FT is creating Concepts
405

patrons

Who I Am

New Year, new goals!

My name is FT and I’m a writer, cultural mongrel, and some kinda half-assed philosopher I guess. I used to be in academia. I’ve been writing, thinking, and yelling on-line under the name FuckTheory for seven or eight years now and in that time I’ve written tens of thousands of words for free and in public without any expectation or even idea of compensation. To get a better sense of what I do and how I think, you can check out my Twittermy Tumblr, or this recent essay in Artforum which gives a good summary of the main topics and authors I’m currently interested in and am likely to be interested in for the next few months while you support my work.

I started this little experiment for fun and out of curiosity, and that’s mostly why I continue to do it. I enjoy it. But in the years since I started FuckTheory my circumstances have changed considerably. During the years FuckTheory was most prolific, I was a full-time scholar. Some semesters I didn’t even have to teach. Since then, I’ve left academia and am no longer affiliated with any university or institution. I currently work a couple of pretty modest gigs to pay the rent. These changes were the reason I started raising support for my work on Patreon just over a year ago.

Why I Ask People For Money

When I first started this Patreon, I was very broke and pretty sick, without a steady income or medical insurance. Things have changed considerably for the better over the past year, largely because of the support I have received on here. So first, thank you very very much.

The money from this Patreon pays for my health insurance every month. Because of my current immigration status, I can’t sign up for Obamacare or other local insurances; I have an overseas travelers’ insurance which I bill by sending invoices across the ocean. It’s pretty ridiculous but it’s the best option available at the moment. Unfortunately, because it’s traveler’s insurance, it doesn’t cover a number of basic costs. Those costs are also covered by this Patreon, as are legal fees related to my immigration process. So if you’re wondering, those are the main places where this money goes.

I currently have two main sources of income: 1-on-1 teaching, mostly of high school students, which is a fairly regular gig that covers my rent and basic nutrition, and freelance translation gigs. I love translating, and there are far, far worse ways to earn money. I actually enjoy the work, which I’m very fortunate to be able to say. BUT translation gigs are both irregular and time-consuming. Some months I can earn up to $1000 extra translating, some months $60-100. I always manage to get by, but income from Patreon, which arrives regularly and on a predictable date, helps more than irregular gigs that take up the entire afternoon. If I’m on a Twitter rant for an hour then get an e-mail offering me a translation for $150, having this Patreon income allows me to make the decision to keep writing for an hour instead of stopping to make the extra money. It’s a fairly petty math, but that’s how life works when you’re trying to live in Manhattan on a low income.

In short, what you are supporting with your Patreon contributions is literally my ability to live and work on the things you enjoy reading about. I have the time to write because I don’t have to scramble to find other gigs. I have the energy to write because I’m less anxious about paying bills and getting sick. And I can push myself to finish something that night by letting myself order in instead of stopping to cook. These things are small and banal, but they are the substance of intellectual activity, literally. The more support I have on Patreon, the more net time I can put into thinking, tweeting, and writing. 

When I first started this Patreon a year ago, I felt very embarrassed about it.  I was raised with a strong work ethic and even though I was genuinely working and genuinely broke it felt like asking for a handout.  A year later, I'm a lot less embarrassed about it, because I can honestly say that the difference these extra funds make in my life genuinely alters my ability to sit, focus, and write.  Not having to worry about health insurance or scramble for rent if a regular gig falls short is a pretty big weight off my mind.  

What I’m Asking For

In the last couple of months my work has been spurred by circumstances to a higher level of written, as opposed to Tweeted, output. I’ve actually assembled and finished some stand-alone pieces that have been either published or put on-line here on Patreon. I will continue to put new short texts up, and I’m working on two longer texts which will be released as e-books in the next few months. The first of these, Notes on the University, will be available to every Patreon supporter for free as promised in the first version of this fundraising effort, way back when. That writing is being supported by your Patreon contributions. The draft version of that text, at roughly 16k words, is now online for all supporters.

