Charity/Philanthropy

Kickstarter: It's Cool and All, But It Doesn't Allow for Enough Central Control

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The New Republic for some reason features an extended but thin sour sneer at Kickstarter in its December 6 issue. That reason might be that magazine's founding dedication to elite power and control, nicely unwound by former Reason editor Virginia Postrel in these pages back in 1997.

Kickstarter is the web site that allows people trying to do interesting things to fundraise via the Web. Specific financial goals are set, and premiums often offered for certain pledge levels. The pledges only go into effect if the total amount needed to actually make the thing happen are raised.

Greg Beato noted Kickstarter's wonders in Reason's July issue, and back in February Katherine Mangu-Ward noted that in its decentralized, people-power, no-one-forced-to-contribute way, Kickstarter was funding creativity more than the federal government's National Endowment for the Arts. (And going on nearly twice as much.)

Alas, that very decentralized, people-power, no-one-forced-to-contribute thing seems to be griping the gut of Noreen Malone of the New Republic.

Her piece is "The False Promise of Kickstarter," which might lead one to think that it was a fraud, that it did not in fact provide a means for creators to find and raise money. Since it most assuredly does, with an impressive success rate of fully funded projects, that can't be her complaint. What is?

It's a little hard to make sense of, but it seems to go something like this: a service that works by spreading ideas though the web (the more widely linked your plea is, the better the chances it will raise the money, other things being equal) is too undiverse and too tech-nerdy. Unlike, say, taking the time to write and publish a long feature article complaining about Kickstarter. As I'm sure has been pointed out, number one on any Stuff White People Like comedy list should be Stuff White People Like.

In the closest thing to an actual complaint, she notes that especially when the project raises so much money that the creators of the thing have to deliver at a quantity larger than they anticipated, many projects deliver late.

Then, the kicker, the heart of a heartless article, the meat of a meatless complaint:

But the problem isn't only on the supply side. How much of the demand is real, and how much is peer pressure or idle boredom, can be tough to sort out. For the vast majority of Kickstarter campaigns, much of the money comes from friends and friends of friends of friends. There is an enormous amount of social pressure applied: Entreaties are often made via personal e-mails….

Backing a small-scale Kickstarter campaign triggers the same emotional response that giving does: You have opened your pocket with little expectation of personal benefit. You have imagined yourself as a two-bit modern Medici, furthering the cause of Art or Innovation in society….

Sure, yes, yep, and "feature not bug" for anyone who isn't just inclined to frown pettily at the Golden Age of Mendicity that the web and crowdsourcing have allowed. (Not a week goes by that some, generally successful, rent party-type call doesn't go out from my extended circle of pals and acquaintances about helping with some sudden financial problem, and great!). Yes, there are a lot of different motives one might have to give to a Kickstarter project, and so what? Value is subjective, and why not celebrate motives beyond the purely pecuniary?

But it's a problem! (Without a problem, Ms. Malone would have a problem selling her stupid article.)

Kickstarter co-founder Yancey Strickler told Reuters, this market ambivalence is woven into the very fabric of the service. "Of all the products launched on Kickstarter, very, very few would be a good investment. … However, if the bar is lower—to simply, do I want this to exist?—suddenly over half the things have a life." The problem with posing the question that way—do I want this to exist?—is that it creates a relationship between consumer and merchant that is more like that of the one between donor and nonprofit.

Are you alarmed yet? "The problem with posing the question that way"? Problem?

 Kickstarter has spawned a number of copycats in arenas where the model becomes a whole lot more ethically complicated. There are now Kickstarter-esque platforms for equity investing, scientific research, and even local municipal improvements. Take, for instance,Citizinvestor, a new service that allows municipalities (big ones, like Philadelphia, Chicago, Tampa) to put forth public works languishing at the back of the queue so interested parties can donate a few dollars that might get them over the financial hump….

What in the flying hell is "ethically complicated" about allowing people to more easily express and finance their preference, in governance or markets?

Finally, her one sentence attempt to establish something like a point of public interest in attacking Kickstarter:

These are spheres in which a certain amount of oversight and accountability—and attention to equitable distribution of resources—are rather important. 

Yeah, maybe. Oversight, accountability, the love song of the gatekeeper rings loudly here. But nothing about Kickstarter as it exists, or even "Citizeninvestor" which presumably is not completely replacing all municipal decisionmaking about spending (though something like it probably should), touches on that point at all, at all.

