Sunday, December 26, 2010

More DIY Foolishness and an Appeal to Max More

For anyone who has been wondering what inspired my last blog entry, it was the recent news about 21CM's intermediate temperature storage (ITS) unit, at Alcor. I was just wondering why Alcor didn't call up one of the many companies that manufacture cryogenic freezers, instead of funding another DIY project.

Did Brian Wowk, Stephen Valentine and Michael Iarocci bill LEF a small fortune, over a long period of time, for their ITS project, (and the cost of a patent), when a cryogenic freezer manufacturer could have delivered a spec-device, in a short time, for a reasonable price? How long has the ITS project been going on, and how many decades will it continue? Will it ever end, or will it linger on, like the liquid ventilation project? What is the true value of the associated patent?

Why DO cryonics companies seem determined to do nothing more than continually engage in endless engineering projects, mostly carried out by amateurs? Year-after-year, decade-after-decade, little-to-no REAL scientific research...just endless equipment fabrication projects, when most of the equipment could be purchased. Wouldn't it make more sense to outsource the ITS project, to a company that specializes in cryogenic containers, so that biophysicist Brian Wowk could work on improving those extremely toxic vitrification solutions?

Recently, on, Dr. Wowk seemed to be arguing that Alcor's solutions are so extremely toxic, it doesn't matter how much additional damage the amateur patient care providers, at Suspended Animation and/or Alcor, inflict on Alcor's members, while attempting to perform the medical procedures needed to deliver the washout and vitrification solutions. So, why does his primary work seem to involve inventing/engineering? Has anyone, (other than Saul Kent, or Alcor), expressed interest in the patents of Brian Wowk, Steve Harris, and others being funded by LEF?

Yesterday, on the Cold Filter forum,
Charles Platt indicated he doesn't believe Alcor meets the requirements of a non-profit agency. (I, and others, agree.) Mr. Platt seems to think Alcor could meet the requirements by engaging in, yet another, Rube Goldberg-esque project. In regard to an intermediate temperature storage unit, he laments "... I would not be surprised if the prospect of fabricating something more complex and totally different would seem very unwelcome to people at Alcor who feel they have better things to do...While I was at Alcor in 2003, I brought in Todd Huffman to do some preliminary testing of a simple ITS design, and I wrote about this in Alcor News. After Huffman left, I don't think anything more was done or said on this topic." It is BEYOND absurd for Mr. Platt to think having the Alcor staff assume the task of engineering a cryogenic freezer is a good idea, and cryonics DIY equipment projects probably do not qualify as real research, when it comes to "not-for-profit" status.

When are cryonics organizations going to engage in some REAL medical-science research, and stop wasting all their time and money on glorified garage projects? (Not specifically referring to the ITS device, but to the abundant DIY projects, in cryonics.)

To the new Alcor CEO, Mr. More your best to determine if ITS is really the best way to go. If you believe it is, determine the required specifications, and then consult with several manufacturers of cryogenic freezers...unless, of course, you think amateur engineering projects constitute "research," and you won't mind sitting around, watching the same small group of DIY-ers bill Alcor and LEF for this project, for many years to come. If Alcor is going to charge $200,000 to preserve bodies, with the implied promise of a possible future resurrection, they should make an effort to provide qualified personnel using professionally-built equipment; not laymen using their own garage-project devices. Take all the money you save on these endless, (and mostly fruitless) projects, and spend it on REAL research, (carried out by scientists, not unqualified laymen, please).

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