AAG, Funding, Etc (Dean's Question)
- Hi Dean --
To your question about government conspiracies shutting down American
I spent about 2 hours on the phone with Eugene Mallove a couple of days
before he was murdered, and the part of the story that nobody read about in
the newsgroups was that he was feeling pretty bitter & cynical about
alt-science. He was locked into a magazine that he'd invested his reputation
in, but he found that public interest in cold-fusion was slipping away, and
Infinite-Energy Magazine was having a tough time maintaining their
readership. Mallove was spending every waking hour of his day working on the
magazine - networking to find stories, calming down irate inventors, and
pushing public initiatives like the re-analysis of cold fusion that the DOE
performed in November after his death.
After he died, it came out that there'd been all sorts of controversy even
within his organization - infighting on his board of directors about which
direction they should pursue scientifically, and even a rumor about
replacing Mallove as the spokesperson for the organization with Steven
Krivit. He never talked about any of this to me directly, but I started
hearing about it from several sources a few months after he died. I didn't
talk to Mallove frequently, but one of the questions I'd asked him about was
how to fund this research, and he never had any answers for me. I had the
distinct impression that towards the end, he'd really lost his faith in the
public, and just kept going through the motions hoping that sooner or later
things would change for the better. Mallove wasn't suppressed by the
government - he was suppressed by the alt-science community. You don't need
a conspiracy when general apathy works just as well.
The only way that I see to make American Antigravity work right now is to
try a membership drive to try and reach 1,000 people at $10 per month - if
we can do that, it gives me enough revenue to add staff-writers, build out
our IT-infrastructure, and begin making progress on the other projects that
we need to undertake. If we can reach this goal, AAG can effectively deliver
alt-science & breakthrough physics to the general public in way that
supports our community & gives everyone in it a solid channel to deliver
their message to the public. Otherwise, I'm going to pack it in and go back
to college for my MBA, which will probably take a few years to complete.
The hard truth is that the public doesn't value alt-science because what's
out there today looks crackpot in every conceivable way: the only way the
public's going to get interested is if it looks professional & credible
enough to engage them. That's why Steorn is getting publicity right now -
they had the financial resources to leverage marketing & media to deliver
their message to a mainstream audience. I've seen a lot of inventions that
put the Steorn magnet-motor to shame, but reaching the public is like
politics: it takes money to get your name out there.
Reaching this goal means that I'm going to need a lot of volunteer work to
help support the membership drive. I'll also need volunteers to contribute
stories, just like I've been asking for over the last couple of years. It
will require a large campaign with a significant time-investment, but when
it's complete we'll be in a position to promote your research full-time in a
CNN-like format. I'm not sure that I have the energy to organize an effort
like this, so if anybody's interested, they can contact me at the numbers
below. If I get a few emails in response, I can setup a paypal membership
button. If not, then I'll just head back to school and get back into the IT
industry after the economy improves a bit.
Just a note: Right now, our community is in worse-shape than it's ever been.
Not just AAG, but alt-science in general. Trust me, I know a lot more
details about this than most people. I may write some of it down, but the
quick version is that unless some miraculous grass-roots effort happens, AAG
shutting down will be quickly followed by losing most of the remaining
resources that you've come to rely on. Things aren't bad; they're worse.
Typically nobody talks about it because we don't want to demoralize the
community, but suffice it to say that action is needed soon or alt-science
will basically just evaporate.
American Antigravity's statistics put us on track to reach about 2 million
visitors for 2006, so for anybody who'd like a shot at the title, I'll tell
you in advance that you need to reach about 10-times that many to build a
sustainable media presence through web-traffic. We were lucky in reaching
about 40 million people through Radio & Television between 2002 and 2004, so
odds are unless you get some network TV exposure, you'll have a tough time
even reaching 2 million. (that's unique visitors, not hits. We're at 43
million "hits" this year, if you're counting). My problem has never been
getting exposure: it's been generating income to build a business.
Timothy M. Ventura
American Antigravity, Inc
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