The sphere of artmaking and art financing is the ideal realm for something like Kickstarter, and it's a great thing for all involved it came along. (Except I guess for bitter folk who feel compelled by social-network pressure to pledge to things they don't really want to. But demonstrated preference, friends.)

The subtitle of Malone's piece is more telling: "Fund me, I'm useless." Yup, except for the people choosing to try to do it, and to try to finance it. That's the kind of use that only matters to individuals and the cause of making the world a wilder, richer, and more interesting place, and of no use to the House that Herbert Croly Built.

(By the by, I've been tangentially part of two projects that sought very big Kickstarter pledges, and neither raised enough. I've given to probably a dozen Kickstarter projects, most of which as I recall did raise enough.)

I have in the past enjoyed writing about people who just love gatekeeping wailing and gnashing their teeth over the development of new techniques to get around them in the previous decade, when it was editors for big NY publishers bitching about XLibris, essentially an electronic vanity press. (This was written under my pseudonym of "Eugen von Bohm-Bawerk" for the late and yes lamented humor/commentary site "Suck.com"). I concluded, and this applies as well to Malone without even the excuse of protecting her own phoney-baloney job:

As a service sought out, gatekeeping is noble enough. As an impermeable barrier, it's a cultural crime. Only those afraid of what's out there, or convinced they can't defend themselves, crave impregnable gatekeepers. The rest of us won't begrudge authors a cheap bound copy of their work, and will occasionally enjoy dipping into postmodernity's dizzying bounty.

Xlibris multiplies options, in a way that those who don't care can easily ignore. Xlibris and its ilk destroy nothing. They just give us more, more than we could have hoped for or feared. Ever since Gutenberg, technology has made it too easy for pikers to aspire to literary status in the eyes of old world snobs. Better to stand with that great American Huey Long: Every Man an Author.

Substitute filmmaker, artist, maker, showman, whatever of the gajillion things Kickstarter facilitates financing for, and the lesson still holds, and always will.

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  1. I’m still unclear on what she’s concerned about, so now I am concerned that she’s useless, yet she gets funded somehow. I am meta-concern trolling her. And it feels good.

    1. You see, it’s wrong to win (succeed) unless its a group effort done at the ballot box for someone who will make your decisions for you.

      1. Now I’m concerned about you. How do you get funding?

        1. Webcam shows.

          1. He can’t possibly make enough money just doing that with all those pox lesions he has. No, no, there has to be something more nefarious going on, like artisanal mayo sales or something.

            1. Artisanal sriracha. Because he’s all hot-blooded and Latin and stuff.

              1. Hey, I wax my chest hairs with that stuff.

              2. So how much of that do you order in a month, nicole? BECAUSE YOU JUST ADMITTED YOU DID BY KNOWING IT EXISTS.

                1. AM Links, mothafucka. I have way better shit than that to browse Etsy for.

                  1. I see your denial, but choose to ignore it.

                    (I went to Etsy to try and find the stupidest “artisanal” thing to joke that that’s what you were shopping for, and…everything is equally stupid. I had no standout winners.)

                    1. Hey, I liked the artisanal pasties.

                    2. Someone really needs to come up with a way of differentiating the word for the stripper-wear from the word for the food. Because I would love an artisanal pasty.

                    3. Why can’t the food be the stripper-wear, or vice versa?

                    4. But there are so many deservingly horrible things to mention. Not necessarily “artisanal,” but…well, let’s just see if anyone here can figure out why anyone, anywhere, would want this “altered” teacup. (Yes, teacups are one of the things I do browse for.)

                    5. Please tell me you bought that and use it in front of people.

                    6. Holy shit, I want that teacup.

                    7. Well, it looks like I should have asked here first. She has a bunch. I don’t get it.

                    8. I was considering buying the blue one but if I can’t put it in the dishwasher, I don’t want it.

                    9. It’s also “not recommended for regular use.” I think you’re supposed to put it up as “decoration” in your house and be like, “I’m all steampunk and edgy and shit, and cool with being a WHORE!”

