If your Cryonicism would be Movie Topic, would you go with it? (Real Issue)

post by diegocaleiro · 2011-07-27T08:19:17.866Z · score: 10 (15 votes) · LW · GW · Legacy · 14 comments

Today this girl I met comes to my place, allegedly to get some books about her new interests, singularity, immortalism, cryonics.

Actually, she wanted to ask me a question, a question about which I could use some rational opinion.

She says: "So, here is the real reason I came here. I'm thinking of making a documentary, a movie, and it would be about, well.... about you."

(I am shocked)

"So, yes, a movie about you, and the fact that you want to live forever, it would have interviews with friends, parents, girlfriend, and a lot with you" "What do you think?" 

(I sit down in the floor to think about it)

The conversation continues and I generally sense she wants to do something interesting, somewhat controversial, kind of humoristic, but at the same time striking some topics that are really unheard of around here (Brazil)

Now, I am looking for opinions. From an utilitarian perspective, and given that I am directing the Humanity+ or Transhumanist group of Brazilians, should I go with it?   My concern is basically not about me, but about how will a movie about me influence, positively or negatively, the growing H+ movement in Brazil, given the inferential distances, prejudices, and mysterianism that might surround the whole interaction between the movie's memes, and the spectator's memes. 

(from here below, the translation is google tradutor, not mine)

Positive aspects: The film would be seen at festivals, and at least a few hundred to tens of thousands of people would see it. These people might be intrigued by the prospect of living much, and it could become a platform for attracting people to transhumanismolatino (and eventually to other stuff, like GWWC and Singinst, but that is a side dish).
It would be a good opportunity to bring out various issues that in Brazil have been neglected until now. (cryonics, transhumanism, biological immortality, singularity)
Reinforce my good habits, like eating healthily, work more earnestly, etc ...
Negative aspects: it may end up passing a bad image of me (imagine the mythical average person, not that smart, somewhat religious,  seeing a  guy who wants to live forever in a video, is very strange) and therefore my bad image would spread to stuff I represent, like the Provisional Team, the Singularity Institute, Transhumanismo Latino, etc......
May defame my image with women (who would date an immortalist after all .....)
 I may become a stigma simplified, I  would just be classified as an immortalist, and no other characteristics will ever cross the knowledge of people, they always see me just like that. And the institutions that I represent / drive, would suffer accordingly.

I have put up a poll in the comment section down here, so that I can know your opinion, please take the time to vote, thank you.




Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by NancyLebovitz · 2011-07-27T14:44:38.466Z · score: 20 (22 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

If she's made other movies, watch them. If her primary purpose seems to be to make her subjects look ridiculous, then I don't think it's worth signing on to the project.

If you're promoting transhumanism, you're necessarily going to look weird to a lot of people. Is there anything in transhumanism that doesn't look weird? (This is a real question.)

I'm inclined to think that you're excessively worried about the effects of a documentary on your reputation-- if it were a major studio release, it could make a big long time difference, but relatively few people will see it. Am I underestimating the effects of google?

comment by sketerpot · 2011-07-31T00:34:10.817Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

If you're promoting transhumanism, you're necessarily going to look weird to a lot of people. Is there anything in transhumanism that doesn't look weird? (This is a real question.)

I think that depends on how you express transhumanism. Take life extension, for example. If someone wants to have the option of indefinite physiological youth, are they running desperately from the inevitable spectre of death? Or are they people who love being alive and don't want such a good thing to end? Both of these descriptions are probably accurate for most transhumanists, but the latter will go over much better with a popular audience. Even stuff that sounds like it comes from a cyberpunk story, like surgically implanted computers, can be made more palatable if it's for something like minimally-invasive glucose monitoring.

comment by diegocaleiro · 2011-07-27T08:19:58.456Z · score: 13 (15 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

If you have nothing to comment, but think that I should go with and make the movie, click Upvote in this comment

comment by falenas108 · 2011-07-27T12:06:02.871Z · score: 13 (13 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I don't care too much, but when people do polls they usually have a third comment labeled "karma balance" for people to downvote after choosing a side to upvote. This prevents people from creating polls just to get karma.

comment by diegocaleiro · 2011-07-27T08:20:49.692Z · score: -3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Now if you think I should not accept the movie Idea, and back away, click Down vote in this comment.

comment by Desrtopa · 2011-07-27T13:01:23.955Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

If you put effort into representing yourself well, this could be a good opportunity, but I think that depends in large part on how honest she's going to be about it. A documentary maker can convey pretty much any impression that they want to an audience by selective editing and arrangement of the footage. Some documentary directors will go all out with this (Ben Stein, to pick an available example,) but even if they're not consciously intending to slant the delivery, if the director has an agenda going into filming, it can have a significant impact on the final product.

