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Re: ?!? A New and Separate Palaeontological Community



Er, so you're suggesting we turn vertebrate paleontology into some 
sort of pyramid scheme..? (sorry, I find it hard to read lengthy 
emails punctuated entirely with " .. ")


------------------------------
On Fri, Mar 21, 2014 12:46 PM CDT dale mcinnes wrote:

>It's baaaaaaaaaaaaccckkkk !!!
> 
>Hey DMLers .. [ long .. longer .. longest]
>
>I did promise to return to this thread didn't I ..
>Sorry for the imposition but .. it's necessary [I find ..]
>
>I would like us to re-review the seed of an idea ..that I believe .. would 
>take us squarely into a new type of 21st C mode of operation here in 
>palaeontology.
>
>So I'm going to attempt to bury this seed a little deeper in the hopes that 
>something .. a little shoot .. will sprout this time around .. in our 
>subconscious. I could be wrong .. but bare with me .. this goes a little 
>deeper than the last couple of threads.I'm about to present a monologue on a 
>topic that has absolutely nothingwhatsoever to do with dinosaur palaeontology 
>.. BUT .. has the potential to turn this entire science completely on its head.
>
>You might just consider this a head's up .. if nothing more.
>
>Now .. I know .. that in past threads .. this has elicited quite an emotional 
>response.I am totally at fault with that. So .. at the extreme risk of 
>eliciting a no holds barred flame fest .. again .. I am going to re-open this 
>somewhat touchy subject.I need to nail this to the ground for 
>everybody.Probably not a good way to start the New Year off .. but start it I 
>will.
>
>Once again .. this has to do with opening THE MOST important window we can 
>open in this science .. if we have the strength of courage to do so. I'm of 
>course .. talking about that bugaboo .. FUNDING !!!
>
>I find it somewhat discouraging .. even disheartening .. at what we're NOT 
>doing with our science and it occurred to me that perhaps .. a better way of 
>launching this .. in the near future .. is to break away completely from gov't 
>palaeontology and commence designing and ultimately building a radical and 
>completely new and quite separate palaeontological community.This would not 
>just involve dinosaur palaeontology but all fields pertaining to the science 
>while .. simultaneously .. discarding a lot of our 160 years of accumulated 
>baggage. 
>
>But first .. it is more important at this juncture to FULLY UNDERSTAND why 
>this field is so impoverished. If we don't recognize this as a problem .. then 
>we're never going to find a solution to our financial woes. 
>
>So .. we 1st have to recognize .. we have a problem.
>
>No one .. ever was so misquided .. as to enter this field for the $$$$. That's 
>a given. We're in this field because of our love of evolutionary history .. 
>the science .. the art.I say $$$$ is a bugaboo because we have an aversion to 
>it. We don't like to discuss it. We don'tfeel it has anything whatsoever to do 
>with palaeontology or our reasons for entering the science.It's almost as if 
>we feel that because some of us are not auto-mechanically inclined .. we 
>shouldn't discuss the need for field vehicles despite the fact that they've 
>revolutionized our ability to do field work.
>
>So .. I need to make what may sound to most of you as treasonous [once again] 
>.. the acsertion that we need to design .. build .. and operate our future 
>institutions on a "FOR PROFIT" basis as our PRIME MOTIVE [if it does not 
>interfere with our projection of public science based education]. And it 
>shouldn't. Most will consider this contradictory. I will attempt to show that 
>there is absolutely no such contradiction .. that it is only percieved as a 
>contradiction .. that any contradiction is pure myth.
>
>How do we do that ??
>
>Because this is in plain text .. I will forego any pretty pictures/ graphs. I 
>implore you to use your imagination.I want you to imagine a multi-layered 
>pyramid with a very simplistic stratigraphic sequence. 
>
>Also .. imagine that there are only 2 types of individuals in this field [the 
>Diggers and the dental Pickers]. The Diggers are the one's in search of a 
>CAUSE but are still plowing through the SYMPTOMS to get to it. The Pickers 
>have already located their CAUSE and are now dissecting it in the field. 
>You'll understand once we get into this.
>
>One other thing.
>
>I want you to understand the difference between a SYMPTOM and a CAUSE .. 
>because when it comes to FUNDING .. I feel .. many really don't .. and this 
>can ultimately become very misleading.
