Wednesday, 1 December 2010

When Allegators Are Crocodiles

"When Allegators Are Crocodiles"

On the topic of “allegators”:

“I deny the allegations, and I defy the allegators”

On the topic of “crocodiles”:

“You know what you are? You’re a fucking crocodile. You know what a crocodile is? A low-lying creature with little arms and a big mouth”
- Anon (I heard it from a soldier in 3 PARA).


So, various allegations made against me recently, most of them untrue. I’ll address here, why this is happening, and what I do and don’t intend to do about it.

Firstly, we have Richie Arnold, a cook from the Assembly House pub in London, who generally posts on the backwaters of the internet as “Jill Pleasuremodel”.

As for why the gender-bending pseudonym, he explains it in his public posting here:

“So What, you think i want hide behind the identity of a sexy japanese sexbot - who doesnt to be part of the sexbot scene”

No criticism from me here, just a quotation to provide an explanation for my readers, as I’d hate to misrepresent someone. While the sexbot scene is not my cup of tea personally, I think that this particular point of Pentagonal Revisionism has its worth - either for those who cannot get human partners, or who want to do things that would generally not be permissible with human partners, or who just want to not have to consider someone else’s feelings - I think it’s great for such people.

Richie is, amongst other things, what I call “a Sneeze”. By this, I’m making reference to how when one sneezes, one closes one’s eyes and opens one’s mouth. Richie does a lot of this, so he falls into this category.

Thus, a Sneeze will generally do a lot more talking than listening, and a lot more writing than reading; their overall output is far greater than their discernible input.

In Richie’s case, any input that comes his way seems to give him a bad case of logorrhea.

This in and of itself would not be so bad; after all, the internet is full of people who want to share their opinions on topics about which they know nothing.

However, Richie has a very special epistemology; if something that comes to his attention supports his argument that those involved in the field of human cryopreservation are criminals, then he will believe it and publish it. If, on the other hand, it suggests the contrary, then he will steadfastly disbelieve and ignore it.

The only other example of a comparable epistemology that comes to my mind is that of “Creationist Science”.

A Transhumanist organisation to which I belong has the motto “Test Everything; Believe Nothing”. I like this motto. Alas, in Richie’s case, he seems to prefer to “Test Nothing; Believe Whatever Is Most Titillating”.

As such, if you would believe Richie’s postings:

* I am salaried by Cryonics UK (Reality: I am paid nothing by Cryonics UK, never have been, and in fact pay the same member contributions as anyone else, and have been known to be amongst the first to volunteer participating in a whip-round if funds are short and something is needed)
* I am paid expenses by Cryonics UK (Reality: I am paid nothing by Cryonics UK, never have been, and in fact have been known to pay other people’s expenses).
* Cryonics UK is a bogus charity (Reality: Cryonics UK is a mutual-assistance organisation, which receives equipment and suchlike funded by the Human Organ Preservation Research Trust, a registered charity, to which Cryonics UK members, including myself, pay a small monthly standing order)
* I am involved in pyramid selling schemes (Reality: I have never received any money for somebody else’s sale of anything)
* I engage in illegal sexual practices (Reality: I abide by the law in every aspect)
* Cryonics organisations own 200% of any money that changes hands as a result of a cryopreservation agreement (Reality: Alas, we are unable to defy mathematics like that).

Please note: The above is a non-exhaustive list of such foundless claims that are pretty easily controvertible.

Note to Richie: I realise you’ve invested a lot of time and energy into pursuing this, and reality probably hurts. The simple fact is, you’ve been used and lied to by people who know the reality but have a vested interest in lying to you.

Mostly one person, actually. Which brings us right on to...

Gabriel Galeano, who also usually poses as an oriental woman on the internet, under various names, most commonly Lu Yang, or some variation on that theme.

As for why, he’s not so forthcoming as Richie regarding his motivations for choosing his fake identity, though a logical assessment would be that it’s an assembly based on Lu, the name of his girlfriend, and Yang, referring to a masculine counterpart, though in his varying online postings he has self-identified as a woman, and used his girlfriend’s image as a profile picture for a while.

Note to the curious: to those who’ve seen or varyingly reposted a group photo of thirteen people in front of some iron gates, of which I am the sixth from the left, Gabriel is the second from the right (yes, the short guy holding a bottle next to the tall gentleman wearing sunglasses).

This may beg the question as to how it is possible for me to know that it is Gabriel making all these posts; well, as “Lu Yang” has repeatedly posted information and content to which only Gabriel ever had access, it’s pretty obvious.

Since about April, Gabriel has seemingly devoted his life to me. I wish he wouldn’t. As stalkers go, I much preferred the one who sent me flowers, chocolates, and love-letters for about a year.

Contrast that with Gabriel, who spreads two temporarily private truths, and a Hell of a lot of lies about me. For the record, the two truths are:

I am a member of the Church of Satan. This is a well-established international organisation of atheistic rational hedonists (contrasted with the traditional Christian view of life as bad, death as good, etc) who have as central tenets such ideas as “responsibility to the responsible” and generally call for harsher treatments of criminals (contrasted with the Christian ideal of “Jesus loves them anyway”). Enjoys satire, and an outré aesthetic.

I am a member of the Temple of the Vampire. This is also a well-established international organisation with a focus on Transhumanist development and the pursuit of physical immortality. For those afraid of scary things like the V-word, I point you to the ToV’s disclaimer: “Within lies fact and fancy, truth and metaphor: discriminate with care”.

While never denying either of the above affiliations, I have generally avoided allowing them to be public knowledge since I became involved with other Transhumanist endeavours, such as human cryopreservation. Human cryopreservation attracts enough misunderstanding as it is, without throwing two very easily misunderstandable extra things into the mix, by association.

And his lies? They are too numerous to mention, but are chiefly puerile personal attacks.

To give an example, within hours of me publicly announcing my wife having given birth to our first child last week, Gabriel had already made and published online a crude animated video about it, making lewd sexual comments about our several-hour-old baby.

I don’t use the word “sick” to refer to many people unless they have the plague or something, but Gabriel is exhibiting some pretty sick behaviour.


Now, while I don’t consider these two people (Richie and Gabriel) to be at all similar, I did consider taking the same action against them both, since it seems they’ve both broken the same laws; by my counting, I’d suggest the list to be something like: libel, defamation, slander, harassment (this latter in at least Gabriel’s case). Obviously there’s copyright theft too, some images etc, but that’s nothing compared to the foregoing.

Oh, and Gabriel has also impersonated me in enough online places, in an effort to put words in my mouth. I forgot to discuss that one with the lawyers; it just occurred to me now that there is probably some law about that too.

So, I considered simply taking them both to court. Both would, as far as I and several lawyers can tell, be fairly obvious open-and-shut cases, given the wealth of evidence against them.

But, for once, Richie actually talked some sense on his hodge-podge of a website. The fact that they are both ostensibly without any meaningful assets means a legal case would simply be expensive to me, and that’s money I could better spend on the field of life extension, or my family, or generally more productive endeavours than making an example of an obsessed cook who thinks he’s Sherlock Holmes, and a bitter failure of a man who devotes his life to seeking new depths to which to go in a vendetta against someone who was only ever a friend to him.


So, there you are. Not the general purpose of this blog, but something that needed addressing regardless, and something that by being addressed in such a fashion will free up more of my time for more meaningful endeavours.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

SA Conference and Young Cryonicists Meeting

From the organisers:

The 2011 Teens & Twenties focus group for young cryonicists was originally scheduled to be a weekend in February, but the date has now been changed to Thursday evening, May 19 and all day Friday, May 20. The new dates will allow those attending the Teens & Twenties event to also attend a Suspended Animation, Inc. confe...rence being held on the weekend of May 20 to May 22. Forty scholarships to pay US airfare, lodging, and meals will be available to young cryonicists who have funding and contracts in place for cryopreservation with a cryonics organization. The scholarships cover all costs, not only of the Teens & Twenties event, but of the Suspended Animation conference. Young cryonicists not living in the United States are also welcome to apply, but may be required to pay some of the airfare above what airfare might be from a destination in the USA. First preference is being given to qualified young cryonicists who did not attend the 2010 event. Application forms can be requested from Kathy Marshall (954) 202-7702

I went to this last year (and will go to it this year again). Worthwhile especially for those who do not already know everyone in cryonics.

