A Bold Idea For Significantly Increasing FAH Donors

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Re: A Bold Idea For Significantly Increasing FAH Donors

Postby HaloJones » Fri Dec 21, 2012 1:48 pm

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Re: A Bold Idea For Significantly Increasing FAH Donors

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Re: A Bold Idea For Significantly Increasing FAH Donors

Postby proteneer » Fri Dec 21, 2012 3:18 pm

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Re: A Bold Idea For Significantly Increasing FAH Donors

Postby bruce » Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:40 pm

Napoleon wrote:...Now I'm wondering whether that was a coordinated effort between PG and HP, or did some bigwig at HP simply decide to fold a little before going public with the service? :)


HPCS was doing early testing their upcoming commercial product, and as you suggest, it was a burn-in. I'm not aware of any specific relationship between HP and PG but that doesn't prove anything. Personally I suspect that it was just normal team competition that drove that spike in throughput. HP provided a log of free computer time and the teams took advantage of it.
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Re: A Bold Idea For Significantly Increasing FAH Donors

Postby Joe_H » Fri Dec 21, 2012 11:19 pm

That graph from the link in Napoleon's post was just for the HPCS team stats on EOC. Other teams did take advantage of the free usage, but someone created the team and user of the same name to credit HP.
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Re: A Bold Idea For Significantly Increasing FAH Donors

Postby Alan C. Lawhon » Sun Dec 23, 2012 10:20 am

uncle fuzzy wrote:Add a couple well known computer geeks to the mix to actually demonstrate downloading, installing, and running the v7 client to show how easy it is. They'd be able to explain how folding could affect your other computer use, and what to do about it.

Have all the "celebs" make a pledge on what they will donate to the program- money, computer time, whatever. We need them to do more than just put their name on a team.


Dear uncle fuzzy:

I have debated (for several days) whether or not I should respond to your comments. I have finally decided that I must. (I hope you won’t take this as a harsh criticism or a putdown as it is not meant that way.) I don’t mean to call you out or be contrary, but we need to be a bit more considerate (and less demanding) with respect to celebrities. It might help if we stop and consider what it is like to live in their world. A lot of people think and dream of “being famous” and being loved and adored by millions, but fame and fortune is not quite the panacea that you might believe. In fact, there are a lot of downsides to being too well known.

First, celebrities and stars, (especially people in the entertainment industry), live a “feast or famine” type existence. When they have work, when they are shooting a movie or working on a television show, it’s a feast. When they go months (or even years) without working, it’s a famine. When they are working, the requirements of the job are often grueling. I have been reading a fascinating biography of the beloved movie and television actor James Garner. Back in the 1970’s, when Mr. Garner was the star of the very popular “Rockford Files” television show, he worked 18-hour days six days a week when the show was in production. The pace was so grueling that by the time the show finally ended, Mr. Garner had literally wore his body out. (Doctors treating Mr. Garner were warning him that he was endangering his health by working so hard. He literally destroyed his knees working on that show.) While Mr. Garner’s experience may not be typical of all Hollywood stars, that type of work can be very demanding. (If you want to find out what it’s like to really be put through the wringer, try working for director James Cameron. I know some folks who have had that “pleasure” – and they’ll probably never forget the experience.) When actors are working, you can’t just ask them to drop everything and go somewhere or do something on the drop of a dime. No person, famous or not, can abandon their job on a moment’s notice to attend to some other business. Can you?

There is also a high personal price that comes with celebrity – namely in the loss of your privacy. Once you become recognizable and well known, you can’t live life the way most “normal” people live life. If you go out anywhere in public, you are beseeched by people seeking your autograph and people wanting to take your picture. While this might be “fun” (or even enjoyable) at first, it soon gets old. If you’re really famous, having your life constantly invaded by paparazzi becomes very disconcerting. In some cases, such as the late Princess Diana, invasion of your privacy can have tragic consequences. Most of us never think about that, but this is a constant source of stress for celebrities. I suppose one might say, “Well, they knew all this when they sought the limelight, so they shouldn’t complain.” Maybe so, but how would you like to be constantly hounded by people trying to take your picture and sifting through your garbage?

As if all this were not enough, celebrities face another “problem” that most of the rest of us never have to cope with. Once you become well known, everybody you ever had any contact with in your life suddenly comes out of the woodwork – and most of them want something. People are constantly demanding your time, your money – or both! Putting up with all that can be exasperating. (Now you know why celebrities have agents, publicists, and business managers.) If you want to know what it feels like to be pulled in fifty directions at once, just try being famous. (Is it any wonder that most celebrities – when they are not working – tend to keep a very low profile?)