                    10. Well, I am a whore. So there’s that.

                    11. But why do you need chinaware to remind you?

                    12. Yeah, but do you think we needed a teacup to know that?

                    13. You just don’t understand me!

                    14. Wouldn’t you rather have this one anyway?

                    15. And you can give this to Jimbo.

                    16. The cocaine one is absolute genius, and I already sent JJ a candygram that says the same thing.

                    17. I have to say, I like these a lot better. I mean look at the fucking variety!

                    18. Well, I am a whore.

                      You have to be paid…and have sex Epi.

                      Someone who aspired but failed to become a slut is not a whore.

                    19. That way you know which of your tea party guests are not safe to share cups with.

                    20. I just ordered one. I have to have that!

                    21. Luckily some folks have consolidated all the stupid etsy shit for you!

                    22. I guess I only half-get the guffawing at “artisanal mayo”. I get the poking fun at hipsters part, but honestly is it all that different from “small batch” craft beer and homebrewing? As a homebrewer, I don’t care if people think I’m elitist because I sneer at Natural Light. I’m sure the artisans feel the same about your Miracle Whip.

                    23. Well, you’ve probably already seen sloopy explain this, but I do agree with him on the mayo–it’s too easy to just make yourself to imagine buying homemade mayo.

                    24. It’s called a running gag. sloopy started it, I am “running” with it. Do I actually care that people make artisanal mayo? Not in the slightest.

                      Remember that most of our jokes here are utterly tongue-in-cheek. Take them even remotely seriously at your peril.

                    25. That makes a lot of sense, dude.
                      /anonbot

        2. I put on a good show. And emit pheromones.

          1. Not all odors qualify as pheromones.

            1. But the ones that made your nipples point in my direction are.

            2. They don’t? OH crap…

  2. I treat Kickstarter buys like presents to myself. Its going to take so long for whatever I ordered to show up that I will have forgotten about it until I have a box on my stoop containing some cool new toy. And then, “surprise, its geek christmas”.

    But, more topically, fuck the “I got mine” segment. Its the worst of all attitudes.

  3. So first my reaction was:

    ??

    Then it switched to:

    !!!

    And by the end of it my mood was something closer to:

    ?!?!

    Hope that clears everything up.

    1. This actually makes way more sense then the referred article.

    2. That’s some good nutshelling there, Lou.

    3. TIT, that’s the kind of post that raises the bar to which the rest of should aspire.

      1. You see, couldn’t pull it off.

        1. I hope one day to be able to express myself purely through punctuation marks.

          1. My goal is to eliminate all personal pronouns. It’s the penultimate death, after death death.

  4. Entreaties are often made via personal e-mails….

    The horror! I wonder if Ms Malone got any personal entreaties during our latest campaign for emperor of the US?

    1. You don’t understand! People who have lots of friends will get more money that way, and that’s not fair!

  5. “These are spheres in which a certain amount of oversight and accountability?and attention to equitable distribution of resources?are rather important. ”

    There it is in a nutshell. Noreen is certain that Top Men can fix things.

  6. Does she want this taxed? Abloished? Run by Gubmint?

    1. It is taxed. It counts as income for the one who receives the money.

    2. I don’t think she knows what she wants, all she knows is that people are doing stuff that isn’t under her or her “representatives'” control and she doesn’t like it.

      Control troll is controlling.

      1. She’s just annoyed that people are donating money to causes that she doesn’t approve of. Instead of to the ones she approves of. And she’s annoyed that Kickstarter allows them to do this.

        It’s always time for more oversight and accountability and equitable distribution when stuff just doesn’t go the way you want.

    3. She likely desires it abolished until it can be regulated, with all previous and current projects taxed the appropriate amount; and screened, of course, to ensure that there is a need for the project goals.

      1. Put a committee in charge. That’ll kill it.

        1. Well, you wouldn’t want to put new competitors into an industry that already fills societies needs, after all. That could upset social stability, which is of paramount importance. Like with taxis, for example.

    1. When someone finally gets an aneurysm and dies from one of these someday, you guys are going to all be sorry.

      Well, you probably won’t be sorry. But that was pretty much a violation of the NAP, dude.

    2. I would not hit that.

      1. John would.

      2. Not even with Ann Coulter’s dick.

      3. I would. Fatties can be fun…plus she looks young enough that the fat rolls have not yet gone to cellulite pox.

        What is wrong with you people?

