Use this space to cheer the creator along, ask questions, and talk to your fellow backers. Please remember to be respectful and considerate. Thanks!
Based on updates alone, I'm pretty sure Tom and I are best friends that never met. I know more intimate details of his life than I know about 80% of my friends. I'm actually pleasantly surprised that Tom is still working on this book after 5 years (which is incidentally how long Northeastern University lasts...).
Sooooo, any update on this? I fear all hope is lost on this project.
Interestingly, the co-worker I had planned on giving the book to as a gift has now moved on to another school across the country. lol
Meh. If it's published or not isn't really a concern of mine any more. Not worth the time being worked up about it. :)
David S, I gave up about 30 months ago. I never would have guessed back then that it was more likely for Donald Trump to become president of the USA than for Tom to deliver on his promise.
Anyone still think this book is ever happening?
Pledges are always pledges, especially as far back as this kickstarter goes. Hope you finish, Tom — and if you ever want a pint, I'm in Portland, too!
I hope Tom finishes the book and I really look forward to seeing it if/when it's done. I pledged a pretty small amount of money - basically an expendable amount. When I pledged, it was clear to me that this was an ambitious undertaking for someone who hadn't done this kind of thing before.
I have no interest in trying to reclaim the small amount of money I pledged and will not be participating in any lawsuits. I hope Tom eventually finishes this thing more for his own sake than for mine. If not, I'd like Tom to consider my pledge a gift and to buy himself dinner (but he'll have to go somewhere cheap).
TEDx Mt.Hood on May 2, 2015:
An update from Tom on Twitter: https://twitter.com/neu242/status/576330288088948736
Dear Punk Mathematics Backers
Myself and Ira are two concerned backers, unhappy with the way Tom Henderson has been handling the project he proposed almost 4 years ago. After failing to meet his self-imposed deadlines and with no updates for 7 months we feel again it is time to hold Tom accountable and ask him what he has been doing with the $28,701 we gave him as a collective to write his book.
The facts of the matter are that Tom has failed to deliver his rewards, failed to keep us informed and updated with regards to our investment, and continues to make excuses for why he is not updating backers or progressing with the book.
I believed Tom had good intentions, but I think he may have lost momentum with the book. Unfortunately because he does not update us (his last update was July 2014) we are left to assume or visit the only page he seems to update on a daily basis, his twitter account @mathpunk.
We started a Facebook group to get backers of this project connected so that we can decide as a collective the best course of action. https://www.facebook.com/groups/269504193195997/
If you are a backer please join our group and show your support. Share with every backer you know. We will likely start a petition if we make no progress with Tom.
We are not out to attack Tom and wish him no ill will. If you have anything positive to share or have received your rewards we would be pleased to hear from you. We are especially keen to hear from those of you who purchased the "Answer-To-Everything" reward pack and above, as Tom provided you with a 24 hour Math Hotline. Did he deliver on that reward? Has he been contactable by phone?
We understand writing a book takes time and deadlines change, but Tom has not offered any updated time scale. We don't want to wait another three years without good reason and unfortunately that it where Tom seems to be lacking. Ira and I have reached out very politely to Tom on several occasions to be met with vague excuses and no real answers. We are disappointed and feel that it shows a lack of respect for the people who backed his campaign.
After some discussion we feel these are the 3 options open to us presently, but we are a collective and all input is valuable. We want to hear people’s opinions and confirm the majority is happy with the course of action we choose to take. We hope to accomplish one of the following options:
1) See Tom continuing with the project but with a couple of elected backers as accountability managers. Tom must set a new realistic finish date and update weekly/fortnightly/whatever the group sees fit from now on with his schedule and give evidence of progress to the selected backers. This evidence could be updated drafts, scanned copies of notes, whatever, just something to prove he has actually sat his butt down at a desk and done something. If he can’t manage an online email update or whatever, he needs to IM and send files with the elected backers so they can update the backer run facebook page. If he fails to update regardless of his progress he will negate the agreement and we will be free to explore reclaiming the project for ourselves in lieu of legal action.
2) If Tom is incapable of continuing with the project we request he hand over any existing drafts to the backers under the creative commons attribution so that we can decide how to progress. If this course is taken we think it would be most sensible for the mathematicians backing the project to decide if they want to work on it as a collaborative endeavour. These details would be discussed in the backers group.
3) If Tom refuses to commit to updating and working on the book, setting a new realistic deadline, and refuses to release the drafts under the creative commons attribute we will be seeking recompense from him directly. Should he fail to comply we will seek legal advice as a group potentially hitting him with a class action suit for breach of contract.
