Cryonicists, Teach Your Children Well

By Mike Darwin

“You who are on the road
Must have a code that you can live by
And so become yourself
Because the past is just a good bye.

Teach your children well,
Their father’s hell did slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picked, the one you’ll know by.

Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you would cry,
So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.

And you, of tender years,
Can’t know the fears that your elders grew by,
And so please help them with your youth,
They seek the truth so you and they won’t die.

Counter Melody To Above Verse:
Can you hear and do you care and
Cant you see we must be free to
Teach your children what you believe in.
Make a world that we can live in.”

-Crosby, Stills & Nash (slightly amended)

Recently, on the New Cryonet,  the questions were asked, “Does anyone know if Marce (Johnson) raised her children as cryonicists–or if they were introduced to it when they were older? I was wondering when her involvement started in relation to her children’s age and thought someone on this list may be able to answer.” I am forced to respond with, “Well, exactly how would you go about doing that? and, “What do you mean by “raised her (or your) children as cryonicists?”‘

Marcelon Johnson, circa 1979.

Most cryonicists, with or without children (and I speak with both knowledge and authority on this point), define raising their children as cryonicists variously as sitting down and telling them about cryonics,  or doing that and “leading by example,” by being signed up. And to that I respond, “Give me a fucking  break; are you serious???????”

A normal part of human cognitive development, and a very important one, is to learn to lie. Children who do not learn to deceive, and to do so cleverly, have something wrong with their brains, and they fail to be able function either intellectually or socially (you can find a long list of articles detailing the importance of lying and deceit in normal mental and social development here:;jsessionid=vUf4k+jE9YQVr7sWdgKHPw__.ericsrv003?_pageLabel=ERICSearchResult&_urlType=action&newSearch=true&ERICExtSearch_Related_0=EJ402886).

Stealing is also an extension, of or an actualization of lying and deceit. If this seems evil or bad, just imagine the life a person who cannot or will not lie by omission, or by the use of “white lies,” to avoid hurting others?!?! On a deeper level, the skill of lying is a prerequisite for fantasizing, and thus for creating “alternative versions” of reality – the very essence of storytelling and creativity – to be able construct a reality you want, rather than the one that exists. That’s the up-side of deceit.

The down-sides are appallingly obvious to (most) adults, and parents are uniformly horrified when their little “innocent” tells a whopper, or deliberately tries to mislead them at the tender age of 2 or 3. Some truly stupid parents will respond to this behavior by gently admonishing their little darling that, “It isn’t nice to lie, and we mustn’t do that.” And if such is the response to subsequent lies and acts of deciet, the end product is a monster. As it turns out, molding moral behavior requires intense hard work using a variety of tools: reasoning, explanation, reward, punishment, and emotional manipulation.

All of these tools have to be used in the face of biologically programmed and imperative behaviors of this kind. Parents who tell their kids not be promiscuous, and then hand them a box of condoms or pills are idiots – if they expect responsible behavior to result from a such a perfunctory and meager exercise. And those who expect to get results solely. or even mostly, by the expedient of leading by example, are even greater idiots. For one thing, most of the real, hard work of leading by example is necessarily invisible, because your kids don’t get to see you wrestling with the temptation to bed the babe who is flirting with you at work, or to forego a late night trip to the casino, or for that matter, generally not indulge yourself in any other “vice” or behavior that is at odds  with your core values – and there are many such behaviors and vices – and we most of us wrestle with them often, if not daily.

Ooops, I just did it, I used that word “values,” and I then compounded that sin by adding the adjective “core” to it. Babies are born with urges, drives and needs – cravings for things that, to a great extent, are inventoried under the “physiological” heading of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: Everything on the pyramid that builds on those basic drives is, to a greater or lesser degree, moderated and determined by inculcation; not by sweet reason alone, but by sweet reason coupled to a host of other powerful, behavior modifying tools.

I was raised as Roman Catholic in the 1950s and 1960s and the principal “high order” intellectual instructional tool used to accomplish that end in young children was the 1941 revision of the Baltimore Catechism This is the opening of Lesson One:

“1. Who made us?

God made us.

In the beginning, God created heaven and earth. (Genesis 1:1)

2. Who is God?

God is the Supreme Being, infinitely perfect, who made all things and keeps them in existence.