Click here for more information

EUCRIO, ImmIntel, SL

A nice spot.

Thursday, 28 October 2010


Today was my 26th birthday.

I consider that one's birthday should be the highest of holidays of a life-loving, epicurean, atheist.

I enjoyed taking the day off work, and spent the day enjoying time with my wife instead.

I had the pleasure of receiving some great gifts, including some that are still giving presently, such as an 18 years old Glenfiddich (Glenfiddich itself being by favourite whisky, but the 18 years is not so common as the 12 or 15), and vodka from Chase distillery (award-winning "world's best vodka" - seriously good).

Thanks to all who sent birthday well-wishes, I was overwhelmed somewhat with the several hundred of those that came my way, and yet I still very much appreciated each individual note.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

TransVision 2010, Milano

From my abstract:

Standby, stabilisation, and transport are all very important parts of human cryopreservation. The more time that elapses between cardiac arrest and cryopreservation, the more damage will occur.

Hence the importance of standby – having a team of trained personnel on hand at the patient’s bedside to begin the stabilisation process as quickly as possible. An average standby, statistically, lasts for around ten days. Three days is considered a very short standby, and twenty days is considered very long. The period during which standby is being performed can also be used for ensuring that any bureaucratic issues are foreseen and circumvented, that all paperwork is in place for the patient, before deanimation and subsequent stabilisation occur.

Stabilisation in this context refers to the following: continuation of cardiac support, insertion of medications appropriate to cryopreservation; this includes anti-coagulants, blood-thinners, vasoconstrictors, volume-increasing agents, and pH buffers, amongst others; such is followed by the replacing of the patient’s blood with a medical cryoprotectant, such that the patient may be vitrified rather than frozen, in that as little as possible freezing should be allowed to occur, even with the very low temperatures involved; firstly at dry ice temperatures, and later at liquid nitrogen temperatures. Without these arrangements, cellular degradation will have been more advanced than with them. Also, upon cooling down to very low temperatures, freezing damage is likely to occur. This causes considerable harm to the patient, deemed to be greater than any harm caused even by potentially toxic cryoprotectants. It is noted that the toxicity of these cryoprotectants can be regulated, and is also lowered at lower temperatures.

Transport is the third main element in this process, and is also an issue of critical importance. With good organisation, prior planning, and secure arrangements, a patient can be delivered at dry ice temperatures to their long term care facility within a couple of days. A period of a couple of days for total transport time is quite acceptable, and about the same time as it often takes to get a patient from one part of America to another, if they are passing state borders. Without good preparations for transport, it will be very difficult for a patient to get safely to their destination, and often unacceptable delays are incurred ranging up to weeks.

In the European Union, currently there have been little to no formal arrangements for any of this to occur. In the UK, capabilities have ranged from poor to fair over the years depending on personnel, and outside of the UK, few countries have made even that much progress. Most local cryonics support groups have been able to render only bureaucratic assistance to their members, hiring and instructing funeral directors to arrange shipping of the patient. Even in the UK, assistance has only ever been based on a voluntary mutual-assistance arrangement, and as such has never been guaranteed.

A need is evident, therefore, for a professional full-time cryonics standby, stabilisation, and transport service, throughout the European Union. This must give Europeans the care that they need prior to arrival at the long-term storage facility of their choice, and to ensure that they arrive there in the best possible condition.

To this end, an organisational solution has now been implemented. This development has rendered it such that European cryonicists may avail themselves of such a service, and thus enjoy a greatly enhanced chance of optimal cryopreservation, with what can reasonably be assumed to be better chance of earlier, safer, restoration to viability.

On this occasion, I didn't travel out to Milano as originally intended, as my wife seemed to be going into early labour (she then didn't, but it seemed likely enough that birth was imminent that I was disinclined to travel more than necessary), so I gave my talk remotely, instead.

As is commonly the case, video was made - alas, the internet connection of the person making the video was not sufficient that it was able to load my later slides.

That notwithstanding, the video is here:

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Promethease, SNPedia, and 23&me

Michael Cariaso spoke on this topic, but I shall not butcher his presentation by endeavouring to reproduce it.

Instead, I'll point you to some source materials:

Very cool!

Monday, 11 October 2010

Immortality Institute International Conference 2010

The Immortality Institute International Conference 2010 was a fast-paced information-packed weekend with many high-profile speakers from all over, with the vast majority of speakers and attendees being scientists with some focus on immortality.

Interestingly, as the Immortality Institute has periodically (about every six months since its inception in 2002, as new members bring it up, and they have a very democratic system) considered changing its name to something that doesn't involve the word "Immortality" as they consider it sounds to scientifically implausible, Dr. Michael Rose (one of the speakers) fielded a question on this topic (in other words, his opinion was asked, as he seems to use the word "immortality" quite comfortably and he is a very respected hard scientist).

His answer? An extract, after his mentioning of the fact that there are technically biologically immortal humans already alive today (that is, anyone over the age of 95), upon being asked about the scientific use of the word "immortality":

"To me the scientific mention of immortality is a completely legitimate one because you can see biologically immortal organisms; if you go to the seaside you can see sea anemones, or you can go to the Mojave desert in California; saying that that's somehow not something we're allowed to discuss reminds me of the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church, the Inquisition, persecuting Galileo, who presented evidence for Copernicus's heliocentric theory of the solar system."

- Prof. Dr. Michael Rose

Professor & Director of NERE, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, School of Biological Sciences, British Commonwealth Scholar, 1976-1979, NATO Science Fellow, 1979-1981, NSERC of Canada University Research Fellow, 1981-1988, Winner of President's Prize (with others) American Society of Naturalists, 1992, Winner of Excellence in Teaching Award, UCI Biological Sciences, 1996, Winner of Busse Prize, World Congress of Gerontology, 1997, Etc.

As usual, I made a presentation regarding EUCRIO. It was filmed, and can be seen here:
(Jump to 1:10 to see the EUCRIO presentation - be warned that the video quality is poor and there is an annoying advert first, provided by the video host)

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Mailshot sent out re EUCRIO launch

I sent out this email today (should you want the documents mentioned in the email, then please by all means find me at and I will be happy to send you copies):

Dear all,

I'd like to draw your attention to the official launch of EUCRIO, which is the first company to offer professional cryonics standby, stabilisation, and transport services to the European demographic.

EUCRIO offers these services to those who already have personal cryopreservation arrangements with any of the three main cryonics long term care providers (Alcor, CI, KrioRus), but in the case of someone who has no such arrangements, we would be happy to assist them in making such, at no charge and with no obligation being placed upon that person.

You might want to know about EUCRIO's capabilities; as such I direct you to our website, information from which is also included in an attached PDF document.

Equally, you might want to know about EUCRIO's costs, which are comparable to those of Suspended Animation Inc (with whom we are not in competition, and in fact from whom we have been pleased to receive advice and assistance over the course of the past year that we have been preparing this organisation). To this end, regarding costs, there is also attached information.

While we are now officially launched, and will already take on members, we commence full operations on November the 1st. As we are taking on members already, I have included membership application forms with this email too, for those who wish to proceed to the next step already.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me, and I'll be very happy to talk with you.

Warm regards,


David Styles

General Manager,

(website already available in many European languages - the rest will be there very soon)

Monday, 4 October 2010

German Symposium for Applied Biostasis

I was pleased to speak at this German conference on applied biostasis.

My presentation was focussed on unveiling EUCRIO, a new development for cryonics standby, stabilisation, and transport, throughout the European Union.

As such, my talk concerned logistics, though I touched on science. Mostly, I left the science for the scientists, of whom there were plenty in the room.

Feedback included:

How can you charge so much?
How can you charge so little?
Too much marketing information!
Not enough marketing information!

Sometimes it can be fun to try to integrate everybody's wishes into a presentation, in such a fashion.

