Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Decline of Cryonics: An Overview



This is a prepublication draft. Comments are welcome.

Abstract

We predict the failure of the Cryonics Industry and the likely destruction of those in storage. Two failure modes are considered, organizational decline and political attack. The strategic direction of the Industry is analyzed by applying well known principles of marketing and organization theory. Two alternative strategies are suggested that could minimize failure risk by reversing the stagnation of the Industry and integrating it into the mainstream. 


https://dl.dropbox.com/u/4147630/Decline%20of%20cryonics%20v4.pdf

5 comments:

  1. This updates the draft.


    The growth and decline of cryonics

    Cryonics requires perpetual care. We predict the failure of the cryonics industry and the likely destruction of those in storage. Two failure modes are considered, organisational decline and political attack. The strategic direction of the industry is analysed by applying well known principles of marketing and organisation theory. We find a neglect of scientific marketing. The result has been an implicit strategy that targets atheist millionaires and alienates women. Cryonics has also incurred an avoidable political risk by refusing to participate in the funeral industry.

    Two alternative strategies are suggested that could minimise failure risk by reversing the stagnation of the industry and integrating it into the mainstream. A 'repackaging' of cryonics could accelerate growth and improve services, as well as the political position of the industry. This repackaging would include a restructuring of the mechanisms for funding cryonic suspension, which would require initiation of local groups. Integration with the mainstream assumes using the funeral industry as a sales channel. While both political developments and research results have made the need for these changes apparent, pioneers of the industry have resisted changes. This resistance appears to result from cryonics functioning as a religious doctrine for these individuals.


    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/4147630/The%20Growth%20and%20Decline%20of%20Cryonics%20v%20.4%20%2B%20pics.pdf

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  2. The following was posted to the wrong page of this blog and is, therefore being moved here:

    Mark Plus
    August 10, 2014 at 8:27 PM

    Cryonics has an unnecessarily bad reputation.

    Notice that I don’t say that cryonics has an undeservedly bad reputation, because some of the leaders in the cryonics movement have done some patently ill-advised things, and then they act surprised that mainstream society and the scientific and medical communities view cryonics as a fraud or scam.

    I’ve also noticed a weird disconnection in how many cryonicists think. They talk a good game about how much they believe in scientific and technological progress. Yet when you confront them with the unnecessary inadequacies of real, existing cryonics, they just shrug like it doesn’t matter.

    Cryonics didn’t have to turn out this way, and it doesn’t have to stay this way given what we know now. If we could hit a metaphorical “reset” button on the cryonics idea, we could reconstruct it as a project in applied neuroscience which makes medical and scientific sense. And we could stick to a more empirically plausible way of presenting it that doesn’t depend on geek fantasies from the 1980’s about “nanotechnology” and “mind uploading,” neither of which may become technologically doable any way if they incorporate wrong assumptions about physics or neurobiology.

    It would also help if the expository media for the Cryonics 2.0 I envision frame cryonics as a form of experimental medicine with the goal of trying to try to turn death from a permanent off-state into a temporary and reversible off-state, without the rhetoric in current cryonics about transforming cryonics patients into “immortal superhumans” at the revival end of the process. In practice this traditional kind of cryonics propaganda strikes many people as unserious, if not dishonest, and they probably find it alienating as well.

    Interestingly enough, some neuroscientists and cryobiologists think that cryonics deserves a second look, the former especially as they have struggled with the problems of trying to preserve the fine structure of the brain’s synaptic “connectome” for study. They have set up the Brain Preservation Foundation to raise money for incentive prizes to encourage scientists to push hard on the envelope of current and reachable brain preservation techniques:

    http://www.brainpreservation.org/

    http://www.brainpreservation.org/content/faq

    Two prominent figures in the skeptic community, Michael Shermer and Susan Blackmore, have volunteered to serve as this Foundation’s advisers, so they at least show a willingness to look at the scientific evidence as it comes in for rebooting cryonics technology in ways which scientists and medical researchers can respect.

    http://www.brainpreservation.org/content/advisors

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  5. A more recent version, censored from H+ Magazine remains online at:

    http://news.truthjuice.co.uk/index.php/the-growth-and-possible-decline-of-cryonics/

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