The advantage of the Institute is freedom from the capriciousness of government funding and demands to show "hard results" to justify research. As Dr. Banzai himself has said, "Promising researchers would be given the time and freedom to focus their full energies on their topics of interest without the necessity of championing themselves in their roles as fund-raisers. It was believed and has been demonstrated that the Institute could be self-supporting if both researchers and staff lived frugally and in a familial atmosphere, donating a percentage of their royalties from any commercial applications and patents which might arise from their work within it's walls...At the Banzai Institute, it is the candidate who is appraised and not the proposal."
Interns at the Institute devote themselves as much to strategic games and "thought experiments" as to practical research, and some of the projects developed there - like Pecos' plan to string a cable from an orbiting satellite to function as a "space elevator," or Rawhide's quest to develop a high-protein livestock feed out of houseflies - are aptly classified in Institute jargon as "moonbeams."
The list of the Institute's practical achievements are impressive.
If a candidate is approved by the board he is given a key, and a small monthly stipend. Living conditions at the Institute are Spartan; each intern is lodged in a small cell without electricity or running water, furnished with a futon atop a wooden bunk.
Interns learn to fight, shoot, and handle a lasso. Those who make it to resident will have the full resources of the Institute at their disposal. They'll be able to study in depth whatever topics they choose, alongside some of the finest minds in the world.
The Institute is not a place for everyone, yet it continually receives more applications than it has space for.
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Page updated 26 April 2003