He has let down the people who showed such faith in him, and now it is time to take some action to get this project back on course or get our money returned. None of us want to take legal action, but I can see from the comments many of us want our money back out of principle. We feel we have been scammed and we want to see some accountability.
We say this to you Mr Henderson: You cannot take people’s money and disappear. You will be held accountable. We do not own you, but you owe us regular updates. You may have been unprepared for this project, you may not know how to handle pressure and deadlines, but you are an adult. Take responsibility for your project and be fair to the people who paid you to live out your dream.
Punk Math Backers, unite and kickstart this project once again!
Writing a book is hard, which will anyone confirm who has tried to write a thesis - and a thesis has very small actual requirements on readability.
I still love the idea. The articles archived on the net still make me feel that I want this:
I can wait some additional months. I can also live with just getting a PDF for printing out myself. I can possible also live with my $29 spent being lost, but it would really be a shame, because after all I have been putting on my PunkMath t-shirt for years and my co-workers frequently ask me if I received my book yet, because they are curious enough to read it themselves.
What I want to say with this that I don't want to give up hope just yet. I certainly don't want to join in and abuse Tom for not having posted an update since July '14. It's just... you know... like TIME to tell us a bit more, please?
When I pledged to this project, my son was six months old. This fall, he shall be attending kindergarten. He has learned to walk, talk, and interact with others in the time we have been waiting for this book.
Please be honest; that's all I ask.
Tom Henderson, you are nice and funny and all that. We all backed that with 10 times the money you asked. Now you got it, you have no clue on how to deliver that at all.
So if you are expecting 1022 people to forget about you, it won't happen, so tell us if this is going to happen or if you had an happy life since 2010 and Punk Mathematics elements are in a box in somewhere in your place.
If I receive the book by post tomorrow I am not even sure I will be happy anymore.
The suspense is killing me!
There was an improvement on updates. What appeared to be excerpts from the book were posted. It looked like progress was being made.
Now it has been almost 5 months since the last update and nothing since.
I had been willing to give Mr. Henderson the benefit of the doubt. Now all I want is a bit of honesty. If the project turned out to me more than he anticipated and he was unable to complete it, I think he owes it to his backers to say as such.
i've spent the last few years thinking that Tom would surprise us one day and reveal the end product ..... I now fear that this will never come to pass. Please just tell us that it ain't gonna happen, so that there are no residual expectations !
All you Tom apologists are looking progressively worse for your baseless defense of this scam artist. Tom, will you please just make a post stating that you failed so we can get closure and move on?
More than four years on, out of interest...is there enough money left to print the book? Is there a new expected completion date? I'm happy to just let it go but I'm curious about where the project is at. :)
yay for progress!
There's always another way to look at a problem.Maybe this:
You seem to be doing a 1.618... Turn
I backed this project because I wanted to brush up and improve my math skills. I had little luck with math books on new material because I didn't have a complete mastery of the fundamentals. Fast-forward three years. The Math Punk project is going no where, but that's ok by me. Based on the 'updates', the book would have been a rambling mess anyway. What has changed is that there is a little site called http://www.khanacademy.com that is unbelievable in providing the tools to master the fundamentals of math. Depending on your level, you likely will be able to learn some new material too.
I just wanted to let you all know about Khan Academy so that you can give it a try. (If you haven't been on the site recently, they have completely modified the way math exercises are presented.)
Does anyone have any other site or book recommendations?
...and Math Punk, there is usually a connection between how you treat people and how you are treated.
You're doing great. We're sorry we welded you in your gym locker. We hope Mrs Mathpunk and your car get well soon.
TOM! Keep at it, buddy! Don't give up! I like watching this thing develop and I'm sure it'll be worth the wait.
We just passed the 3 year anniversary.... Still ZERO book. This guy is awful.
I welcome the idea that Mrs. Mathpunk takes over communication and now gives updates on a regular schedule. This should ease the concerns of a lot of backers.
It looks like the book is less advanced than I thought it was. Apparently Tom now has "a few thousand hand-written pages and notecards" that have to be distilled into a book. But wasn't there an image posted a few months back that was supposed to already show a first draft?
