Getting Better Part 2: Scarcity or Abundance?

Why have so many past predictions and forecasts about resources, health, wealth, and well-being turned out to be excessively pessimistic? In the second part of his “Getting Better” series, Max More details the errors of pessimists as exemplified by ecologist Paul Ehrlich. We can learn from historical fears such as the Great Horse Manure Crisis of 1894. The logic behind that fear is like that behind many recent supposed crises.

Max looks at a famous bet between Ehrlich and economist Julian Simon and extracts some lessons from it. Shots fired by Ehrlich sympathizers largely miss their target but examining the claims leads to a better understanding of how best to measure improvements in living standards. He looks at other badly failed pessimistic predictions and asks what is wrong with excessive pessimism.

He concludes with a look at the Simon Abundance Index, which measures the change in abundance of resources over a period. This shows that the Earth was 6.18 times as plentiful in 2018 as it was when Ehrlich and Simon commenced their wager. Find “Scarcity or Abundance?” starting on page 3 of the third quarter 2021 issue of Cryonics magazine.

Alcor Case Metrics 1967-1999

The third quarter 2021 issue of Cryonics magazine includes a new report on the meta-analysis project. This report looks at case metrics from 1967 through 1999. (Previous reports covered more recent cases.) This period covers the pre-vitrification era of high concentration glycerol perfusions. You can find out the percentage of local cases, autopsies, unattended (legal) deaths, straight freezes, standbys, cases with cardiopulmonary support, duration of procedures, and more.

This Alcor-funded research is being carried out by Advanced Neural Biosciences. Among its goals are:

  • to create a complete secure database of all the important case variables gleaned from case reports, raw data, and CT scans
  • to identify important information about trends and outcomes of Alcor procedures
  • to create a set of case metrics that provide a quantitative result that measures the quality of each patient preservation
  • and resulting recommendations to improve procedures, case work, and case logistics.

The Alcor Meta-Analysis Project started in January 2019 and will continue into 2022. Find the current report starting on page 12 of the third quarter 2021 issue of Cryonics magazine.

Alcor’s First Half Century Part 1: 1970-1976

Alcor Life Extension Foundation is in its 50th year. How did the organization get started? What inspired the founders? How was what they did different from the failed cryonics organizations of the 1960s? In “Alcor’s First Half Century Part 1: 1970-1976” cryonics historian Michael Perry reveals the details, covering the early years from  just before Alcor’s founding on February 23, 1972, through 1976.

This fascinating article may surprise many readers. The careful, detailed, and intelligent way the founders, Fred and Linda Chamberlain, set about structuring the organization still looks solid today. You can see this in the quoted article, “Alcor Activities and Systems” from November-December 1972. “Alcor’s First Half Century Part 1: 1970-1976” starts on page 27 in the third quarter 2021 issue of Cryonics magazine.

How do you most effectively argue for life extension and cryonics?

In the just-released third quarter 2021 issue of Alcor’s Cryonics magazine, Max More provides an answer based on his several decades of discussion and debate. Have you ever been frustrated when trying to argue that extending the maximum human life span is desirable and that cryonics is a way to do it? You may have used perfectly sound arguments and yet hit a wall in the conversation.

Logic and reason are usually not enough. Max explains how to apply the classical rhetorical triumvirate of logos, ethos, and pathos – essentially reason, credibility, and feeling. He shows how to persuasively address typical objections and sources of resistance such as a belief in a natural time to die, the expectation of boredom, the supposed loss of life’s meaning, fears of the stagnation of society, and the belief that life extension is only for the rich.

Check out the article “How to Argue for Life Extension” starting on page 22, to hone your skills in influencing people to be more supportive of extending life.

Please donate appreciated cryptocurrency to Strengthen Alcor

In recent years, Alcor has benefited from cryptocurrency donations. In fact, our largest ever research donation of $5,000,000 from Brad Armstrong was in the form of donated cryptocurrency (Stellar). This immediately led to the creation of the Hal Finney Cryonics Research Fund. Although we don’t have a formal survey, it’s clear that Alcor members are far more likely to own some cryptocurrency as compared to the general public.

With Bitcoin up several hundred percent over the last year – and larger gains for some other currencies such as Ethereum – some of our members may be sitting on heavily appreciated assets that are increasingly coming under scrutiny by the tax authorities.

Are you one such member? If so, consider donating to Alcor. Because you would be giving to a tax-exempt non-profit organization, you would both benefit and strengthen Alcor and reduce your tax liability. This is a relatively painless way to contribute.

Donate with Bitcoin

A-3024 became Alcor’s 182nd patient in April 2021

A-3024 was a 68-year-old male with inoperable brain cancer who had neuro cryopreservation arrangements. Legal death was declared in Northern California, USA, and the stabilization team arrived seven hours later, four hours after being notified. After stabilization and field neuro cryoprotection, the patient was transported to Alcor for cryogenic cooldown.

A full case report is being prepared.

Tell us your favored podcasts if they might be interested in cryonics

As a tax-exempt non-profit organization, an important part of Alcor’s mission is to educate the public about cryonics. The final plank of our Mission Statement is: “Awareness and growth of cryonics by educating the public.” We have done that though one-on-one conversations, media interviews for radio, TV, and documentaries, by giving talks at conferences and online events, and by giving tours. We have done very little with podcasts, with one or two recent exceptions – but those came to use rather than us approaching them.

Do you enjoy listening to podcasts? Do you think podcasts could be a productive venue for Alcor to educate a wider audience? And potentially to attract new members? If so, which podcasts do you think would have a good audience for Alcor?