However, I was pleased to field questions both immediately after my presentation, and in an ongoing fashion through the rest of my time in Goslar (the location of the symposium). I was also interviewed by an Italian TV crew, while there.

By doing these talks all over the place, I've been building up something of a FAQ in addition to the FAQ on the EUCRIO website.

It is my intention to make a series of YouTube videos (and, thus, also blog posts), addressing these.

It was good also to see Cryonics Institute President Ben Best's talks, "Cryonics: Introduction" and "Cryonics: Technical Challenges", which are now available to watch:

Friday, 1 October 2010

EUCRIO launches!

EUCRIO is the company providing cryonics emergency standby, stabilisation, and transport services, across the European Union.

Many Europeans have noticed that they have not enjoyed the same benefits as Americans when it comes to cryonics services, and thus have worried that they will not get the medical help that they need when they most need it, or get where they need to be when they most need to be there - or at all.

We have changed that now.

Our professionally trained teams will attend a call to "stand by" a terminally diagnosed patient's bedside, secure a pronouncement of legal death as soon as such is possible, perform initial cool-down while giving medications and continuing cardiac support throughout to avoid blood clots and circulate the medications properly; we will then provide a vitrification service to the patient, so that wherever possible, freezing damage will not occur. Finally, we cool down the patient to dry ice temperatures, and send them safely on their way to whichever of the three main cryonics storage service providers they have chosen, for the final cool-down to liquid nitrogen temperatures and long-term care.

If you are the kind of person who has had the foresight to make arrangements for personal cryonics services, then you are the rare kind of person who thinks and plans ahead, and invests in your own future.

Before EUCRIO, cases came to our attention wherein the patient had been waiting for a while on dry ice before any assistance came to them. Invariably such patients had no arrangements for standby, stabilisation, or transport, and relied on friends and relatives, to make necessary arrangements at the last minute, which invariably took them longer than expected. These cryonicists suffered far from perfect cryopreservations; often a "straight freeze" with no other preparations, for example, since that was all that could be done by the time help was found.

This is not what we want for you, and we're sure it's not what you want for yourself or your loved ones either.

To that end, we present EUCRIO - European Union Cryonics Rapid Intervention Organisation - and offer professionally trained staff, state-of-the-art medical equipment, specialised vitrification solutions, strong infrastructure and organisation, and in short everything needed to make your transition from terminal illness to long-term cryonics care as safe and secure as possible.

Preserving your life is our reason for being.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Report on CUK training

I had written this in advance:

Details for the next meeting,
Saturday the 25th and Sunday the 26th of September 2010

Times will be: 11:00 - 17:00 Saturday, 10:00 - 16:00 Sunday.

Attendance is free of charge.

The meeting will be hosted at our HQ, whose address is:
7 Greenfield Drive
South Yorkshire
S8 7SL

Like last meeting, our focus will primarily be on hands-on training, mostly down in the clinic room but some out in the ambulance as well. Training modules that will be covered in addition to the above will include:

Medical Distribution System (MDS)
Portable Ice Bath (PIB), squid, and Cardiopulmonary Support (CPS)
Air Transport Perfusion (ATP)
Ambulance use and functions
Dry Ice Shipper
We will also be introducing one new training segment not listed above.

It's especially important that we all keep up to date with this training, as we are a mutual assistance volunteer standby team. We need as many members as possible to be sufficiently skilled in doing these things that they can join the team.

There will be some discussion elements also to do with present and future progress with the organisation, though at this early time a specific agenda regarding the discussion aspect of the weekend is yet to be set.

If you would kindly let me know if you'd like to attend, that would help me greatly in terms of logistics! My email address is - Many thanks.

Warm regards,


David Styles (Organiser)
+44 7706 149 771

PS, here are some directions and hotel suggestions from Tim, our host for the weekend:
Sheffield Park Hotel, 2 mins away,
Beauchief Abbey House, 5 mins away,
Beauchief Hotel, 5 mins away,
Travelodge Richmond, 10 mins away,
City centre, 15 mins away:
Travelodge Central,
Premier Inn,
Ibis Hotel,
And many more, just google!

Time and mileage saving tip:
If traveling from the South up the M1, exit at J29 and head for Chesterfield. When you reach Chesterfield take the A61 to Sheffield. When you hit the Sheffield ring road, you will be at a roundabout with a cricket club on your left and an Audi dealership on your right. Take a left at the roundabout, then first right (Greenhill Avenue), first left (Greenfield Road) and first left again (Greenfield Drive). It's the first house on the left with tall boxy hedges.
If coming up the A1 or down the M1, exit at J33 and take the A630 towards the city centre. Leave the A630 for the A6102 ring road and head towards Chesterfield. Look out for the Audi dealership on your left, go straight over at that roundabout, then first right (Greenhill Avenue), first left (Greenfield Road) and first left again (Greenfield Drive). It's the first house on the left with tall boxy hedges.

The weekend was useful and productive, and we finished up once again with doing several run-through scenarios with the team / trainees.

The process is getting pretty tight now, with shorter time taken to do things, and in the final one no errors. I think this is a good way to train.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Cryonics UK Exposition with Saul Kent and Catherine Baldwin

I had posted this, in advance:

Cryonics UK European Exposition
with Saul Kent + Catherine Baldwin
Thursday, September 23, 2010 • 12:00pm - 6:00pm, Sheffield • function room at the Sheffield Park Hotel

Cryonics UK exposition / European workshop with some very noteworthy guests from America who wish to meet as many cryonicists (especially Europeans) as possible at this event.

Catherine Baldwin (General Manager, Suspended Animation, Inc.) and Saul Kent (CEO, Suspended Animation, Inc.; Director, Alcor; Co-Founder, Cryonics Society of New York; Co-Founder, Life Extension Foundation; Co-Founder and Director, 21st Century Medicine; Co-Founder and Director, BioMarker Pharmaceuticals; Co-Founder, Timeship Project) will be in attendance, and are looking forward to meeting as many European cryonicists as possible while here.

On this day, we will mostly not be at our usual location, our HQ, but nearby in a hired function room at the Sheffield Park Hotel, a pleasant four star venue around the corner from our HQ. The day will however also include a brief tour of our HQ.

The purpose of the event is severalfold; to allow European cryonicists to meet and ask questions of Saul and Catherine, and also to allow Saul and Catherine to get to know a little better what we do over here and how we do it.

To this end, there will be open discussion time, some short structured presentations (Cryonics UK training, Cryonics in Europe, etc), a tour of our clinic and ambulance, and some social element too.

Attendance is free of charge, as the costs of the event (venue and catering) will be paid by kind sponsorship from Suspended Animation Inc.

If you would kindly let me know if you'd like to attend, that would help me greatly in terms of logistics! My email address is – Many thanks.

Warm regards,


David Styles (Organiser)
+44 7706 149 771

The day was pleasant and successful.

I gave a presentation on the topic of CUK, and a presentation on the topic of EUCRIO. A video of CUK training was shown, tours were given of the CUK clinic, bulky equipment storage space, and ambulance. There was a CUK equipment show-and-tell.

Many small peripheral meetings were made; some purely social, and some quite productive.

We were joined by people from England, Scotland, Wales, France, Poland, Finland, and America. Apologies if I missed any countries out; I am writing this somewhat after the fact, and will simply change the date to cause this post to appear in the correct part of the blog.

On a note of light entertainment, a chef obsessed with the hope of discovering that cryonics is a financial scam hired a young man to come and spy on us. The fellow in question dutifully reported that I seem to be a nice fellow, and am not a slick salesman at all, and that there were no attempts whatsoever to sell anything to him.

Of course, this didn't deter the obsessed chef, but I guess his epistemology is much like that of "Creationist Science", in which evidence is only worth considering when it fits the result you hope to find. And if there is no evidence, then make imaginative guesses and then hold them as beliefs.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

EUCRIO presentation at Cryonics Institute AGM.

I made a presentation regarding EUCRIO at this year's AGM of the Cryonics Institute.

My presentation was well-received, and I received many well-wishes, and enquiries regarding EUCRIO's services.

