Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Member Communications

Communications among members of human biopreservation organizations and others interested in life-extension technologies has been deficient for a large number of reasons. This page is made available as a supplementary communication channel for discussion of these issues.

I will attempt to respond to any questions or comments posted here in a timely manner. Off topic comments will be deleted.

Users should be aware that this is a publicly accessible page. Names of persons should not be used and names of organizations should be avoided, unless essential for understanding. Private communications should be transmitted by email, Skype, or instant messaging client.

Added April 18, 2011:

I have suggested the elimination of arbitrary censorship on a List. It is clear that my suggestion was not clearly understood. The first feedback I have received argues that the principle I wish to apply is that a committee should have decision authority over publication to that List. This misses both the idea of Rule of Law and the principle of Freedom of Speech.

There has been no opportunity for me to clear up these misunderstandings. Since I am not directly involved in the discussion among the Board Members, nor am I posting to the List in question.

My view is that arbitrary censorship has no role in a democratic organization. Members can email me for a copy of the censored message (Please examine my Candidate Statement on the Files page first.)

Added April 26, 2011:

The Moderator of the List in question has mischaracterized my objection as not wanting to be moderated. What I objected to was surreptitious censorship. The censorship not only deleted text, but also included replacing text without attribution. This is, perhaps, the worst form of mutilation of a text as defined under the Copyright Law. Mutilation of text is characterized as a violation of the author's Moral Rights under that Law. Moderation would have resulted in the message being returned as being inappropriate for the List in some way. These violations were concealed, since I was not informed that they had taken place.


  1. The moderation of your messages was not at all arbitrary. You seem to not be aware of the Yahoo posting guidelines which were used:

  2. Please indicate which Guideline element was violated in each of the censored Messages.

  3. It is abusive to compare someone to Stalin.

  4. 1) This only applies to one Message, you must justify the censorship of the others too.

    2) Two quotes from my deleted Message:

    However, if anyone thinks that I have engaged in name calling, they have simply missed the point of my argument. It is occasionally useful to draw comparisons between historical figures and existing persons in order to clarify an argument. However, showing that a certain person and a historical figure occupy an analogous role in an organizational structure is not name calling. Similarly, humor can be an effective tool in dealing with overinflated egos. Humor should always be considered as an explanation when someone makes a remark that appears totally out of character for them.

    Finally, my complaints are not, and have not, been directed toward any specific persons. I see the problem as one of group dynamics. The problems would be pretty much the same no matter who inhabited the various organizational positions.

  5. I must, huh? Such arrogance. I would be more sympathetic if you were far more succinct and if you had not spuriously accused a good man of criminal activity. No, I did not miss the point of your argument; I simply disagree. David's viewpoint is not the only one that exists.

  6. You claimed that the censorship of my Messages was not arbitrary, but in violation of the Yahoo Guidelines. Unless, you can identify a Guidelines violation for each Message censored, your claim is false.

    Please explain how you conclude that a copyright violation has not taken place.

  7. I don't have time to sift through all your wordy posts. The moderator did a good job. End of story. Your understanding of the how moderation works is obviously deeply flawed. It's also not called censorship.

    Mutilation would be a derogatory change. Removing a reference to Stalin hardly qualifies. The US courts would certainly not consider moderation on an internet forum to be a criminal offense.

    I'm done with this discussion because you have begun to repeat the same weak arguments as before.

  8. Look, I get that you're upset that he altered your post. He probably thought he was doing you a favor instead of just outright rejecting it. It doesn't seem like it would have been very hard to just ask him not to do it again. There are mature and effective ways of handling it.

  9. I'm perhaps overreacting and I hope I put this correctly am not misunderstood.
    May I suggest that when it comes to differences/discussions/arguments between people in the life-extension/biopreservation organizations all concerned parties do not refer to the law as defined by various governments. (I'm referring to Jordan's refering to 'yahoo guidelines', 'US courts' and David using terms like 'Moral rights', 'criminal')

    If these are evoked we give authority to these entities (govt, yahoo etc.) who do not share our interests. To give a convoluted analogy it's a little like asking the mafia to intervene in a dispute between 2 friends.