I’m also conducting a lecture series at Postmasters Gallery in Manhattan, currently open-ended, which will result in a collected product, written or otherwise, at the end of the project. Neither I nor the gallery nor the speakers I’m inviting to read in my place each session are profiting from the series, but your donations give me time to write each lecture. The first lecture is already available for all Patreon supporters; your contributions are funding the next ones. For each lecture I’m also designing a small booklet, which also takes a few hours. And there are a couple of other collaborations in the works that I hope to announce soon.

In short, over the past year or so, this Patreon has shifted slightly from a “Help me get on my feet so I can write” appeal to a “Help me stay on my feet so I can keep writing” appeal. On my end, that feels like pretty great news. I’m asking for is your continued support, so I can keep doing what I’m doing. I want to lecture series at Postmasters to continue for a while. I need time for that. I want to finish the two e-books I’m working on. I need time for that. I want the other collaborations I’m working on to come to fruition. I need time for that. And once I’ve checked all of those boxes I have other projects I want to work on, most important of which are the three-volume history of philosophy I’ve been talking about forever, and a meatspace seminar on Spinoza that I’ve been threatening to hold for almost as long. The lecture series at Postmasters is definitely a step in that direction as I navigate the particular circumstances of being semi-anonymous. Time, as we know, is money. Support on Patreon equals written output from me. It’s that simple. Any support you can give will be welcome and genuinely appreciated, and will go towards keeping me alive and healthy while I write. I have cool plans in the works, but for the sake of honesty I want to be clear about what I’m asking for: patronage. I’m asking for time to sit and read and think and write. Everything else will be a bonus, and I’ll do my best to make the bonuses worth your while.

I’m obviously planning to keep tweeting constantly. I am still hoping to get back to regularly updating my Tumblr. I know I’ve been promising to do that for a while and I’m annoyed that I haven’t been able to get that done, but onward and upward. I plan to post a new 10-15 page text once a month until the lecture series is done. These texts won’t be the same as the lecture series, but they will be related, either notes in preparation, summaries of texts I’m reading, or leftover material from the writing. That will counterbalance slightly the fact that your Patreon money is supporting a lecture series you might not be able to attend. I am committed to six lectures in the first set. I would like to get to 12, and it would be awesome to make it to 18. But enthusiasm will only cover so many bills. So I’m asking for your continued help.  I am constantly thankful for the support I've gotten through this website.  
Rewards
Pledge $1 or more per month
Every single supporter will receive a free copy of the first e-book I self-publish, date contingent upon success of this project.  
Pledge $5 or more per month
If you are willing to be this generous in supporting my work with your hard-earned coin I would like to hand-write you a thank you note, on an index card, of course.  And mail it to you.  
Pledge $10 or more per month
(sold out!)
The first 10 people to give exactly $10 will get to choose an index card from my archive (i.e., one I've posted on fucktheory.com) and have me mail it to them.  
Pledge $15 or more per month
If you donate $15 a month I will write whatever you want on an index card and mail it to you.  I can write anything that doesn't affect the safety or well-being of myself or someone else.  I mean it's a dumb idea probably but it's hard to offer concrete rewards when you're raising money to live and think.  
Pledge $50 or more per month
I'll hand-write you a 500-word explanation of a concept of your choice on a piece or pieces of notebook paper and mail it to you.  You can even choose between cursive or regular handwriting.  It might go over 500 words at my discretion.  You can decide if you'll let me post the text to my Q&A blog or not; I would encourage you to allow it since the whole point of supporting me is to make my writing available to people.  
Pledge $150 or more per month
A one-time, 45-minute text chat lesson on any topic about which I know something, or any topic you want me to spend a few hours researching if you're stumped and want a random orthogonal perspective.  
Pledge $250 or more per month
If you like my work this much, you get a monthly 45-minute text lesson.  We can close read a single longer text together, study a particular philosopher or writer, or shoot the shit about whatever you feel like talking about.  You can decide if you'll let me cull these conversations for useful tidbits and soundbytes to post more publicly.  
Goals
79% complete
Hitting this mark will allow me to commit to at least 12 lectures to run through the spring and to much more comfortably finishing two e-books, Notes for the University, which I just put a draft of on Patreon, and A Guide for the Perplexed, which has been drafted for several weeks and needs revision. Hitting this mark will also allow me to pay someone to edit those e-books with me rather than asking a friend to give them a quick once-over a a favor. Hitting this mark will allow me to bring a regular editor on board for future texts, as well.
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Who I Am

New Year, new goals!

