Jason Scott, speaking for the board.
First, let me say this update was way too long in coming - I am working very hard to finish editing a movie project as well as my daily duties and efforts for Archive Team and the Internet Archive, and a bunch of stuff was back burnered while I was working on those. The board has generally let me speak for them so nobody was inclined to just jump in with an update. Let me do a short one here and then we'll have a longer one soon.
Let me harken back to the basics.
I stepped forward and assembled this project for a simple reason: I did not want to see a young man kill himself for having a failed business. I liked his talent and his charisma and his teaching skills, and I thought the world would be poorer for losing him. I still believe all this. As someone who has lost a few friends and acquaintances this way, I thought the right thing to do was to step in and help where I could, leveraging my ability to manage projects and face crowds, even hostile ones, to bring things to some sort of conclusion.
We shipped out a majority of the rewards (numbers wise) and certainly all the rewards that Schuyler had in his possession. (Still a few boxes lingering, of course). That was positive, and I think it gave my friend some hope and oxygen. Bringing himself to a coffee job and living with his parents has done same.
That said, he has a number of lock libraries on hand he owes shipping out to, and he has not done that. He also has slipped here and there with getting information back to us, and has required prompting. I don't like this.
Unlike the rewards and boxes process, the lockpicking process requires Schuyler in a very big way. He needs to be given the cut picks, weld them, prep them, and possibly ship them. He needs to do this for thousands and thousands of picks.
Therefore, I wrote to him earlier this week, and laid it out. If we do this, we do this. I will be at his house, making him do things, on a regular basis. I will be enlisting people to be taught the skills needed to use this equipment as well as he does, and to build picks along with him regardless of if he's had a hard day at work or just isn't in the mood. While some risk can be mitigated by doing shorter (and slightly more expensive) runs and then focusing on those runs, this is a lot of work ahead. Work that will bring even more people down if he does not come through.
I told him to speak about this with his family, and think about this. And to come back with the real answer, the REAL answer, of if we're going to do this.
It is an adult's choice, not the choice of the young 24 year old hacker who enjoyed picking locks and who wanted to move into sharing his lockpicks with the world and maybe do this full time. Who made stupid mistakes and piled more on until his worldview shrunk to failure and darkness. Who hid his failures with a forced smile until he couldn't even force the smile.
I personally hope he goes for making the lockpicks. He loves lockpicking and the designs are solid and I happen to think the discipline of working on them will make him a better and focused person. I think it's doable.
If he comes back with the real decision being that he can't. the slings and arrows will come. I've seen quite enough of them during this campaign. If he goes that way, that path, the weight of producing all these picks is replaced with the weight of some apparently intense hate mail and campaigns, and personal attacks for years to come. As an adult, he should be prepared for that as well.
Both of these paths are pretty terrible choices, but they're a choice. He has a support network, now, either way he goes. That's why I got in on this - I was never a backer of this campaign, and I have never picked a lock. I did this for a person, not a skill or an idea.
I've told Schuyler to speak with his family. We'll go from there.