Saturday, January 19, 2008

Caution - Internet Thieves, Posers And Pirates

Wilhelm Reich, MD was a psychotherapist who studied the life force and what supported it or detracted from it. He authored many papers and inventions, but one book in particular is worth noting as we explore the world of the Internet. That book is called Listen, Little Man. It is Reich’s statement to those who both exploit and deride genius, who steal and twist the original thinking of genius, who attempt to bury it under false and misleading references to someone, sometime, somewhere having offered the original idea before the genius did. I raise this because I recently had an unpleasant experience with such a person who had advertised an internet think tank and who sent a form to fill out that included questions about past accomplishments and present projects. Over a couple of week’s email exchanges, it became obvious that this person is one of Reich’s “wanna bes”. He shamefully self promotes and then takes other people’s ideas and acts like a narcissistic pundit, taking pot shots, ridiculing and inserting his own ideas and agendas. When confronted on his unethical behavior, he threatened suit if I told anyone. He attempted to engage me in a several discussions on making bombs and converting weather systems into weapons. When I declined he began attacking my religion, my town, my identity. He found someone with my name that had an online resume and began raging about this person’s occupation (social work and psychotherapy) and insisted that I was this person despite my denials. I came to the conclusion that this was at best a sad and delusional person and at worst a psychopath with a focus on people who were creative, innovative and compassionate. I found that he had taken one of my concepts and an article I sent him in an email and put up three articles ridiculing and denigrating me and my concepts. What is perplexing is that he has no credentials, no authority, and must do these multiple attacks because he does not understand what he reads or purposefully misinterprets to create a false public perception. How sad. But this can be a good lesson for us all. Just because someone advertises that he is the coordinator for an online think tank or that one exists that he has some role in, beware. Do not provide such people with information about yourself, your work or your original ideas. You have no check on who they are or what they may do with your information. There are reputable think tanks that you can send ideas and white papers to. You can send your ideas to organizations and individuals who work in the field and who are genuinely interested. My only suggestion here is to send it to a dozen or more organizations to assure that the idea will be credited to you. Prior to my contact with the above individual, I had been in contact with more than a dozen organizations who are actively engaged in the issues and evaluation of new methods in the field. If you have an invention, then you may want to talk with a patent attorney. Before you do that, get a copy of the Nolo Press book on patents and work with it. This way, you will save time and money in dealing with a patent attorney because you will have considered the documentation needed for a patent. If you are a generous and compassionate person who desires to help the world, these cautions still apply. You want your ideas to have an open and fair hearing. Most new social and technological developments began as ideas that other people called silly or unscientific or impossible. Many did not work consistently: the first Xerox machine had four people with fire extinguishers ready when it was demonstrated because 7 out of 10 runs it caused a fire; the woman who invented the bra used two handkerchiefs and some ribbons; the transistors that replaced old tube style systems in televisions and radio were first sold to the Japanese as an insignificant development. If you give up your idea, the “concept killer” or pirate can claim it as his own. Think of the Rubric Cube. This was a mathematical puzzle for four hundred years. It was considered impossible to solve. Then it was made into a toy and within weeks, people were solving it repeatedly. You have a right to think, to invent and to experiment. And as all inventors know, you learn as much from failed inventions as from those that work. If you encounter one of the concept killers or the thieves of ideas and inventions, decline to play with them or “work” in their “think tank”. The rule in a think tank is that the organization who hosts the session has priority rights on the ideas unless they have been previously distributed by the author. A real think tank will call for papers or concepts on a problem or issue, exchange the ideas with each other, hold open non-critical exchanges and finally, submit its report to the members who can submit “minority opinions” if they do not agree with the report. Only a pirate will publish personal commentary without the permission or full vetting of the original idea and never without the named participation of the members of the think tank. If the administrator or handler of the think tank is not interested in an idea or position, they will make no effort to squash information about that position. So beware of the thieves, the posers and the pirates. Joan McKenna is a research scientist who has specialized in thermodynamic phenomena for thirty years. She hold the first life suspension patents for freezing living materials without damage; she has developed controlled mutation to allow for true genetic adaptation to extreme environments; known for her research in cancer and in optimizing immune competence. Her training in Fire Sciences enabled her to recognize the thermodynamic phenomena that would put out and keep down a hurricane.

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