Recently, I was listening to CNBC, and a commentator mentioned "feel good words, like 'transparency.'" (I'm not sure who made the comment, or I'd give him credit.) "Transparency" is certainly a "feel good" word that gets tossed around a lot, in cryonics.
Transparency is a great thing, but only when someone is capable of interpreting what they see. SA consultants Charles Platt and Aschwin de Wolf may have written the most "transparent" cryonics case report, ever, for SA's involvement in the CI-81 case. The problem was, even THEY couldn't "see" what they had written, because they didn't have the appropriate educations, or clinical backgrounds. They didn't have a clue as to how medical professionals with a background in perfusion technology, (the method used to deliver SA's washout solution), would interpret that report. When I, (a perfusionist), pointed out the obvious, SA published an addendum that only supported my accusations. (Why were a science fiction writer and someone with an education in political science, who were not even present for the CI-81 case, be writing the case report, anyway?)
Indeed, cryonics organizations could not be much more "transparent," but what is the result? Them standing around patting themselves on the back, for being "transparent"? When a medical professional points out that the introduction of massive air emboli and the improper pressurization of patients were virtually eliminated in conventional medicine, decades ago, all that comes back is "We're doing the best we can?" and more back-patting for being "transparent"?
I've been chastised on the Cold Filter forum, for running off cryonicists willing to post under their real names. Whom have I run off? A science fiction writer/wannabe engineer who I believe has wasted enormous amounts of money on building makeshift equipment, sometimes when there was existing medical equipment available at a reasonable price? Someone who is publicly, and regulary, called a "liar" even by cryonicists? A physician on the LEF payroll who is willing to publish blatant lies about a fellow medical professional he doesn't even know, and who wouldn't tell laymen to give a patient heparin, unless they knew to ask? People who engage in animal experimentation of questionable merit? A mostly self-taught, self-proclaimed "cryo-expert" who wants to carry on highly-technical discussions the audience won't understand, (not because they are unintelligent, but because they don't have the appropriate background.)
The readers on Cold Filter have frequently remarked that they don't understand Michael ("Mike Darwin") Federowicz' posts, but they still revere him and think he should be employed at one of the cryonics organizations. Do they know why Mr. Federowicz isn't welcome, as an employee, at any cryonics organizations? I believe I do, but it would be "hearsay," at this point in time.
Mr. Federowicz' ramblings are extremely transparent, but few, (if any), in cryonics, see through them. They get blinded by the medical terminology and scientific formulas he throws out. They read "iatrogenic" and Poiseuille's Equation, and then sit around oooohing and aaaahhhhing, thinking they are in the presence of a medical expert.
There are at least several published accounts of Federowicz' career in cryonics, from the time he was a teenager, but I've yet to find one that mentions him attending perfusion school, or working in open-heart surgery. In order to have been "board-eligible," as he claims, Federowicz would have had to graduated from an accredited school of perfusion technology and participated in a minimum of 100 clinical cases, (and I don't believe dogs, or "legally dead" patients count). Eleven days ago, on the Cold Filter Forum, I asked Mr. Federowicz two very simple questions: "Which accredited perfusion program did he attend?" and "Where did he perform the 100 clinical cases required to sit for the boards?" Mr. Federowicz has yet to respond to these simple questions, which don't require in-depth technical discussions, terminology, or scientific equations the audience wouldn't understand. Has he neglected to answer because no amount of "smoke and mirrors," (technical jargon and scientific formulas thrown out to an audience comprised mostly of laymen), can cloud this issue? Did he disappear from the forum due to what the moderator has called my "cheap unimaginative shots," or did he disappear because I asked a valid question he doesn't want to answer?
The way transparency is supposed to work is; someone who can see through the fog points out the obvious, and something gets done about it. When a qualified professional complains, (for nearly two years), that laymen are being paid two-to-four times what their qualified counterparts would be paid, to perform well-established medical procedures, (the tasks of paramedics and perfusionists), someone does something about it. (And, "doing something about it" should not include slandering and libeling the critic.)
Edit on March 2, 2009:
Someone writes to me that the "powers that be" in cryonics "want to be told pleasant lies, all while having the form of brutal honesty." I believe this fits right in with my "Feel Good Words like Transparency" theory.