comment by SSA ·
2012-06-17T13:05:33.329Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Mark Milton and I'm one of the directors of Stasis Systems Australia. I've read the comments below with some interest as they are many of the same considerations we have had over the last 2 years.
I'd like to reply to some of them if I may and I'd welcome any and all discussion on this or related topics as while we have done a lot of thinking and research there is no denying that Cryonics is still in its infancy, (relatively speaking), and input is always a good thing.
Why bother setting up in Aus?
Alcor, CI and KrioRus seem to be doing an excellent job on the whole and we are setting up a facility in Australia, not because we have any concerns about their operations but purely as a response to the logistical difficulties of transport overseas either as a terminally ill patient or as a deceased person.
As you might imagine, timing transport close to death is problematical at best. You need to be sure that you are fit for travel, and will be allowed to travel, and at the same time you need to ensure that you have the funding for a potentially protracted stay overseas if you endure for months or more.
If you deanimate in Australia there are many questions about the proper state of storage. If vitrification is organised here in Australia there are issues of "cracking" during transport. If transported packed in ice, there are still problems with thawing enroute compounded by customs/handling delays and possibly quarantine if the zeigler transport container should express water through either leaking or condensation.
Importance of response vs storage.
There is no argument that a timely and quality response upon deanimation is critical for a good suspension. However I and my colleagues are inclined to be a little more ambitious than just aiming for a quick cool-down. Part of this is the reasons mentioned above and, part is that maintaining standby equipment, volunteers, procedures and training is a significant task in itself and difficult to do if not part of a larger organisation iwth broader goals. For example, my research indicates that only approximately 6 Australians have gone to the US for suspension in the last 10 years. While this is enough to sustain a storage facility from an economic viewpoint it's hard to build an organisation that would go into action for a few days at a time, 6 times in 10 years. In my opinion such an organisation would atrophy in it's skills and competency over the years. Thirdly, the existence of a facility in Australia would make it easier to reach out to society and stimulate its interest in cryonics. The more people who are involved, the better chance it has of succeeding.
In case it's not clear, we would, of course, be aiming to provide quality response service to people who deanimate.
As a side note, I have been approached by at least one person who has indicated they would be interested in seeing if they could start a separate priority medical emergency response team for cryonics clients. While they are yet to pursue such a venture I have not only given them my blessing but have committed to actively supporting such a venture.
Doing prep and sending "corpsicles" to somewhere else
We have approached both CI and Alcor about preping clients to send to their organisations as well as providing response services for their clients who might deanimate in Australia. Although we have not got to the stage of signing any agreements there seems to be a collaborative spirit to this and similar suggestions. We are certainly in favor of making this option available. KrioRus is also a possibility although it seems, statistically, less likely to come up as an issue at this time.
Would it actually be a good idea to consolidate all cryonics facilities to a single place?
There is no doubt that economies of scale are achieved by consolidating plant and equipment however, in my opinion, Cryonics is a slightly different beast in that the main objective of Cryonics is not financial return but rather long-term sustainability. To this end, I believe that having a diversity of organisations is actually a positive. Especially at this point in the history of Cryonic development. In the worst case scenario, patients could be shipped from one facility to another in the event of catastrophic events. If CI should find itself the result of a prolonged hate campaign, Alcor under threat of political sanction, KrioRuss impacted by threat of war in Russia, or SSA under siege by... i don't know, mutant kangaroos?, then it's good to know there are alternatives for our patients. Of course these and other "catastrophic" examples may seem far fetched but remember we are planning for sustainability for potentially hundreds of years and a great many things could and will happen in those sort of time frames.
Okay, that's the longest comment I've ever written in a forum and I hope I didn't bore too many of you. Let us know if there are questions, concerns or comments. and feel free to get in touch with us if you are interested. We are indeed interested in, not just investors or clients, but also volunteers or people who just want to know more.
Thank you Maelin for this post.
Replies from: wedrifid
↑ comment by wedrifid ·
2012-06-17T13:48:16.949Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
As an Australian who only got part way through the hassle of getting signed up with a US cryonics option I am following this topic with interest.
Something which makes me nervous about relying on a less established institution is (obviously) that all else being equal it is more likely to fail than a more established institution. As a corpsicle it is rather difficult to make new arrangements if one's cryonics facility goes under. What would be perfect is to be able to purchase insurance such that if SSA failed financially or administratively your frozen remains are guaranteed to be sent and preserved at an alternative facility (Alcor or CI, etc.) Is that sort of thing likely to be possible?
Replies from: SSA
↑ comment by SSA ·
2012-06-17T23:48:09.174Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
The short answer is... Such a thing is likely to be possible.
When we were developing the business plan for SSA we tried to look at the history of Cryonics, particularly in relation to its failures, in order to try and avoid any obvious mistakes. This is one of the reasons we decided to look for 10 investors for the project. Our reasoning is that if we can find 10 people willing to put up the money for their own suspension at the very beginning, this strongly indicates a level of interest to make the facility viable in the long term, as opposed to 1 or 2 individuals putting up all the money.
We have incorporated insurance cover, (for transferring suspended clients overseas), for these initial investors but as we get more people on board the risk of failure reduces significantly.
The idea of transport insurance cover for clients after the investor stage isn't something we've seriously considered although we have looked at contingency plans along the lines of sale of assets to cover transport of clients costs in the event of an operational shut down. Our financial modelling again suggests that although the cost of such a transfer increases as more clients are suspended, the risk of financial failure also decreases as more clients are suspended. Nonetheless, we'll consider your idea. We don't want to load clients up with hidden fees but, for people who wanted the extra reassurance, it may not hurt to provide it.