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General Astronomy >> Outreach

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Jon Isaacs
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Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Outreach protocol new [Re: Bill Weir]
      #5349928 - 08/03/12 09:34 AM

Quote:

When I drove from Victoria Canada to Red Bluff California for the Transit of Venus I let dozens of people look through my scopes. Many wanted to know what I wanted from them for the views I offered. I was surprised that the concept of money ever entered into the situation. All I wanted from them was signatures, where they were from and any comments written on a "visitor's log" that I created.

It has never occured to me to treat public outreach as busking but I guess it could be considered that. Doesn't take much talent though just deep enough pockets to buy the gear. Then again with present times we don't know what a person's situation might be now. The scope could have been aquired under different cicumstances. It could be like if you have a cow, do you sell the cow or the milk?

Bill




Bill:

It's true that when my wife plays in public, whether for pay or free, she puts in far more effort in preparation than I do if I am just showing people the night sky.

But I think we need to step back from motivation and intent and just recognize that it is only kind and gracious to accept gifts that are offered to us by a gracious heart. If one is uncomfortable accepting the gift for themselves, pass it on to someone or some group who is needy.

Jon


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amicus sidera
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Reged: 10/14/11

Loc: East of the Sun, West of the M...
Re: Outreach protocol new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5349983 - 08/03/12 10:32 AM

"...and what desert greater shall there be, than that, which lies in the courage and the confidence, nay the charity, of receiving?" - Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

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killdabuddha
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Re: Outreach protocol new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5350057 - 08/03/12 11:33 AM

Quote:

Quote:


so---does charging/collecting help with these goals?
that is the question





I would posit that this question is in and of itself an informal fallacy: lumping the charging of a fee together with collecting (more properly, accepting) freely-given donations... one is a fee for services rendered, and is an implicit consideration, while the other is charitably given, under no contractual obligation, for the same or similar services. These are unequal propositions, and must be considered separately.






Umm,

Sorry, but edwincjones properly used the forward slash to demonstrate alternatives. "The slash is most commonly used as the word substitute for 'or' which indicates a choice (often mutually exclusive) is present. (Examples: Male/Female, Y/N, He/She.)"

It follows, therefore, that there was no informal fallacy committed under these conditions. If anything, edwincjones can be said to have most properly (as in properly and most commonly) used this now accepted and standardized punctuation form. Mr. Jones is merely asking whether the exchange of money, under at least two types of transaction, is appropriate. This is very much allowed, as much so as to ask whether a simple question constitutes the commission of a logical fallacy of any sort. Were it otherwise, and at least insofar as common practice is the rule, there would be no forward slash.


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amicus sidera
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Re: Outreach protocol new [Re: killdabuddha]
      #5350096 - 08/03/12 12:08 PM

"so - does charging or collecting help with these goals?
that is the question"
(modified for argument's sake)

The use of either "or" or "and" does not change the question's basic presumption, which is that either of these two actions will have either a negative or positive effect, and that the problem is the transaction, period.

Nice strawman but, umm, sorry.


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killdabuddha
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Re: Outreach protocol new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5350104 - 08/03/12 12:17 PM

Quote:

"so - does charging or collecting help with these goals?
that is the question"
(modified for argument's sake)

The use of either "or" or "and" does not change the question's basic presumption, which is that either of these two actions will have either a negative or positive effect, and that the problem is the transaction, period.

Nice strawman but, umm, sorry.




No strawman. Sorry. I was afraid of this. Didn't actually wanna give a logic lesson. Can anybody see the mistake? Anybody? How 'bout it, amicus? What does a logical fallacy of any sort require? This is Logic 101.


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amicus sidera
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Re: Outreach protocol new [Re: killdabuddha]
      #5350110 - 08/03/12 12:21 PM

Oh, you shouldn't be afraid, I'm sure you'll wipe the floor with me... after all, I barely finished high school.

