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Guardian: UK cryonics


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#1 caliban

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Posted 08 November 2009 - 11:44 PM


I wasn't there but that is a very accurate portrayal of a UK scene and a typical training session.

http://www.guardian....itish-dads-army


Thanks to Mind for the heads up.

#2 Shannon Vyff

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Posted 09 November 2009 - 03:26 PM

Here are comments from David Styles on the above linked article:


Ugh, load of rubbish. The worst journalism I've seen in a while.

Had a tape-recorder going half the time and still manages to make factual errors throughout.

And that's without saying that the whole thing is now irrelevant, as he spent time with us sufficiently long ago that we've now moved to a different location, have a specialised clinic room for our kit and activities, and have me organising stuff, which, to blow my own trumpet a little, has made quite a difference as my predecessor while very well-intentioned was not the most organised fellow whereas I care a lot about results and making everything as good as possible.

You know what? When I joined Cryonics UK a year ago, I thought the group was well kitted-out but a bit of a shambles in some ways. A year down the line, things are *very* different indeed.

So in other words, the article is half lies and the few parts that were correct then are now irrelevant, being based on an irrelevant situation in a past time and place.

To correct a handful of the things wrong in this article:

"Alan now runs Cryonics UK"

Alan is our group's President and has final call on decisions in the case of a committee vote being split evenly. However, most aspects of the group's running are now dealt with by Tim and myself.

"every month he holds meetings with fellow cryonicists and potential converts to discuss the practicalities and potential problems of their suspension"

Actually our meetings are quarterly, and are heavily focussed on practical training, with only discussion segments where necessary. Of course, there is a healthy social aspect too, but that's outside of the hours when we have everyone learning and practicing.

"if, for example, air bubbles enter the pumping system, the brain will be irreversibly damaged"

Obviously we want to minimise any introduction of air into the system, but to say that any air entering the system categorically will result in irreversible brain damage is a strange assertion with no evidence to back it up, and some evidence to negate it. In various procedures in medicine involving living patients, air-bubbles occur without being fatal. It all depends on the volume of the bubble(s).

"basically a suitcase with a load of tubing inside, reminiscent of an old-fashioned wine-making kit."

Look who's archaic. The ATP kit is designed to be very easily transportable and so yes, it all folds into a giant hard plastic case. By looking like a wine-making kit, I presume that he means it has numerous clear tubes. Because one would *never* find anything that has numerous clear tubes in a hospital.

"Dave, at 24, is the youngest."

I'm 25 and offhand I can think of several members younger than myself.

"His girlfriend"

My fiancée.

"was going to join us from the Wirral, but ironically a death in the family has stopped her"

My fiancée, unsurprisingly, lives with me, and has no ties whatsoever to the Wirral. I presume therefore that he taking several stories and mixing up the details to make more entertaining journalism. A cryonicist from the Wirral was going to join us for the meeting but could not do so due to a death in the family.

"he says, sounding remarkably chipper about the setback."

In other words, I wasn't tearful to report that somebody I didn't know had died. Along with around 150,000 other people I didn't know, the same day.

"Alan says he once carried out a suspension, but he doesn't look back at it with pride – it didn't go as smoothly as it might have."

Which the journalist neglects to mention was entirely due to external circumstances, but then that wouldn't make as entertaining journalism.

"Another man in the room, an ageing hippy called Tim with a thinning ponytail and a philosophical bent"

By "ageing", I presume the journalist is a fan of Sylvia Plath and is acknowledging that for the time being at least, we are all ageing. Tim is in his 30s and that isn't usually considered "ageing".

By "hippy", I presume he means a successful businessman with no hippyish tendencies at all.

He used to have a ponytail (doesn't anymore, like everything else in this woefully out-of-date article).

By having a "philosophical bent" I presume he means "is intelligent".

*It occurs to me I'm still only a fraction of the way through this article, so I'll skip through most of the rubbish about conversations and leave you, dear reader, with the open caveat that many things have been misquoted or taken out of context, and I'll get on to the later practical stuff*

"and head to the laboratory – which is nothing more than Alan's back room with a table and a case sat on it."

Which we never referred to as a laboratory. Now we're in a different location and have a clinic room, we'll call it that, but to call the old place a laboratory would just be silly, which I presume is why the journalist made it up.

"A good few minutes later Tim and his not-so-crack team are still working out where the red and blue bits plug into."

A blatant lie.

Any one of Tim, myself, and several other people present (ie, people actually on the team who have been trained) could put the thing together very quickly and easily, and in fact the journalist saw us do this, though conveniently neglects to mention that.

What the journalist means to say here is that after demonstrating it all working, Tim offered it to someone who had just seen it for the first time to try setting it up, to see how much they could remember.

"The only thing that goes wrong is if you switch it on without all the bits plugged in. It doesn't like it and it has been known to go bang,"

That's not the ATP kit per se, that's the speed regulator for the pump. It needs to have the controller plugged into it before switching it on, or it will blow a fuse.

"Darwin can't contain himself."

Mike, bless him, can rarely contain himself about anything.

"If I had that kit here, I'd be scared shitless."

Me too, as it's our training kit, not the real one.

"There are some critical things wrong with the setup of that circuit." He tells the team they have made so many mistakes the patient would have suffered irreversible brain damage by now."

This would be because it wasn't the team doing it at this point, but some newcomers having a go and learning.

"David nods in furious agreement, and repeats his mantra. "We're living on a planet with six billion suicidal maniacs.""

This so-called journalist should really have a career change and just go into writing fiction for the fiction market.






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