>
>Now .. I do take an enormous liberty here by asking a simple question of all 
>of you and provide my own answeras if speaking for everybody. We have to start 
>somewhere .. so .. bare with me ..
>
>Q : What exactly is it that we are trying to achieve in this field ??
>A : HD [Hi-Definition] = HR [Hi-Resolution] of the fossil record.
>
>So lets place RESOLUTION at the top of the pyramid. That's our ultimate goal. 
>It's a little like asking why .. instead of 50-60 partial T.rex specimens .. 
>we don't have 5-600 partial specimens to play with. More to the point .. what 
>would it take to increase the world's fossil collections some 10-fold in as 
>little as 10 years ?? It's an oversimplification ..I know .. but .. it sets 
>the tone for the next question.
>
>Q : Why don't we have this RESOLUTION ??
>
>If we want to find any answer .. we have to "dig" for it and hope there's 
>another layer under and supporting that question. We're still "Diggers" here. 
>So lets dig down to that next layer for that answer.
>
>A : We don't possess the RESOURCES to achieve this level of RESOLUTION ..
>
>So lets place RESOURCES as the 2nd layer of that pyramid .. under the term 
>RESOLUTION. And further .. what do we mean by RESOURCES ?? In order to attain 
>this magnitude of RESOURCES .. we would need to construct
>institutions at the rate of one per week over the next 10 years .. minimum. We 
>would also have to fully equip them. We would also have to set aside some 40 
>years worth of budgets to run them. Sound easy so far ?? Now comes the tough 
>part. We would also have to fully staff them with trained personel. There are 
>none .. at least not that many. So pocket-universities/ colleges would have to 
>be constructed as teaching fascilities  devoted to multi-palaeontological 
>fields within each array of institutes.
>
>Now .. before anybody believes I've gone off the deep end with this .. I'll 
>fully admit that we are looking at well in excess of$ billions .. easily. This 
>does not even remotely bother me .. as I will explain later. It does however 
>.. indicate why no one ever thinks about this .. not even for 5 minutes. I do. 
>I think about this 24/7 .. probably because I recognize its feasibility. 
>
>I am not frightened by large numbers.
>
>Now this begs the question.
>
>Q : Why don't we have those RESOURCES ??
>
>Well .. we're still "Diggers". Lets see if there's another layer to this 
>pyramid. So dig for that answer. It won't come any other way.
>
>A : We lack $$$$ [MONEY] to purchase those RESOURCES.
>
>So what have we learned that we didn't already know ?? What we actually 
>learned is really quite subtle. We've learned that the lack of RESOLUTION in 
>the fossil record is a SYMPTOM of a lack of RESOURCES which in itself is 
>SYMPTOMATIC of a lack of $$$$. The trick here is to NOT concentrate efforts on 
>SYMPTOMS. That is a waste of time. SYMPTOMS almost always disappear when the 
>root CAUSE of a problem is located and understood. It is at this juncture that 
>I hear the clatter of so many shovels being thrown to the ground. It's back to 
>our existing programs. When opening a new vista [window] on palaeontology .. 
>most workers find themselves somewhat stranded and usually alone. Its quite 
>natural. If it does hold promise .. great .. everyone will be part of it. If 
>it doesn't .. then only one of us has blown a career.
>
>It is what it is.
>
>So now .. we cross a great threshold. 
>
>For palaeontologists .. the $$$$ layer is the "ironstone" layer. Shovels bend. 
>Picks bounce off.Chisels break. Field workers break down and cry in 
>frustration sending them back to their former institutions. It has always been 
>for all of us .. an intense headache. We need to think through this .. 
>explosives .. brute force ..
>
>Now supposing .. just supposing .. that this layer was never really a CAUSE 
>for concern .. but a SYMPTOM instead. That would be crossing quite a threshold 
>.. wouldn't it ?? Imagine never having to worry unjustly about it .. ever!! We 
>need to find that next layer. Our Diggers are back. Is there really anything 
>more crucial than $$$$ ?? 
>
>Did we leave something out of the equation more valuable than MONEY ?? I think 
>we did. 
>
>And this is our problem.
>
>Q : Why don't we possess a $ multi-billion Fund ??
>A : As incredible as this sounds .. our field has existed for over 150 years 
>without an .. INFRASTRUCTURE !!!
>
>This is the 4th layer to our pyramid.
