[ExI] May Cryonics issue

david pizer pizerdavid at yahoo.com
Mon May 28 21:47:18 UTC 2012

The expected savings with neuro is not all that it appears to be.
Here are my opinions of why I feel that way:
1.  Neuro saves some money in long-term storage in the amount of liquid nitrogen it uses and dewer space.  But those are a small part of the total costs of doing cryonics.
The biggest cost in doing cryonics is the overhead of running Alcor.  If you take the total annual overhead or running Alcor -  things like: building repair and upgrade expenses, public relations, payroll, utilities, cost of mistakes that are regularly made, legal expenses and so on, and you divide them by the number of patients in storage there is a certain equal share of each of these costs regardless of whether the patient is a whole body or neuro.
For instance if the total overhead is, say, $1,000,000 per year and there are 100 patients (some neuro and some whole body) the overhead cost per patient is $1,000,000 divided by 100 or $10,000 per patient.  (this is just for examples sake, in real life you also have to allow for doing the suspensions also.
2.  Neuro patients tend to be less wealthy than whole body.  Some members choose neuro because they don't have much money.  I don't have the numbers on this but I suspect that the bigger size donations come from whole body patients.
3. But the Biggest expense to Alcor because of neuros is in the field of public relations.  The non-cryonics public, (and some of the cryonics community too),  hates neuro.  The fact that Alcor does neuros is sometimes the single factor why government officials give us a hard time.  I was there 11 years and I saw that with my own eyes.   This very factor of such negative public relations is the main reason why CI will not do neuros.
Neuros disgust the non-cryonics public and they are the ones who sometimes make things very hard for us.  When they make things hard for us our legal expenses and other expenses of trying to influence people go up.
4.  Also the fact that we do neuros causes some people who would become whole body members and have the money to spend to not want to be associated with us.  So doing neuros costs Alcor Whole Body suspension income.
So even though neuros cost the neuro person less money, they cost Alcor more money that has to be made up by everyone.
There is a solution to this.
I think that public reaction to brain preservations rather than "chopping off" the whole head (as they see it) would be much less offensive to the the rest of the non-cryonics world.
I don't think it would be any harded to just remove the brain and vitrify it and in fact it might be much easier.  When I was Alcor's VP I negotiated for Alcor with Sun West in Sun City.  They were doing research on brain diseases and they were removing the brains from their doners and doing some platinations.  Their doctors could remove a human brain in a matter of a few minutes.
The relatives of their brain doners liked this because then their loved one could have a regular funeral and burial.
The public likes the idea of "brain trusts."
I think that if the membership lobbied hard enough the Alcor Board could be convinced to look into brain preservation instead of head preservations. 

 From: Rafal Smigrodzki <rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com>
To: david pizer <pizerdavid at yahoo.com> 
Sent: Monday, May 28, 2012 3:03 PM
Subject: Re: [ExI] May Cryonics issue
You are right, David, that the key to success in the cryonics business
is to drum up more business and reduce waste .... but the devil is in
the details. Massively (percentage-wise) cutting prices for neuro and
slightly (again, percentage-wise) increasing prices for whole body
should definitely achieve both, even if the total average
per-suspension intake is only slightly increased. Neuro patients are
more likely to be price-sensitive, so cutting their price will
increase their numbers. Since keeping them frozen costs nothing (until
the whole/neuro ratio drops below 0.8), there will be no net spending
increase for Alcor. Whole-body patients are less price sensitive
(since they already chose a more expensive but less effective
procedure), so they will not abandon Alcor in droves after a price
increase. Dewar utilization will improve.

Would you expect different results? Specifically, do you expect a
different effect of such a price change on the number of neuro
signups, number of whole body signups and average dewar utilization?

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