Other indignities, was: NIH MUST REFORM OR DISBAND!

Arthur E. Sowers arthures at access.digex.net
Thu Jun 20 09:23:51 EST 1996

On Wed, 19 Jun 1996, Mark A. Friesel wrote:

> On 18 Jun 1996, Bert Gold wrote:
> > Mark A. Friesel (mfriesel at beta.tricity.wsu.edu) wrote:
> > : On Sat, 15 Jun 1996, Bert Gold wrote:
> > : 
> > : Of course, your contact is either incorrect and there is a way, or he is
> > : telling the truth hence he must be part of the corruption.
> > 
> > 
> > Mark, FYI, I think what you've written above is true,
> > which is to say that my informant IS part of the corruption.
> > 
> > But he is still a powerful person both inside and outside the beltway.
> > 
> > And, based upon the NY Times headlines this weekend on how the
> > two parties deal with campaign finance, I don't think my
> > informant can be stopped!
> > 
> > Bert
> Yes, we all buckle under to the appearance of power, if not the thing
> itself.  The alternatives are ghastly - to spend a small fortune becoming
> educated and experienced in a profession only to have your resources
> eliminated because of insufficient political savvy, or insufficient 
> concern with your timing.

But this is the usual way things work.

>  The rewards of playing the political game, on
> the other hand, may be high - being with the right person at the right
> time with the right attitude and the door to your own wealth and prestige
> opens.

Eachj person has to make his/her own decisions, according to her/his own
moral and ethical standards.

> My own point-of-view derives from my experience:
> - I don't play the lottery because the odds are too long and I don't
> support rewarding people on the basis of whether or not they bought the
> right ticket.  Knowing someone who has won, as I do, is insufficient
> incentive.

Besides, buying lottery tickets is not the way to go. Rather, you should
sell lottery tickets (and fiddle with the payoff rate, or sell, secretly,
the winning ticket to someone no one else knows, etc).

> - I did a special favor for a particular group at PNL on twelve seperate
> occasions - from letting them use software I had written, to taking one of
> their personnel who lacked funding into one of my projects, to putting the
> group on to one of my contacts at FHWA. 

Oh, man, do I know how this works.... I could name & talk about situations
where I played the good guy, too, and got nothing in return for it. My
first experience was in high school; a guy borrowed 50 cents and didn't
repay it. He came around couple months later and wanted to borrow another
50 cents. I said what about the first 50 cents? He said don't worry about
it. A month later he graduated and I never saw him again. Me: out $1.
Folks, my advice is play it like the banks; you don't pay off your first
loan and you don't get any more. Really scrutinize who you help out. Lots
of times you'll make friends and help each other out. Other times, THEY
become moochers and you the moochee. In the end you'll feel bad about the
situation and bad about yourself. The trick is how to tell them to get
lost without offending. Yes, lie if you have to, to get a pest/parasite 
off your back. Another thing, don't hang around waiting for Thank Yous. If
you don't get them the first time, you probably won't get them the second

> I got no favors or assistance in
> return whatsoever.  In the end, a member of this group obtained a piece of
> equipment from me by lying about the need for it (he gave me a story
> about how a guy was using an obsolete computer and wanted to replace it
> with the new Mac I had, and for which I had other though less-essential
> uses for). He took the Mac and kept it himself.

I loaned an FM radio to a guy once, and then some time later said I wanted
it back and he wouldn't give it back. Then he moved away, later, too.

> Finally they sent no less
> than six individuals (on about eight seperate occasions) to request
> (demand actually to the extent they could) that I turn over a piece of
> hardware to them.  I had no idea what they were talking about and told teh
> first few so (There's more to this but nothing particularly pertinent).

Someday, soon maybe, I'll have to tell y'all how faculty "raid" each
others labs for equipment. And, how administrations handle "capital

> - As far as Republicans go, their programs have done nothing whatsoever
> for me except reduce my resources and options on all counts.

I'm not a republican, but I don't think ANY of those guys put anything
above their own necks first. 

> The common thread in the above examples is that the probability of return
> on some investments is simply too small to be worth the time and risk. It helps
> to be able to realize when this is the case, and when it's not. Perhaps
> you're in a such a position that a good return on the time you invest 
> stroking your contact is likely.  I am not.  Power be damned.  At some
> point it's no longer possible to bend over further and you have no choice
> but to stand up.

You have a right to defend your turf. I would advise anyone to look out
for "whats in it for them" in dealing with people who come to you for
"help" on something. I have a strong streak of altruism in my blood, but I
can smell a rippoff a mile away. ALWAYS have your radar turned on.

Art Sowers

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