>
>Definition of an INFRASTRUCTURE : 
>
>A financial INFRASTRUCTURE is a mechanism tuned to an industry [or science] 
>that is designed for the sole purpose of creating internal revenue for that 
>industry. Each INFRASTRUCTURE is totally unique to each industry and allows 
>that industry a fair leeway of independant operation from gov't. Few $ 
>multi-billion industries can operate without one. It is at the very core of 
>their structure which allows them to make prodigious amounts of $$$$. It's the 
>core difference between $ multi-million businesses and those who achieve in 
>the $ billions. 
>
>So .. for the 1st time in our history .. we now realise that the lack of 
>MONETARY Funding in our field turns out to be a SYMPTOM of a far more serious 
>.. deeper rooted problem.
>
>We have never possessed and continue to this day to operate without an 
>INFRASTRUCTURE.
>
>O.K. So what are the examples ?? How does the lack of an INFRASTRUCTURE 
>possibly affect us ??
>
>Lets take for example 3 completely non-related leading industries.
>
>1. Automobile Industry
>2. Motion Picture Industry
>3. Food Industry
>
>I will now attempt to convince you of the need to design and construct 
>palaeontological institutes based exclusively or near exclusively on the "FOR 
>PROFIT" and "PROFIT" alone motive. NOT research .. NOT field collections .. 
>NOT labs .. NOT anything that would be construed as very basic to our science. 
>You'll see how this not only does NOT INTERFERE with research programs but .. 
>on the contrary .. actually ENHANCES research programs.
>
>For this .. we're going to require real world examples.
>
>You'll discover .. as I have .. that we are all on the wrong side of the 
>fence. 
>It's about time we crossed over.
>
>1. The Automotive Industry
>
>Before Henry Ford walked into the industry .. it was sailing along nicely for 
>.. I believe .. some 17 years. Auto industries in those heady times were being 
>assembled at the rate of 50 per year. Over 500 auto industries once existed in 
>America. At the time .. no one thought anything of it. It was pure capitalism. 
>Some actually made a living from it. Most required part-time jobs to see them 
>through. Not unlike todays museum programs .. these autmotive programs were 
>2-man .. 3-man programs existing out of their respective garages [auto 
>institutes] built as extensions to their homes. These programs all possessed 
>their very own and separate if meagre budgets. The more massive programs were 
>probably on ranches/ farms where entire barns may have been set aside for 5-10 
>man programs consisting of farmers and ranchers. 
>
>The people in these particular programs saw the automotive industry as an 
>artistic/ mechanized science research concept .. not unlike present day 
>palaeontology. The very idea of being involved in this endeavour strictly for 
>profit .. was probably quite laughable.
>
>It was the science. It was the art that absobed them. They also had a tendency 
>to build one of a kind [not unlike travelling museum exhibits today]. Again .. 
>no one thought anything of it. They were certainly not going to have anything 
>but a minimal impact on the world around them.
>
>And herein lay the problem.
>
>As the industry matured .. automobiles became complicated and more expensive 
>to build. The customer base was shrinking precipitously to those wealthier 
>individuals who could afford to pay more. Gov't subsidies and takeover wasn't 
>very far off. From our perspective today .. we would conclude that the 1st 
>experimental 17 years of the auto industry .. were impoverished years.
>
>Enter Henry Ford.
>
>With the backing of wealthy business people .. the Ford Motor Co. became a 
>reality. It would continue to produce 1-of-a-kind automobiles. 
>
>The brilliance of Henry Ford was that he recognised that the automotive 
>industry was still without an INFRASTRUCTURE .. including his own company. Now 
>.. he did introduce "mass production".. yes .. but it wouldn't have worked 
>however .. without an INFRASTRUCTURE. 
>
>There is nothing really "new" under the sun. What Ford did was implement the 
>tools like [mass production/ mass distribution/ mass differentiation (not so 
>much) / mass diversification] and merely introduce them to the auto industry. 
>
>These tools had already been applied to many industries over millenia. It's 
>just that nobody ever thought that they could be successfully applied to this 
>type of industry. If it could be applied to this type of industry .. then it 
>could probably be applied to any industry [or science].
>
>In the auto industry .. the introduction of an INFRASTRUCTURE .. was through 
>"mass distribution". What I mean by this .. is that Ford "split" the concept 
>of car manufacturing. He began assembling "dealerships". The dealerships 
>served as the financial workhorse for his fledgling company. They represented 
>the showrooms. They showcased the end result of all the research and 
>manufacturing. 