I also made some useful new connections, enjoyed spending some time with some old friends, and benefited from other people's presentations at the AGM.

Of particular interest to me was the research update from Aschwin and Chana de Wolf, of Advanced Neural Biosciences Inc, regarding the effects of various perfusates on warm and cold ischemia (they have been rat brain perfusion studies).

CI's 100th Patient

CI’s 100th patient was brought to the facility by his son.

I accompanied CI President Ben Best in preparing the cooling equipment, that is to say allowing liquid nitrogen access to the enclosed space where liquid nitrogen is sprayed over the patient (who is protected by a thermally insulated sleeping bag). During the preparation stage, liquid nitrogen is sprayed through the space the patient will soon be occupying. The temperature is carefully continuously monitored throughout this process, and also throughout the later cool-down of the patient.

The son brought the patient in; the patient had been cooled already to below -83˚C, and was now lying in a body bag in a Ziegler container, the space between the two being filled with many blocks of dry ice. The son had stopped on the way up to pick up more, to guard against the sublimation of dry ice compromising his father’s safety. The Ziegler container itself was insulated by thick foam blocks that had been fastened around it.

Upon arrival, we removed the outer casing of foam and the lid of the Ziegler container, and took out as much of the dry ice as possible without moving the patient. We then transferred the container to a fork lift truck, and from the fork lift truck to the ground.

A back-board with an insulated sleeping bag on it was produced, and we set about the task of transferring the patient from the container into the sleeping bag. To do this, we first took out as much of the remaining dry ice as possible (although we had removed all the blocks already, there were very many small pieces between the patient’s body and the bottom edges of the Ziegler container), and then adjusted his position along the horizontal plane, so as to ensure he was in no manner attached to the base of the container, before lifting him out, which was accomplished by inclining the container somewhat and transferring him manually to the sleeping bag. We then zipped the sleeping bag up, and placed some dry ice around the patient’s head while Andy (CI Facility Manager Andy Zawacki) ran a cord in a criss-cross fashion around the sleeping bag and back-board, once they had been placed on a gurney.

We then wheeled the patient around to the cooling apparatus, from which position he was lifted by winch, and then lowered into place, for the lengthy process that would be his cool-down from dry ice temperatures, to liquid nitrogen temperatures, before being placed in an LN2 cryostat.

Congratulations to Marta Sandberg

CI Director Marta Sandberg was re-elected on this day, winning first place in the election with a strong majority of votes.

My hearty congratulations to her. A good woman doing a good job.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

EUCRIO is hiring.

In the following countries:

Czech Republic
United Kingdom

The following positions are being filled:

(Note: "the country in which operating" is assumed to be your own country. If you are prepared to travel, at the company's expense, to nearby countries if requested, then the same language requirements will apply to the country in which you are agreeing to work)

Team Leader

You will manage a private paramedical terminal care support team, which will include standing by in a hospital, and when required to provide care, ensure that the company's protocol is followed. Leadership ability is essential; a background in medical or paramedical services is ideal but not required as full training will be given. You must be able to fluently speak the language of country in which operating and English. Work will be "as required", with assignments given at short notice, and pay will be a daily rate plus travel and accommodation expenses. Ideal as supplemental work for an existing or former team manager of any field.

Team Post-Mortem Surgeon

You will work as part of a private paramedical terminal care support team, which will include standing by in a hospital, and when required to provide care, you will raise and encannulate the carotid arteries in a post-mortem patient. Other similar surgical duties may occasionally be required as the case demands, for example occasionally femoral encannulation will be requested instead of carotid. To this end, a surgical background is essential. It is essential that you have the ability to fluently speak either the language of country in which operating or English (preferably both). Work will be "as required", with assignments given at short notice, and pay will be a daily rate, open to negotiation, plus travel and accommodation expenses. Ideal as supplemental work for an existing or former surgeon, mortician, or embalmer.

Team Perfusionist

You will work as part of a private paramedical terminal care support team, which will include standing by in a hospital, and when required to provide care, you will perfuse the post-mortem patient in the manner prescribed by the company's protocol. Full training in the company's protocol, and the use of the company's equipment and perfusates, will be given, but you should have a background in perfusion, embalming, or a closely related field. It is essential that you have the ability to fluently speak either the language of country in which operating or English (preferably both). Work will be "as required", with assignments given at short notice, and pay will be a daily rate, open to negotiation, plus travel and accommodation expenses. Ideal as supplemental work for an existing or former perfusionist or embalmer.

Team Medic

You will work as part of a private paramedical terminal care support team, which will include standing by in a hospital, and when required to provide care, you will administer medications in the manner prescribed by the company's protocol (this will include IV lines, intra-osseous infusion, and oesophageal insertions). Full training in the company's protocol, and the use of the company's equipment and medications, will be given, but you should have a background in the administration of medicines. It is essential that you have the ability to fluently speak either the language of country in which operating or English (preferably both). Work will be "as required", with assignments given at short notice, and pay will be a daily rate plus travel and accommodation expenses. Ideal as supplemental work for an existing or former paramedic or nurse.

Team Recorder (Audio-Visual)

You will work as part of a private paramedical terminal care support team, which will include standing by in a hospital, and when required to provide services, you will record the proceedings by means of audio-visual recording. This will be for quality assurance purposes, and not for publication. It is essential that you have the ability to fluently speak either the language of country in which operating or English (preferably both). Work will be "as required", with assignments given at short notice, and pay will be a daily rate plus travel and accommodation expenses. Ideal as supplemental work for an existing or former documentary film-maker or camera operator.

Team Recorder (Photographer)

You will work as part of a private paramedical terminal care support team, which will include standing by in a hospital, and when required to provide services, you will record the proceedings by means of still photography. This will be for quality assurance purposes, and not for publication. It is essential that you have the ability to fluently speak either the language of country in which operating or English (preferably both). Work will be "as required", with assignments given at short notice, and pay will be a daily rate plus travel and accommodation expenses. Ideal as supplemental work for an existing or former documentary photographer.

Lawyer (Consultant)

You will be available for periodic consultations regarding the law of your country of operation and its effect on all areas of our business. You will be able to speak English and the language of the country in which you are operating. You will have a background that includes one or more of the following: international law, conflict of laws, European Union law, contract law, tort law (experience with this latter field in the context of medical and/or mortuary practice will be especially useful). Consultations will be as required, and fees will be negotiable.

To apply for any of the above, please express your interest by emailing your CV / resumé and a short covering letter to to arrange an interview.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Cryonics UK Training with Ben Best

Time is short and this weekend had a lot of content, so rather than report at length, I'll direct you to Ben Best's account of this Cryonics UK training weekend, as published in Long Life magazine:

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Society for Cryobiology Annual Conference

This was, incidentally, the first public representation of EUCRIO by my good self.

Time is short and this conference was long, so I'm going to talk about one particular presentation I enjoyed seeing.

Specifically, regarding cryopreparation techniques used for transmission microscopy, which include chemical fixing followed by slicing into 150+/-50nm slices.

Logically this bodes well for the plans of the Brain Preservation Society, though results have included cells horribly lysed in some samples as well as cells preserved intact, albeit in parts internally damaged. If the purpose is to create a map (as in the transmission electron microscopy, such as could be used for keeping a record of the brain) rather than restore the cell to viability (as in cryonics), this is just fine.

I would draw a parallel to someone who has suffered brain damage due to oxygen starvation; the cells aren't properly functional, but still there and in tact.

I realise this is a somewhat tenuous analogy since the cells in a brain-damaged patient are viable whereas the fixed and sliced cells now frozen are not, this is irrelevant if the object is to record, rather than directly restore.

The upshot of all this (my conclusion, not that of the speaker) is that whole brain emulation could mean that someone's recorded brain could conceivably have its data "fed into" an artificially created brain (be it cloned, bioprinted, or even non-biological) and jump-started top effectively boot up the having-been-preserved person's mind (with the assumption of the validity of the premise of anatomical basis of mind, such that the mind is a function of the information communication in the brain).