In him we live and move and have our being. (Acts 17:28)

3. Why did God make us?

God made us to show forth His goodness and to share with us His everlasting happiness in heaven.

Eye has not seen nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man, what things God has prepared for those who love him. (I Corinthians 2:9)

4. What must we do to gain the happiness of heaven?

To gain the happiness of heaven we must know, love, and serve God in this world.

Lay not up to yourselves treasures on earth; where the rust and moth consume and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up to yourselves treasures in heaven; where neither the rust nor moth doth consume, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. (Matthew 6:19-20)

5. From whom do we learn to know, love, and serve God?

We learn to know, love, and serve God from Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who teaches us through the Catholic Church.

I have come a light into the world that whoever believes in Me may not remain in darkness. (John 12:46)

6. Where do we find the chief truths taught by Jesus Christ through the Catholic Church?

We find the chief truths taught by Jesus Christ through the Catholic Church in the Apostles’ Creed.

He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me. (Luke 10:16)

7. Say the Apostles’ Creed.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, Our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day He arose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.”

A nice spot for pleasant outdoor lunch and to reflect on the comparative viability of ideologies; the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour (Храм Христа Спасителя) on the bank of the Moskva River, a few blocks west of the Kremlin.

Get the picture? Beyond that, my behavior as a Catholic was reinforced in countless ways, and I do mean countless. The words I used when in distress were the Catholic-prescribed words of prayer and comfort, and the words I used when frustrated or angry were, in fact, words, that shamed and reminded me that I had violated, or been untrue to my faith, and thus to my fundamental morality: “thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.” A few years ago, I tried to explain this to a Russian Oligarch and a Russian Intellectual as we lunched on an expansive plaza adjoining the magnificently restored Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Christ the Saviour (Храм Христа Спасителя) in Moscow. They were incredulous, and found it all very amusing. Well, laugh they did, but alas, Soviet Communism is now almost 20 years gone, and the Catholic Church, of which the Greek Orthodox Church is a part, is till here and prospering after 2,000 years. Especially ironic, and a point I declined (deceived) to mention, is that the 24 carat gold clad onion domes of the cathedral, in whose figurative shadow we dined, had just been re-gilded at their expense, using Russian Federation tax dollars!

Maybe the Baltimore Catechism sickens you, and all the other “liberal minded people” who believe reason reigns supreme in instructing the young in moral, or if you prefer (and I don’t) “purely ethical” behavior? If so, and you have children, or you influence how children are raised, you are in for a sorry, sorry time of it. Trying to modify the sexual urge in an adolescent with reason alone, is like trying to stop a bulldozer with a toothpick (and usually, the same can be said for adults, as well). If that is your position, it’s unfortunate, because that is the kind of approach, albeit not the kind of content, that is required to input any moral system into a developing human being when such a moral system is at odds with that present in his culture, as a whole.

Pay special attention to the last part of the last sentence above, because it is a goodly part of the take home message of this piece. Most  children who receive lousy moral instruction and control at home will, in fact, grow up to be reasonably functional human beings. That is so because what they don’t get at home, they will get from their peers and their environment. In general, bad behavior has wicked social consequences, and the result is that people, absent programmed values and morals from parents, will nonetheless be programmed by the morals and values of the culture they develop in. Of course, the catch is, this culture is, from a cryonics perspective, morally bankrupt, and often actively evil.

Additionally, most people who obtain their values and morals in this way function in a fog. If you actually sit them down and ask them specific questions about what they should do in specific situations, they aren’t usually “wrong,” they are clueless. They simply stumble around, give an inane and meaningless answer, giggle, or just morosely say, “How should I know?” The last answer, BTW, is, in fact the correct one! How could they possibly know, since they have no clearly defined set of values?

Did Marce Johnson raise her kids as cryonicists? Sure she did, by most cryonicists’ definitions. Marce was a Unitarian who believed reason and intellectual freedom were the most important values she could give to her children, not respect for the values and moral decisions of others, and not a deep and abiding respect for the sanctity of life and the imperative to preserve it at all costs. No, those were “optional” things that you got to pick and choose in life. The result was 8 spineless, immoral brats, regardless of their current age.