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killdabuddha
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Re: Outreach protocol new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5350156 - 08/03/12 12:51 PM

LOL. Naw, it's all good amicus. And I didn't wanna seem to be jumpin on anyone either, but I'm still a little anal from my teaching days and I tend to wanna defend people if I think they've been misunderstood or if what they've said has been misrepresented. Guess I'm sorta a critical thinking junky, too...wattya expect from a disaffected English, Philosophy and Law grad? I'll trade all of it any day for yer good humor.

All I was tryin to point out was that there wasn't any claim made by edwincjones' question, regardless of the number or type of elements constituting that question. Whether formal (syllogistic) or informal, a fallacy requires a faulty claim or conclusion. Were we to fault a mere question according to its premise(s), then we'd also expect everything to be self-evident, no? To wit, Noam Chomsky is even allowed to ask whether "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously," if only to demonstrate that grammar alone is not the carrier of meaning. Mr. Jones said this:

"back to basics-what is the purpose for outreach

-altruistic
to show/teach the beauty of the heavens

-more selfish
to promote the hobby for the future

so---does charging/collecting help with these goals?
that is the question
if it helps, then good
if not, then not good"

Now, we can argue whether his conditions for an analysis of the question as he's framed it are sufficient, or whether his conclusion that, "if it helps, then good, [but] if not, then not good," necessarily follows. My only point was that the part of his post that you cited could not contain any type of fallacy because it was a mere question, and that his use of the forward slash was very appropriate and permitted.


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edwincjones
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Re: Outreach protocol new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5350168 - 08/03/12 12:58 PM

ok, ok, getting a little OT on the question,
what about the answer?

-what is the goal of outreach?
-is it more successful if free,
- charged,
-accept donations,
- other



edj


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killdabuddha
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Re: Outreach protocol new [Re: edwincjones]
      #5350259 - 08/03/12 02:00 PM

Quote:

ok, ok, getting a little OT on the question,
what about the answer?

-what is the goal of outreach?
-is it more successful if free,
- charged,
-accept donations,
- other



edj




Depends. Do you accept his premises? His conditions for or framing of the question? There's a little rule of thumb in debate that says, "He who frames the question wins the debate." Sounds like yer questioning his assumptions about what constitutes the goal of outreach--in this case and as stated, that the purpose of outreach is either altruism or self-satisfaction. Personally, I wouldn't have allowed either choice to stand as a "purpose of outreach." These are more the "means" by which a goal is obtained, and as neither of these would satisfactorily account for the possibility that others have raised, that the request for monies is to recoup expenses incurred, then I'd have to side with you in determining that his conditions for even this are insufficient or circumspect. But that's still only a re-framing of a question that hasn't actually been formulated. What's the purpose of outreach? Seems to me that that answer has more to do with strangers to astronomy than to the person with the scope. If we can determine that the goal of outreach is to expose as many people as possible to something that they wouldn't normally have access to, then maybe we can ask which means best accomplishes that goal--charging money, asking for donations, or neither? If the goal is to expose the greatest number of people to astronomy, then I'd probably make the case that keeping money out of the equation is more likely to achieve this best, and if someone tried to claim that this sort of financing is necessary to continue outreach efforts, I can simply point out that there will always be people like yourself, amicus, who will contribute even though not asked to.

Oops. Sorry. I thought I was answering amicus, not you edwin. Kindly read the response accordingly.


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Jon Isaacs
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Outreach protocol new [Re: edwincjones]
      #5350303 - 08/03/12 02:29 PM

Quote:

ok, ok, getting a little OT on the question,
what about the answer?

-what is the goal of outreach?
-is it more successful if free,
- charged,
-accept donations,
- other



edj




- What is the goal of outreach.. that is a subject all to itself. But one has to own it, recognize that ultimately you are doing it for yourself.. maybe because you believe it is important or that you find it pleasurable.

I suspect the "success" has little to do with whether someone puts out the hat or not.