Monday, 19 July 2010

Cryonics training in Portugal

I recently gave training to the Alcor Portugal group, who are beginning to get equipped to perform local (Portugal and Spain) Cryonics emergency standby, stabilisation, and transport.

So far, their equipment runs to a PIB, thumper, and air compressor - bare bones basic stuff, but much more is on the way.

The PIB is of the design used by the Oregon Cryonics local assistance group, built by a local fabricator following to-the-millimetre specifications from the US. Upon seeing it, I was somewhat envious of its very shiny professional appearance, compared to Cryonics UK's seasoned old wood-and-plastic PIB that has seen action in I don't know how many suspensions.

I made an observation that with the side bars in place all around the PIB, there was insufficient room to slide the thumper in and not have its operations obstructed by the horizontal bars. After some experimentations with positioning of the thumper, it was decided to take the bars out at the part where the thumper slides in, such that it has a gap in the side at that part to allow the thumper room to get in as far as the necessary part of the patient's chest, as the CUK PIB does.

Removing these bars thus went on a to-to list, and later on we tested the structural integrity of the PIB (still with all the sides in place and unaltered at this stage) by part filling it with water (part filling as naturally water without ice is slightly more dense than ice water).

The PIB failed this testing process; the central folding part of the base board folded the wrong way under the pressure, and the aluminium bars bent out of shape.

Apparently the fabricator, a hefty fellow, had tested it by jumping up and down in it, and it had been fine, but clearly the water weight proved too much for it.

To this end, the existing PIB will be fixed, reinforced, and re-tested; and also a new PIB will be constructed after CUK's design.

Everything will be tested as rigorously as needs be, before going into action with any of it.

The thumper, a Michigan Instruments 1004, can run directly from the air compressor, which itself will run from a car cigarette lighter for non-ambulance vehicle use (say for example, if a van were used in an emergency).

Given the lack of other equipment on-hand as yet, other less hands-on instruction was given in the form of a keynote presentation, some videos, and a show-and-tell slide session, to give an overview of the whole standby, stabilisation, and transport process.

This took the best part of one day, and though I stayed from Friday to Monday, the other time was taken up with various related prep-work, about which I'll not blog for now but rather update the world on that and some other work I've been doing, in a couple of months' time.

While as yet small, the local group in Portugal has a lot of commitment and for that and other reasons I see them going very far.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Zoll Autopulse purchased

For any unfamiliar, this item is the Rolls-Royce of (very!) transportable and efficient automated cardiac support.

Way better than the LUCAS Chest Compression System and incomparably preferable to the Michigan Instruments Thumper.

Provides compression all around chest instead of just at one point, and automatically measures the patient's chest's resistance, so that it neither over- nor under-compresses (either could cause significant damage). No clumsy compressed air cylinders to worry about, as it's powered by batteries. No careful calibration needed, as with the Michigan Instruments thumper and friends, as it calibrates itself automatically.

The most expensive machine in the kit, but with three times the survival rate (compared to other CPR/CPS solutions) in hospital use, at what price a life?

Too long have cryonics patients (over here, away from the field of operations of Suspended Animation Inc) not had the best chances. That's all changing now.

Monday, 31 May 2010

"Cryonics: What, Why, and How" at Oxford University

I had the pleasure recently of speaking to a group of 60 or so engineers, scientists, and philosophers at Oxford University, having been invited by Alex Flint of the Oxford Transhumanists group.

I had been asked to give an overview of cryonics in general, and the situation regarding cryonics in the UK in particular. This was quite pleasing to deliver, given the various recent positive developments in our area.

I called the presentation "Cryonics: what, why, and how" and set about answering those questions;

* What cryonics is - with an emphasis on outlining the basics in fashion that makes clear the premises
* Why cryonics, despite the fact a (fully developed) human has not (yet) been brought back from cryosuspension, is a demonstrably viable medical procedure
* How cryonics is implemented - with a focus on the (now good and rapidly excelling) situation in the UK

In terms of how I went about the above, I will give only a nutshell version notes here, but:

An important part of the "what" included my adjustment to the standard definition of cryonics; I redefined cryonics thus:

"Cryonics is the science of using lowered temperatures to suspend the biochemical processes that would otherwise further harm the body of a (legally) dead person."

This is an improvement on previous definitions that have generally involved such terms as "suspending the body of a..." which is not very clear and leaves room for ambiguity. It is much clear to elucidate what exactly is being "suspended", using the word in a more meaningful fashion.

It is also an improvement on definitions that just say "dead" rather than "(legally) dead". The term "dead" is remarkably nebulous if one does not include some kind of qualifier. By loose definitions, many people "come back from the dead" if they suffer clinical death that is successfully reversed by the application of cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Note well: if such a person (who was clinically dead and reanimated by CPR) had enjoyed the benefit of a doctor on the scene who noted the clinical death and pronounced him dead, then he would have been not only clinically dead but also legally dead as well - so, just like a cryonics patient. And, just like the cryonics patient, he had a good chance of revival if given the necessary treatment (in his case, CPR; in the case of a cryonics patient, CPS, cooling in a PIB, administration of medications, perfusion, and further cooling).

It also is a better definition than most because it omits the common "in the hope that future medical technology will be able to restore them to health"; since this is something that comes after cryonics, and is not cryonics itself, so why has it been previously included in the definition of cryonics? It is rather unreasonable to suggest that the definition of something should include mention of in what ways it is not the panacea that it never claimed to be.

One does not define a quadruple heart bypass surgery as "the process of disconnecting the heart of a terminally ill person and plumbing it back in again, this time attached with bits of leg, in the hope that medical care afterwards will be able to restore them to health".

So why has cryonics previously suffered such shoddy defining? The answer is obvious, and is analogous to how if you had performed CPR prior to the 1950s you'd have been arrested for molesting a corpse (which would also be a poor definition of that activity, by the way).

As for why cryonics is (despite a (fully developed) human not (yet) being returned from cryopreservation) a demonstrably viable medical procedure, I point to the obvious and abundant proofs of principle; including, but not limited to:

* Cryopreservation and later rewarming of human embryos such that the survival rate of cryopreserved embryos is quite good
* Studies demonstrating that time spent in cryopreservation does not affect the viability of stored embryos
* Studies in which small mammals (eg rats) have been suspended around freezing temperatures and restored to viability
* Studies in which large mammals (eg dogs) have been suspended to close to freezing temperatures and restored to viability
* A case study in which a dog was suspended below zero degrees Celsius and restored to viability
* Case studies of comatose patients that demonstrate that brain functions can cease totally and yet still be restarted later without extensive memory loss
* The fact that it has been demonstrated by example that an organ can be vitrified, rewarmed, and transplanted with viability.

Regards to the "how" element, I focussed on my own field, that of the standby, stabilisation, and transport side of cryonics services, being less qualified to speak on the finer details of the cool-down between -96 and -196 degrees, as the last my side of the work sees of the patient is at dry ice temperatures rather than liquid nitrogen (which is performed at the facility of the patient's chosen long term storage provider).

I gave an overview of the start-to-finish of the SST process, and spoke briefly on what occurs thereafter.

As part of the explanation of the SST process, I talked the audience through the following parts:

* Cardiac arrest
* Resuscitation failure
* Continued cardiopulmonary support (Michigan Instruments / Ambu-CardioPump / Zoll AutoPulse)
* PIB and squid
* Medications (and meds support kit use; IVs, F.A.S.T intra-osseous infuser, CombiTube, etc)
* Transport in specialised ambulance
* Washout and perfusion with vitrification solution (benefits cf. other solutions such as 8M glycerol, or even simply mRPS-2, as these had been our options prior to the availability of CI VM-1 in the UK)
* Further cool-down to -96 degrees
* Transport in Sinclair dry ice shipper

With respect to the final preparations made at the other end, I skirted through these briefly, and mainly used that section to talk about the very promising likelihood of viability, citing various studies that demonstrate this.

As I had the slides to hand from a previous speaking engagement, I also made mention of some peripheral aspects of CUK's recent activities, situations in the media, etc.

I additionally touched on the progressive implementation of reliable cryonics emergency standby, stabilisation, and transport capabilities through Europe, something that has been very slow progress but is very soon about to accelerate very rapidly indeed.