How effective is conventional religious instruction/inculcation in shaping the religious affiliation of children in adulthood in the current highly secular and highly ideologically  competitive environment? The numbers, according a recent Pew Forum Report ( are:

“More than one-quarter of American adults (28%) have left the faith in which they were raised in favor of another religion – or no religion at all. If change in affiliation from one type of Protestantism to another is included, 44% of adults have either switched religious affiliation, moved from being unaffiliated with any religion to being affiliated with a particular faith, or dropped any connection to a specific religious tradition altogether.”

And what about Catholics? How well does the Baltimore Catechism hold up? Well, that’s not an easy question to answer, because it got revised, and Catholicism in general was radically re-morphed after Vatican II (1962-1965). Catholicism got more liberal and less “rigid,” and that may explain why that while the percentage of Roman Catholics in the US population has remained constant since ~1970, the number leaving the church has increased astronomically. To again quote the Pew study:

“Another example of the dynamism of the American religious scene is the experience of the Catholic Church. Other surveys – such as the General Social Surveys, conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago since 1972 – find that the Catholic share of the U.S. adult population has held fairly steady in recent decades at around 25%. What this apparent stability obscures, however, is the large number of people who have left the Catholic Church. Approximately one-third of the survey respondents who say they were raised Catholic no longer describe themselves as Catholic. This means that roughly 10% of all Americans are former Catholics. These losses, however, have been partly offset by the number of people who have changed their affiliation to Catholicism (2.6% of the adult population) but more importantly by the disproportionately high number of Catholics among immigrants to the U.S. The result is that the overall percentage of the population that identifies as Catholic has remained fairly stable.”

So, the best anyone can hope for, even if they employ a highly ordered and well established approach to raising their children to adhere to a particular ideology, or religious belief, is somewhere in the range of 30-40%! And keep in mind that that doesn’t imply ADHERENCE, nor does it imply ADHERENCE IN THE FACE OF DURESS. Most Christians, Muslims, Unitarians, Hindus, Sikhs or Communists.. really aren’t very good at practicing what they preach (and for this, we can be thankful) and most would turn on a dime and recant if a gun was held to their head and they were told to choose their values over their lives. Arguably, that’s how it should be as long as your values diverge from, and fail to support, the imperative of your personal survival (the “physiological” and “safety” categories of needs that are near the base of Maslow’s hierarchy will hold sway in a pinch). Finally, it isn’t simple, even when the values you hold do support your personal survival, because the world is a complicated place, and things are rarely black or white. Here, I need have recourse to examples that bear directly upon values and morals driven choices in cryonics.

Currently, there is no moral or ethical code in cryonics – none (See the end for definitions of these terms as used herein). There really aren’t even any clearly defined values, and here is a practical example: A cryonics patient, or cryonics patients, are under attack, and you are the responsible cryonics organization’s CEO, or an Officer or Director. What are the limits of your responsibility and what are your obligations; to yourself and to the patient(s)? If the authorities come to you and say that you will either give over the patient(s), or they’ll strip you of your livelihood (i.e., take your medical or law license away, get your employer to discharge you…) is it permissible for you to hand over the patient(s)? What if they threaten your family, and/or other uninvolved, and completely “innocent” people? Is it OK, then? What if they threaten to imprison you, and even put the death penalty on the table, or they offer to spare some patients (those that may matter most to you, personally) if you just given them the one(s) they want? These are not hypothetical questions – they actually happened to me, and to the other Alcor Directors in the opening months of 1987.

Let me frame the question a bit differently, in order to show you just how dangerous having no defined values and no accompanying morals is. Suppose that the state comes to you and says, “We will shut you down unless you give us control over your patients.” What is the right thing to do? What principles or values will you use to guide you in making such a decision? The answer is NONE. We aren’t even “making it up as we go,” because that would imply that we keep a record our actions, and refer to these decisions as precedents. In fact, we don’t even do this!

And this situation isn’t hypothetical either, because when the Cemetery Board came down on the Cryonics Institute (CI) , CI, and thus the American Cryonics Society (ACS), decided to surrender control of their patients to the state. Now, it is the laws and jurists of the state of Michigan that determine the conditions under which a patient can be removed from a cryostat at CI, and be relocated elsewhere, not the CEO or the Board of either CI, or ACS. If you want to understand the practical implications of this, you can go to and to and read what you find there. It isn’t pretty.