        1. I remember what happened to the last guy who took up for fatties at the bar. Let’s just say, they impregnate easily. Something about the design.

    3. She looks very constipated. I suggest an enema or some laxatives. Or fucking off.

  7. Take, for instance,Citizinvestor, a new service that allows municipalities (big ones, like Philadelphia, Chicago, Tampa) to put forth public works languishing at the back of the queue so interested parties can donate a few dollars that might get them over the financial hump….

    So I guess she’s not interested in Libertopia…

    Seriously, I mean, this is basically the libertarian/minarchist/anarchist “answer” to all the “problems” statists think need “solutions.” And for her it’s just horrific. We are so doomed.

    1. “You mean not everyone wants to pay for the Chicago bean? But it’s a landmark of the city! Private individuals paying out of their own pocket for such a project so that tax dollars can be spent more wisely on other venues, or better yet, refunded to the taxpayers? THE HORROR!!!”

      1. I think it’s actually the opposite: “You mean some private individuals with an interest in tourism around Millennium Park might want to finance something like the bean when SCHOOLZ NEED MONEY CHILDREN HELP THEM?”

        1. Well yes. I mean if they have enough money to piss it away on the bean and possible personal economic return that just means we aren’t taxing them enough. That’s why the schools suck.

    2. Take, for instance,Citizinvestor, a new service that allows municipalities (big ones, like Philadelphia, Chicago, Tampa) to put forth public works languishing at the back of the queue so interested parties can donate a few dollars that might get them over the financial hump….

      Yes, nothing could be worse than letting private citizens vote with their dollars on which projects are important and worthy of funding. They might not vote the way I want them to.

      1. If you want to improve Tampa, send me your money so I can build a giant space elevator off of the coast. Sure, it’ll take some years of developing the concept, and yes, I’ll need a high salary, private jet, private car, and a private yacht to survey locations, but it’ll make Tampa the Next Great City when I’m done.

        1. Noreen Malone would say that the people of Tampa could spend the money on better things. Perhaps a private yauht for every resident.

          1. There’s nothing more important to Tampa than the Libertate Space Elevator. Billions in new business.

        2. it’ll make Tampa the Next Great City when I’m done.

          Are you sure Tampa is at the right latitude for a space elevator?

          1. You know, these negative waves are why Tampa isn’t the Next Great City yet. Just send the money.

        3. I thought Mons Venus made Tampa the Next Great City.

  8. How can something exist without central planning and control? I mean, who is in control? Where is the central planning? Where is the force, coercion and threat of violence?

    DOES NOT COMPUTE!
    DOES NOT COMPUTE!
    DOES NOT COMPUTE!

    BBBZZZZT! POP!

    *smoke*

    1. Oh, a sarcasm-meter. THAT’S a great invention.

    2. Without central planning and control, stuff won’t be EXACTLY THE WAY I WANT IT!

      1. Stuff won’t be exactly the way they want it even with illimitable centralization. And not in the asymptotic never-quite-there way: reality and their unrealized dreams become more and more divergent the more control they exert. Like Heisenberg applied to politics. Statists might realize this except that every day furnishes some excitingly novel social problem. By the time the law actually takes effect, it’s old news.

        1. Not true. If I want what every other good right-thinking person wants, and the good right-hinking people win the election. Than everything will be exactly the way I, I mean WE, want.

          You just haven’t discovered the benefits of the hive mind, yet, Dweebston. If you are properly educated you will want all the same stuff that WE, the progressive intelligensia, want. You just have to consent to let us properly educate you.

          1. Re-educate. It’s re-educate. Calling it education might run you afoul of the teacher unions.

            1. I’ve met many progressives who spend a lot of time teaching themselves to agree with the program.

              Anything that seems questionable need only be researched a little to find some appropriately enlightened intellectual to tell you what to think.

              And then they think “Well this is what the GOOD RIGHT PEOPLE think so it must be correct, and anyway, disagreeing with it would only cause dissent and then the EVIL BAD PEOPLE (Republicans) will benefit from that. ”
              And henceforth, they convince themselves to advocate EXACTLY THE SAME THING as every other progressive, for the sake of the cause.

          2. “Why do you resist? We only wish to raise quality of life, for all species.”

            “I like my ‘species’ the way it is!”