My name is FT and I’m a writer, cultural mongrel, and some kinda half-assed philosopher I guess. I used to be in academia. I’ve been writing, thinking, and yelling on-line under the name FuckTheory for seven or eight years now and in that time I’ve written tens of thousands of words for free and in public without any expectation or even idea of compensation. To get a better sense of what I do and how I think, you can check out my Twittermy Tumblr, or this recent essay in Artforum which gives a good summary of the main topics and authors I’m currently interested in and am likely to be interested in for the next few months while you support my work.

I started this little experiment for fun and out of curiosity, and that’s mostly why I continue to do it. I enjoy it. But in the years since I started FuckTheory my circumstances have changed considerably. During the years FuckTheory was most prolific, I was a full-time scholar. Some semesters I didn’t even have to teach. Since then, I’ve left academia and am no longer affiliated with any university or institution. I currently work a couple of pretty modest gigs to pay the rent. These changes were the reason I started raising support for my work on Patreon just over a year ago.

Why I Ask People For Money

When I first started this Patreon, I was very broke and pretty sick, without a steady income or medical insurance. Things have changed considerably for the better over the past year, largely because of the support I have received on here. So first, thank you very very much.

The money from this Patreon pays for my health insurance every month. Because of my current immigration status, I can’t sign up for Obamacare or other local insurances; I have an overseas travelers’ insurance which I bill by sending invoices across the ocean. It’s pretty ridiculous but it’s the best option available at the moment. Unfortunately, because it’s traveler’s insurance, it doesn’t cover a number of basic costs. Those costs are also covered by this Patreon, as are legal fees related to my immigration process. So if you’re wondering, those are the main places where this money goes.

I currently have two main sources of income: 1-on-1 teaching, mostly of high school students, which is a fairly regular gig that covers my rent and basic nutrition, and freelance translation gigs. I love translating, and there are far, far worse ways to earn money. I actually enjoy the work, which I’m very fortunate to be able to say. BUT translation gigs are both irregular and time-consuming. Some months I can earn up to $1000 extra translating, some months $60-100. I always manage to get by, but income from Patreon, which arrives regularly and on a predictable date, helps more than irregular gigs that take up the entire afternoon. If I’m on a Twitter rant for an hour then get an e-mail offering me a translation for $150, having this Patreon income allows me to make the decision to keep writing for an hour instead of stopping to make the extra money. It’s a fairly petty math, but that’s how life works when you’re trying to live in Manhattan on a low income.

In short, what you are supporting with your Patreon contributions is literally my ability to live and work on the things you enjoy reading about. I have the time to write because I don’t have to scramble to find other gigs. I have the energy to write because I’m less anxious about paying bills and getting sick. And I can push myself to finish something that night by letting myself order in instead of stopping to cook. These things are small and banal, but they are the substance of intellectual activity, literally. The more support I have on Patreon, the more net time I can put into thinking, tweeting, and writing. 

When I first started this Patreon a year ago, I felt very embarrassed about it.  I was raised with a strong work ethic and even though I was genuinely working and genuinely broke it felt like asking for a handout.  A year later, I'm a lot less embarrassed about it, because I can honestly say that the difference these extra funds make in my life genuinely alters my ability to sit, focus, and write.  Not having to worry about health insurance or scramble for rent if a regular gig falls short is a pretty big weight off my mind.  

What I’m Asking For

In the last couple of months my work has been spurred by circumstances to a higher level of written, as opposed to Tweeted, output. I’ve actually assembled and finished some stand-alone pieces that have been either published or put on-line here on Patreon. I will continue to put new short texts up, and I’m working on two longer texts which will be released as e-books in the next few months. The first of these, Notes on the University, will be available to every Patreon supporter for free as promised in the first version of this fundraising effort, way back when. That writing is being supported by your Patreon contributions. The draft version of that text, at roughly 16k words, is now online for all supporters.