>
>This is what brought in the $$$$. 
>This is what defined the INFRASTRUCTURE for the auto industry.
>
>IT IS ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL TO UNDERSTAND THIS !!! 
>
>All research and manufacturing was designed for efficiency .. not profit. 
>
>The dealerships on the other hand .. were. They were all show .. all glamour 
>.. all sales and marketing. The dealerships became the INFRASTRUCTURE 
>completely separated from the actual ongoing research. Ford started off with a 
>few $ million. Within 5 years .. the company had accumulated 7,000 dealerships 
>and pulled .. very quickly .. into the fledgling industry .. todays' 
>equivalent of $ 100 billion.
>
>THIS IS THE KEY !!!
>
>Two separate entities under control of a single concept with little overlap 
>between them.
>If a dealership goes under .. it doesn't affect the industry as a whole.
>Nobody cares.
>
>2. Motion Picture Industry
>
>Here again .. same concept .. different venue. The INFRASTRUCTURE is part of a 
>split concept. The studios .. making of a film .. research carried out .. 
>professional field staffT for on location shooting .. computer buffs .. this 
>is the Art and Science of the industry.
>
>The 1,000s of theatres form the distribution centres [dealerships or 
>showrooms] of the film industry. It is these centres that actually bring in 
>the $$$$. They are separate from the rest. If a theatre goes "belly-up" .. it 
>doesn't affect the industry because a theatre belongs to the marketing and 
>sales outlet.
>Nobody cares.
>
>3. Food Industry
>
>Here again .. the differences are only to be found in the types of venue. 
>Burger King has 1,000s of outlets. These outlets serve as their 
>INFRASTRUCTURE. The slaughtering plants .. packaging .. raising of animal 
>products .. all this .. is never displayed to the public. Only the final 
>product which is bought at the outlet is where the real $$$$ is exchanged.
>
>If an "independent" outlet goes under .. there is always another to take its 
>place.
>Nobody cares.
>
>So .. how do we create an INFRASTRUCTURE for palaeontology ?? For that matter 
>.. what exactly would suffice for an INFRASTRUCTURE in our science in the 1st 
>place ?? In our field .. an INFRASTRUCTURE is what pulls in the customers .. 
>the exhibits !! Because we can already recognise precisely what our 
>infrastructure is composed of .. we now have the insight needed to "split" the 
>field into 2 separate entities. We need to concentrate on developing exhibit 
>institutes whose only purpose is to [highlight/ showroom] the research 
>findings of our field. This in turn provides the $$$$ for the true research 
>institutes that are designed NOT for profit but .. for scientific efficiency 
>in the areas of [specimen storage/ prep labs/ collections/ research] .. just 
>never for sales .. marketing .. $$$$.
>
>The research institutes have absolutely nothing to do with business.The 
>[P.R.I.s] Palaeontological Research Institutes themselves would require a 
>radical new re-design. It's already worked out. That will be for a future 
>thread entirely.
>
>So .. each exhibit institute would act like a (P.R.F.S.) .. Palaeontologibal 
>Research Funding Site. 
>
>AND THIS IS IMPORTANT !!! 
>
>It is the "SITE" that brings in the revenue .. not simply what's standing on 
>it. It doesn't matter what's actually standing on each site .. only that it 
>brings revenue into the science. I say "exhibit institutes" because it is what 
>we are more familiar with and is directly related to our science. 
>
>The 2nd reason is that we should be wide open to any and all possible ways to 
>milk as much funding from these sites as we can possibly imagine. These are 
>NOT RESEARCH SITES but FUNDING SITES for the science. 
>
>I CANNOT OVEREMPHASIZE THIS !!! 
>
>Once our 1st exhibit institute is constructed .. we are away. The goal here .. 
>then .. would be to enhance the "funding rate of each site" by introduction of 
>"mass differentiation" (to triple the funding rate) while at the same time 
>honing the tool of mass distribution with extreme predjudice for these 
>institutes.
>
>"Mass Diversification" is a different matter which would seek to increase the 
>"funding rate" another 10-fold on each established funding site. This is a 
>whole different kettle-of-fish and would require the operation of a 
>"Superstructure" with the underpinnings of a successful "Infrastructure" to 
>launch it. Not for this thread. So don't even ask. Just ignore it for now.
