Crowdfunding Dystopias and Other Gamified Ways to Part With Your Money

Good morning, meine Liebchens. First off, haaaaaaaaay to all the new subscribers this week, I hope you're ready to dive into my hummingbird brain every morning. Welcome, and please reply with feedback, puns, or how you ended up finding this Missive because I'm pretty sure my direct family isn't this big HI MUM AND DAD ;)

Sarah Perez over at TechCrunch covers the ex-Mozilla team now refunding Kickstarter supporters that supported their smart home system Sense. I share this today as more often than not, I more often read about when crowdfunding goes awry. Exhibit: The 9 Most Disgraceful Crowdfunding Failures of 2015 (thanks Gizmodo.) Which then makes me wonder about the crowdfunded projects I’ve supported in the past, of which I have now forgotten. Whatever happened with those? And where are those damned rewards I was promised (old story, but you get the point?)

Dear Hillary: You know I love you, but sweet lord, please no gameified fundraising.


If you haven’t been following the Gawker / Peter Thiel saga unfolding on both coasts, Forbes has a handy history. I draw your attention, in particular, to the role of the shell law firm created and funded for pretty much the sole purpose of going after Gawker. According to this article, the lawyers had no idea who was actually writing their checks until the news broke. Owen Thomas, who wrote Valleywag at the time of the offending post that sparked this whole debacle, shares his perspective on the whole cluster today in the San Francisco Chronicle, where he is business editor.

And speaking of Gawker, if you need a reminder that the media network provides great journalistic value in addition to the gossip, give Here's What Gawker Media Does a read. This high-level compendium of their greatest investigative hits fueled my Kindle all weekend. In particular, this February gem from Jezebel: Sail (Far) Away: At Sea with America's Largest Floating Gathering of Conspiracy Theorists. FYI, I’m not being sarcastic; the round up includes some of the best pieces they’ve released over the years. Read them.

And finally, it’s Margaret Atwood’s dystopian future, and we’re just living in it (PREACH, VOX!)