Well, in any case, Tom has a bunch of material, ideas that he has actually worked out and turned into texts and images on paper. He seems not to be the king of (self-) organization and project-management, but I never expected this from the guy I saw in the video proposing to write a book on *punk* mathematics. He seems to be a highly creative, impulsive and passionate guy, who tends to quickly jump onto exciting new tracks even if they often lead him into dead ends and he'll have "wasted" time and have to go back. The thing is, whether it is research or "just" finding a truly novel way of presenting existing knowledge, this is the way you have to work if you want to get *new* ideas and results. All the proper and neatly project-managed ways of working will tend to lead you down the beaten track. So, I completely understand Tom's troubles and think that complaining about inefficiency or whatever is inappropriate.
Now he's actively working on re-organizing all this to condense it into a book. This is always an iterative process and will take a while. And it will be painful to throw away a lot of good stuff for the sake of brevity, or coherence, or whatever. We'll hear about this, I wish Tom all the best for his work and am looking forward to at some point get a copy of the final oeuvre.
Still, won't you at least comment on the concerns expressed by this group of your backers?:
Some of them have posted comments that were disrespectful, but you might just ignore those and answer to the serious messages that have been addressed to you.
Doing a variety of large, long projects myself, I welcome the news of a supportive mate! Well done, Tom! and Congrats to you both. Heavy lifting awaits both of you--eat some eggs, fish and nuts, breathe deeply and plunge in. I continue to be excited by the prospect of the tome. Cheers, Suz
I am reposting this for those backers who return disgruntled after today's update which appears to be an experiment in prose:
Ira Burton and myself started a group for backers who are unhappy with Tom's handling and attitude towards us and the project. If you wish to join we will welcome you and try to find a satisfactory resolution.
We do not wish to seek legal action, that would always be a last resort, but we are open to discussion and opinions from all.
To be clear, this was not a donation, it was a pledge, in return for the pledge we were told that Tom would create a book, and that we would get a copy, or at the higher pledge levels, significantly more. And the communications on this page constitute a contract.
Additionally, the TOS for the site state clearly he must deliver or refund the money. They also state that any use of the site constitutes agreement with the current TOS. Tom has logged in recently.
Putting that aside however, most of us would have let this go if Tom would have had the common decency to communicate with those of us he took money from. For me it is the principle of the matter.
Anyone talking "refund" or "legal" or anything like that is off base. It was obvious and clear that Tom is a bit of a crazy genius and hadn't done a book before and that he wanted to try. The problem with crazy genius is that it's rarely reliable and seldom conforms to any kind of schedule. When I backed this project it seemed plenty clear that he might not finish or that it might take a lot longer than he imagined it would. Implicit in the project was the potential for failure.
For those asking "what he spent the money on?" Seems likely he's spent the money on food, housing, notebooks or whatever he needed to make this attempt.
I suggest people unhappy let go of the negativity and be ok with whatever happens. I'm sure Tom will feel the pain of failure if he can't complete this enough without people getting nasty on kickstarter. Might be worth remembering that all that nasty & anger is going through you before you shovel it on Tom, with an associated cost to you on it's way through.
Just to be clear: I don't know Tom, but I do know quite a few crazy genius / artists types and there's nothing surprising here. I would like Tom to finish and to get a copy of the book, but if it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen. I feel good that I helped a crazy genius guy attempt something new that had (has!) potential. Part of why I like kickstarter is that I can support these type of people and thereby increase their chance of succeeding.
I don't think you're analogy is accurate Steve. I think a more appropriate one would be that we donated (if this is the word you chose to use) money in the hope that it will go towards finding a cure for nose-hair-cancer, but instead the money is spent on a gambling trip to Vegas.
Look, I don't expect to see anything at this point, but ultimately a reward wasn't the main reason I contributed funds to this idea. I was actually excited about math. And I hated math as a kid. I'm a teacher now and I know we have students who struggle with math in our school. I thought if this idea could excite me, then perhaps there could be something that could help some of the students in my school. It was the idea, not the physical reward, that resulted in my deciding to fund this venture.
If Mr. Henderson found that he bit off more than he could chew, I personally would be okay with some variation of the following:
"Hey, to all my backers, I'm really sorry but I just can't finish this thing. I had a great idea and tried to make it work but in the end it was too big for me. I thought I could do it, but I was wrong. Please accept my sincere apology."
I'm pretty forgiving, and god knows I don't know what it takes to write a book, so this would satisfy me.
But he can't even be bothered to reply to emails based on what other members have written here and elsewhere. When he does respond he is flippant and dismissive. I find that unconscionable. If I were in his place, I would at least want to show my backers at least a modicum of respect for putting their faith in me.