    One may use these terms as guidelines by explicitly stating so, so that one is not misunderstood. Let's be smart enough to have our own 'laws' within the life-extension/biopreservation community.


  10. We can not have our own 'laws', unless we have a functional law making body. A precondition for this is a free exchange of information. This page was created, because that does not exist.

    In terms of conflict resolution, there is no Industry association that could resolve disputes. Therefore, the judicial function of the Organization can only be 'out-sourced' to the State.

    The only informal conflict resolution we have available is online voting. My call for a vote was censored, so this is also out of service.

    You could contribute to resolution of the outstanding issues by asking the subscribers to the List to read my Candidate Statement on the Files page and then vote. A large turnout could yield a clear path forward, if it was respected.

  11. While reference to Stalin could only explain censorship of one Message, it is by no means clear that even that would be considered as unambiguously negative. (I do not accept that such a reference can't serve a valid explanatory role or be part of a joke, while not applying to a specific person. However, I will not argue that here.) Stalin still has many admirers.

    Copyright law applies to all texts, including messages to an online forum.

  12. >David Stodolsky wrote:
    >We can not have our own 'laws', unless we have a functional law making body. A precondition for this is a free exchange of information. This page was created, because that does not exist.

    I get the principle of it. Though I hope it's not carried to the point where it becomes a bureaucratic/academic exercise.

    (on a side note I think that there is 'sufficient' of free exchange of information on the list in question. It's just that this 'sufficient' can be extremly subjective. Even I too disagree with certain aspects of moderation - but I also realize that one cannot satify everybody either)

    >David Stodolsky wrote:
    >You could contribute to resolution of the outstanding issues by asking the subscribers to the List to read my Candidate Statement on the Files page and then vote. A large turnout could yield a clear path forward, if it was respected.

    The moderator of the list in question has posted a link to this page on the list in a fairly prominent posting. If people are interested they will come here. My guess is that most people will not.

  13. Since there are no rules for moderation/censorship and the Moderator doesn't find it necessary to notify modifying or deleting a message, there is no certainty that any message will get thru without mutilation. This is not a environment that can serve a democratic organization.

    The fact that most people will not come to this Page is the reason why posting the information about the vote on the List is necessary.

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. The following document is now available by request:

    Censorship and Democracy?


    I will argue below that the unlawful activities include violation of the copyright law and fraud. Further, I will outline why I believe that these events are symptomatic of a breakdown of democracy within *. I had repeatedly called for restructuring of the List, but these calls were ignored. Since Member trust is crucial for *, the Board of Directors should have taken action to restructure List management long ago.

  16. The following document is now available by request:

    Our Path to Destruction


    We predict the failure of the Cryonics Industry and the likely destruction of those in storage. Two failure modes are considered, organizational decline and political attack. The strategic direction of the Industry is analyzed by applying well known principles of marketing and organization theory. Two alternative strategies are suggested that could minimize failure risk by reversing the stagnation of the Industry and integrating it into the mainstream.

  17. The following document is now available by request:

    Unfair "Election Coverage" by * * Magazine


    Analysis of the language, space allocation, and opportunities to rebut in the most recent Issue of * * Magazine shows bias. It appears that the President of the * * and the Editors of * * Magazine have conspired to enhance the chances of reelection of the President to the Board of Directors of the * *. The Analysis also shows that there is a concerted effort to ensure that a democracy advocate is not elected to the Board of Directors. Finally, the Analysis demonstrates a continuing pattern of censorship symptomatic of a breakdown of democracy.

  18. The following document is now available by request:

    The Customer as Enemy


    An attempt to provide Members with information for the Election and Membership Meeting is described. The conclusion is that the Leadership is treating Members as the enemy. It is shown that information about the * is more readily available to *'s competitor than it is to * Members. The promise of confidentiality of Member information is shown to be illusory. Law breaking by the Leadership is documented.