            “A narrow vision.”

            http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Borg_philosophy

  9. How can it be forced to fund what she wants?
    Who can she petition to force people fund what she wants?
    Who will use force to stop people funding things that she doesn’t want?

    Chaos! Anarchy! Dogs sleeping with cats! We’re all going to die! Aaauuggghhh!

    1. Yeah, that is really what I got from this article.

      People are funding things, but not the things I would fund, so it is wrong.

      Not that there is anything stopping her from starting/funding projects that she would like to see come to fruition.

      1. Not that there is anything stopping her from starting/funding projects that she would like to see come to fruition.

        Yes there is. An inability to force others to contribute as well. There’s no point in doing anything like that by yourself, and persuasion alone is insufficient to get the proper amount of funding. Some kind of coercion is required or there’s no point.

    2. The irony that she could use a position at a magazine that is supposed to influence the arts to you know maybe influence the arts by pimping out a kickstarter project but instead bitches about kickstarter is completely lost on her. I thought hipsters were supposed to be all about the irony.

  10. Take, for instance,Citizinvestor

    Oh good god, I’m already THE fucking Citizinvestor supreme. I pay my taxes… Go away. Just go… away….

    1. It Citizinvestor completely replaced taxes, that would be great. As a supplement to taxes? Fuck you!

      1. So, your argument is that, because we pay taxes to pay for parks, nobody should build parks funded by private contributions. This sounds like a strawman argument that liberals would place in the mouths of libertarians.

        Actually, a super liberal friend of mine did make this argument once. “I pay taxes. Why should I give to charity to help the poor? It should be one or the other.” Had I been a little quicker on my feet, I would have asked if there were no workhouses or prisons.

        1. So, your argument is that, because we pay taxes to pay for parks, nobody should build parks funded by private contributions.

          Private parks? Sure. But not when they’re abusing the funds we already give them through taxes. Giving them private funds on top of public (forcibly taken funds) merely enables them to keep abusing the public funds.

          . “I pay taxes. Why should I give to charity to help the poor? It should be one or the other.”

          Not an apt analogy. There are private charities I give to which help the poor. Two streams of money, two destinations. If your neighbor comes over every week and pulls $500 out of your wallet, then puts a sign on his gate saying “Donate, I’m poor!” you still gonna donate?

          1. Over the long run the residents might come to see the superiority of the private-funds model, and start voting for politicians who will not forcibly take as much and rely more on the private donations.

            1. Hitch your wagon to a star, I guess…

            2. Any idea whether Citizinvestments are deductible? I’m assuming they’re not actual, dividend-earning investments.

        2. No, my argument is if you steal my money, do not ask for an additional handout.

          I am assuming Citizinvestor money goes to the municipalities, not private parties.

  11. Amiga FTW. Oh, wait.

    1. Yeah, Sundog just got remade with a Kickstarter bounce. I’ll have to give a looksie. One of my faves on the Amiga from way back.

      1. I forgot they actually have some Amiga related projects on Kickstarter. Shall check them out.

    2. Whenever “Amiga” is uttered, it should be said with the proper level of reverence and respect. I didn’t detect it in your tone.

  12. What in the flying hell is “ethically complicated” about allowing people to more easily express and finance their preference, in governance or markets?

    Your problem, Mr. Doherty, is that you can’t step out of your own mindset and into that someone like Noreen Malone’s.

    That which is unregulated and not overseen (is Kickstarter a bank? Is it a financial institution? Is it a lending institution? Is it an investment house?) is a loose cannon, the Wild West, it’s a completely unregulated [fill in dollar amount] industry. What if people get hurt/lose money/don’t get a return on investment/get misled?

    Kickstarter must be categorized as an institution which fits into a model of some other currently regulated and licensed institution. She’s flailing about in the early morning light of concepts like Kickstarter, trying to categorize it so we can finally move on to the next step of regulation, licensing and taxing.

    1. “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
      -Ronald Reagan

    2. But Kickstarter doesn’t distribute resources EQUITABLY!!!! How can you not understand that!

      All this random giving , it’s too random! Kickstarter should make people donate to projects that DESERVE the money, not the random ones that they just FEEL LIKE giving to!

      1. Some sort of government oversight commission to determine which projects are good and which aren’t, seems appropriate here.