Upon coming to what would be the end of my talk, it occurred to me that I had not addressed any of the philosophical considerations, and spoken only of the engineering and scientific aspects. To this end, I gave a short overview of the various common philosophical objections to cryonics, and demonstrated how each of those objections was based on bad logic - contrariwise highlighting how the logical arguments in favour of cryopreservation are pretty much unassailable.

I thereafter fielded questions on the topic I had covered, and also on a few that I hadn't, but are peripheral to cryonics (such as uploading, and suchlike).

Some very insightful questions from members of the audience, addressing sociological aspects that tend to pass most people by. As the evening's primary topic (cryonics: what, why, and how) had attracted a lot of interest, I ended up in a very productive dialogue with the audience that took me up the two hour mark, by which time I had to dash to catch a train (the perils of a busy life; no rest for the wicked), rather than stay for more questions / continue in a pub as invited.

Perhaps next time!

All in all, a great evening.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Cryonics UK: One Year On

I spoke recently to the UK Transhumanist Association in London (on the 16th of May), on the topic "Cryonics UK: One Year On - An Update from David Styles".

As the title suggested, the purpose of my talk was to inform the world regarding what progress has been made during the first year of my tenure as Organiser for Cryonics UK. I was happy to report a lot of positive developments:

Further details of Cryonics UK can be found at

Monday, 26 April 2010

Humanity+ Conference, London, April 24th

I attended the Humanity+ conference in London this last Saturday.

All in all it was a great day, and very useful.

The speakers were as follows:

*) Max More, on "Singularity Skepticism: Exposing Exponential Errors";
*) Anders Sandberg, on "Making humans smarter via cognitive enhancers";
*) Rachel Armstrong, on "The impact of living technology on the future of humanity";
*) Aubrey de Grey, on "Human regenerative engineering – theory and practice";
*) David Pearce, on "The Abolitionist Project: Can biotechnology abolish suffering throughout the living world?";
*) Amon Twyman, on "Augmented perception and Transhumanist Art";
*) Natasha Vita-More, on "DIY Enhancement";
*) David Orban, on "The Singularity University", and "The Internet of Things";
*) Nick Bostrom, on "Reducing Existential Risks".

Max More addressed what he perceives as some misperceptions regarding the nature of the Singularity. One such thing is the idea that the Singularity will occur all at once, rather than part by part. Assuming that technology will continue to come along piece by piece, there may be no single point beyond which we cannot see, upon which the world can be defined as thus changed, in the manner generally associated with the word when applied to the Transhumanist meme.

For my part, I'll take it as it comes, and accelerate as I may.

Anders Sandberg looked at the merits and methods of cognitive enhancement. I was very pleased to hear most of what I heard, and his thoughts are mostly in line with my own, which is good by my reckoning when he is generally considered amongst the foremost of his field. He addressed the poverty of current education methods, and the laughability of how this is considered so important as to be made mandatory, given how little direct cognitive enhancement comes out of such.

I would agree with this wholeheartedly. Ellen and I plan to homeschool our child, unless something bucks up somewhere in terms of educational standards.

Anders also spoke on nootropic drugs, from the arcane to the ubiquitous. Personally I'm good with a lot of these, such as caffeine, fish oils, etc. I also take small doses of modafinil primarily for its nootropic qualities.

I do disagree with the use of sugar; personally I consider its dangers to vastly outweigh its benefits.

Technological augmentations of the mind are certainly an excellent direction in which to head, Anders and I agree. Personally, my dream is to have an external technological brain, in a far away very safe place, with some manner of instantaneous / quasi-instantaneous connection to my biological brain, such that I can access it with a thought, to find information as needed, and perform complex computations as needed.

Rachel Armstrong spoke on how certain organic chemical processes can behave a lot like biological organisms. To clarify, this means non-living chemicals behaving like living cells.

This is remarkably cool, and the implications of this are as diverse as they are far-reaching.

From biotech utility fog to non-humanoid substrate for intelligence, this is pretty damned ground-breaking!

Many thanks to Rachel for this exposé.

Lunchtime, I spent chiefly in the pub with Aubrey de Grey and Shannon Vyff. We conversed socially, primarily exploring the various things the three of us had going on.

After lunch...

Aubrey de Grey spoke regarding the general work of SENS, in a manner that won't have been new to most listeners, but is still really important information to get out there. He went on to address how the popular media often focus on trivial things and old news, while missing out on latest relevancies.

This needs to be fixed! I'm open to suggestions of what I can do to help.

David Pearce spoke regarding the Hedonistic Imperative. While not being a Utilitarian myself (very far from it), I endorse fully David's plan to abolish suffering in the world, and I agree completely that biotechnology is an excellent tool with which to work towards accomplishing this.

Amon Twyman spoke regarding augmented perception and Transhumanist art; alas I missed this talk as I was attending a Immortality Institute Directors' meeting at the time. I'll be sure to check out his talk on YouTube, however!

The afternoon break saw me continuing this meeting, and thereafter discussing memory archiving and retrieval with various people whose attention were drawn to my life recorder glasses.

After the break...

Natasha Vita-More spoke regarding DIY Enhancement. This is some of the stuff of which I dreamed as a small child and never thought there would be someone else so crazy as to be working on actuating these things. Excelsior!

David Orban spoke on Singularity University, and also on the interconnectivity afforded by today's online world, and the way this has panned out, to extrapolate the likely continuation of this. Personally, I will not be satisfied until I have continuous HUD internet feed, EEG-reader tech as a HID, and super-fast mobile internet, such that I can, without carrying any external device with my, access anything, any time, anywhere. Add Skype-like tools to this, and social networking etc, and this becomes pretty brilliant technology, and you know what the killer is? Pretty much everything we need to do this is already here. It's just a matter of making the product and marketing it.

Nick Bostrom spoke regarding existential risks facing humanity. It is surprising (or perhaps not) that there have been more studies into the sex lives of dung beetles than there have into things that could easily wipe out the human race.

Personally I invest my energies into becoming as ineradicable as possible.

Skynet, bring it on. I'll be back.

There was, after the conference, dinner and drinks. For some of us, this extended into the early hours of the morning. Personally I made many excellent connections in this time, and felt fully enriched by those with whom I shared the evening.

Not to mention the excellent food. Good choice of restaurant!

Here's to life. I love life!

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Report on Cryonics UK weekend!

The weekend kicked off with our AGM, at which our committee was re-elected. The only change to the Committee has been that Mark Willis has been elected Secretary, in place of Mark Walker.

A new Constitution was proposed, but to implement it at this meeting would give the membership insufficient notice and be unconstitutional, so notice will be given by our Secretary more than two weeks before the next meeting, such that it can be implemented at that time. At the last meeting, we created a large to-do list. At this meeting, we addressed whether these things had been done. Most of them had been done. The only thing not addressed as yet has been the ambulance's cosmetic make-over, which has been delayed due to inclement weather, and the reluctance of vehicle painting companies to take on such a one-off fiddly job. We expect to have this done before the next meeting, however.

Training was conducted over the course of both Saturday and Sunday, and included training regarding medications, the portable ice bath, the ambulance, the perfusion circuit, and the dry ice shipper.

Social meals out were enjoyed after training both days; Saturday this was at La Scala, and Sunday this was at Piccolino. Both are Italian restaurants in Sheffield.

If you missed out on this weekend, we look forward to seeing you at the next!

Details of such can be found by clicking the "Events" tab at

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Life-journalling the easy way - video glasses!

Many engage in life-journalling for the purposes of assisting with cryonics or other related technologies, with the thought that their memory may benefit from a jog regarding the experiences that shape (and for that matter demonstrate) their personality.

I was recently introduced to the availability of this by Danila Medvedev.

These glasses (lenses interchangeable to be sunglasses; looks much less geeky that way) will surreptitiously record what you see and hear while they are activated. They can record around 5 hours, then they will need to download / change card.

I do not plan to use mine to record everything, but representational samples of my life as I go along, as well as functional things that I may wish to have recorded for more immediate practical purposes.

