X-Message-Number: 1188
Date: 14 Sep 92 20:00:07 EDT
From: Charles Platt <>
Message-Id: <>

To: Kevin Brown 
I have read the "Independence Day" message posted by Michael 
Paulle. Frankly I find the tone of it a bit embarrassing. It 
implies that a force of white knights has somehow vanquished 
an "evil empire." This is not a reasonable or constructive 
way to describe recent events. 
I am doubly embarrassed to see myself "thanked" in Michael 
Paulle's posting. In case anyone is unaware of the facts, my 
only participation in the recent board elections was to read 
Alcor's by-laws a few months ago and ask why the elections 
had not been held in the past. If I hadn't raised this 
question, I know other people were ready to do so. Since the 
result of the elections could have gone either way (for or 
against the current administration), asking for elections 
cannot be construed as any kind of political act. 
Other people may already be posting the news, but in case no 
one else has done so, here is an unofficial, abbreviated, 
personal summary of the September 13 board meeting. Three new 
members were elected. It was a long process, but it was 
scrupulously in accordance with the rules, and I think that 
Alcor will benefit from the outcome--not necessarily because 
the new members will be better than the old ones, but because 
critics of the current administration should be satisfied (at 
least for the time being), and as a result, we can hope for 
less time wasted on politics. 
Carlos Mondragon, Dave Pizer, Keith Henson, Hugh Hixon, Ralph 
Whelan, and Brenda Peters were re-elected to the board. Glen 
Tupler was not re-elected. Bill Jameson took himself off the 
ballot. Paul Genteman publicly admitted, with some chagrin, 
that he omitted to vote for himself; and partly as a result, 
he was not re-elected. Thus, three slots opened up. Steve 
Bridge, Mark Voelker, and Allen Lopp were chosen to fill 
those slots from a fairly large slate of possible candidates. 
Prior to the election, Allen Lopp circulated a very long, 
balanced, perceptive "position paper" outlining the steps he 
believes are necessary to revitalize Alcor in some areas.  
Steve Bridge has, of course, posted his own "position paper" 
here on the net in the past. 
Mark Voelker has been reticent on the subject of Alcor's 
politics and shortcomings. He presented himself as "the 
science candidate" (he has been building the world's first 
twin-probe scanning-tunneling electron microscope) and 
suggested it would be a good idea for one board member to be 
a scientist. Also, he may have been elected partly because he 
is a noncontroversial candidate who is known to some of the 
existing board members. 
Each of the nine outgoing members was allocated nine votes. 
These votes were applied to a slate of candidates which 
included the outgoing board members themselves (with the 
exception of Bill Jameson, who had removed himself from 
consideration). Each member could not cast more than one vote 
for any one candidate. 
A total of 63 votes were cast, out of a possible 81. Thus, 
some board members chose not to use all nine of their votes, 
which was a cause of some discussion and complaints after the 
results were tallied. Ralph Merkle pointed out that there 
have been studies of voting patterns proving conclusively 
that NO system of voting is entirely satisfactory. 
Personally I feel a great sense of relief, because the board 
has changed and the change should satisfy Alcor's critics. If 
anyone cares what I think, I think there is no pressing need 
right now to campaign for any further change. We now have at 
least three members of the board who have been publicly 
skeptical or critical of the way in which Alcor has been run. 
Surely, this should be sufficient to allay fears of an 
unbalanced, autocratic style of leadership. 
Critics should also be pleased by the pledge from Austin 
Tupler to pay for a full-scale audit of Alcor's books, and to 
arrange bonding of Alcor directors who have check-signing 
The only down side to the meeting was Eric Klien's financial 
report, indicating that Alcor's expenditures this year have 
been higher than some of us realized. There was a lot of 
debate over Eric's figures, but I don't think anyone would 
disagree that Alcor needs more healthy members paying their 
dues, and more income from other sources. Maybe we should all 
start trying to achieve these objectives, instead of 
continuing to argue about the ways in which various funds 
have been used in the past. 
--Charles Platt

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