A consequence of this is that anyone who steps into a position of leadership in cryonics does so with no rudder to guide them, and no set of standards to which they can be held accountable, or conversely, to which they can turn to defend themselves against unreasonable expectations, or worse, unreasonable charges of misconduct. In particular, the man who steps into the Presidency of Alcor is a man who has entered a country with no laws, but which is nevertheless populated by judges and jurors – each of whom will decide his fate on unknown, unknowable, shifting, and all too often completely arbitrary grounds. The Directors, who are for all intents and purposes anonymous, never suffer the consequences of this grotesque situation (unless they err by becoming visible in their personal decision making, or are otherwise conspicuous), even as they select victim after victim for the rack and the chopping block.

If you want to “raise your children as cryonicists,” you must necessarily first create a system of values, moral and ethics (in that order), and then generate and use the tools required to communicate and enforce adherence to them in a world that is hostile to cryonics, and to its values and goals. Fail to do that, and you will very likely fail not only to “raise your children as cryonicists,” but to raise them at all.” Be assured however, that others will do that for you.


Moral  =   Webster’s Dictionary defines “moral” as: Relating to,  dealing with,  or capable of making the distinction between right or wrong conduct  –   Principles, standards habits with respect to right or wrong in conduct.

Values  =   Webster’s Dictionary defines “values” as:  The social principles, goals or standards held or accepted by an individual, a class, a society, etc.

Right  =   Webster’s Dictionary defines “right” as:  In accordance with fact, reason, justice, law, and morality;  correct in thought and action;  Synonyms for right include:   correct, honest, ethical, just, true, accurate,  precise,  suitable, fitting, appropriate, proper.

Wrong  =   Webster’s Dictionary defines “right” as:  Contrary to fact or reason, crooked, twisted, immoral, improper;   Synonyms for wrong include:  dishonest, mistaken , criminal, unethical,  sinful,  unsuitable,  inappropriate improper, incorrect, injurious, harmful, damaging, unjust.

Ethics  =  A reason based, cumulative system of decision making based upon values and values.  Ethics are built upon one or a few basic principles and require that we be thorough, honest, and comprehensive in making statements about right and wrong.  Ethics is about building the kind of world we want to live in and developing a consistent process by which to achieve this.  Ethics are an advanced expression of morality.


This entry was posted in Cryonics Philosophy. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Cryonicists, Teach Your Children Well

  1. Abelard Lindsey says:

    A normal part of human cognitive development, and a very important one, is to learn to lie.

    I would go a step further and claim that lying and deceit is probably the driver of the emergence of verbal intelligence in humans. Language ability seems to have emerged about the same time as agriculture and the emergence of a parasite class (priesthood). Nicholas Wade discusses this in his excellent book “Before the Dawn”. It was specifically agriculture that allowed for the existence of the parasite class as foragers (hunter-gatherers) had no room for such a parasite class. Everyone had to work even though the work was much less than subsistence agriculture.

    I believe that verbal intelligence emerged as to make it easier for that parasite class to create all kinds of sophistry to trick others into supporting them. It is visual-spacial intelligence that is behind all scientific and technological progress.

    • admin says:

      This hypothesis isn’t consistent with observed behavior in a wide range of other mammals. I’ve had dogs since I was a child, and I can tell you that they are quite capable of deceit and misdirection, and will slink off with their tails between their legs when caught. They will also hide food from other animal members of the household, and will be very quiet and very careful to avoid tipping off their “competitors,” under these circumstances. However, this kind of behavior in dogs probably isn’t (currently) considered adequate to justify the label of lying. However, in primates, there can be no question. They will engage in complex, multi-step behavior to deceive their cohorts, and will engage in bald face lies to hide food, or forbidden sexual conduct. So, I think that the roots of deceit are, like most human behaviors, very old, and rooted in fundamental survival behavior.