I’m also conducting a lecture series at Postmasters Gallery in Manhattan, currently open-ended, which will result in a collected product, written or otherwise, at the end of the project. Neither I nor the gallery nor the speakers I’m inviting to read in my place each session are profiting from the series, but your donations give me time to write each lecture. The first lecture is already available for all Patreon supporters; your contributions are funding the next ones. For each lecture I’m also designing a small booklet, which also takes a few hours. And there are a couple of other collaborations in the works that I hope to announce soon.

In short, over the past year or so, this Patreon has shifted slightly from a “Help me get on my feet so I can write” appeal to a “Help me stay on my feet so I can keep writing” appeal. On my end, that feels like pretty great news. I’m asking for is your continued support, so I can keep doing what I’m doing. I want to lecture series at Postmasters to continue for a while. I need time for that. I want to finish the two e-books I’m working on. I need time for that. I want the other collaborations I’m working on to come to fruition. I need time for that. And once I’ve checked all of those boxes I have other projects I want to work on, most important of which are the three-volume history of philosophy I’ve been talking about forever, and a meatspace seminar on Spinoza that I’ve been threatening to hold for almost as long. The lecture series at Postmasters is definitely a step in that direction as I navigate the particular circumstances of being semi-anonymous. Time, as we know, is money. Support on Patreon equals written output from me. It’s that simple. Any support you can give will be welcome and genuinely appreciated, and will go towards keeping me alive and healthy while I write. I have cool plans in the works, but for the sake of honesty I want to be clear about what I’m asking for: patronage. I’m asking for time to sit and read and think and write. Everything else will be a bonus, and I’ll do my best to make the bonuses worth your while.

I’m obviously planning to keep tweeting constantly. I am still hoping to get back to regularly updating my Tumblr. I know I’ve been promising to do that for a while and I’m annoyed that I haven’t been able to get that done, but onward and upward. I plan to post a new 10-15 page text once a month until the lecture series is done. These texts won’t be the same as the lecture series, but they will be related, either notes in preparation, summaries of texts I’m reading, or leftover material from the writing. That will counterbalance slightly the fact that your Patreon money is supporting a lecture series you might not be able to attend. I am committed to six lectures in the first set. I would like to get to 12, and it would be awesome to make it to 18. But enthusiasm will only cover so many bills. So I’m asking for your continued help.  I am constantly thankful for the support I've gotten through this website.  

Recent posts by FT

Rewards
Pledge $1 or more per month
Every single supporter will receive a free copy of the first e-book I self-publish, date contingent upon success of this project.  
Pledge $5 or more per month
If you are willing to be this generous in supporting my work with your hard-earned coin I would like to hand-write you a thank you note, on an index card, of course.  And mail it to you.  
Pledge $10 or more per month
(sold out!)
The first 10 people to give exactly $10 will get to choose an index card from my archive (i.e., one I've posted on fucktheory.com) and have me mail it to them.  
Pledge $15 or more per month
If you donate $15 a month I will write whatever you want on an index card and mail it to you.  I can write anything that doesn't affect the safety or well-being of myself or someone else.  I mean it's a dumb idea probably but it's hard to offer concrete rewards when you're raising money to live and think.  
Pledge $50 or more per month
I'll hand-write you a 500-word explanation of a concept of your choice on a piece or pieces of notebook paper and mail it to you.  You can even choose between cursive or regular handwriting.  It might go over 500 words at my discretion.  You can decide if you'll let me post the text to my Q&A blog or not; I would encourage you to allow it since the whole point of supporting me is to make my writing available to people.  
Pledge $150 or more per month
A one-time, 45-minute text chat lesson on any topic about which I know something, or any topic you want me to spend a few hours researching if you're stumped and want a random orthogonal perspective.  
Pledge $250 or more per month
If you like my work this much, you get a monthly 45-minute text lesson.  We can close read a single longer text together, study a particular philosopher or writer, or shoot the shit about whatever you feel like talking about.  You can decide if you'll let me cull these conversations for useful tidbits and soundbytes to post more publicly.