeheartedly agree. As you may
notice, I have a personal stake in this issue, so apply your internal
filters for dealing with self-serving statements - but it seems to me
that the relative whole body price should be incrementally increased
until the ratio of whole body/neuro members is lowered from its
present 74/24 value (=3.08) to no more than 4:5 (=0.8, dictated by the
geometry of dewars). This major shift in the relative numbers of the
two types of patients would maximize the total number of patients per
dewar, and provide the greatest positive externality to all of us -
the more people are signed up, the more likely we are to eventually
succeed. At that ratio we could maximize the number of neuro patients,
while not driving away more of the whole body ones than necessary.

I hope this adjustment will eventually occur, and, please, sign up for
Alcor suspension if you have not yet done it.

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