In the end I probably agree with a lot of what you've written here however, at least regarding moving on and chalking it up to a bad experience. And I have no desire to sink money into legal action. I do think that Mr. Henderson should be ashamed of his lack of accountability, though sadly I don't think there's much evidence indicating this is something that will happen.
@Steve, Oh it was a donation. I thought it was crowd sourcing. My bad. Perhaps you are cool with some jackass stealing money from you to pay for their honeymoon but that doesn't make you cool just makes you a pushover.
You guys complaining about a *donation* you made to an artistic endeavor are being lame. Read the terms and conditions for this site -- there's no guarantee of any outcome, expressed or otherwise. It's kickstarter: you donate money and you *hope* to get a reward. Do you also threaten legal action against the nose-hair-cancer charity because they haven't found a cure yet?
Yes, it sucks that you never got your book and your index card full of gibberish. I'm disappointed too, but seriously... Move on with your life. You're gonna get nose-hair-cancer if you keep worrying about this.
I'd gladly pay MORE for a lawyer just to have this guy return all that money. What a thief. Doesn't respond to any attempts to contact him either.
Thief. Let's put out a bounty on this guy. I'm sure plenty of punks would lend a hand.
You give punk a bad name.
I see on the website punkmathematics.com/merch that folks can pre-order the book. This seems a bit ridiculous considering that the book's existence - or likelihood of ever existing - is mythical at best. I know that backing Kickstarter projects is risky, so I don't always expect projects to succeed. However, I do expect some level of effort in communication and evidence of real attempts to make it work, both of which are lacking here.
My punctuation was terrible yesterday. lol
I'm only in for a relatively small amount ( I really feel for those 11 who supported the project to the tune of $256.00 and more) so it's not as if this broke the bank for me. For me it's a matter of ethics. I just can't get over the fact that it has been close to a year since there was any sort of update. I couldn't do that to people who supported me. Even if the writing process was going really badly and I couldn't get my ideas on paper, I would still make a point to let my backers know that I was struggling. Who knows there might even be someone reading the comment who had some insights who could help me bust the writers block perhaps? In this case, there seems to be absolutely no concern about how the backers feel. I mean, look at the comments being left here now? I don't understand why Mr. Henderson isn't even trying to deal with the anger, disappointment, and the perception people have that they have been take advantage of.
Kurt, I am afraid you are correct. I have been doing a fair amount of pestering trying to get honest and straight answers, which just results in vague an non-committal answers.
I can not express how disappointed I am that Mr. Henderson hasn't even felt the moral obligation to update us for close to a year concerning the status of the project. I understand that writing can be difficult but given the amount of money on the table one would think he would at least want to show his backers that he is being accountable by providing regular updates about the progress of the project. Hell, even a brief little blurb would have at least indicated some desire to remain accountable to the 1022 people who supported him.
I didn't invest a lot in the project (I'm not even a math guy as my primary field is history) but I actually became excited about the project. In my school we have students who struggle with math and I was looking forward to giving this product to her to use so that she might be able to engage her kids a little more. This was the first project I supported and because of the very bad taste it has left it has taken until now for me to risk supporting other ventures.
I don't expect to see a final product sadly and it really isn't realistic to expect Mr. Henderson to pay it back as the attorney costs will likely exceed any recompense. Whether or not Mr. Henderson originally set out to take advantage of his backers, the real end result is that he has done so and he doesn't appear the least concerned about being perceived as defrauding us.
Just my take on the whole mess anyways.
He hasn't delivered and hasn't updated for a year, and the project was funded three years ago. This isn't simply a matter of having difficulties; this is a breach of trust. He needs to be held accountable.
Best of luck for Tom. I understand that writing a book is a long and difficult process, and also a personal learning curve. Hope that you will succeed. And if not, too bad.
But to be clear, I am hoping to leave legalities out of this, as I have said previously, the only winners once lawyers get involved are the lawyers. I would much rather have a resolution to this project that ends with Tom completing his book, providing the committed to rewards, and making 100's of thousands of dollars in sales profit from his work. Which is why we are pressuring him to move forward again with this project.
He needs to know however that if he fails to start making progress again and to deliver as promised, I would rather see the lawyers abscond with our money than Tom. At least they would have done what was agreed to.
Good pointCapHector. I have requested the TOS from Kickstarter for the day the project was listed and closed. However there is more than enough evidence for the existence of a contract here. Really the TOS legality clause was just to highlight the fact that the parties were entering in to contract.
As a quick note, at the time this product succeeded the Kickstarter ToS did NOT say The project creator is legally obligated to produce a product.