maybe he would consider the one of the less expensive cryonics organizations. I heard the Cryonics Institue will cryo preserve people for 28,000$. This is somewhat more palitable for many people.
I was at CI's AGM when Aschwin and Chana during their talk took the time to trash talk CI at its own conference and I was upset despite maxes assertion otherwise. Fortunately for the de wolfs, the audio at the meeting was substandard and for those of us who heard it there was no chance to challenge these absurd statements. No where was there any attempt to quantify or verify alleged damage. To the best of my knowledge the de wolf's have not been allowed to autopsy and remove brain tissue from CI or Alcor patients to do a scientific comparison. There was also no other attempt to separate out unrelated factors. Which CI patients were they specifically referring too? Were they referring to incomplete case reports cherry picked from both organizations for a comparison? Surely both organizations have had cryosuspensions in which factors outside their control was at play. IE patient not found dead for several hours or days. Are we comparing apples to apples here? This was is far from a scientific comparison and Max and the de wolfs as scientists should be ashamed of making such smoke and mirror un substantiated assertions. The fact remains there is no way aside from defrosting our patients to compare procedures and even then if we are to make a fair comparison then we need to look at optimal cases from both organizations and subtract out factors such as the over priced false sense of security and misrepresentation that is in long distance remote standby. The truth is simple. Speed and early cooling with vitrification supplemented by good planning is worth 100 times a delayed remote standby even if its members paid $500,000 for the process. Lets be honest to potential members. Just because someone here on Lesswrong says CI or Alcor has had better cryosuspensions does not mean it is true to be repeated over and over. I demand unbiased controlled evidence otherwise these allegations are a cheap shot nothing more.
Robert Ettinger had a superior cryosuspension because he didn't rely on long distance remote standby from SA or elsewhere. He planned and had his ducks in a row so to speak. Many Alcor and SA contracted patients have rotted for many hours waiting for the very expensive far away teams. Some of these things were due to to matters out of anyone on the remote standby team's control but distance cannot be removed as a factor. Robert had set up his own local standby with family, friends etc and the results speak for them selves.
Also the only reason CI ever had to operate under the cemetary statutes is because of negative PR and generated by Alcor with the Ted Williams case. Michigan bureaucrats responded to the negative PR with the current state of affairs. The cloak of cemetery regulation does protect CI to a limited degree in the future from further Alcor PR nightmares because it can be regulated in a way that the Michigan bureacrats can understand. So in the end it worked to CI's benefit. I would hardly blame CI for making lemonaid out of Alcor generated lemons!
I have chose the Cryonics Institute for several reasons. It is not only the price which makes a huge difference to me because I can potentially save my entire family (5 people for less then the cost of 1 person at Alcor) but there is other reasons as well. While I might agree that in some circumstances Alcor can do a better job at profusion they often do not and certainly to me they do not justify the costs. Alcor has huge overhead compared to CI the number one expense being personnel. It only takes 2 people at CI to do what many more take for much more in resources. The costs of such overhead are likely to grow as they are with Alcors price. This is another reason, because rather then bringing prices under control they will be forced to raise prices again and again. This chases away more and more customers until the company cannibalizes itself and collapses. I would rather grow an organization through more members rather then a few rich ones. There is also a moral lesson here as well, because if cryonics works then more people would be save because of the lower price.
I have heard the arguments that no matter what there will be damage and Darwin/ Aschwin and Chanda have claimed this to be the case. I have also heard them all say Alcor is better but at the same time they all seem to be falling back on the nanotechnology will fix things just as much as CI does. After all Alcor throws many body's away as in nueros. What could be a greater hurdle for nanotechnology then a complete neck down rebuild. So Max's argument that CI doesn't profuse the body rings hollow. As for the amount of damage to the brain, it seems to me the biggest factor is neither of the company's procedures, sterile technique, or formulas that make much of a difference but rather speed and quick ice that is all. Both companies vitrify with a good formula so thats a minor issue. Alcor claims that it has a standby service and if a CI member wants to have the same service he can contract with SA so again no difference. In fact, it is still much cheaper even with the SA standby option. I think the fact that CI lets its members have the option rather then being forced into Alcors standby is a huge reason I chose CI. I could take the thousands saved and plan and pay for local standby myself for a fraction of the costs. To me Alcors and SA's standby makes sense only if you live within 50 miles of either company. This standby to me is a huge false sense of security because the member thinks everything is taken care of. Things just don't work that way. The logistics will not allow it. Every member of any cryonics organization must have their own standby unless they have a nice planned death and then standby matters little. You just have someone drive you to CI or Alcor.
For 150+ thousand dollars I could afford a pretty good personal standby and I could share in local training. Its the difference between centralized so called professionals who are too far away and a huge network of good lay people willing to help out. Funeral directors and a few friends and family may not be as good as Alcor's or SA's centralized team but what does it matter if the special team is 8 hours away? It reminds me of the difference between having good enough CPR from a layperson moments away or a team of doctors and equipment 2 hours away! When you need CPR you need it now... not 2 hours from now. So I opt for CI and my own standby. If I was rich and I live very close to Alcor or SA , I might change my mind. For all the fancy talk about this and that, this is the common sense of the matter. I would rather use the money myself to set up a very good local standby that I can trust. All of the talk by Alcor members about superior profusions etc can not even be validated unless we take patients out of their cryostats and actually look at their brain tissues. Both companies have failed with patients in many hours of warm ischemia. The only difference is that CI's failures cost170,000$ less.
I suggest both companies do more to form layperson networks to include funeral directors and more research and development on patient early warning cardiac arrest alerts rather then fancy formulas that attempt to perfuse an already rotten corpse. Centralized standby is a fail from the get go no matter how professional the staff or shinny equipment. That's why the worlds Fire & emergency response teams consist of many lay people that bring the patients to central medical centers. The strength is in the vast network not the central standby professionals. For all the other talk about research and development or patient revival etc. I have to make my feelings clear we are simply an ambulance company to a future hospital. We aren't that future hospital nor should we pretend to be so. We don't have the time, luxury, or money to play that part. The more we drift from the basics of ambulance company to the future the more bogged down we get in irrelevant factors rather then simple fast cooling and fast vitrification! I am not saying we shouldn't strive to improve and use better techniques but there is such a thing as common sense and a point of diminishing returns. Alcor may be a little better if you live in Arizona and are rich but outside of that the costs just don't justify the returns. I will save my money and use CI and form my own standby. If I were an Alcor member outside Arizona you can bet your butt I would have some standby in place my life would depend on it despite all the money I could throw at them. The rest is smoke and mirrors or shinny cryostats.