>
>So .. to continue with the original thread ..If some 200 exhibit institutes 
>were constructed throughout North America and 13 went "Chapter 11" .. would we 
>care ?? That is the concern of the business end only. Exhibit institutes go up 
>.. exhibit institutes come down. Nature of the beast. No gov't net under us .. 
>just our neural net. It would be work and a lot of panic .. but .. would 
>gather us a large factor of independence. 
>
>I say no more.
>
>AAAAAAHH .. but all this begs a bigger question .. doesn't it ??
>
>What good is an INFRASTRUCTURE .. if we don't actually control it completely ??
>
>Q : Why don't we have an INFRASTRUCTURE in place ??
>A : Lack of OWNERSHIP 
>
>OWNERSHIP serves as the 5th layer of our pyramid. In order to accomplish this 
>.. we would have to break some rather strong taboos .. and this won't be easy. 
>Public ownership is one thing. Private .. quite another matter. Even in 
>private hands .. we would seek laws and controls to safeguard all research 
>institutes and their collections. The exhibit institutes .. another matter 
>completely. While scientific integrity is still extremely important within the 
>confines of an exhibit institute .. the marketing and sales is a looser end.
>
>It may well be the nature of the beast .. but .. 
>
>AND THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT .. 
>
>it would be OUR BEAST !!!
>
>If the lack of an INFRASTRUCTURE is symptomatic of a lack of OWNERSHIP .. then 
>how exactly do we get around to owning 1 or more institutes ?? For that matter 
>.. what does it mean to .. OWN an institute ??
>
>BRACE FOR IMPACT !!!
>
>The answer is to ** FRANCHISE THE SCIENCE **. 
>
>Sentimental fluff aside .. it's the ONLY WAY to go BIG !!! Take FULL advantage 
>and ADAPT to these new concepts. Why not be the 1st out of the gate .. for 
>once .. rather than constantly bringing up the rear ?? Those in the rear 
>almost always have to split $$$$ crumbs and we've been in the rear now .. for 
>nearly 2 centuries. A franchise isn't just building one institute after 
>another. It is NOT that simplified. It requires breaking long established 
>taboos. For instance [this is a real oversimplification of the process but .. 
>it'll serve the purpose that I'm about to expound upon].
>
>We'll take an imaginary exhibit-institute that will cost .. say .. $ 10 
>million to build. 
>
>Using simple math .. how much $$$$ would the gov't have to raise .. if the 
>taxpayer wanted to have 10 more built in a particular Eastern State ?? This 
>will seem redundant but .. nevertheless .. just follow me on this one.
>
>A : It's the cost of the 1st institute [$ 10 million] X the number [10] to be 
>built = $ 100 million.
>Q : Suppose the U.S. gov't wanted to build 100 of these institutes throughout 
>the nation
>A : Again .. it's the cost of the 1st institute [$ 10 million] X the number 
>[100] to be built = $ 1 billion 
>    would have to be raised.
>
>NO PALAEONTOLOGICAL FRANCHISE would or could ever work this way.
>In fact .. NO FRANCHISE .. works this way.
>
>If .. in our future franchise .. [10] institutes were to be constructed .. how 
>much would we .. in palaeontology .. have to raise ??
>
>A : It's the costs of the 1st institute [$ 10 million] "divided" by the number 
>[10] to be built = 
>    $ 1 million. per institute would have to be raised to build all 10 of them 
> [it's quite counter-intuitve 
>    for a very basic reason].
>Q : And what if we choose to construct 100 institutes ??
>A : Costs inherent in the 1st institute [$ 10 million] "divided" by the number 
>[100] to be built = $ 100,000. 
>    per institute would have to be raised in order to build at least 100 of 
> them.
>
>The point is this ..
>
>It is not a question of $$$$. 
>
>It is a question of MANAGEMENT of an INFRASTRUCTURE.
>
>In this science .. it's not that we have poor management of funds .. but 
>rather .. zero management. We never had it at any time in our history because 
>the science itself was never at any time under our complete control. State and 
>Federal gov'ts. design institutes as 1-of-a-kind. So .. they have to raise $ 
>10 million for each type.
>
>FRANCHISES on the other hand design a single "FLAGSHIP" institute designed 
>exclusively to be MASS-PRODUCED/ MASS-DISTRIBUTED .. thus never raising more 
>$$$$ than necessary to build just the 1st one. All the other collective 
>institutes are absolutely FREE .. ZERO costs to us .. provided .. we do our 
>homework .. by making the "FLAGSHIP" as profitable as possible .. since it's 
>the one that will ultimately be mass produced. It's strictly a MANAGEMENT 
>decision on how much we want each institute to cost us. The smaller the number 
>[of institutes] we construct .. the higher their initial costs to us.
