Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Ufology and Money

The subject of "money" within Ufology seems to be a delicate one and there appears to be a divided opinion on the matter between two groups, one group being much larger than the other.

The larger group seems to think that those within Ufology who ask for money for doing things like lectures and so on are in the wrong. Considering some of the slurs I've read, "wrong" might be viewed as a bit of an understatement. There is often a real sense of derision and disgust aimed at those who appear to want to pocket a buck and the underlying feeling, unquestionably, is that services should be donated for free in order to further the cause of the subject and to remove from it the dubious stink of pecuniary greed that has dogged Ufology in the past.

The other, smaller group consists of those who pocket the cash and who seem to have no qualms about asking for fees.

I have somewhat torn sensibilities on this. On the one hand, I can't see a problem with a speaker asking for a fee (as well as expenses) for an appearance at a conference or for writing something for a publication. Market forces would of course apply and if the fee was too much for the entrepreneur or publisher involved, then he has the option of haggling or going elsewhere.

I don't have much of a problem either with folk who market product; their speaches, films, CDs and so on. But I have to admit that on one message List I belong to, there are at least two senior members of that List who use the board to promote what they're selling and they do so to the point where I find it offensive. So it would appear that I don't mind people asking for money and yet at the same time, I do, which is hardly helpful. Perhaps it's the frequency of the promoting that is offensive.

This isn't a problem for which an answer is required and inevitably, because Human Beings are involved, there will be a large element of hypocrisy involved. It might for example be argued that authors who also lecture and who don't ask for a fee aren't being quite as saintly as they appear as the likelihood is that their speaking engagement will generate further book sales. On the other hand, they could still ask for a fee and make even more money and the fact that they don't is a feather in their cap.

And so the argument bounces one way then the next. What's this blog worth?


Blogger Frank Warren said...

Value is the life-giving power of anything; cost, the quantity of labour required to produce it; its price, the quantity of labour which its possessor will take in exchange for it.

-John Ruskin-

Wednesday, 10 August, 2005  

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