Your Announcement and Proposed Changes

Phil Jeffrey phil at xtreme1.mskcc.org
Wed Mar 1 13:42:19 EST 1995


In article <199502281426.JAA08201 at tequesta.gate.net> fheasley at chemistry.com (DrHeasley) writes:

>>   Quite frankly, I'm having a hard time finding the distinction between 
>>   "commercial" and "non-commercial" content.

Non-commercial posts contain information for free.  Commercial posts 
offer information for $$$$.  Try *reading* the posts.

>>   Is it the premise of the academic community that earning a living
>>   by working in a government job is somehow better than working for a 
>>   company or for yourself to earn a profit by your labor?  

Define "better".  I've been in both (pharmaceutical industry and basic
research).  I *prefer* academia despite the funding risks, lower pay etc
because of the greater autonomy and longer-term commitment. (This is a
personal observation, your milage may vary).  Only perennial optimists 
would work in academia primarily to make money.

>> Then why are 
>> so many academicians striving to get research contracts from corporations?

Because funding for one's research is not that easy to come by.  Also
because many people recognize that companies regularly buy in expertise
and research from outside (academia, small biotechs).  

>> Clearly, blatant "in your face" advertising ....[snip]
>> It's a self-limiting activity: those who attempt to work in this 
>> way ultimately fail.

Apparently not self-limiting, because this sort of activity has been growing
in frequency.  Most people would expect it to get far worse over the next
few years as more companies (of varying net-ethics) will gain access to the
Internet and the potential audience becomes ever larger.

>> The argument against "commercial" use of the net is just another tool 
>> used by the academic sector to compete with the business sector. The 
>> profit motive is alive and operational in both cases.

If academia worked on the same profit motives as industry then research would
become very difficult and very expensive very quickly.  Information exchange
without $$$$ exchange is one of the major factors in the progress of 
scientific reasearch, increasingly compromised because of the necessity of
funding or collaboration with industry.  Usenet works on the same principle.
It is not advertising space for budding capitalists.

Phil (vehemently expressing his *own* opinions)
--
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| Phil Jeffrey                                  |                             |
| X-ray/Computer Manager, Crystallography Lab   | If you lie to the compiler, |
| Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, NYC   | it will get its revenge     |
| phil at xray2.mskcc.org, p-jeffrey at ski.mskcc.org |     - Henry Spencer         |
| Ph: (212) 639 2189   Fax: (212) 717 3066      |                             |
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