Posted by Tom Cole on January 15, 1999 at 08:13:12:
In Reply to: Re: Bad theory posted by Jerry Silverman on January 14, 1999 at 15:59:31:
: Tom Cole writes:
: : 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.
: Dear Tom,
: Thanks for bring up that $50 to belong to the ICOC Members Association. That was, for me, the most surreal moment of the Philadelphia ICOC.
: Apparently in response to complaints about the lack of "democracy" (or imperial-heavy-handedness: take your pick) of the organization of ICOC, we found in our conference materials a flyer inviting us to attend the Founding Meeting of The Members Association of the ICOC. The flyer included the statement of the ICOC’s Aims & Objectives and a proposed structure for a Members Association whose purpose was “to support and to further the aims and objectives of the ICOC and to insure ICOC’s continuity.” When all the verbiage was boiled down, the rights and privileges of membership amounted to a newsletter, a discount on conference registration fees and ICOC publications, and admission to a member’s room at future ICOC conferences.
: When the meeting was held, we were informed that a member of the current ICOC International Committee would also be the president of the Members Association. In fact the ICOC International Committee had already chosen a slate of officers for the Members Association. So it came as no surprise to me that when I asked the president-elect of the Member’s Association in what way the Members Association would differ from a “rubber stamp” for ICOC International Committee decisions he responded publicly, “None.”
: After this performance, anyone who gave them $50 should have neither complaints nor questions.
Jerry- Clearly you did not give your $50 to the committee, which leaves me a bit perplexed why you bother with the details of the sitation I mentioned. As I said previously, if you personally (or anyone else) finds the conferences to be a useless exercise, then I would suggest not going. It is all too easy to be critical of the efforts of others (I know from personal experience), but I have learned a few things and would suggest to everyone to be more positive. That proverbial glass of water may be either half empty or, on the other hand, half full. It is much less stressful to regard the glass as half full.
Marvin is quick to point out that previously published material should not be touched upon at these events, but in my years of working for HALI, I find MANY who do not read most of the articles published and are therefore oblivious to the information covered. And using a previously published article to form the foundation of a new presentation, with additional material and visuals, does not seem to me to be a compromise of the academic spirit in which many of the papers are presented, even it if would violate the mores of the scientific community. For all its flaws (after all, people are not perfect), the ICOC (& ACOR, and now AORTA) are what we have and I, for one, am able to both learn something (thru exposure to material and people I usually do not see or think about) and basically enjoy myself at these gatherings.
Being vocally negative about everything is the EASY way out. It is much more difficult to try to make a positive contribution. Hey, I admit some positive efforts to change things can fall upon deaf ears, no matter what, and that is very frustrating. But there are other ways I am sure to vent frustration than thru long, negative speeches which accomplish very little. Trying to change the minds of the "old guard" is futile anyway, I have found out from personal experience. My advice, contribute positively (in some way, a paper?, time?, ???) and ENJOY what you can. For all the flaws and BS, how can you allow it all to interfere with enjoying an event centered around something we presumably are all interested in?
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