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### THE STATE OF ALT-SCIENCE ###

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  • Tim Ventura
    Right now the alternative-science movement is in a better position to shape the future of mankind than any other community on Earth. It can do this through
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 4, 2006
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      Right now the alternative-science movement is in a better position to shape
      the future of mankind than any other community on Earth. It can do this
      through providing a clear, unified vision of the future that offers
      innovative solutions to technical problems in energy, propulsion, healing,
      and general physics that have been thus far intractable to the mainstream
      scientific establishment.

      For the first time in history, alt-science has build solid, supportive
      relationships with mainstream academia, government, and military concerns
      based on mutual need and the realization that no single group can solve
      these challenges by itself. The establishment has failed miserably at
      offering 21st century solutions to the world's problems, and a transition is
      ready to occur in which alt-science becomes accepted into the establishment
      to help change and revitalize it from the inside.

      If this positive, optimistic thinking is news to you, it's because the
      transition hasn't happened yet, and it probably won't. The reason is simple,
      and has nothing to do with conspiracies or big brother. Quite simply, the
      once-supportive efforts in the alt-science environment have fragmented into
      a hundred competing interests too busy with infighting and politics to
      actually work together for community-based activism.

      We are additionally haunted by another problem which threatens to overwhelm
      our best efforts: despite the incredible innovation emerging from the
      alt-science environment, the hard truth is that this community has never
      toned down it's rhetoric to actually participate as a new part of the
      mainstream establishment. Furthermore, the rhetoric of conspiracies,
      alien-abductions, and crop-circles are outdated themes that belong in the
      last century, and play stale to a 21st century public trying to solve the
      immediate challenges in today's environment. In a world haunted by wars over
      oil, economic hardship and global terrorism, nobody cares about cattle
      mutilations in Montana, and fanatical statements about the government
      causing this to happen because of underground alien bases is, in short,
      insane.

      It's likely that the major themes driving the alt-science community
      originated in the cold-war mentality that dominated the 20th century - they
      arose from the fear & uncertainty of living in a world split in half and
      perpetually threatened by a policy of Mutually Assured Destruction that
      could begin unannounced at any time. Further, these stories were compounded
      by massive government investment in secret military technologies, and
      imaginative speculation on what these technologies might be within the
      community itself. Nearly two decades after the end of the cold war, and a
      decade after the start of the internet revolution, things have changed, and
      alt-science hasn't remade itself to stay relevant in a world that's very
      different today than it was yesterday.

      Today's public is smarter, more globally-aware, and far more technically
      savvy than they were 20 years ago. They have access to far more information
      on science & technology, and spend more of their household income in it. The
      public is not only generally aware of the direction that technology is
      going, they're also more aware of the true limits of contemporary
      technology, and have a better understanding of the terminology used in
      describing complex scientific & technical terms. As such, alternative
      science needs to remold it's image to speak in terms that are acceptable to
      the general public based as closely as possible to concepts within
      mainstream science. Otherwise, the public will continue to interpret alt-sci
      as being "fringe crackpots wearing tinfoil hats".

      American Antigravity's past success has come from working not in
      mainstream-science, nor fully in alternative-science, but essentially from
      finding a bridge between the two worlds to allow visionaries to communicate
      ideas "across the fence", and hopefully provide robust solutions to
      challenges in energy & aerospace as a result. We've been far more successful
      than our contemporaries in terms of mainstream acceptance, and thus what we
      publish is typically accepted more easily and given the due diligence it
      deserves, in comparison to more traditional alt-science material that gets
      ignored because of the language, wording, presentation that it's delivered
      with.

      Fragmentation in the alt-science community began in the late 1990's with a
      rapid transition from a conference-based community model to one based around
      online information & community resources. While sharing information online
      is a vastly more efficient tool for educating the public than conferences
      are, it nonetheless lacks the solid business-model based on conference fees
      and vendor exhibits that the earlier model had. This is further complicated
      by a similar transition from the "indy-newsletter" as a means of
      communication to the use of online newsgroups, which again don't provide a
      sustainable revenue model. Thus, fragmentation occurred as various interests
      flocked from an established model to a non-sustainable one with a low cost
      of entry, leading to thousands of small, poorly designed websites that do
      more harm than good for the alt-science community.

      With the exception of having no financing, the alt-science community
      experienced the dot-com boom in exactly the same way that other online
      businesses did: a series of small, initial efforts gave way to a period of
      market consolidation, followed by the emergence of a few large business
      entities with more sustainable models. However, as none of the models in
      alt-science have thus far proved sustainable, a period of soul-searching and
      general desperation has set it as the larger entities struggle to retain
      their role as the last bastions of public interaction within this community.
      This has led to infighting and the general collapse of the community itself,
      as illustrated by the following examples:

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      1. NEWSGROUPS: Because of Yahoo!'s dominance as a major online web-portal in
      the 1990's, the vast majority of alt-science discussion took place in a
      series of newsgroups. The newsgroup peak occurred around 2002 or 2003, where
      in the realm of antigravity by itself a series of 5 or 10 major discussion
      forums had enrollment of nearly 100,000 users. Since that period, Yahoo!
      newsgroups have declined by an order of magnitude, with enrollment in 2006
      reaching only tens of thousands or less. The newsgroups are no longer major
      forums filled with practical discussion of new ideas, inventions, and
      concepts in alt-sci - they are now dominated by a few holdover
      "power-posters" pushing socio-political agendas, further pushing enrollment
      to record low levels.

