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.

A-2858 became Alcor’s 184th patient in July 2021

A-2858 was a 65-year-old female who had whole body arrangements. Legal death was declared in Minnesota, USA in July 2021 after a daily check by the hospice nurse. Due to the delay in Alcor learning of legal death, cryoprotective perfusion was not feasible. After a straight freeze by strategic partner International Cryomedicine Experts, the patient was transported to Alcor for cryogenic cooldown.

A full case report is being prepared.

A-1845 became Alcor’s 183rd patient in July 2021

A-1845 was an 83-year-old male with neuro cryopreservation arrangements. Legal death was declared in Florida, USA in July 2021. Notification was such it was only possible for one team member to arrive before pronouncement.  After an abbreviated stabilization and field neuro cryoprotection by strategic partner International Cryomedicine Experts (ICE), the patient was transported to Alcor for cryogenic cooldown.

A full case report is being prepared.

Preferred Life Extension Language

In a recent informal survey, I asked what terms people preferred to indicate not only that you want to live not only longer than average, but longer than the current human maximum. That term or another might also be used to indicate that you support an organized effort to enable anyone who wants it to live possibly centuries or more in excellent health. Saying, “I want to live longer” does not convey the intended meaning adequately.  Perhaps the most common term for this is “life extension” or “extended life”.

Out of around three dozen responses, “life extension” was the most popular choice. As expected, almost no one favored “immortality” with several people noting that it was not literally correct and probably impossible and also had distracting connotations. Several liked my suggested “chosen lifespan” or some other term emphasizing choice, such as “personal lifespan”. These have the benefit of conveying individual choice and putting the burden on those who oppose life extension for people other than themselves.

Other terms that got some explicit support:

Indefinite lifespan/extension

Extended lifespan



Other terms that received an honorable mention:

Age reversal, curing aging, death free, ending aging, expanding lifespan, extended longevity, healthy life extension, immortality, indefinite health extension, life expansion, longer life, managed aging, optional aging, optional mortality, overcoming age-related decline, personal lifespan, rejuvenation, reversing aging.

In an upcoming issue of Cryonics dealing with effective communication about life extension and cryonics, I will comment further on these options. Thanks to those of you who provided input. It’s not too late if you want to add your thoughts.

–Max More

Summer 2021 Meta-Analysis Report

The second quarter 2021 issue of Cryonics includes a report on Alcor Case Metrics 2000-2020. This begins with a selection of case data for the years of 2019 and 2020 followed by a look at the 141 cases in the 21-year period from 2000 to 2020. (2000 was picked as the starting point because that year saw the introduction of vitrification technologies at Alcor.)

It’s not uncommon to find people on the internet making claims about the percentage of cases that are straight freezes, or that involve autopsies, and so on. Sometimes these lack any support and at other times the evidence is limited. The meta-analysis makes it possible to examine these numbers objectively and as accurately as possible.

For instance, in the 21 year period 2000 to 2020, 6% of cases involved an autopsy, 13 or 14% involved unattended deaths, and 23% were straight freeze. Cardiopulmonary support was provided in 66% of cases, cryoprotective perfusion was achieved in 77%, and (so far) 10% of cases have been “field cryopreservation”

See the accompanying article, “Alcor Case Metrics: Scope and Comments” by Aschwin de Wolf and Michael Benjamin for thoughts on the usefulness of the meta-analysis results. Although some factors influencing the quality of outcomes is very hard for a cryonics organization to control, none should be considered completely outside the realm of influence. This analysis helps to show where to focus our efforts. The next step in this project is to identify trends and correlation.

–Max More

Keep an eye on the Meta-Analysis Project

One Alcor-funded research project that I’m personally especially interested in is the Meta-Analysis Project. This project, led by Advanced Neural Biosciences’ Aschwin de Wolf and Michael Benjamin, gathers a vast amount of data on every one of Alcor’s cryopreservations and analyzes patterns. ANB began the Alcor Meta-Analysis Project in January 2019 with the goal of developing a quantitative method to evaluate the quality of each cryopreservation case based on a thorough review of all the available case data. The project has 3 phases.

In Phase 1, researchers review and collect relevant data points from all case reports, all raw data such as temperature data and any relevant scientific papers and, for the last decade of cases, CT scans of cryopreserved patients. In phase 2, new outcome metrics have been developed to look at variables such as cryoprotectant distribution and ice formation from the analysis of Phase 1 data. The goal of Phase 3 is to identify areas where protocol and procedure upgrades would likely have the maximum impact at improving patient preservation outcomes.

Alcor and cryonics as a whole can expect to benefit from the outcomes of this work, including:

  • a complete secure database of all the important case variables gleaned from case reports, raw data, and CT scans that can be updated with new cases.
  • important information about trends and outcomes of Alcor procedures.
  • a single or set of case metrics that provide a quantitative result that measures the quality of each patient preservation
  • information about the range of typical patient scenarios, including the modelling of unusual scenarios
  • Recommendations to improve procedures, case work, and case logistics
  • A paper to be published in a scientific journal including the exposition of the cryonics case outcome metric(s) and experimental validations

You can read the initial report in the third quarter 2020 issue of Cryonics. Next report will be published in the second quarter 2021 issue.

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