Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Messed Up Book and An Even More Messed Up TV Series...

I just finished the book Frozen by Larry Johnson and Scott Baldyga.  An article in JEMS (Journal of EMS) magazine piqued my interest, so I ordered it that day from Amazon.  I have to tell you, the first night I started reading it, it gave me nightmares.  This is a true story based on Alcor, a cryonics company, based in Scottsdale, AZ.  There are many who will argue that it is written by a disgruntled employee trying to get Alcor closed down, but as the author gets drawn into the cesspool that is Alcor, it reads like a bad science fiction novel.  The scary part?  It's all true.

It's a book that you need to read for yourself, but it is not for the sqeamish.  As I read the book, the scientist in me just couldn't see how it all would work.  These people are clinically dead - not just for minutes - before they start the "washout procedure", but some times for hours.  Alcorians believe that when their "first life cycle ends" they can be frozen and "reanimated" (thawed out) at a time when science has caught up and has cures for all that ails them.  The biggest question I was left with...what about their souls?  I'm not super religious, but I do believe that our souls help to make us who we are.  When the Alcorians complete their first life cycle and are frozen, what happens to their souls?  Do they get frozen too, only to be reanimated in hundreds of years?  Food for thought.  And what about the Alcorians who opt not for the full body suspension, but the neuro only suspensions?  When they are reanimated in the future, are they just going to grow a body to plunk the head on?  Or are the heads just going to live in jars?  More food for thought.

Another little morsel for contemplation...where do TV producers get off ruining perfectly good books by turning them into cheesy TV series?  Now, I'm sure there are some perfectly good TV series based on books.  Not that I can think of any off the top of my head, but I'm sure that someone can name one.  I had the unfortunate experience of flipping throught the channels today and coming across Legend of the Seeker, a TV series based on Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth novels.  I have always thought, from the first line I ever read, that the novels would make epic movies.  Why Goodkind decided to sell the rights so that this drivel that is such a flimsy representation of his amazing work is beyond me.  It took just about three minutes for me to get absolutely incessed that anyone could bastardize such an amazing series of novels.  I'm so angry about it, I can't even think straight to put the words down.  Let me just say, I'm extremely disappointed that this series of novels is being represented by such a horrible TV knock-off.  Now I need to go start re-reading the series to erase the images planted in my brain by the devil box.

1 comment:

K. Erickson said...

I know exactly what you mean. I felt the same way about Starship Troopers.

I also tend to agree with your questions about the soul even though I don't think of it in those terms. From what I've read, our personalities and memories are not hardwired into our tissues. What you are dealing with are electrical impulses and energy that stores information in a fashion similar to a computer's RAM chip. It can store quite a lot of inforamtion, but it needs a constant power supply to maintain that memory. To off the power, lose the information.

I suspect that the Alcorians are going to disappointed to have a lot of reaminated bodies in desparate need of retraining in the finer arts of being human.