        Maybe the government should simply become Kickstarter. You pay your taxes, and then the government distributes that money into say, solar energy companies and other green ventures. I can’t see anything going wrong with that model.

        1. I know. Kickstarters can just have a non-specific donate button. You just give the money to Kickstarter, and Kickstarter decides what (in their wisdom) to give it too.
          Perhaps they can hire Noreen Malone to decide which projects should get funded.

          1. I think we already know what she’d do with the Detroit $70,000.

    3. Your problem, Mr. Doherty, is that you can’t step out of your own mindset and into that someone like Noreen Malone’s.

      My only quibble is that you’re implying that there is a mindset here. I understand what you’re saying, but this is better categorized as emoting than thought, the emotion being nagging anxiety.

  13. These are spheres in which a certain amount of oversight and accountability?and attention to equitable distribution of resources?are rather important.

    Right-Thinking Top Men. The rabble can’t be left to their own, greedy devices.

    1. Is “equitable” ever used in a non-fascist manner?

      1. Never when you are talking about outcomes. Anytime the race doesn’t go to the swift or the Jumble to the quick-witted, there’s some well-meaning thumb on the scale, screwing someone for the benefit of another.

    2. The best part of this attitude is that it’s a large portion of the rabble that thinks these thoughts, completely self-unaware that when they propose control by Top Men, they are not the Top Men, and they are proposing control of themselves as well.

      1. Every crab thinks he will eventually get to the top of the bucket.

        1. No one wants to hear about your STDs, NutraSweet.

        2. “Bucket” is an odd pet name for your penis. To each their own I guess.

          1. I like it.

          2. I guess people who have experience with STDs all think alike?

    3. Private charity should be abolished. We can’t have people just RANDOMLY giving money to one another. That could result in an un-equitable distribution of charity dollars. Undeserving projects might get funded, and deserving ones might not. Just because they don’t have enough Facebook friends!

  14. Then there’s the case of the RoboCop statue: via Kickstarter, $67,436 was raised to erect a giant metal ode to the 1980s sci-fi film. The statue is set to go up in blighted Detroit, whose residents can probably think of more urgent uses for $70,000.

    I imagine the residents of Detroit would rather blow that $70,000 on public employee salaries or have their pols launder it to their selected cronies.

    1. whose residents can probably think of more urgent uses for $70,000

      So those residents should…start their own Kickstarter!

      I mean fucking a.

      1. Just put a plaque on it saying it was payed for with ARRA funds.

        Then of course it will be money well spent, because, you know, stimulus.

      2. So those residents should…start their own Kickstarter!

        The circularity of it is too confusing.

        1. That’s not circular.

    2. Fortunately, it does not cost the residents anything to have the statue put up. On the other hand, if my taxes are raised to pay for public artwork that I think is hideous, it does cost me, even though I do not want it.

      1. Fortunately, it does not cost the residents anything to have the statue put up.

        Yes it does. That money could have been doled out to them instead of being used for a statue, and not giving is taking.
        Thus the statue cost the residents seventy grand.

        1. Her real concern is that a minoritah kid is staring at that statue right now muttering, ‘sweet’ under his breath before running off to buy the latest set of Avengers comic books at the local shop. Years from now he’ll be another useless nerd cultured programmer instead of a hep gang banger whose travails give cause for the continuation of the welfare-social worker state.

    3. whose residents can probably think of more urgent uses for $70,000

      EXCEPT IT’S NOT THEIR MONEY.

      1. The leftists don’t understand that. They think it’s all to be pooled into one pot and distributed peferably to each person’s need.

        1. That’s the serf lefties that you refer to. I shall fix it now to cover the elitist lefties:

          They think it’s all to be pooled into one pot and distributed peferably to each person’s need themself, their friends, and their wealthy donors

      2. Being serious for a minute, who is to say that a $70,000 RoboCop statue isn’t ultimately going to benefit Detroit more than one more cop or teacher?

        If, as Detroiters keep saying, Detroit is turning into some sort of haven for starving artist colonies, erecting public sculptures would help promote that image and continue that evolution of the city. If Detroit actually finds a new identity as a city of grunge artists, that’s going to do more for it in the long run than throwing money at some idiotic welfare program.

        Even if it doesn’t, value is subjective. Why is the assumption always that feeding starving children supercedes the aesthetic pleasure that Detroit residents will get from public art?