I will assume that I will not want to re-watch huge portions of my life 24/7 in any case, as that would make it take a year to watch a year's worth of experience, which is unlikely to be practical. Snippets thus seem more efficient. More like a documentary film of my life than an unwieldily large all-encompassing indiscriminate record.

There is obviously also the issue of future compatibility, but in this information age, I do not foresee humanity losing the ability to read a .avi video file. Also, data corruption is a possibility, but then data stored in any means can be damaged.

We (I say somewhat magnanimously as this is no specialty of mine) are getting pretty good at reconstructing damaged data from computer files, so this is not too bad a threat.

If absolutely nothing else, it's a fun project that takes up almost no extra time ;)

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

LEF-sponsored Cryonics Conference in Florida

What an event!

I went with the hope of making maybe a couple of useful new connections, and instead found a whole stack of incredibly valuable people with whom to coordinate efforts.

I was able to find very quickly and easily a strong connection with others present, in many cases mostly forgetting that I'd only just met them, and that was even before the "HT Meetings" - for those not present for these, each evening after the final events of the day there would be a large number of us congregating in and around the hot-tub by the pool, with many topics of discussion ranging from the banal to the profound, with many practical topics also being addressed in great depth (great conceptual depth, that is, being as it was just a hot-tub, not the ocean).

It is said: "No man is an island, except in the bathtub".

This humour (silly enough for me to like it, anyway) brings me to a more serious topic as well; it strikes me that one thing that has long held back our general field is periodic bouts of petty in-fighting between individuals and organisations.

Together we stand, divided we fall. "Let's stand together" was a great underlying feeling to the weekend, and it was truly brilliant to have so many people from so many backgrounds coming together for such an event, with a view to further solidifying things and working together towards our common goals.

As far as I am concerned the benefit of this conference has been immeasurable on a number of levels. My hat goes off to Cairn Idun for having the idea, and to Bill Faloon for having the foresight to fund it.

I greatly enjoyed the tour of SA, which was very useful to me, given my capacity of standby organiser in the UK. I salute the dedicated team there, especially Catherine' Baldwin's management.

Incidentally, any of you who are Immortality Institute members, or who would like to become such, can vote for me in the Directoral Election here, if you would like to further promote the efficacy of our endeavours.:

Thursday, 7 January 2010

The Brain Drain Fallacy

I’ve been noticing a fair bit in the news lately about the “problem” of “Brain Drain”, that is to say the purported emigration of intelligence from a given country.

For example, there is the recent talk of the three Japanese scientists who were awarded Nobel Prizes for research conducted in US universities.

Today on the plane I noticed an English newspaper bemoaning the terrible problem of Brain Drain, with approximately 1/3 of the country’s academics saying that they will emigrate.

I daresay that other countries are complaining in a similar vein. Ignoring the obvious possibility that a country will receive as much expertise from abroad as it will send out into the wider world, I say this is still faulty reasoning to consider it a bad thing overall.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are in the age of the Global Village. We do not live in the time of Feudal arrangements, city states, or the like. Frankly, these days we can even relatively comfortably do business with a country with which we are at war.

The European Union is constantly shifting slowly yet inexorably towards being a “Superstate”, and many countries in the vicinity, some not even technically in Europe, are clambering to join it.

As I type this, I’m on a plane from Manchester to Philadelphia (where I will change and head for Florida) to attend an international conference geared towards - amongst other things - further improving the connections between cryonicists who might not already be in touch. I do not have a copy of the full attendance list yet, but I know of people coming from at least the US, the UK, Russia, Norway, the Netherlands, and Poland. I expect there to be a lot of other countries represented too, but these are the ones I’m aware of already just by word of mouth.

While many present will not be scientists, technical experts, or even actively involved already in the general furtherance of the field of cryonics, very many will be, and part of the purpose is to make more headway into sharing that information as freely and widely as possible throughout all those involved. This is effectively an “open source” approach to information, and it’s for the good of all involved, no matter whether one is more of a debtor or creditor when it comes to information sharing. The point is that the more people in general know about the field, the more the field will tend to advance for all of us, because people aren’t having to double up on research.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is the real world, not Sid Meyer’s “Civilization”, wherein different nations must fight for intellectual supremacy over the others. It does not matter that research is conducted in one country or another; what matters is that it is conducted! Therefore people should feel entirely free to shift about geographically to wherever is best suited for this.

I find it bizarre that in this time of unprecedented Information and Communication Technology, many supposedly intelligent people still need to get out of the Dark Ages.

The world is getting smaller by the minute (don’t worry, no global warming jokes); why confine (and thus stifle) research and development?

Monday, 4 January 2010

Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire.

I am not a man easily moved, yet the end of this movie moves me.

Oscar Schindler has been effectively buying Jews from concentration camps, to work in his factory. This started off as a business move, and then gradually shifts to being a humanitarian effort to save the lives of as many people as possible (at great personal risk). Thus he ploughs all his own money, and anything the "business" makes, into buying more workers, anything to keep them from the death camps. He runs out of money, and does his best to continue the illusion of a functional business and still save more lives.

In the above clip, Schindler has done all the above, and must now flee, because the Allies have arrived to "liberate" the Jews who have, as far as the outside world is aware, been evily subjugated by Schindler to work in his factories for next to nothing. He faces arrest and trial as a war criminal, as that is the public guise he has been wearing in order to save many lives.

And yet he breaks down, as he realises with great regret that he could have done more.

I share this sentiment; one more life saved is precious. I hate death; it is my mortal enemy.

If a life can be saved of someone who does not wish to die, then I will do what I can to facilitate that. For this reason I feel compelled to do what I can to advance Immortalist ideas and technologies. For this reason I consider knowingly neglecting to take action a kind of passive murder, a terrible loss. And I really, really, hate missed opportunities.

For this reason, I do a lot.

But I must always do more.

Nominated for ImmInst Directoral Election.

I'm honoured to have been nominated for consideration in the Immortality Institute's 2010 Directoral Elections.

From the 9th of January to the 8th of February will then ensue a voting process open to the whole membership to decide which of the nominees will take a place on the Board of Directors.

I'm pleased to have been nominated, because I'd really like to work more for this most worthy organisation that does so much for the cause to which I devote my life.

The existing Director, who nominated me, is a like-minded fellow who seems to have the commitment, enthusiasm, and never-say-die attitude that this sort of endeavour really needs. I'd love to be a part of such a team.

If I should not be elected, I will of course continue doing what I'm doing in every area of Transhumanism in general (and Immortalism in particular) that I can.

"I will not cease from mental fight
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand
Till we have built Immortalism
In our global present land"

If I am able to join the team on this occasion, I look forward to hastening the above!

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Neurolinguistic Programming as a Transhumanist tool.

I developed an interest in neurolinguistic programming (Henceforth NLP) in the late 1990s, as it appealed to my ever-present desire to improve my mental attributes.

It came to my attention originally via a fellow I met by chance who introduced me to Ross Jeffries and a series of puerile yet pragmatic low-level NLP methodologies to secretly reorganise the minds of others to cause them to like you, dislike others, screw you, screw others over, etc. Simple stuff with limited applications, but it piqued my interest and got me looking into other wider areas of NLP.

Next along came Paul McKenna, and his series of alledgely hypnotic products. My own personal opinion is that there is no hypnosis involved in these at all, but rather cumulative transformational NLP. I started off with his "Supreme Self-Confidence" half-hour "trance" CD, and listened to it around once a day for the next few years, and have done so on and off since then. That particular product has since been rebranded "Change your life in seven days", by the way, but is the exact same recording, which now comes with a book on the side. I've since picked up a number of his other products, such as "Sleep like a log", "Motivation Power", and "I can make you thin"; the latter more out of curiosity than need. All are good, and I highly recommend them.

No, I had no issues with self-confidence (or motivation, for that matter), nor have I ever; but I am the kind of person who likes to improve everything as much as possible wherever possible. Despite not being stressed, I'm going to order his new "Control Stress" product. I like to do whatever I can to excel in any areas - if I already excel in an area, that's no reason to not want to excel further.