Most celebrities, just like most people, have a good heart – they want to do right by their fellow man. That is an endearing quality that makes us love and respect them even more. However, before we “ask” a celebrity to give of their time and their energy to a cause (any cause) we must be considerate. We need to keep in mind that when they give of their time, they are giving us a gift – a precious gift that is potentially of enormous value. I have a feeling that celebrities who have been touched in a personal way by these diseases will want to help. However, we need to be very respectful in the way we approach these very important people. You don’t “demand” anything from celebrities – you ask in a very polite manner. You hope that they will bless your efforts with their encouragement and their support. If the best a celebrity can do is donate their name as a “Team Leader” of a folding team, that will be great! That one act alone could attract 100,000 new donors. One of the posters on here (mmonnin) made the point: “Who wouldn’t join a Megan Fox team?”

Think of the good things that could happen if Oprah Winfrey were to invite Vijay to Chicago to do a live “in studio” show where he runs video clips of proteins folding and explains to Oprah’s audience why understanding protein folding is important as well as some of the more important discoveries that have emanated from his lab. Supplement Dr. Pande’s information with segments where Oprah introduces special guests such as Magic Johnson, Michael J. Fox and Muhammad Ali. If these well known celebrities (or others) are up to sharing their stories – whether it’s live or via videotape - you’ll have a television event that will reach right into peoples’ hearts. Oprah has a way of connecting …

With any luck at all, people watching will quickly head for their computers to download the software and start crunching work units. Just maybe the response will be so great that Dr. Pande and his team can get busy on those really big projects that they currently don’t have sufficient computing power to run. Maybe one of those “really big” projects is the one that will lead to a drug that arrests my foster sister’s Parkinson’s disease. That’s the kind of power celebrities have. They can make things happen that other people think are impossible.

We need these celebrities more than they need us. The least we can do is show them the respect and consideration they deserve. When we ask them to get involved with Folding at Home, when we ask them for their time and support, we need to keep in mind that we’re asking a lot. We’re asking them to help us obtain more donors – or donor’s unused CPU cycles. In the end, isn’t that what is really important?

Alan C. Lawhon
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Re: A Bold Idea For Significantly Increasing FAH Donors

Postby uncle fuzzy » Sun Dec 23, 2012 4:15 pm

Alan C. Lawhon wrote:
uncle fuzzy wrote:Add a couple well known computer geeks to the mix to actually demonstrate downloading, installing, and running the v7 client to show how easy it is. They'd be able to explain how folding could affect your other computer use, and what to do about it.

Have all the "celebs" make a pledge on what they will donate to the program- money, computer time, whatever. We need them to do more than just put their name on a team.


Dear uncle fuzzy:

I have debated (for several days) whether or not I should respond to your comments. I have finally decided that I must. (I hope you won’t take this as a harsh criticism or a putdown as it is not meant that way.) I don’t mean to call you out or be contrary, but we need to be a bit more considerate (and less demanding) with respect to celebrities. It might help if we stop and consider what it is like to live in their world. A lot of people think and dream of “being famous” and being loved and adored by millions, but fame and fortune is not quite the panacea that you might believe. In fact, there are a lot of downsides to being too well known.

First, celebrities and stars, (especially people in the entertainment industry), live a “feast or famine” type existence. When they have work, when they are shooting a movie or working on a television show, it’s a feast. When they go months (or even years) without working, it’s a famine. When they are working, the requirements of the job are often grueling. I have been reading a fascinating biography of the beloved movie and television actor James Garner. Back in the 1970’s, when Mr. Garner was the star of the very popular “Rockford Files” television show, he worked 18-hour days six days a week when the show was in production. The pace was so grueling that by the time the show finally ended, Mr. Garner had literally wore his body out. (Doctors treating Mr. Garner were warning him that he was endangering his health by working so hard. He literally destroyed his knees working on that show.) While Mr. Garner’s experience may not be typical of all Hollywood stars, that type of work can be very demanding. (If you want to find out what it’s like to really be put through the wringer, try working for director James Cameron. I know some folks who have had that “pleasure” – and they’ll probably never forget the experience.) When actors are working, you can’t just ask them to drop everything and go somewhere or do something on the drop of a dime. No person, famous or not, can abandon their job on a moment’s notice to attend to some other business. Can you?