      I also have to say that I don’t see the priest class as either parasitic or useless. Far from it, they perform a wide range of pro-survival functions for social groups. At a very basic level, they provide comfort, and some sort of “coherent” narrative and “explanation” for human suffering and death; something that I think is essential for both individuals and societies to retain their sanity, and their ability to function. Beyond providing some measure of surcease, the priest class is the principal reservoir and survival mechanism for culture, and for meta-level knowledge, such as exists in non-scientific and “non-rational” societies. As a recent example, we would have not had the Renaissance, were it not for a bunch of “parasitic” monks, who systematically encoded much of the remaining human knowledge base during the Dark Ages. It’s a pity that most men cannot see the Vatican Library, which is one of the most magnificent repositories of human knowledge now extant on the planet – and one where, sadly, Google is not at work digitizing the collection.

      The priest class also served to rescue and mentor orphans, as well as socially ostracized, or otherwise undesirable youngsters, thus salvaging this very valuable resource for the society at large. It is also worth noting that almost all charitable activity in agricultural societies, such as caring for the sick, the poor and the orphaned, is a function of religious institutions. And more tellingly still, hunter-gatherers do indeed have priests and shamans, and they were/are given special “parasitic” status and exemption from the regular duties of the group. This has gone on for a long, long time, because it it is only necessary to look at the cave paintings in Lascaux, France which are 32,000 years old to know that a highly specialized priest class has existed since then. The Lascaux paintings are exquisite and incredibly subtle and complex; they are most definitely the work of professionals – people who did what they did more or less as a full time activity. The great art and intellectual activity of the Renaissance were also largely subsidized by the priest class, and by those who were beholden to, and empowered by them. And so it was, from the beginning of Western and Eastern civilization. It was only an eye blink ago that scientists became the new priest class. And interestingly, they are often accused of being parasites in exactly the way that priests historically have been. Indeed, the more removed scientists are from immediate practical applications, the more likely they are to be tarred with the label of parasite.

      Today, people mistakenly conflate science with technology, and I think most believe that technology is a function of science. This is not the case at all. Technology existed far, far before science did, and it is only very recently that science became technologically productive. Before that time, technology progressed in a fashion virtually identical to biological evolution – from the creation of the first stone tools – all the way to the manufacture of complex looms. In fact, much and maybe most of technological advance today, is still a function of science-independent processes. Thus, historically, scientists have been “parasites,” and arguably still (mostly) are. — Mike Darwin

      • admin says:


        A Highly Evolved Propensity for Deceit



        December 23, 2008, on page D1 of the New York edition

        When considering the behavior of putative scam operators like Bernard “Ponzi scheme” Madoff or Rod “Potty Mouth” Blagojevich, feel free to express a sense of outrage, indignation, disgust, despair, amusement, schadenfreude. But surprise? Don’t make me laugh.

        Sure, Mr. Madoff may have bilked his clients of $50 billion, and Governor Blagojevich, of Illinois, stands accused of seeking personal gain through the illicit sale of public property — a United States Senate seat. Yet while the scale of their maneuvers may have been exceptional, their apparent willingness to lie, cheat, bluff and deceive most emphatically was not.

        Deceitful behavior has a long and storied history in the evolution of social life, and the more sophisticated the animal, it seems, the more commonplace the con games, the more cunning their contours.

        In a comparative survey of primate behavior, Richard Byrne and Nadia Corp of the University of St. Andrews in Scotland found a direct relationship between sneakiness and brain size. The larger the average volume of a primate species’ neocortex — the newest, “highest” region of the brain — the greater the chance that the monkey or ape would pull a stunt like this one described in The New Scientist: a young baboon being chased by an enraged mother intent on punishment suddenly stopped in midpursuit, stood up and began scanning the horizon intently, an act that conveniently distracted the entire baboon troop into preparing for nonexistent intruders.
        Much evidence suggests that we humans, with our densely corrugated neocortex, lie to one another chronically and with aplomb. Investigating what they called “lying in day-to-day life,” Bella DePaulo, now a visiting professor of psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and her colleagues asked 77 college students and 70 people from the community to keep anonymous diaries for a week and to note the hows and whys of every lie they told.

        Tallying the results, the researchers found that the college students told an average of two lies a day, community members one a day, and that most of the lies fell into the minor fib category. “I told him I missed him and thought about him every day when I really don’t think about him at all,” wrote one participant. “Said I sent the check this morning,” wrote another.

