Re: Bad theory

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Posted by Tom Cole on January 14, 1999 at 14:50:27:

In Reply to: Re: Bad theory posted by Jerry Silverman on January 11, 1999 at 17:03:46:

: : Jerry writes:

: : : Why so much?
: : : I have a theory that cannot be proven without a look at the ICOC books. I have not asked for a look because I do not expect they would give me one. In a nutshell the theory goes like this: the ICOC has a large overhead consisting of many people who must receive complementary registrations, accommodations, and travel. There is an "organizing committee" (19), an "academic committee" (13), and numerous people presenting papers in the "academic sessions."
: : : Each full-fee-paying attendee is also paying for many others.

: : Jerry's disdain for both the Textile Museum and ICOC conferences is well known and well documented, but I would have expected that his commentary in his own Salon would not include speculation based upon false assumptions, when he should have known that there is no factual basis for such assumptions or could have readily gotten answers before espousing his "theories" suggesting organizational self-aggrandizement as a factor in ICOC registration costs.

: : There are many committees within the ICOC, but no one, let me repeat that, no one on any committee receives complimentary registration or accommodations or travel by virtue of having served on any of the committees: Executive, International or Academic, etc. Further, no one on any of these committees is ever paid for such service and even reimbursement for monies expended is not always given.

: : I can testify that my service to ICOC (and to ACOR and to the TM) has only cost me money and the same is true for all of the other organizers. The more you volunteer, the more it costs you. Yet, Jerry seems to like perpetuating these outrageous, baseless and patently false rumors that some "insiders" make money from the ICOC conferences.

: : I will hasten to add that ACOR is equally volunteer-based and no one involved in it profits from service either.

: : Both ICOC and ACOR do grant complimentary registration to speakers both as a form of recognition and as minor compensation - as they should. Both conferences also provide speakers with some (but not full) accommodations and, in certain instances, limited travel expenses. There is a lot of work and some cost in preparing for a decent presentation. No one does it for the money, but complimentary registration for speakers is universally recognized as a minimal requirement.

: : The ICOC local organizing committee generally rewards some volunteers who work hard and long for or at the conference with complimentary registration; ACOR has a similar policy. However, the number of complimentary registrations for an ACOR is less than for an ICOC because the ACOR conferences are less complex than the ICOCs (fewer "moving parts") and correspondingly require less volunteer labor.

: : Jerry: you may not enjoy the ICOC conferences. You may not enjoy the TM conferences. You may not, for whatever reason, like the organizers of those conferences, but the time has come for you to stop suggesting that there is vast profiteering in any of them, particularly the ICOC. You do grave injustice to the many volunteers to ICOC (and those to ACOR and the TM as well) who profit not one whit. I now have the books from the Philadelphia 8th ICOC in my possession. They are open to you for inspection. Please come to see just how wrong you are.

: : I may try, in another post, to explain the cash flow of the various conferences and where the money comes from, where it goes and why.

: : Wendel

: Dear Wendel,

: Methinks you doth protest too much. I, too, have been a conference volunteer who gave considerably of time and money without any reimbursement. I don't think my theory has done any irreparable harm to conference volunteers. There will never be a shortage of people with an interest in volunteering for such endeavors, reimbursed or not - bless their souls.

: Free rides of whatever type, though, need to be examined carefully lest they burden the average conference attendee. That was my point, not the exxagerated one you've offered:

: "You may not, for whatever
: reason, like the organizers of those conferences, but the time has come for you to stop suggesting that there is vast
: profiteering in any of them, particularly the ICOC. You do grave injustice to the many volunteers to ICOC (and those to
: ACOR and the TM as well) who profit not one whit."

: I haven't suggested "vast profiteering" nor have I included ACOR or TM volunteers. If it turns out as you say that no ICOC organizing/academic/etc. committee members receive complimentary registrations, accommodations, travel, or expenses, I'll of course take you at your word. But overhead is overhead. I'd love to look at the books of the Philadelphia ICOC - not enough to travel from Chicago to Virginia - if there's another way....

: I agree, too, that there are costs involved with the preparation of a conference presentation and that it is customary and proper to provide for this. We haven't gotten to this topic yet, but more often than not these costs aren't apparent in the quality of the presentations and therefore appear undeserved.

: Cordially,

: -Jerry-

Regarding the possibility of profiteering, it is all small potatoes. You are speaking of insignificant sums of money taken within the big picture. I have no personal contact with anyone on these conference committees outside of Charles Lave/Bethany Mendenhall (ACOR) and Robert Pinner (ICOC). I can assure you none of them "profit" from volunteering their time and it is ludicrous to make the suggestion. Robert Pinner has been spending his own hard earned money for many years to help organize the ICOC and assure its success (HIS vision of success). Now you may not like the conferences, so my suggestion is don't go. I will grant you that the $50 donation solicited at Philadelphia for card carrying membership in the ICOC has not resulted in one benefit, tangible or otherwise. What happened to everyone's $50? I have no idea other than to assume it is being used to support the infrastructure of the ICOC. I would take more exception to other more easily discernible inconsistencies or points of contention than the books of the ICOC or ACOR.

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