Personally, I much preferring reading to listening, so I don’t pretend to know much about the podcast universe. Even so, to stir your brain up, here are some possibly-promising podcasts that I had either heard of or found with a search:

The Joe Rogan Experience

Stuff You Should Know

The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe

The Naked Scientists Podcast

The Science Show

Science Friday

StarTalk Radio

Big Picture Science

Flash Forward

Here We Are

Science Talk


Exponential View with Azeem Azhar

The WIRED UK Podcast

Would you recommend any of these? Or do you have better options? Do you have any connections with the hosts or producers?

As we look ahead to the near future – when we have the conditions in place for faster growth – we want to develop better knowledge of previously unexploited opportunities to have an informative and appealing cryo conversation. We want your input! Email me.

Max More

Ambassador & CEO Emeritus

Alcor enters its 50th Year

On February 23, Alcor turned 49 years old. If you’re read my recent two-part article in Cryonics on organizational longevity, you’ll know that’s already a relatively impressive run. We will have to keep the organization humming for decades to come but next year’s 50th anniversary offers a good opportunity to celebrate Alcor’s longevity. It might not be too much of a stretch to hope for an Alcor-50 in-person conference in 2022 (perhaps 18 months from now). If that doesn’t work out, we still have the option of an online event. Although not the same as in-person, I’ve attended several excellent online conferences. As people gain more experience, they keep improving.

If you have been flourishing financially, you might think about making a major 50th-year gift for Alcor. The organization can always use new resources to improve our ability to serve, cryopreserve, and care for members and patients. Gifts will be well-used to sustain and build Alcor’s member-focused capabilities.

There are more promising research opportunities than we can fund despite some remarkable contributions to the Research Fund in recent years. (Such as our current RAPID initiative.) The Endowment would benefit from being both replenished and strengthened. I have made modest contributions to both those funds and encourage others to do so. Alcor would also benefit from more resources to build response capabilities and to grow membership to bolster the organization.

–Max More

Alcor Ambassador & CEO Emeritus

Alcor Members and Patients: Where and How Many?

Curious about the number of Alcor members and patients, where they are, and how many are neuro and who many whole body? You can find the numbers for the end of the previous month on the website here:

But that what you find there may not satisfy. Here’s a more complete update, as of January 31, 2021:

Members: 1,338 (“Member” here means a person with full contractual and financial arrangements to be cryopreserved by Alcor.) 641 neuro; 655 WB; 12 N/WB.

Associate Members: 304

Patients: 181 (N: 115; WB: 62; N/WB: 4; 134 males; 47 female.)

TOTAL: 1,823

There were 96 applicants in the process of becoming members.

How are members distributed internationally? After the US, not surprisingly the country with the largest number of (full) members is our neighbor, Canada. Third place goes to the United Kingdom with 40. Here’s the full list:

Country                 Members/Associates/Patients

Australia                11      5        3       

Austria                   1        0        0       

Belgium                 1        0        0       

Brazil                    1        0        0       

Bulgaria                 1        0        0       

Canada                  70      8        3       

China                    0        0        1       

Croatia                  2        0        0       

Czech Republic      0        2        0       

Finland                  1        0        0       

France                   1        0        1       

Germany               20      2        0       

Hong Kong             2        0        0       

Hungary                1        0        0       

Israel                    1        0        1       

Italy                       1        0        0       

Japan                     4        2        1       

Luxembourg           1        0        0       

Malaysia                1        0        0       

Mexico                   5        0        0       

Monaco                  1        0        0       

Netherlands           1        1        0       

New Zealand           1        0        0       

Norway                  2        0        0       

Portugal                 4        0        1       

Puerto Rico            1        0        0       

Slovenia                0        1        0       

Spain                    5        0        2       

Sweden                 1        1        0       

Switzerland            2        1        0       

Taiwan                   1        0        0       

Thailand                3        0        1       

UK                        40      5        3       

USA                      1151  68      164   

Totals                   1338  96      181   

Support our new research initiative: RAPID! (Readiness And Procedure Innovation/Deployment)

In order to advance the science and reputation of cryonics, Alcor plans to conduct ongoing research to develop novel and near-future products related to cryopreservation procedures and protocols. The RAPID team is developing relationships and contracts to procure recently deceased human cadavers, which are not Alcor members or patients, but are already earmarked for medical research. The idea is to procure one to two cadavers per month to conduct research. We would go a “light standby” to enable fast access to cadavers.

The RAPID initiative will support cryonics research in multiple ways. Most immediately, it will help advance research into liquid ventilation – using a patient’s lungs as a heat exchanger to induce very rapid hypothermia. Animal studies along cannot take LV development to the next level due to different chest anatomy. LV research will include cooling rate control; chest compression studies; and timing and sensor feedback.

RAPID will also enable research comparing chemical fixation to perfusion and will support rewarming studies. Another benefit will be a great improvement in cryonics-specific surgical training. That includes raising and cannulating the carotids; cephalic isolation; raising and cannulating the femoral arteries; field neuro procedure training; median sternotomy training; and alternate surgical approaches.

Alcor is requesting donations through gofundme. All donors will receive quarterly reports from Alcor regarding the progress with fundraising and milestone achievements rising from the RAPID program! Please donate today to support Alcor’s RAPID initiative. Alcor is a non-profit, federally tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) corporation and your donation may be tax deductible. Donate here. For more information, see the presentation here.