>
>So .. after the 1st one .. who pays for all the others ??
>Well .. we sure as hell don't.
>
>If we do our homework efficiently enough .. the "FLAGSHIP" should pull in 
>enough customers [voluntary taxpayers] to pay for a 2nd one over time. Two 
>then pays for 4 .. Four for 8 .. Eight for 16.
>
>You get the drift ..
>
>The total number of institutes can not exceed our total base customer support 
>in any one demographic area. What determines the holding capacity of each 
>institute in each pop. centre is .. DESIGN EFFICIENCY. This takes a lot of 
>skill to work out. Does it take a pop. centre of 5 million or 1 million 
>customers to profitably support 1 institute ?? It took me years to get it to 
>the dynamics of a 1 million base centre [on paper]. It also required the 
>introduction of an extraordinary idea to be coupled with this concept. I 
>designed it in 1979 but never completely realised its full potential until 
>just very recently.
>
>Further .. it is our customers .. and our customers alone .. that always raise 
>the capital. We simply MANAGE it .. spending it where needed.
>
>Discipline would certainly be required here. What kind of discipline ?? The 
>discipline NOT TO INTERFERE with the $$$$ brought into the exhibit institutes. 
>This $$$$ should be spent primarily on an aggressive expansion of the 
>[P.R.F.S.s]. As these expand across North America .. the FUNDING for 
>palaeontology RISES EXPONENTIALLY. Sure .. we will find it difficult to wait 
>4-5 years .. but we've already blown the past 150 .. so what's 4 or 5 ??
>
>Again .. as the funding of the exhibit institutes increase as a whole .. one 
>could always siphon off .. say .. 10 % to the research component as well. But 
>maintenance and operations costs to cover the exhibit institutes MUST BE the 
>1st priority. The 2nd priority is expansion [differentiation and distribution] 
>with 10% going to research.
>
>Funding to research is gradually ENHANCED.
>
>Basically .. we're talking about setting up an old fashion FISSION REACTION. 
>Welcome to the Atomic Age of 21st C Palaeontological Financing. 
>
>Now .. why should this work ??
>
>Our current funding into palaeontology is from the U.S. gov't and gov't of 
>Canada. What we seem to have lost track of .. is a group that makes 5 times 
>what the U.S. gov't makes. In fact .. 1/5 of what this group makes .. 
>completely underwrites the entire U.S. gov't. They're called the "American 
>Taxpayer".
>
>We have an aversion to asking them to "voluntarily" underwrite us ?!? Maybe 
>we're on the wrong side .. asking all the wrong people ?!?
>
>More than likely .. we have also never really understood the real costs .. to 
>us .. inherent in setting up institutes.
>
>O.K. .. 
>
>This is going to be really touchy .. very delicate to handle .. and 
>unfortunately somewhat personal. I wish it didn't have to be but .. I know its 
>probably going to come across that way. I really don't know how else to handle 
>this .. so .. here goes.
>
>Apologises to everyone concerned in advance.
>
>I call this "BUNKERING" or the "BUNKER MENTALITY"
>
>When the ancient Egyptians designed their sarcophagus' .. they built 
>underground burial chambers to hold them. Think of these burial chambers as 
>research programs and the saurcophagus' as the itinerant collections. 
>
>I'm using an analogy here.
>
>Over top all of this .. was built a 10 million ton stone pyramid. Think of the 
>pyramid as a political BUNKER [institute building] designed to stand the test 
>of time .. representing the gov't that built it .. a costly undertaking .. an 
>ediface to political ego. 
>
>While the ancient Egyptians gave up "bunkering" .. the museum world did not. 
>The buildings have become as priceless as what they encompass. This "bunker 
>mentality" is precisely what stands in our way of low maintenance .. low 
>construction costs .. making this whole thing somewhat unfeasible. The way 
>museums are constructed has been established nearly unchanged for well over 2 
>centuries.
>
>Today .. if one were to duplicate the construction of the Tyrrell museum in 
>Alberta .. I can't for the life of me imagine doing it for less than $ 100 
>million. That is a $ 100 million institute covering some 120,000 sq.ft.