Anyway, the next stage in my journey was an NLP course to gain a Practitioner and Master Practitioner certificate. These were good, beneficial, useful, enjoyable, and altogether nothing I couldn't have got from reading relevant material and teaching myself. However, it's always nice to have papers as it lends credence to its use sometimes when it comes to the public eye. I always put it on my CV, for example.

I do, therefore, recommend doing such courses, but only if you are not concerned with outlaying large amounts of money for only slightly more benefit than you would get from teaching yourself.

Around the same period of time I acquired a lot of literature on the subject, including but not limited to books by Bandler and Grinder, Hall, and other such names, with the latter's "Sourcebook of Magic" being one of my favourites.

What I love so much about NLP is that it is a tool I can never lose, that can be used to fix almost any problem. I consider it a hugely important part of my Transhuman way of living, as in my opinion one of the biggest flaws of the human condition is the inability to become master of one's thoughts rather than slave to them. NLP allows the user to rise above this.

Consequently, after many years of rewiring my brain, it's very different now to how it used to be, and far more removed than the degree one might expect from general life experiences causing change. There are numerous emotions that I have simply "disconnected", that are now very difficult states for me to access; emotions that I consider counterproductive.

Some people say "But isn't that sad; those emotions are part of what makes us human".

Indeed, they are.

The difference is that I don't want to be human.

I want to rise above that.

NLP hastens that greatly!

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Galantamine, twofold nootropic.

This thread at the Immortality Institute got me thinking about nootropics and how I should have more of them.

I've gone ahead and bought 90 x 8mg galantamine capsules at $0.83 each from

Not a bad price, especially as the long half-life means it stays in the bloodstream for around 48 hours and thus need not be taken daily.

This is a two-fold nootropic, as it is not only an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor but also actively promotes the release of acetylcholine itself.

By the way, if you should happen to shop at, use the referral code "UNE109" and you'll get a $5 discount :)

Visions of a unified Europe.

Well, we Immortalists, at least.

We are better prepared in the UK than anywhere else in Europe, which in a way is reassuring (as I get a far better service here than I would elsewhere in Europe), and in a way is disquieting (as I know that our set up, while good, is not perfect and I'd like to continue to improve it).

Right now, Suspended Animation are doing a sterling job in the US, but don't operate outside of it. Effectively, right now in the UK we're doing here what they do there, but with a fraction of the resources (money, people, and experience).

I spent some time this evening talking with Nuno Martins and co., of Alcor Portugal. We share an aspiration to have a cryonics standby organisation spanning Europe.

So Nuno was asking, as have a few people from a few countries lately, if we could offer our services abroad. I see no reason why not, if expenses are met, and our activities are legally supportable in the countries in question. Of course it means we can't use our ambulance or take heavy kit with us, so provisions will need to be made for that at the other end. We are collaborating regarding these arrangements.

I'll also hopefully be able to attend the Iberian Cryonics Conference coming up in the not-too-distant future, and possibly flesh things out more there.

What I'd really like is to get people involved from various participating countries, across Europe, and pool our resources (which does not just mean money, but experience and people-power, amongst other things) to have a central base of operations from which to provide excellent, secure, stable standby services as SA does in the US - as opposed to our own current volunteer-based situation which is fairly strong, but not ideal in my opinion.

The next step on from that would of course be to have storage in Europe, which is presently a luxury pipe-dream rather than an immediate need, like the standby services hub that I (casually and completely unofficially at this time) propose.

But we need people with the enthusiasm to do this, and the commitment to see it through.

I'll be keeping an eye out ;)

Friday, 1 January 2010

Second Life.

Originally, I dismissed Second Life (henceforth SL) out-of-hand some time ago as worthless. I considered that I had so much to do in my "First Life", that I didn't want to divide my efforts into a second.

My university (which has an extensive campus in SL) invited me to create an avatar there to attend certain events in a virtual fashion. This I did. I can be found, by the way, under the name of "Styles Evermore").

Quickly I found several things.

1) This is very user-driven, which means that while many things are poor, there is ridiculous scope for its potential.

2) This could be a very first-phase step towards uploading. Second Life now... The Matrix next? Ditching the absolute need for biologicals after that? For those who think that it's quite a step to go from SL to the Matrix... it's actually not too far a conceptual leap. We already have EEG machines being used as game controllers; enhance that technology, and hook it up with some decent VR kit, and we're on the way. Crude, yes. Very un-stylish, yes. Very limited, yes - for the time being. But the point is that the tech is rolling in and step by step we're getting there. Three words in that last sentence are really important, so I'll repeat them: "step by step". Of course it's a huge leap to jump from the tech of SL to the tech of the Matrix, but each of the small steps in between? Easy. Here's to the movers and shakers who are making those small steps. Me? I'm no software developer; no electrical engineer. But I'm right there in their shadow and I want to benefit from every shiny new tech advance they make. Lest the relationship seem parasitic, I point out that such developments need consumers to indirectly fund future R&D. I'm happy to take on that role and support the cause as I may!

3) It's a great tool to get one used to the idea that one can operate from a fabricated body with an entirely different set of benefits. Or even change one's body like one would change a suit of clothes. People can suddenly be a different build, colour, gender, species even. People can change their image and use that changed image to change their reality.

Me, I'm a touch narcissistic, so I'm just trying to make my avatar look like my biological for the moment. I've got the dress sense (frankly, my avatar isn't wearing anything that can't be found in my physical wardrobe), the build, the eyes... Now for my condamnably simple hairstyle that doesn't seem to be gay enough to feature in SL shops! The hair my avatar is wearing is just too long and gelled, despite it being the shortest simplest style I've been able to find.

Ah well, every God-from-Man must suffer his bad hair day on the way, it seems.


So, a New Year's Resolution:

I will do ten minutes of yoga each day.

Yes, that's right, just ten minutes.

* More than that and I will find it to be a drain on my time and desist after a short period.

* Less than that and it's too easy to slack on content.

Also, in doing this yoga I will explicitly NOT try to become more supple. Why not? Do I not want to become more supple? Of course, always. But if I try to become more supple then I will become discouraged at the slow progress and consider stopping it as ten minutes a day isn't visibly making me more supple.

Instead, my aim is simply to enjoy ten minutes of yoga. That's right, enjoy.

This will do good for my heart, my lungs, my general demeanour. Having a little time to relax with no specific greater goal outcome, nothing to work towards. I spend my life working towards things. I always have a million and one goals. I'm a consummate achiever in my daily life. I always strive to improve things. So instead, I'll relax out of that mindset for ten minutes.

And by doing this each day, it'll become a habit after a while.

When a habit, then maybe I'll expand on the time period.

My old yoga teacher would be proud of me.

Calorie Restriction with Optimal Nutrition (CRON).

So this is day 13 of my CRON regime.

I keep to <1500 kCal a day, where the recommended amount for an average man is 2500/day.

This was only close to difficult for the first day or so. It seems a breeze now.

I use most of my calories up in nutrient-dense foods; commonly meat / fish / dairy products. I also now eat far more vegetation than I used to, in addition to my required protein-fix, to flesh-out (if you'll pardon the irony of the expression) my diet, since I like plenty of food despite enjoying the longevity benefits of CR.

I also supplement to Hell and back (by most people's standards, anyway), taking daily:

A (non Calorific) multi-vitamin and mineral drink, to wash down the following in pills / capsules:

Burdock Root
Calcium and Magnesium
Cod Liver Oil with extra Calcium
Dessicated Liver (less than 1g protein; I take it for the vit-B and related goodies)
Ginkgo Biloba
Glucosamine Sulphate
Selenium and Vit A, C, E

I find the Optimal Nutrition part as important as; nay, more important than; the Calorie Restriction part.

That said, the latter part has been just as easy. In fact I often finish the day some way short of the 1500 kCal cap.

The important part was getting over the idea of eating for the sake of it.

New Year, New Blog.

So, people would know my mind. Those who ask many questions, will now be able to find many answers.

And my own thoughts can be saved in a fairly organised fashion.


And apparently free writing is good for someone of my Enneagram type, in my case a Type Three.