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Voluntary Extinction Society Vs. Cryonics

It’s always good to be reminded that there’s a variety of differing opinions in the world.

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Voluntary Extinction Society?!!!

My thoughts exactly, when I first saw the entry in Wikipedia. But why was I reading about it in the first place?

Well, sometimes--when I’m in the mood to learn something new--I hit Wikipedia’s “Random article” button.

Frequently I have to hit the button several times before something interesting comes up; I don’t really care about English footballers, distant galaxies or obscure German heavy metal bands.

But eventually, I always find something interesting.

So, assuming you’re as unfamiliar with the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement as I was, I’ll give you a brief look at the movement here--and then contrast it with some people who feel very differently.

Spearheaded by Les U. Knight, who found his compass as a college student in the 1970s, the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement proposes that mankind is a blight on the environment.

Les argues that humans are the most destructive force on the planet, we have been responsible for the extinction of numerous species, and our ongoing exploitation of the planet will continue to make it less habitable while causing the extinction of more and more species. The logical choice, according to Knight, is voluntary extinction of the human race by the simple process of stopping human breeding, one person at a time.

The goal, remote as its achievement may be, is a human-free planet, where all remaining life forms are free to live and evolve naturally, as they did before humans began to muck things up.

Now, intellectually, I can understand Knight. If you accept his premise that the “original” unspoiled earth is the ideal, his stance makes sense. But I don’t accept his premise, and thus I’m happy to join the critics who denounce the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement as a “Luddite bioconservative primitivist cult.”

And joining me, almost certainly, are the devotees of Cryonics, who’ve had their bodies (or just their brains) preserved at ultra-cold temperatures so their cells don’t degrade, and so that they might eventually be brought back to life when future generations know how to accomplish that feat.

For the record, there are more than 200 of these people who want more life than nature and contemporary medicine allotted them. They have (or had) money. Their money will continue to prolong their chilly existence (such as it is) long into the future. And they include baseball legend Ted Williams (or rather his head).

As for the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement (VHEMT--pronounced “vehement”), its numbers are uncounted, as there is no organization and therefore no list. But its Facebook page has more than 3,500 “likes.”

I’m not about to join either group, but the fact that they are both out there is a reminder of the divergence of opinions (also known as “realities”) that are possible in our society.

And my sympathies are with the people who want to live some more!

They’re the ones counting on continued human progress.

They’re the optimists.

And historic trends are clearly on their side.

In brief, life on earth, as a whole, for humans, is getting better and better and there’s no sign this trend will stop.

The number of people living in extreme poverty--subsisting on less than $1.25 per day--has fallen in every developing region of the world in recent years.

As a result, the world met the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals to cut poverty in half five years before its 2015 deadline.

The world also met its Millennium Development Goal of halving the proportion of people without access to drinking water ... again five years before its 2015 deadline.

Life is getting better for the world’s moneyed people as well, like the 35.1 million people who bought Apple iPhones in the first quarter of this year.

An astounding 29% of them are in China, a very large country where life has improved enormously in one generation.

I also see great improvements in global health care--though our particular system is rife with inefficiencies.

I see great improvements in energy; the path to the end of the hydrocarbon-based economy is in sight.

I see great improvements in communications--obvious to anyone who looks.

Because of that increased communication, in which people worldwide have access to the best knowledge, I see great improvements in education.

With improvements in education come improvements in everything else, as long as there are fertile young minds to make the changes.

So I wish those folks pinning their hopes on cryonics well. If technical progress continues--and I’m sure it will--some of them may well “live” again.

But I’m wondering about one little non-technical aspect of the situation.
Will the first revived person get his death certificate annulled, or will he get a new birth certificate and social security number?

No, I’m not recommending a cryogenics stock today.

Instead, I’m recommending old favorite Intuitive Surgical (ISRG), a company whose technology has made it the world leader in robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery.

Someday--who knows--it may be the world leader in cryogenics as well; no doubt there are synergies.

But right now management has its hands full serving the booming market for its machines--and disposables--as its machines are approved for more surgical uses.

The stock was recommended on February 22 in Cabot Market Letter, in which editor Michael Cintolo wrote, “It used to be that the Intuitive Surgical da Vinci surgical system was approved just for prostate surgery. But over the years, the system’s high-resolution 3-D imaging and minimally invasive incisions have proven so popular that the da Vinci is now approved for use in a host of surgical situations. Every system sold keeps generating continuing income through replaceable supplies, which is why 2011 earnings hit $12.32 per share and 2012 is projected to hit $14.49 per share. The stock is trading over 500, but the company’s revenue and earnings growth are still strong. This is a large-cap leader. BUY.”

Since then the stock is up 15%.

Two weeks ago, I recommended the stock here, in an article that focused on six stocks breaking out to new highs. Since then it’s up another 7%, and I have little doubt it will be higher in the months and years ahead.

So you could just rush in and buy here, but it would probably wiser to take a look at the latest issue of Cabot Market Letter, and to learn about similar high-potential stocks.

Mike will also tell you when to sell!

Click here to learn more.

Yours in pursuit of wisdom and wealth,

Timothy Lutts
Cabot Wealth Advisory

Editor’s Note: Forget the naysayers ... 2012 will be one of the MOST PROFITABLE years on record. In fact, we’re so sure you’ll bank big gains this year that we’re giving away my entire buy list FREE with your paid subscription. Click here to learn how you too can win big in the market this year.

Timothy Lutts is Chairman and Chief Investment Strategist of Cabot Wealth Network, leading a dedicated team of professionals who serve individual investors with high-quality investment advice based on time-tested Cabot systems.