There is also a high personal price that comes with celebrity – namely in the loss of your privacy. Once you become recognizable and well known, you can’t live life the way most “normal” people live life. If you go out anywhere in public, you are beseeched by people seeking your autograph and people wanting to take your picture. While this might be “fun” (or even enjoyable) at first, it soon gets old. If you’re really famous, having your life constantly invaded by paparazzi becomes very disconcerting. In some cases, such as the late Princess Diana, invasion of your privacy can have tragic consequences. Most of us never think about that, but this is a constant source of stress for celebrities. I suppose one might say, “Well, they knew all this when they sought the limelight, so they shouldn’t complain.” Maybe so, but how would you like to be constantly hounded by people trying to take your picture and sifting through your garbage?

As if all this were not enough, celebrities face another “problem” that most of the rest of us never have to cope with. Once you become well known, everybody you ever had any contact with in your life suddenly comes out of the woodwork – and most of them want something. People are constantly demanding your time, your money – or both! Putting up with all that can be exasperating. (Now you know why celebrities have agents, publicists, and business managers.) If you want to know what it feels like to be pulled in fifty directions at once, just try being famous. (Is it any wonder that most celebrities – when they are not working – tend to keep a very low profile?)

Most celebrities, just like most people, have a good heart – they want to do right by their fellow man. That is an endearing quality that makes us love and respect them even more. However, before we “ask” a celebrity to give of their time and their energy to a cause (any cause) we must be considerate. We need to keep in mind that when they give of their time, they are giving us a gift – a precious gift that is potentially of enormous value. I have a feeling that celebrities who have been touched in a personal way by these diseases will want to help. However, we need to be very respectful in the way we approach these very important people. You don’t “demand” anything from celebrities – you ask in a very polite manner. You hope that they will bless your efforts with their encouragement and their support. If the best a celebrity can do is donate their name as a “Team Leader” of a folding team, that will be great! That one act alone could attract 100,000 new donors. One of the posters on here (mmonnin) made the point: “Who wouldn’t join a Megan Fox team?”

Think of the good things that could happen if Oprah Winfrey were to invite Vijay to Chicago to do a live “in studio” show where he runs video clips of proteins folding and explains to Oprah’s audience why understanding protein folding is important as well as some of the more important discoveries that have emanated from his lab. Supplement Dr. Pande’s information with segments where Oprah introduces special guests such as Magic Johnson, Michael J. Fox and Muhammad Ali. If these well known celebrities (or others) are up to sharing their stories – whether it’s live or via videotape - you’ll have a television event that will reach right into peoples’ hearts. Oprah has a way of connecting …

With any luck at all, people watching will quickly head for their computers to download the software and start crunching work units. Just maybe the response will be so great that Dr. Pande and his team can get busy on those really big projects that they currently don’t have sufficient computing power to run. Maybe one of those “really big” projects is the one that will lead to a drug that arrests my foster sister’s Parkinson’s disease. That’s the kind of power celebrities have. They can make things happen that other people think are impossible.

We need these celebrities more than they need us. The least we can do is show them the respect and consideration they deserve. When we ask them to get involved with Folding at Home, when we ask them for their time and support, we need to keep in mind that we’re asking a lot. We’re asking them to help us obtain more donors – or donor’s unused CPU cycles. In the end, isn’t that what is really important?

Alan C. Lawhon

I'm not talking about holding a gun to their head until they fund a server farm for folding. I mean ask them to show their support by contributing more than just their name.

Celeb A (sports)- I'm not very good with computers, but my nephew is a whiz. He helped me set up a new system to donate to F@H. I'd like my fans who are able to set this up on their computers.

Celeb B (entertainment)- I have this running on my computer, and I just talked my family into joining up. I'm sending out a challenge to my Twitter followers to join my team and help this project.

Celeb C (technology)- When I was told about this project, I was fascinated with the hardware side of it. I had to take one of my old servers and repurpose it for folding bigadv. I've talked to the local college, and my Alma Mater, and they are willing to contribute part of their computer lab run time.

I'm not a star struck follower personality. Having Oprah say "Do this" would have absolutely no effect on me. I give a lot more weight to the word of someone with skin in the game. Over the years, I've put in well over $20,000 in hardware and electricity and thousands of hours of building, troubleshooting, and monitoring my systems for this project. I'd want any new "spokespeople" to show a similar willingness to "get their hands dirty".
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Re: A Bold Idea For Significantly Increasing FAH Donors

Postby mdk777 » Mon Dec 24, 2012 4:02 am

I'm not a star struck follower personality. Having Oprah say "Do this" would have absolutely no effect on me.


99% of endorsements have a net negative affect on me. It always amazes me that people take financial, or political or health advice from actors. :wink:

I agree that finding a tie in to their actual experience is key.