        In a follow-up study, the researchers asked participants to describe the worst lies they’d ever told, and then out came confessions of adultery, of defrauding an employer, of lying on a witness stand to protect an employer. When asked how they felt about their lies, many described being haunted with guilt, but others confessed that once they realized they’d gotten away with a whopper, why, they did it again, and again.

        In truth, it’s all too easy to lie. In more than 100 studies, researchers have asked participants questions like, Is the person on the videotape lying or telling the truth? Subjects guess correctly about 54 percent of the time, which is barely better than they’d do by flipping a coin. Our lie blindness suggests to some researchers a human desire to be deceived, a preference for the stylishly accoutred fable over the naked truth.

        “There’s a counterintuitive motivation not to detect lies, or we would have become much better at it,” said Angela Crossman, an assistant professor of psychology at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. “But you may not really want to know that the dinner you just cooked stinks, or even that your spouse is cheating on you.”
        The natural world is rife with humbug and fish tales, of things not being what they seem. Harmless viceroy butterflies mimic toxic monarch butterflies, parent birds draw predators away from the nest by feigning a broken wing, angler fish lure prey with appendages that wiggle like worms.

        Biologists distinguish between such cases of innate or automatic deception, however, and so-called tactical deception, the use of a normal behavior in a novel situation, with the express purpose of misleading an observer. Tactical deception requires considerable behavioral suppleness, which is why it’s most often observed in the brainiest animals.
        Great apes, for example, make great fakers. Frans B. M. de Waal, a professor at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center and Emory University, said chimpanzees or orangutans in captivity sometimes tried to lure human strangers over to their enclosure by holding out a piece of straw while putting on their friendliest face.

        “People think, Oh, he likes me, and they approach,” Dr. de Waal said. “And before you know it, the ape has grabbed their ankle and is closing in for the bite. It’s a very dangerous situation.”

        Apes wouldn’t try this on their own kind. “They know each other too well to get away with it,” Dr. de Waal said. “Holding out a straw with a sweet face is such a cheap trick, only a naïve human would fall for it.”

        Apes do try to deceive one another. Chimpanzees grin when they’re nervous, and when rival adult males approach each other, they sometimes take a moment to turn away and close their grins with their hands. Similarly, should a young male be courting a female and spot the alpha male nearby, the subordinate chimpanzee will instantly try to cloak his amorous intentions by dropping his hands over his erection.
        Rhesus monkeys are also artful dodgers. “There’s a long set of studies showing that the monkeys are very good at stealing from us,” said Laurie R. Santos, an associate professor of psychology at Yale University.

        Reporting recently in Animal Behavior, Dr. Santos and her colleagues also showed that, after watching food being placed in two different boxes, one with merrily jingling bells on the lid and the other with bells from which the clappers had been removed, rhesus monkeys preferentially stole from the box with the silenced bells. “We’ve been hard-pressed to come up with an explanation that’s not mentalistic,” Dr. Santos said. “The monkeys have to make a generalization — I can hear these things, so they, the humans, can, too.”

        One safe generalization seems to be that humans are real suckers. After dolphin trainers at the Institute for Marine Mammals Studies in Mississippi had taught the dolphins to clean the pools of trash by rewarding the mammals with a fish for every haul they brought in, one female dolphin figured out how to hide trash under a rock at the bottom of the pool and bring it up to the trainers one small piece at a time.
        We’re desperate to believe that what our loved ones say is true. And now we find otherwise. Oh, Flipper, et tu?.

      • Abelard Lindsey says:

        This hypothesis isn’t consistent with observed behavior in a wide range of other mammals.

        Verbal intelligence allowed for radicallly increased capacity for deceit beyond that of the other mammals.

        I also have to say that I don’t see the priest class as either parasitic or useless. Far from it, they perform a wide range of pro-survival functions for social groups.

        The value of any “product” is in the eye of the beholder. If people are free to accept or reject their “product” on personal choice (on a competitive free market basis), then one can say that their “product” has value. If people are “strong-armed” into paying for their “product” whether they want it or not, based on coercion of a monopolistic entity, such demonstrates that their product really is not of value, since people are forced into it.

  2. John Sabotta says:

    You said “alas, Soviet Communism is now almost 20 years gone.”

    Mounds of human heads are wandering into the distance.
    I dwindle among them. Nobody sees me. But in books
    much loved, and in children’s games I shall rise
    from the dead to say the sun is shining.

