There was recently a proposal that we should create YouTube commercials for cryonics. This is an area where the cryonics community is sorely lacking fresh content, and which in my opinion has higher leverage per unit effort relative to other kinds of content, for making the kinds of cultural changes that need to be made for cryonics to gain acceptance.

One important strategy to beat procrastination, is to turn ideas into concrete action quickly rather than talking about them for too long. Another is to raise the amount of positive feedback a person expects to receive. Prizes have been used successfully in the past for the promotion of creative efforts with considerable success, and I have long thought that this would work for cryonics promotions as well. It's time for a simple empirical test.

To get things started, I am offering the nominal sum of 10 bitcoins1 as a prize to whoever creates the the most "liked" promotional or educational video for cryonics on YouTube for the month of May, 2011. If anyone wishes to contribute to the prize and thus increase its size, send bitcoins here: <removed>

All funds sent to the above address will be transferred to the address of the person whose YouTube video promoting cryonics receives the most "likes" on YouTube during the month of May. Donors who let me know that they have donated will be given credit for donating below.

  • Start date: May 1, 2011 at 12:00 AM GMT. Entry video cannot have been released on YouTube sooner than this.
  • End date: June 1, 2011 at 12:00 AM GMT. This is when the votes (likes) will be tallied and the prize awarded.
  • Video must promote cryonics and/or answer common questions about cryonics.
  • Multiple submissions per person are allowed and encouraged, as are collaborations2.
  • Xtranormal videos, slide shows, stick figure cartoons, voice-overs, and anything else that can go in a YouTube video are acceptable.
  • Winner must have or obtain a bitcoin address3, and must let us know what it is along with a link to their video (which must be posted to YouTube) in the comments section of this post.
  • In the event that there are multiple videos with substantially similar numbers of likes (to within 1% of the top number) at midnight of June first, they will all be treated as co-winners and receive equal shares of the prize.

Anyone who wants to donate to non-winning entries that they liked is welcome to do so as well (the bitcoin address of each entry will be visible below).

Let the games begin!

  1. These are a digital commodity that I thought would make a more fun and interesting prize than dollars, and seem to have a positive reputation on LW so far. It is also easy for me to keep track of. Market value was about $4 per bitcoin as of April 31.
  2. One bitcoin address per video please. Teams are responsible for divvying up the prize money among members.
  3. The simple way is to create an account on MyBitcoin. You can also install the Bitcoin client.

Current prize fund (to be updated): 14.75 BTC (103.29 USD @ 7.003)

Donors known so far:

  • drethelin
  • Pavitra

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14 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 1:17 PM

I volunteer this script to anyone who can put it together in exchange for half the prize if won. I can't animate, but would voice-act one character (don't think I can do sufficiently different voices to be both).

I will write other scripts of similar size to spec under similar conditions.

Would an Xtranormal animation count?

I don't speak for Isparrish, but it seems like the point of this contest is to popularize cryonics, not to show off artistic talent. If Xtranormal gets the job done, then use Xtranormal.

Yes, any kind of video is fine. This includes xtranormal animations, slide show presentations, etc. Added that to the post for clarity.

I believe it's common with Bitcoin bounties to keep the balance in the specified address, so that everyone can "see the money".

Anyway, nifty idea. Contributed.

Thank you!

The Block Explorer link apparently does not show transactions handled within the MyBitcoin system, so there is .75 btc not showing there.

You should highlight the end date; on my first reading I though May 1 was the contest end date.

Thanks for pointing that out, post edited.

Relevant? (A fake ad by renowned artist Katerina Jebb)

Since there are no submissions as of the deadline, this contest is cancelled. I'll be starting a new contest shortly. Donors will be given the option of either a refund or contributing the prize money to the new contest.

Perhaps this would be more appropriate as a discussion post?

I thought of that, but decided against it. Discussion posts get buried more quickly and thus are likely to get less exposure. Furthermore, the purpose of posting this is to spur action, not talk -- discussion is more for when you want to talk about something.

There is a discussion post already for the general concept of making promotional videos of cryonics here.

Other ways of promoting cryonics and related concepts -- cartoons, billboards, t-shirts, blogs, hiring ad companies, and so forth -- can certainly be discussed in further discussion posts if anyone is interested. The caveat is that, beyond a certain point, more time discussing equates to less time doing.

What about collaborations?

Those are allowed, but the team is responsible for divvying up the prize money. [Post edited to reflect this.]