If you trust her intentions, then I think participation would probably be a good idea, but if you have doubts that she's trustworthy, it's probably a bad idea no matter how well you think you can present yourself.

comment by Manfred · 2011-07-27T09:48:13.856Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

If you are willing to spend the time on it, I think it would be good. If the documentary-maker intends to make you look foolish, it could be bad, but it doesn't seem that way.

If you're concerned about inferential distance, good! Then it's just a problem of learning more so you can say the right things. If you ask the documentary-maker what sort of things she would like to ask you about, you can think about them in advance. Or if she won't say, you can try to predict what will be asked. I don't think you will change anybody's mind single-handedly, but you could explain a few ideas, the ones most accessible to the ordinary person, given what they already know to be true.

comment by beriukay · 2011-07-27T10:21:09.118Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

As Manfred says, you should ask questions about the film. Get to know more specifics about the movie idea. Film makers don't just grab a camera and start asking questions. They'll have some kind of theme and method. For example, are you talking to a silent camera, or is she asking questions from behind the scene? Will the movie culminate around an event (say, the days leading up to you going to the Singularity Summit, or a cryonics convention), or will it be a day-in-the-life-of kind of thing?

I think it is a great idea to make this movie, especially if she is any good at making them and has a track record of actually completing movies. When your group is largely unknown to the public, they can easily believe bad things about you. But if they know you and see you as a neighbor, or a friend, or the nice boy/girl that helps old ladies across the street, it will be harder for them to hate you.

Do your homework, though. Know the arguments people make against life extension. Know the standard counters to them, and know how to defeat those counters. Keep track of stories or metaphors that can catch attention or draw emotions, and be on the lookout for real-life examples you can show the camera. As an example that I am just now making up, you could compare cryonics to a cocoon, and give colorful imagery about emerging from the cocoon as a beautiful butterfly. Then, during the filming, if the camera happens to catch a butterfly doing something interesting, they can connect it to make their documentary more compelling. In other words, if you want to look good on film, you have to help the filmer(s) and editor(s) make you look good. Maybe, as time gets closer, you could start a thread for suggestions on topics, or arguments, or quotes. Though it is important to note that you shouldn't read from a card or otherwise have crappy delivery. If you can't make the argument your own, it would be best not to use it.

comment by Vaniver · 2011-07-27T16:08:19.526Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Compare to The Methuselah Generation.

comment by lucidfox · 2011-07-27T08:37:31.246Z · score: 1 (5 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

May defame my image with women (who would date an immortalist after all .....)


comment by MixedNuts · 2011-07-27T11:08:10.721Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

IAWYC. What Diego should have said is:

Society generally disapproves of uncommon ideas, such as wanting immortality. This disapproval increases when someone who believes such an idea ties it to their identity, for example by adovcating it in a documentary. Moreover, people tend to strongly oppose cryonics for their romantic partners, for reasons not entirely explained yet. The people I am romantically interested in (a subset of women from my culture) do not particularly diverge from the social average in this area. Therefore, I would likely hurt my romantic prospects with them should I take on the role of "the loon on TV who wants to be frozen".

comment by Manfred · 2011-07-27T09:33:07.343Z · score: -2 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

It seemed to work for Er, Christopher Lambert. Well, once at least.

comment by arundelo · 2011-07-27T12:50:45.296Z · score: 0 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Christopher Lambert!

comment by Paul Crowley (ciphergoth) · 2011-07-27T14:45:26.483Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

If it were me, I would do it, but I've had a certain amount of experience appearing in the media and (once) on TV.