About this project
"36 Dollars Magazine" is a magazine built from found paper. It was originally intended as a facetious take on the esoteric high-art magazine or academic periodical, in that their content is typically largely irrelevant, but instead simply function as a semiotic and aesthetic piece, and thus the first "issue" was largely blank paper. My primary concern is quantitative research and development of practical methods of recycling and energy use and conversion at residential scales while being constrained to the arbitrary and irrational yet undeniable aesthetic of people and the realistic fact that most people currently have minimal budget and attention to devote toward energy concerns beyond mostly passive attempts like buying products marketed as friendly in some form or clicking a mouse or voting.
I'm not a designer and this isn't really a design project, it just happens to look that way this time. My background is in mathematics and a long history in information security research and development, and therefore this project seems like a significant departure from my norm, but I assure you it is not and this project is in the spirit of my personal character and draws on my specializations. This project is to demonstrate that paper does not have to be broken down into pulp to be recycled (we don't take our pants off to take a pee), and that trash can in fact be recycled at scale while meeting a specific, relatively simple, design constraint. In this case, that is to appear to look like a perfectly formed magazine on the outside, not simply a stapled-together punk zine; physically functionless forms do in fact exist and are quite common in modern society (like many luxury goods), and instead of eliminating them, realize their materials' functional constraints are significantly loosened when form is of primary concern. Hand-recycled materials tend to still look essentially like garbage and trash-art tends to be highly conceptual with basic aesthetic like straight lines being sacrificed but I contend that exacting form neither needs to be made by skilled labor nor by industrial-scale nor expensive equipment.
36 Dollars Magazine has no 'useful' content, but instead is filled with stacks of parking tickets, random photos, blueprints, text-books, old notes; generally anything really. It is primarily a demonstration to you that I have the ability to follow through with a project with the minimal amount of financial risk on your part as a way to lead into my more ambitious projects that would then require more funding and address more fundamental and useful aspects of energy and recycling (although continuous critical thought and evaluation about waste *IS* fundamental, useful and an absolutely necessary first step before advancing on).
If you believe that taking trash from the garbage and making it into something that most people will agree is at minimum not intrinsically nasty looking is a no brainer, you have a fundamental misconception about the state of the bulk of this country and the general mentality of the neurotic entitled suburban AND urban middle-class ($100Kers this means you TOO). Although they make up what they want to believe is the exploited 99%, they are most certainly the bulk of the garbage generators and are by no means guilt-free to the extent of even being indignant (as it admittedly is in my case, for I will even still find myself throwing food directly from a moving vehicle if it satisfies my belligerent laziness). So convincing them to more directly use their wastes is tantamount to asking them to wallow in their own filth, a difficult task. Instead of believing, hoping or berating people into change, instead I am pursing techniques that would benefit even the most lazy, ignorant or undeserving people so that it benefits everyone. While pursuing energy goals is noble, I have a wife and tiny child who are not immediately concerned with my fancy desire to help the world, they just want to be sure I can continue to feed them after I decide to quit my money job.
To complete this project I require very little, as I have the majority of things I need and a number of complete examples. Postage, polybags, and binding glue are a few items, but the most important is your support regardless of monetary contributions or not. This project is primarily a way to reach out to people to let them know that I am working on and have practical ways to immediately improve upon our problems at home, and not claiming to invent fusion while continuing to release and develop each project in increasing order of complexity, cost and investment, starting most practically at the simplest (a demonstration that I can give you something from my garbage can without annoying you at worst, and something you consider luxury trash at least, something that got you to think at better, and something that got you to act at best).
With that said, If I had the opportunity to splurge, or if there was a sufficiently high pledge interest, I'd like to get a new rotary trimmer because mine is on its last legs, but this is in no way necessary. As a general summary, your funding will go toward logistics (e.g. postage), a very minimal amount of intermediate goods used in the magazine itself (polybags, glue), and if it becomes necessary to scale the production operation itself, then the means of production to do so (e.g. cutter,gluer). As this mode of project funding is new to me, it is a sub-experiment and learning-experience in and of itself so I cannot account for every dollar at this moment, but as the project continues, I will provide clear and transparent updates as to the expenses incurred for my project.
The final output of this project aside from the set formed from people who would now believe that there is a > 0% chance that at least 1 mediocrely competent non-idiot claiming to be working on practical energy solutions may in fact be doing so (summarized simply as hope), would be enough copies of the magazine to meet the demand for donors, and a clear, comprehensive and free methodology and analysis so that others can produce the same.
Risks and challenges
I believe the biggest risk that any person investing money into a kickstarter project is the risk that the receiving person(s) may not follow through, which I believe is probably quite a high risk. This is something that I think is a huge issue with any group of people (would-be kickstarter project makers in this case) spending their time and effort convincing others of their (probably unlimitedly long) list of amazing, wonderful, revolutionary, genius ideas that if they just had some money, would magically be done. I do not subscribe to this idea that throwing money at problems will solve them, so instead the money serves as a normalizer for the bias that would otherwise exist tending you toward saying "yeah, thats cool" had I given you a copy for free even if in reality the external aesthetic appearance of the magazine looked too similar to the garbage that it was composed.
If you for some reason find yourself wanting to donate > $50 to this project, I urge you to reconsider, because if you care enough about any of the ideas I allege here to throw money at it and trust or at least hope that my more core ideas will be worthwhile, you should instead do something about it. Contact me as I would love to talk to you in general.
My biggest challenge is performing the labor to construct the magazines and deliver them as promised and making it all look good and right; there is no research or speculation involved with the production process itself and relies on no outside dependencies other than the expectation that trash will continue to accumulate between now and then.
I am confident that I will deliver to you a magazine made predominantly from garbage that you will look at and decide, "Yes, this is actually pretty cool so I won't punch you in the face". If I am wrong after that, please tell me because I am not consoled by the courtesy of letting me think I am right in lieu of hurting my feelings. Additionally, this feedback is absolutely required to determine if my hypothesis was a correct one; if you donated to this project, you are accountable, and this project cannot succeed solely by funding. It must also be sound, which obligates you to give feedback if your data disagrees with my hypothesis. In this case, that is simple, as that is up to your empirical aesthetic evaluation. You are now a scientist. Congratulations.
Although these may appear to be simple challenges that many people overlook or cannot be bothered with, I find this core theme to be a commonly failed challenge: people with big ideas do not follow through on the simplest of tasks.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Actually, I'm surprised and pleased that this is actually the most common question asked. I absolutely will ship internationally. I updated the rewards to reflect this fact. I had to guesstimate the shipping cost based on generic USPS Intl' shipping rates, so I apologize if they seem high.
Sure. I'll keep monitoring the rewards, and update the quantity as I go to make sure I have a good grasp on the logistics. It may require that I phase the delivery out in time, and if I do that, the delivery date will reflect that fact on the reward.
No. The increase only applies to new pledges. Update #3 has more information regarding this.
I've been asked this question so many times and I really tried to push back on it. Generally speaking, this is not in the spirit of what I'm doing. So what I've decided to do is add a few more $36 pledges, first-come-first-serve and I will notify the people who asked me first, first, but I make no guarantees.
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- (21 days)