Jon


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amicus sidera
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Re: Outreach protocol new [Re: killdabuddha]
      #5350313 - 08/03/12 02:36 PM

Quote:

LOL. Naw, it's all good amicus. And I didn't wanna seem to be jumpin on anyone either, but I'm still a little anal from my teaching days and I tend to wanna defend people if I think they've been misunderstood or if what they've said has been misrepresented. Guess I'm sorta a critical thinking junky, too...wattya expect from a disaffected English, Philosophy and Law grad? I'll trade all of it any day for yer good humor.

All I was tryin to point out was that there wasn't any claim made by edwincjones' question, regardless of the number or type of elements constituting that question. Whether formal (syllogistic) or informal, a fallacy requires a faulty claim or conclusion. Were we to fault a mere question according to its premise(s), then we'd also expect everything to be self-evident, no? To wit, Noam Chomsky is even allowed to ask whether "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously," if only to demonstrate that grammar alone is not the carrier of meaning. Mr. Jones said this:

"back to basics-what is the purpose for outreach

-altruistic
to show/teach the beauty of the heavens

-more selfish
to promote the hobby for the future

so---does charging/collecting help with these goals?
that is the question
if it helps, then good
if not, then not good"

Now, we can argue whether his conditions for an analysis of the question as he's framed it are sufficient, or whether his conclusion that, "if it helps, then good, [but] if not, then not good," necessarily follows. My only point was that the part of his post that you cited could not contain any type of fallacy because it was a mere question, and that his use of the forward slash was very appropriate and permitted.




I concede the point to you, good fellow, and stand corrected! Standing in defense of clarity is to be commended - we're all friends here (or, at least, we all should be! )

Now, to the subject at hand (directed to the forum):

The point I wanted to make was that charging for a service and accepting (but not soliciting) donations are two different beasts. As to whether any monetary exchange would have a negative effect, I would think it would depend upon the value received by the consumer of the service rendered.

For example, if a bus company started packaging tours to dark sky areas specifically aimed at urban dwellers, and could turn a profit by doing so, that would be a positive, in my book. They would be charging a fee, but can you imagine the allies we would have in the LP arena if a few tens of thousands of people took such tours? Yes, such a thing could be done for free, but if the net effect is the same, who's to say that turning a buck is a bad thing? You know, people do tend to appreciate an object or service more when it has cost them something, and often in direct proportion to its cost... using that logic, perhaps we've been going about this all wrong - maybe we should all start charging folks to take a peek through our telescopes!

I say this in jest, but it is food for thought.


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edwincjones
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Re: Outreach protocol new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5350367 - 08/03/12 03:15 PM

thank you all for the responses

I saw the "hat" as distasteful
but
opinions mixed, most seem ok-to some extent

edj


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amicus sidera
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Loc: East of the Sun, West of the M...
Re: Outreach protocol new [Re: edwincjones]
      #5350379 - 08/03/12 03:26 PM

Quote:

thank you all for the responses

I saw the "hat" as distasteful
but
opinions mixed, most seem ok-to some extent

edj




I can see your point, and if it strikes you as distasteful, there's no gainsaying that - that's your preference. To my mind, and not speaking from a strictly impersonal point of view as I have been, it would strike me the same way it did you - not something I would do. I've never accepted money for outreach, never put a hat or tip jar out... but then again, I've almost always been in a position to turn down such offers, which I'm most grateful for.


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Jon Isaacs
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Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Outreach protocol new [Re: edwincjones]
      #5350398 - 08/03/12 03:40 PM

Quote:

thank you all for the responses

I saw the "hat" as distasteful
but
opinions mixed, most seem ok-to some extent

edj




Ed:

I think my initial impression to the thread was that it was somewhat distasteful, not quite on the up and up. However when a stepped back and thought about it more, I was OK with it.

I think it would have been interesting had you taken a moment and asked the fellow about it and how he felt. You probably would have had a clearer understanding.

Jon


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killdabuddha
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Re: Outreach protocol new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5350402 - 08/03/12 03:44 PM




My Dear Fellow amicus,

What may you have stumbled upon?