With Alzheimer rates what they are, it would/should not be hard to find people with experience and a genuine wish to participate rather than just endorse for gratis. :mrgreen:

We need these celebrities more than they need us.


Meh...participation is key. If celebrity endorsement is what it takes you get involved, so be it.
However, recent history shows the power of social media to coordinate and inspire masses of people, once they become involved in a cause.

The danger is always the short term attention span of any "movement" One of the major defining problems of the project is the long duration and indeterminate nature of the research.

Projects with defined mileposts are much easier to sell through Media/ celebrity hype.

The school kids only had to save their dimes until the Statue of Liberty was built.
The War Bonds were only sold for so long, and groups had defined sets of objectives...so many dollars...

These events, even Jerry Lewis with his marathon...you could get on the band wagon because you knew that the ride would end.

Anyway, not saying the general idea of more information from every angle is not a good idea.
Just saying that too much hype can have a burn out affect if the long term nature of the project is not fully explained. :mrgreen:
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Re: A Bold Idea For Significantly Increasing FAH Donors

Postby Jesse_V » Mon Dec 24, 2012 7:05 am

Personally, I'd find an informative article in some computer-related magazine way more effective than an endorsement from some famous actor who knows very little about F@h in the first place. Logos vs pathos.
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Re: A Bold Idea For Significantly Increasing FAH Donors

Postby Alan C. Lawhon » Mon Dec 24, 2012 8:46 am

I once spoke with a real live "rocket scientist" who worked on the Apollo moon landing program back in the 1960's. In 1961, the "tiny" Redstone rocket was the epitome of space technology. The Redstone could get a small (one man) space capsule into low earth orbit. Then, in May of 1961, President Kennedy announced "OK guys, we're going to the moon!" Suddenly, Dr. von Braun and his team of scientists looked at each other and said: "We need a bigger rocket!"

Dr. Pande has stated that FAH is limited by a finite amount of computing power. In order to simulate the larger protein molecules, we need more computing power - we need more donors. If you think in terms of simulating the larger proteins as the difference between low earth orbit and going to the moon, we need a Saturn V rocket - not the Redstone that we're presently getting by with. That's where celebrities can be helpful. You don't expect celebrities to be computer experts or to "get their hands dirty" building hardware and software set ups. That's not their area of expertise. What you hope is that their words of encouragement and support will lead thousands and thousands of new donors to get involved. That's all we can ask of these people. The goal is to try and get to the moon. A giant leap into simulation of the really big projects requires a giant step up in participation. If celebrities can help us get there, then they have done more than enough.
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Re: A Bold Idea For Significantly Increasing FAH Donors

Postby art_l_j_PlanetAMD64 » Mon Dec 24, 2012 9:34 am

The ideas being presented here are very good ones, but when promoting FAH to be run by "the general public" on their computer systems, a few things should be carefully considered:

1) Running FAH on "consumer-grade" computers may cause them to fail, unless the user actively monitors and controls the temperatures:
Five computers fried including one laptop

2) Running FAH will often result in "jumpy" video and audio playback, unless the user pauses FAH while using their computer, and un-pauses FAH when they have finished using their computer.

These issues need to be carefully considered when asking "the general public" to run FAH on their home computers. Computer failures and/or "jumpy" video and audio playback could create an angry backlash against FAH, among the computer-illiterate (majority?) of the population.

Perhaps the initial push should be for getting people to run FAH on dedicated additional computers, not on their regular home computers that are being used for other things. Again, this is a great idea, I'm just trying to foresee problems that the general public could run into, to the detriment of FAH and its reputation.
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Re: A Bold Idea For Significantly Increasing FAH Donors

Postby bruce » Mon Dec 24, 2012 12:09 pm

art_l_j_PlanetAMD64 wrote:The ideas being presented here are very good ones, but when promoting FAH to be run by "the general public" on their computer systems, a few things should be carefully considered:

1) Running FAH on "consumer-grade" computers may cause them to fail, unless the user actively monitors and controls the temperatures:
Five computers fried including one laptop

2) Running FAH will often result in "jumpy" video and audio playback, unless the user pauses FAH while using their computer, and un-pauses FAH when they have finished using their computer.

These issues need to be carefully considered when asking "the general public" to run FAH on their home computers. Computer failures and/or "jumpy" video and audio playback could create an angry backlash against FAH, among the computer-illiterate (majority?) of the population.

Perhaps the initial push should be for getting people to run FAH on dedicated additional computers, not on their regular home computers that are being used for other things. Again, this is a great idea, I'm just trying to foresee problems that the general public could run into, to the detriment of FAH and its reputation.


