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Al Bregman's funding problem

Dear List,

I thought I would put my one-dime's worth of wisdom into this animated
exchange. As I perceive it, many of the arguments are missing the pragmatic
point: How to convince the funding agency's decision making apparatus,
which is, actually, a group of people with a law-mandated mission to fund
solid research, that Al's on-line demo is, in fact, scientifically valid.

Having worked for a government agency for a number of years I understand,
without condoning it a bit, that each and every decision taken by an agency
has one principal motivation: to have the behind of the person making the
decision covered to the fullest extent. Since we cannot change this basic
fact, we should accept it and collectively find a solution satisfying
everybody's needs, i.e., (1) Al's needs for funding and for a positive
outcome of his venerable efforts intended to make a potentially useful
piece of his work readily available to anybody interested, (2) our need to
have such a demo available to us for research and education, and (3) the
government's decision maker person's need to appear clad from the waist
down, i.e., to show his superiors a flawless performance of his duties (the
lack of which would be devastating for his public servant career).
If we accept this pragmatic view, then I would suggest that Al finds out
EXACTLY what sort of review would satisfy the agency -- he could propose,
in a letter to the agency, a number of alternatives, for which the list's
lively exchange may have provided him with more advice than he needs. After
he receives a clear answer, he should communicate it with us and we could
pick up the exchange where it stands today. Implicit in this suggestion is
that any further arguments on this issue, while extremely interesting and
inspiring at least to me, will not help our friend Al Bregman solve his



Pierre Divenyi, Ph.D.      Experimental Audiology Research (151)
                                     V.A. Medical Center, Martinez, CA
94553, USA
Phone: (925) 370-6745
Fax:     (925) 228-5738
E-mail :                       pdivenyi@marva4.ebire.org