    -Osip Mandelshtam, last seen at the Vtoraya Rechka transit camp, 1938. There are varying accounts of how he met his end.

    Of course, he seems to have been some type of religionist with various deplorable superstitious beliefs, so, according to you, apparently he got what he deserved – and your only regret is that the regime that murdered him is not still in business doing the same thing.

    And his wife – mourning him all her life, subject to petty persecution from your vindictive heroes, hiding scraps of his poetry from the police – she had “poisonous” religious beliefs as well, so no doubt you’ll agree her suffering was entirely her own fault.

    Undoubtedly Osip Mandelshtam ended up in a common grave. Perhaps he’ll end up forgotten. But even if he is, a thousand years won’t erase the truth of what he was, and what, alas, you are.

    Alas, indeed.

    • admin says:

      I don’t know what you are smoking, but if your implication is that I think Communism or communism was anything but a nightmare made bloody flesh, then you are out of your mind. The woodlands around Voronezh, where Mandelshtam was interned and died, are the common grave to countless kulaks and other victim’s of Stalin’s madness. I’ve been to Voronezh and taken the train through those woods: so peaceful and yet so bloody. Some of Mandelshtam’s poetry is beautiful and heart-rending, but it bears keeping in mind that he was a populist and a collectivist at the start of the Russian revolution. He bought into the same poisonous ideology that led to the famines, and ultimately to Stalin’s de-kulakization program.

      And no, he won’t be forgotten, not as long as I live and others live who knew of his life, his work, and of his beautiful words. — Mike Darwin

  3. Shannon Vyff says:

    Hah, going back and trying to read other posts–of course I’d check out this one ;)

    Ahh, there is more to raising kids as cryonicists. You make it a part of almost daily discussions, when discussing politics, the news, science fiction plots, jokes that come up with friends– the possibilities of cryonics working, or just why to support it even if it did not work can come up in many areas.

    I fully expect my children to learn how to lie, I also know that they have been honest about very large issues that are not generally acceptable in society. As parents I feel you have to teach ethics, and also be open to listening to what their problems are. As a guardian raising a child- one has to be strict and also be supportive–guiding and lenient.

    I of course wrote 21st Century Kids, so cryonicist families could read it to their children and open up discussions about possibilities–and I’ve talked with families raising kids as cryonicists.

    I’ve talked with adult cryonicists whose adult children are not cryonicists and I have always wondered how Marce taught her own children–how young were the youngest when she got involved in cryonics? How supportive was her husband? If you have a partner that thinks it is silly, or makes jokes about cryonics –then that undermines the respect you give cryonics. By saying the “respect you give” I in no way mean “belief in cryonics” (meaning 100% you have “faith” it will work, or say it is a “ticket to the future” etc.). Most parents I know who are cryonicists, as do I, tell their children that cryonics is no guarantee that it will work and that it is only a slight chance that it might.

    I personally think it is a noble experiment to support and there are benefits to those living now such as from what we can learn now to help with organ transplantation. I present cryonics as a serious endeavor, but my children hear other things from some members within the family. I do not know yet what they will do as adults, but I do expect them to have honest communication with me, I know they will say things they think might hurt my feelings, or certainly that I’d not agree with. While raising them, we have had a history of inquiry, skepticism and debate about issues. I’ll respect their choices as adults, and till then I do what I can to raise them to be good people.

    Anything I ask them to support, I try to back up with some kind of evidence–I raised them in the Unitarian Universalist faith tradition, which is a secular humanist tradition and sometimes is called a community for atheists –really UU churches are compromised of people with many different faiths, they are welcoming and accepting communities. My children have a background of learning about religions and learning how to analyze their teachings, history and how they effect our society today. I also teach them to support social action, and we volunteer together as a family–I have no idea of they will continue to do those things as adults either (adult education in philosophy and theology or social action & volunteering).

    I don’t know if you can “raise” cryonicists–but I’m certain some families will be successful in doing so. I’ve had some parents thank me for the discussions 21st Century Kids opened up, or said how their child really loved it. It is hard to be different period as a child, being able to explain why you are a cryonicist is as difficult as explaining your core philosophies or beliefs to another. Bringing up how those conversations can go, with kids, can help them have them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>