First, sumthin you said puts me in mind of sumthin that may be its opposite. Rather than having any detrimental effect, on a purely psychological level it might be shown that people will only appreciate sumthin if they are asked to pay for it. BUT, let's not necessarily accept the standard coin of that currency, i.e., money. Yes, it can be said that the lowest common denominator of our civilization is the taking of each others' money, by whatever name or philosophy or theory we choose to call that. Now one thing that really seems to stand out about astronomy is the generosity of its members, whether by the free sharing of their star charts, dob plans, general how-to knowledge, or even of their otherwise "profitable" computer programs for go-to capability (I'm thinkin of Mel Bartels). And another thing that seems apparent to me is the inevitable continued growth of open-sourcing. How can I make these work toward the goal of getting more people involved to our mutual benefit? Maybe ask that the people trade their signature for a look thru our glass? That they sign a petition calling for a referendum that addresses light pollution? Maybe couch that in the language of wasted energy and unnecessary taxpayer costs? If there be any donations, make sure that they know that the monies are going toward some worthwhile effort? Is there a win/win/win? One Nobel laureate in economics showed that the demise of civilizations was due to the decreasing levels of its members' participation in that civilization's wealth.

Edit. Oops. I see that you've already addressed a lotta this. Well good!

Edited by killdabuddha (08/03/12 03:52 PM)


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amicus sidera
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Re: Outreach protocol new [Re: killdabuddha]
      #5350451 - 08/03/12 04:18 PM

I agree, Killdabuddha... amateur astromomers, at least in my experience, are on average some of the most generous and open-handed people I've ever had the pleasure of encountering... that goes double for people like Mel who make a considerable sacrifice for the overall good of the hobby. It's axiomatic that the more one gives, the more one receives... perhaps not in a monetary sense, but as you infer, there are other modes of wealth besides cash...

Not positive, but the Nobel laureate you refer to might have been Joseph Stiglitz.


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killdabuddha
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Re: Outreach protocol new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5351482 - 08/04/12 10:39 AM


Yes! Thanks amicus.

http://news.columbia.edu/stiglitz

As for the OP, seems the "proper" venue for monetary transactions is thru an organization. Otherwise, showin the sky to passersby with a hat out smacks of peddling, and while this is accepted and normal in lotsa places, here in the U.S. it's been discouraged (and licensed and zoned) out of existence. Now if the scope came with sufficient aperture and a monkey with a grinder organ, I'd be hard pressed to resist. Just to keep the monkey happy, you understand.


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frolinmod
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/06/10

Loc: Southern California
Re: Outreach protocol new [Re: killdabuddha]
      #5353226 - 08/05/12 02:08 PM

Around here if any money is involved whether for profit or not, you'd better have obtained a business license from the city otherwise you're gonna get cited.

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Pharquart
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Reged: 11/11/09

Loc: Southwest Minneapolis Metro
Re: Outreach protocol new [Re: frolinmod]
      #5355058 - 08/06/12 04:17 PM

Either my town is more relaxed on licensing, or the local police aren't the ones to enforce it. A couple of the night shift cops are some of my loyal repeat viewers!

Brian


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tedbnh
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Reged: 11/14/07

Loc: New Hampshire
Re: Outreach protocol new [Re: Pharquart]
      #5359456 - 08/09/12 09:33 AM

When I do outreach on the boardwalk (Hampton Beach, NH, a popular family tourist destination) the only thing the cops are concerned about is whether or not I'm charging any money. I never charge, and I think that is the common bond among most of us who do outreach. When I am alone I don't accept donations either, but when our club does its monthly sidewalk outreach activity we do put out a donation 'box' and the money collected goes to the club treasury for various purposes, all related to the usual club mission.

I would not want to get into a discussion with some officer about whether a voluntary donation box was equivalent to charging for views, so I eliminate the possibility. Once you go through the difficulties to get all set up, every minute is precious, no time to waste on legal discussions!


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