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AIDs, Cancer will never be cured…

Saturday, September 29th, 2007
Posted in Advice by Joel Gross

… unless we change the way we currently motivate our best minds.

The world is flushing trillions of dollars down the toilet in the way it currently is trying to find a cure for deadly diseases. The incentive system is all wrong. Researchers and scientists have no pressure on them to cure a disease, all their motivation actually leans the other way. Why? They receive huge annual grants and tons of cash and live very comfortable lives with everyone around them thinking they are heroes. If they cure the disease, then they have to find a new purpose to their lives and their cash flow dries up. The current system doesn’t promote the best minds; it promotes those who have the best people skills at getting grants. How do we fix this? Change the motivational system; let private enterprise go to work. Take all the money that had been going to researchers and put it into a giant fund and give the award to the person or group that cures the disease. Venture capitalists, hedge fund managers and CEO’s will now determine the distribution of capital; and trust me, they will push HARD for results. Financial managers could care less about researchers’ people skills or seniority; all they want is the best of the best so they can see lots of black on the bottom line. The same power that pushed Brin & Page to create Google, or Gates to create Microsoft or Jobs to create IBM, or Henry Ford to invent efficient manufacturing will drive the best researchers and best ideas to the forefront and cures will be found with amazing rapidity.

The current system is inherently corrupt and will only move at a glacial pace as it hemorraghes resources. Put the enormous pressure of the free market on the problem and you will see it quickly unraveled. How many more have to die horrible deaths because our current system is incredibly stupid and inefficient?

8 thoughts on “AIDs, Cancer will never be cured…

  1. You didn’t get my first comment. But that’s okay. Your blonde. I forgive you. Honestly, what you wrote just seems like a generalization… too general, oversimplified. How do you know the kind of pressure scientists or researchers have or don’t have? Where do you get this info? TMZ.com? There is no giant bandaide for those issues. Here’s my thoughts. If you want to save the world, make yourself strong enough to fight for those that need it. I think your ideas/feelings are valid, but not thoroughly researched. I fully intend on saving the world. Prepping for battle right now.

  2. I could if I wanted to. But I am petty, self-centered, and focused solely on pleasurable pursuits. Americans have failed because we believe that money is the solution to the problem. That by giving away funds we are encouraging discovery and resolution. Instead we encourage corruption, bureaucracy, and frivolity in very important fields. When our economy loses out, the rest of the world will too. The developing nations who care little for human suffering are fast outpacing us in industrial development, resource appropriation, and technological innovation. Things like AIDS, cancer, global warming, or genocide mean little if they are side effects of efficiency, central control, and nationalism.

  3. It is just as relevant today as it was 6 months ago when I wrote it. We need to set up national awards to motivate entrepreneurs to solve scientific problems.

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