>
>Where am I going with this ??
>
>Some might think .. for what I'm about to say that .. I'm about to purchase a 
>1-way ticket straight to Hell ..
>
>I have been there before. However .. since I've already bought my ticket ..
>
>I have been watching with some interest .. over the past 2 years .. of a group 
>in Northern Alberta .. that put together some $25 million and even got the 
>gov't to top it up with another $ 10 million. What this group has just 
>accomplished is the construction of a $ 35 million .. 40,000 sq.ft. institute. 
>Based loosely on this .. their construction costs work out to approximately $ 
>875.oo per sq.ft. Their institute .. I believe .. stands over 30' in height .. 
>judging from what I can see of their artistic renditions. The RTMP has a 
>similar height .. which is standard for the construction industry. This is .. 
>however .. another bunkerized museum. The people involved had worked very long 
>and hard to accomplish this feat. 
>
>Kudos to them. 
>
>But the world is about to change .. at least for palaeontological funding. 
>
>Hopefully .. their type institute was the last of an old breed .. an old way 
>of doing things.
>
>Today .. sitting down with architects and a construction company .. we 
>realised that we could probably get the construction costs down to $ 15.oo 
>sq.ft. by simply [counterintuitively] going big .. very big. It would be 
>possible to build a 1 million sq.ft. institute .. not for $ 15 million .. but 
>for as little as 1/5 of that amount .. IF .. it were further enhanced as an 
>"array".
>
>I'll explain this in a later thread.
>
>For $ 35 million .. it would have been possible to commence construction of 12 
>[1 million sq.ft.] institutes across North America .. and these institutes 
>would today be serving as the building blocks of our very 1st palaeontological 
>INFRASTRUCTURE.
>
>Such continued missed oportunities.
>
>Again .. my apologises for being so blunt. 
>
>It is what it is.
>
>Haven't gone into any detail as yet. That'll be another thread if we can 
>launch one of these. $3 million is still a shit pile of $$$$ to raise from a 
>standing position .. even for a 1 million sq.ft. institute standing nearly 
>150' in height. In sheer size .. this partially represents an institute some 
>60 times the size of the new Northern Alberta institute .. 20 times the size 
>of the RTMP .. and at a tiny .. tiny fraction of their costs.
>
>To be fair .. this Alberta group had completely opposite goals to what I'm 
>proposing .. and they still accomplished them. I have little doubt of their 
>future success in this endeavour. This tells me at the very least that .. 
>there is $$$$ out there .. lots of it.
>
>Finally .. all we've been doing is Digging through SYMPTOMS. We need to get to 
>the real cause of our impoverishment.
>
>Q : Why don't we have any OWNERSHIP of such institutes today ??
>A : ATTITUDE .. the 6th and final layer of our pyramid.
>
>An ATTITUDE towards funding change means nothing less than taking complete 
>responsibility for the funding of our science. They say ATTITUDE is absolutely 
>free and one of the hardest things of all to acquire. I've been through the 
>mud to know how true that is. Time to throw down the shovel. We have no 
>further need to Dig. As Pickers .. we now have our quarry. We have travelled 
>down this pyramid only to discover the real reason for our science's funding 
>impoverishment. 
>
>This is only the starting point. 
>
>Now .. we have to climb back up and eliminate the SYMPTOMS as we go. 
>
>That is for a much later thread AND it's where all the details are.
>
>To summerise :                   RESOLUTION 
>                                 RESOURCES 
>                                 MONEY [$$$$] 
>                                 INFRASTRUCTURE 
>                                 OWNERSHIP 
>                                 ATTITUDE
>
>I won't be back on the computer for a couple days. Got too much to do. So take 
>your time if you want to respond. I'm always looking for any new twist or new 
>perspectives .. even at this late date. There's always time for retrospection. 
>I'll try and answer what I can. No flaming labels please. If you feel you must 
>.. "imperial-capitalist-running-pig-dog" is fine.
>
>I leave you with this :
>
>"If we don't find the courage and initiative within ourselves to do this .. 
>someone else .. outside palaeontology .. inevitably .. will do it for us .. 
>and ..CONTROL ALL OUR POTENTIAL FUTURE FUNDING".
>
>So .. am I crazy ?? 
>Was Ford crazy when he introduced a new way of independent funding to the auto 
>industry ?? 
>
>Think deeply upon this. 
>
>Thanks for bearing with me. 
>
>dale