V7 is still being developed. There's a lot of though going into making the appropriate choices for the Novice and avoiding items 1 and 2. I can't promise that a person won't be able to intentionally choose options that create those undesirable effects but it's well understood that the defaults should avoid them. (Neither can I predict when a version of V7 will change the current behavior, but it's still being worked on.)
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Re: A Bold Idea For Significantly Increasing FAH Donors

Postby uncle fuzzy » Mon Dec 24, 2012 2:42 pm

Alan C. Lawhon wrote:You don't expect celebrities to be computer experts or to "get their hands dirty" building hardware and software set ups. That's not their area of expertise.

Oh, but I do expect them to "get their hands dirty", at least to the point of being familiar with folding and able to run it on their own computers. I would not have posted it if I hadn't meant it. This is not my "area of expertise", either. I'm an electrician by early training, and currently work in industrial maintenance. I taught myself to build a computer in the mid-90's, and it became a hobby, but I have never worked in the computer or software industries. I struggled with both the hardware and software side of this, just like everyone else. The word of someone willing to go through the same efforts we have will carry more weight. V7 makes it much simpler, but I still want them to "get their hands dirty" to whatever extent they are able.
What you hope is that their words of encouragement and support will lead thousands and thousands of new donors to get involved. That's all we can ask of these people. The goal is to try and get to the moon. A giant leap into simulation of the really big projects requires a giant step up in participation. If celebrities can help us get there, then they have done more than enough.

Having a clueless celebrity get a horde of clueless followers to fold for an hour, or a day, or a week, before dropping out due to frustration could/would do the project more harm than good. To have any lasting effect, I'd expect them to know what they are talking about, and make an effort to support the people they bring into this. That effort could take many forms- Tweet folding tips, Facebook, start a team forum, at a minimum, direct them here.

In case you are getting the wrong impression from my posts, I favor your idea. I just want more from the celebrities than smiling from the TV and saying "do this".
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Re: A Bold Idea For Significantly Increasing FAH Donors

Postby bruce » Mon Dec 24, 2012 4:30 pm

The best recommendation that I would expect from a non-computer person would be something like this:

"I installed the FAH client and it was really easy. it didn't require any geeky knowledge. It helps scientists cure diseases like X every time my computer is on. Folding@home is a painless contribution and I don't have to think about it at all.
"As you know {
I, my relative Y, somebody I know} {have/has} X which is a folding-related disease. I expect my donation of computer time to help future generations who otherwise might suffer from X."

That same sort of comment can come from any of us, not just celeb's (whether we're known to be the geeky type or not.) To anybody who is involved with any of the social media sites, when was the last time you said something like that?
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Re: A Bold Idea For Significantly Increasing FAH Donors

Postby Alan C. Lawhon » Mon Dec 24, 2012 6:14 pm

bruce wrote:The best recommendation that I would expect from a non-computer person would be something like this:

"I installed the FAH client and it was really easy. it didn't require any geeky knowledge. It helps scientists cure diseases like X every time my computer is on. Folding@home is a painless contribution and I don't have to think about it at all.
"As you know {
I, my relative Y, somebody I know} {have/has} X which is a folding-related disease. I expect my donation of computer time to help future generations who otherwise might suffer from X."

That same sort of comment can come from any of us, not just celeb's (whether we're known to be the geeky type or not.) To anybody who is involved with any of the social media sites, when was the last time you said something like that?


bruce:

You've nailed it! That's exactly the approach (and just the right words) that would work when addressing members of the general public about FAH. Just in the past few days I have been conducting intense discussions with my immediate family (including my foster sister who has Parkinson's) about FAH. Just in the past hour, I have convinced my 80-year-old foster mother (who is extremely adverse to using her computer) that downloading the FAH software - and crunching work units - will [eventually] help her daughter. We will be meeting in a few hours at the home of one of her sons (my foster brother) where the topic of "Folding at Home" and getting all of the family members folding will be brought up. (In fact, my foster mother is going to be the one to bring it up - which I think is a major victory!) My foster brother is a local politician, an elected public official, so once I get him folding and he understands what this is all about; I suspect he'll bring FAH up with folks he associates with and encourage them to fold. Hopefully there will be a local "snowball effect" with many new folders.

I am working on another idea which I intend to post [here on this forum] the day after Christmas. (There was a four hour discussion about this last night with my foster mother.) This is a healthy discussion we're having. Despite some minor disagreements, we're all on the same page. I sense that everyone agrees with the overall goal: To get more donors involved and participating. We're in the process of ironing out the details - and that is good.

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