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Financial Support for a 2nd Year


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#1 Mind

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 09:47 PM


Maybe I am preaching to the choir in this forum. I wanted to get an opinion on funding the 2nd year of the Prize, which begins April 1st. I have not gone to the Board for a funding request as of yet. DNAmechanic and myself have been working on a grant proposal. I have asked Reason on his thoughts as well and waiting for a response. LEF has stated they will continue to offer their support indefinitely.

I was thinking of going exclusively for some grant money, but DNAmechanic thought it would not be a good sign if the Institute was asking for grant support of a project that it does not support itself. That sounds fairly reasonable to me. However, even if the Institute does not support the Prize financially, we do provide structural support (record-keeping and promotional efforts).

So far Caliban has offered the most resistance to funding a 2nd year of the prize, based on the fact he can see no redeeming value to offering monetary prizes. He suggests or thinks that people would fold no matter what, and that folding is really not a life extension endeavor, thus not in accordance with the mission of the Institute. Just wondering if anyone else had those thoughts?

I think the original logic behind the Prize still holds and that the $805 spent by the Institute was a good investment.

1. As far as Imminst projects go, this one has BY FAR the most participation. People have volunteered not only their computer cycles but their time to help promote the Prize and the team.
2. There are multiple levels of incentives to keep people participating.
3. It has created a sense of camaraderie and purpose, having the team rise through the rankings. In my estimation, the team would not be in the top 100 right now without the Prize.
4. The Prize has brought life extension organizations together. LEF, Imminst, MFURI, and the Longevity Meme have all contributed.
5. The rise of the team, buoyed by the Prize, is providing more visibility for the Longevity Meme and life extension advocacy in general. Our team is kicking the pants off the gamers.
6. Folding DOES help life extension research.
7. Vijay Pande was on the Sunday Evening Update! Ok, maybe that is off topic a little - but it was cool!

#2 naapi

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 11:08 PM

Mind, all,

Being a substantial contributor to financing Q2-Q4 of the Prize I thought it might be helpful if I will offer my perspective:

- I think the Prize has been a major contributor to the rise of The Longevity Meme team in the ranks of folding teams. We're now ranked #89 out of ~150 000 teams and tracking to #40. This is a great achievement, no doubt about this. I feel we would be ranked #150-200 without the prize, I recall we've seemed to be stuck at #210 a year ago or so for a long, long time. One should only look at our progress in Q1 of the Prize - I think we doubled, if not tripled our points productivity, same was true with Q2. A year ago we've been churning out less than 20 000 PPD, 8 000 of it by TMichael. We're 15 times as big a year later - no doubt mainly due to Folding Prize.

- There have been some high level folders that have switched or joined our team because of the prize. Chungenhung is a prominent example of a folder that switched the teams because of the prize. Don't get me wrong - he didn't do it for money - he contributed all the money he won to our worthy case, and more. It is just that that the money was spend on more folding, more research and more visibility for our cause - ending aging.

I cannot commit I would contribute in the same way I did in the past year. I wish I could, but circumstances changed - financial crisis and all that. I still strongly think it is a good cause, people fold more when they are motivated financially to do so, even if the money they win all goes to fund more equipment, as in the case of Chungenhung. As a winner of Q1 prize, I can tell you this was true in my case ;)

I am not a particularly active member of ImmInst, so I do not feel I can advise on the effectiveness of use of Insitute's money to fund folding or other projects. But I am of strong opinion that any funds spend on undersatning or simulation of biological processes of a cell (including protein folding) is money very well spent.

Hoping this was helpful,

Maciek.

#3 maestro949

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 12:09 AM

What about more random prizes? A few $100 video cards might be a nice addition to the prize pool.

#4 sentinel

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 10:15 AM

The prize is one of Imminst's USPs (unique selling points) it differentiates positively from the other folding teams out there and it markets us and our ethos to a cross section of people who we would not necessarily reach otherwise.

Taking away the funding would demonstrate a sign of removing all support and backing, not just financial. We would lose people to other teams or worse, people would stop folding entirely as their efforts would appear unappreciated and their thoughts and opinions unheard or unheeded.

The level of activity and enthusiasm in the LMFAH forum shows not only that it has become an important part of the site and movement but also it's about the only one I visit that does not have threads degenerating into flames and egos. It is exemplary of the conduct and culture that is lacking across much of the board so should be encouraged to grow.

The dollar value of the prizes are not huge but they back up the friendly competition that we have with eachother and other teams, and I'm sure tip a lot of people over the edge into contributing to research and the institute when they otherwise would not.

*steps off soap box*

#5 Mind

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 09:24 PM

Yes, that is one thing I forgot to mention in the earlier post, Imminst has been a leader and trailblazer in this pursuit - fits with the theme of the whole organization....and I really can't add anymore to what Sentinel said so eloquently.

#6 kismet

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 12:50 PM

I just want to second what the others have said. The project is great for our community and the prizes helped to kickstart the effort and keep up motivation. I don't understand why the imminst spending policy is so overcautious even considering cuts for projects instead of increases across the board? It's not as if we're facing chapter 11 - actually the opposite is true.

#7 Heliotrope

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 02:12 AM

I just want to second what the others have said. The project is great for our community and the prizes helped to kickstart the effort and keep up motivation. I don't understand why the imminst spending policy is so overcautious even considering cuts for projects instead of increases across the board? It's not as if we're facing chapter 11 - actually the opposite is true.


agreed. For bio-science research, for med- breakthroughs. For LE.

for getting Pande on the show again.

I know most of you are adults (likely financially ind.), who the heck really cares about money whatever , even up to 100-200 hundred bucks. It adds to our gamesmanship, camaraderie. excitement.

helps push TLM to top10.

Edited by HYP86, 04 March 2009 - 02:13 AM.


#8 Heliotrope

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 07:39 AM

The prize is one of Imminst's USPs (unique selling points) it differentiates positively from the other folding teams out there and it markets us and our ethos to a cross section of people who we would not necessarily reach otherwise.

Taking away the funding would demonstrate a sign of removing all support and backing, not just financial. We would lose people to other teams or worse, people would stop folding entirely as their efforts would appear unappreciated and their thoughts and opinions unheard or unheeded.

The level of activity and enthusiasm in the LMFAH forum shows not only that it has become an important part of the site and movement but also it's about the only one I visit that does not have threads degenerating into flames and egos. It is exemplary of the conduct and culture that is lacking across much of the board so should be encouraged to grow.

The dollar value of the prizes are not huge but they back up the friendly competition that we have with eachother and other teams, and I'm sure tip a lot of people over the edge into contributing to research and the institute when they otherwise would not.



totally agree.

pande might even be a regular guest if we increase




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