      2. COAST TO COAST AM: After a record-breaking streak of community-building
      during the 1990's, Coast to Coast AM was sold to a major radio network,
      followed immediately by the departure of show-host Art Bell. The show
      immediately lost 90% of it's audience, and as a response, the new management
      company prompted show host George Noory to focus on less technical topics in
      an effort to recapture lost ratings by engaging a larger female demographic
      to boost ratings. This well-intentioned idea backfired by driving away the
      remaining "hangers-on" waiting for Art to return, and despite Noory's
      efforts to at least rebuild the audience to semi-sustainable efforts, Coast
      to Coast AM is no longer in a leadership position as a major community
      resource pushing alt-science ideas, concepts, and visionaries. As point of
      fact, the new format actively discourages this, as innovators like John
      Hutchison are black-listed from the show due to complaints from the "new,
      non-technical" audience, and long-term guests like Richard C. Hoagland are
      stereotyped into roles that greatly limit their ability to make a positive
      impact to the alt-science community. In any event, Coast to Coast AM has
      gone from #3 on the Arbitron ratings list of top talk-radio shows to the #10
      position in 2004, indicating that regardless of focus or intent, the show is
      not in nearly the position that it once was to contribute anything to
      alt-science.

      3. INFINITE-ENERGY MAGAZINE: In addition to publishing a true scientific
      journal detailing ongoing research in Cold-Fusion and Low-Energy Nuclear
      Reactions, founder Gene Mallove worked diligently as a community-spokesman
      for alternative science, and contributed greatly to building a sense of
      participation and community in an otherwise fragmented community. Even
      before his murder in 2004, Mallove cited concerns about public interest
      waning in LENR due to the time elapsed since that topic had received it's
      initial surge of mainstream public interest from Pons & Fleischmann in the
      early 1990's. While editor Christy Frazier admirably struggles to keep the
      magazine alive, many have speculated that Infinite Energy's days are
      numbered.

      4. NEW ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES: Created by innovator Alex Frolov, New Energy
      Technologies Magazine served as a central resource for alt-science activism
      in Russia, and promoted a globalist-view of innovations that exceeded former
      national rivalries. During it's heyday, the magazine was quite spectacular
      in featuring innovations previously unseen in the west, and doing it in a
      solid, rigorous format that exceeded expectations to serve as a truly
      international journal for alternative science. NET Magazine made a very
      large impact, but never achieved a large audience - at best selling only
      around 2,000 copies a month. Thus, the magazine itself was financially
      supported by philanthropist Christopher Bremner, and when we was no longer
      able to provide fincial support, the magazine was forced to cease operations
      in 2005.

      5. OPEN-SOURCE ENERGY NETWORK: Founded by dot-com media guru Matthew Carson,
      the Open Source Energy Network was an online multimedia project hoping to
      provide a full range of media delivery and content-management system driven
      resources for the alt-science community. While officially OSEN is still in
      existence, the project has shown no movement since early 2006, and
      widespread speculation supports the notion that Matthew Carson and the OSEN
      team found a general attitude of apathy in the alt-science community that
      undermined their efforts to make a positive impact. Certainly after spending
      several hundred thousand dollars on the CMS system, they must have been
      surprised when less than a handful of innovators actually migrated their own
      poorly-constructed sites onto the slick, well-run OSEN platform. The belief
      is that inventors were concerned about losing either their individuality or
      "potential" ability to generate income with their own sites if they
      migrated, thus limiting OSEN's ability to acquire content effectively. Thus,
      this project is believed to be effectively over.

      6. AMERICAN ANTIGRAVITY: Founded in 2002 by Tim Ventura, American
      Antigravity achieved immediate media success by showcasing "Lifter
      technology" on a variety of national and international television networks.
      This led to the establishment of a strong traffic base to that later served
      as the basis for a news-bureau focused on emerging & breakthrough
      technologies (primarily aerospace), by Tim Ventura. While American
      Antigravity eventually lost much of the initial audience as the novelty of
      Lifters began to wear off, it eventually rebuilt the audience to 2 million
      visitors a year by serving as a primary resource for multimedia content on a
      variety of technology concepts. However, as an open-source non-profit,
      American Antigravity's primary limitation was the ability to effectively
      derive sustainable income from the content that it generated and delivered.

      7. TESLATECH: Founded by former International Tesla Society organizer Steve
      Elswick, the TeslaTech Conference has suffered from a loss of audience as
      interest shifts from expensive conference-settings into less expensive
      online media format based on web-centric multimedia tools. During the
      1990's, TeslaTech reportedly had thousands of attendees, and was thus able
      to support a high-budget conference capable of bringing together diverse
      interests from a variety of sources into a single community forum. Since
      that time, despite the gallant efforts of Elswick to support a positive
      community forum, the conference has encountered severe hardship as its
      audience continues to contract. While Elswick optimistically declared that
      the 2006 conference was better than 2005's, the concern still exists that
      this community resource is having difficult facing general community apathy
      in the new century.

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      The examples above are indicative of the state of alt-science, and obviously
      not a total summary of all the organizations attempting to promote this
      research online. The simple truth is that public interest, in-general, is
      subsiding, as shown by trend-analysis from a widespread pool of online
      venues that I have access to statistics for. As this community contracts,
      it's boundaries will continue to fragment across the traditional fault-lines
      until the public's perspective of alt-science as being "a million isolated
      kooks" once again becomes the reality.



      Sincerely;

      Timothy M. Ventura
      American Antigravity, Inc
      http://www.americanantigravity.com <http://www.americanantigravity.com/>
      Phone: 425-605-0928
      Mobile: 425-260-4175
      tventura6@...



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