      3. Say, that is a problem with her logic. I’m sure once you point that out to her, she’ll laugh and publish an article admitting her error.

      4. EXCEPT IT’S NOT THEIR MONEY.

        That’s just crazy talk.

    4. Oh nos! People are voluntarily donating money to causes other than the ones *I* think are most important!

  15. Well, Gawd forbid anyone actually gets what they want by helping to pay for it and having some input into what it is they are paying for. That’s like anarchy, man! We need leaders to tell us what we want, and don’t want, and shouldn’t have! Kickstarter will send your childins to hell!

    Now that my sarcastic rant is over, this is the coolest project on Kickstarter, evah. VR, I for one am excited at the possibilities.

    Oculus Rift

  16. People like Malone are totalitarian. The word is not just an epitaph. It is a real mindset that a lot of people have without even realizing it. Malone is bothered so much by kick starter because anything that is not controlled bothers her.

    1. It’s like free markets, and free markets are the evil machinations of hedonist Libertarian and Anarchist types who only want to coddle the rich.

    2. You say epitaph, I say epithet.

      Or do you want to write Malone’s epitaph?

      He lies the remains of a power-worshiping slave. Something like that.

      1. “Useless cow was useless. May it rest in peace”

        -jcr

  17. Kickstarter is a brilliant innovation, that fosters other innovations. New Republic is a waste of web server space, and Noreeen Malone is a useless whiner.

    -jcr

    1. Where’s the fairness in Kickstarter? What if some people get what they want and others wind up not getting what they want? Some might not feel equal. There is no empathy here. There has to be regulations and bureaucracy, and important people in charge here to insure that everyone gets what they want in equal share.

      Kickstarter is being secretly funded by the Koch brothers to make some people feel less equal, and to coddle the rich. It has no other purpose.

      Gawd, you Libertarians are dumb.

  18. Wow, what an idiotic piece. Brian, you hated it well, but you could’ve taken it up a few more notches and I wouldn’t have complained. Also:

    The subtitle of Malone’s piece is more telling: “Fund me, I’m useless.”

    Apparently, it’s only okay to fund useless things if you’re forced to, not if you choose to. See Federal Government for more information.

  19. OT: You guys are on the latest puppycide right?
    Commerce City, Colorado

    I gotta stop watching stuff like this.

    1. Since it’s CO, no surprise. They have to start warming up for the great anti-cannabis puppycide that is to come.

    2. That video is sickening. Animal control had a control collar on the dog and it was freaking out after it had been tazed, and Officer Fatshit shoots the dog three or four times.

      It’s not about officer safety, or training, or even a lack of accountability. Those two fucknuggets are little sissy fucking cowards. Even people who are happy that dogs are being murdered shouldn’t want two fat cowards on the police force.

    3. Police Chief Chuck Saunier announced Monday that he was launching a full-scale investigation. He said that early indications were that police acted properly to protect the public from what police call a vicious dog.

      Imagine that!

  20. So what happens when this guy goes to the mall, or to Amazon.com? Does his head explode?

  21. Hey, where the white women PM links at?

    1. It’s not 4:30 yet, but, yesterday, after a huge binder, Nick got paranoid about there being a mole in the editorial department and he tied Scott to a chair. Nick danced around, put on some old Gary Rafferty (not ‘Right Down The Line’, but the other one that is not ‘Baker’s Street’) and cut off his moterfucking ear. Did not deter Scott. He still got the links in before 5PM.

      1. After a huge binder? What, 3″ or 4″ rings? How huge do binders get? What did the binder do to him?

        1. I don’t like being reminded of the robot from Futurama.

  22. I’m too impatient to read all the comments.

    Does this have something to do with John Corzine not getting first chance at the suckers?

  23. Sounds like a solid plan to me dude. Wow.
    http://www.IP-Faker.tk

  24. I see this lot on a video game site that I frequent, NeoGaf. Lots of people think KS is the worst thing ever, it should be regulated by the government and so forth, often ending up in rants against libertarians and laiz faire capitalism.

    I got banned from that site for 2 weeks once, for making a joke about OWS.

  25. People can’t decided what to do with money themselves! They’ll *waste* it on things that have no public benefit. This requires a new Government agency.

    1. “This is what they actually believe!”

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