(TLDR version: my desktop is dead and I can no longer create videos until it’s replaced. I’m in the process of doing my part to “save the world” as best I can, and I need a decent computer to do it. If that’s good enough reason, two big ways to help: cash - contribute through PayPal using the link at the top of the right-column on this page or if you prefer to use the PayPal site directly, using the e-mail address in the next sentence, or mail me a check or money order to the address in the “what do you want” section. Not-cash: Tiger Direct gift card, which can be given anonymously through e-mail, using this link and the address firstname.lastname@example.org. Full story below. For reasons of length, I've included a table of contents.)
Hi, folks. It kind of sucks that the first time you’re “meeting” me is when I’m asking for money – for what might seem at first like just another jerk begging for money on the internet. And hey, maybe by the time you’re done reading, that’s exactly what you’ll think anyway…but do me a favor and read the message first. Hint – the stuff about what makes me think I’m worth helping and what I intend to do with the help starts with the “Justifying” link.
Ticker: $600 pledged + $50 contributed, thank you. Remaining: $371-393 w/shipping, some variance depending on PayPal charges.
Okay, as things have gone for me over the last couple of years, this might seem like less a crisis than some others. It’s not about rent or food or keeping the lights on, so that’s a step forward…but please don’t think it’s not a legitimate crisis, for all that.
(You can skip this part if you have been reading my recent FB updates)
A few months ago, my main desktop computer died on me. I thought it was the power supply, turned out to be the motherboard.
So I finally got a couple bucks “extra” together to buy a motherboard. Bought the board…and it turned out to be a cheap knockoff of the board I actually needed. Since the eBay seller (LAST TIME I’ll ever buy parts on eBay) didn’t actually say it was an ASUS board, they figure I’m not due for a refund. (They DID say it was an HP board; the HP boards are manufactured by ASUS. This one isn’t.)
The board is semi-functional – I’m writing this blog entry on the rebuilt box. However there are some things missing.
- No firewire port, so I can’t connect my old camera. This I could live without.
- One set of the USB ports doesn’t function.
- This is the critical part: the sound doesn’t work. At all. I’ve been fighting with it for three days now, pulled out every tech-geek trick I know, tried multiple drivers, so on and so forth. The bottom line is, it does not work.
Oh, big deal, you say. Use your laptop. Do without sound.
Problems with that. First of all, I can hardly edit media without sound.
Second, my laptop is underpowered for the job, having only 4Gb of memory and a video card that uses system memory instead of dedicated memory to operate. The net effect of this is that when recording video with synchronized sound (I use a separate microphone because it sounds terrible if I just use the built-in mic on the camera), the sound ends up playing back slightly slower than real time in my video editing software.
That software tries to automatically synch the sound to the video, so you don’t end up with my lips moving in directions that aren’t in line with the audio. As a result, I’ve been getting comments like these:
“Very well-done, eloquent rant (audio quality notwithstanding). Thank you!”
“cannot hear a damn thing you are saying, friend... sorry, dig ur stuff but clicking OFF ... will check you later to see if you improve ur production... later”
“Well said, but had to put my headphones on to hear you.”
“Very poor sound quality due to location. Any possibility of presenting the same material indoors?”
In reality if you look at the video that these comments were made on, you’ll notice that the sound volume/quality peaks at every edit point, and then trails off into low-volume and reverberation after a couple of seconds. So it’s not just a matter of “make it louder.” It’s a matter of my laptop doesn’t have the power to do what I’m trying to make it do.
Also, the desktop machine that I was trying to save was already right on the edge of being obsolete. I’ve upgraded the video card in it – a bit – but there was no more upgrade room in it, before it died. I had planned to replace it in September using my financial aid from college, since it is after all a tool I use for my classwork, but it doesn’t look like I’ll have the cash to spare out of that, since I have to take care of rent and eating and all that other stuff.
My secondary plan was to save some money from my FA for the Summer II semester I’m currently working on, and put that with my September aid, but the need to get my desktop up and running became a major issue and so I decided to replace the motherboard and power supply in that.
And that’s where I got burned. Even if I could get a full refund on the motherboard, I can’t get a refund on the labor or on the power supply, so I’d still be way short – and I wouldn’t have a box at all, just a bunch of useless parts. As it stands now, I can at least convert this to a file server or something, a secondary box to use for minor, low-power tasks while my main box is rendering video or doing other high-intensity work.
The point is, I tried to “do the right thing” by going the cheaper route, and it bit me in the ass. I knew I really needed to just upgrade, but instead I chose the cheaper route, in part because some people would complain that I’m spending money when I don’t have to, and I don’t feel like listening to the complaints.
And as happens all too often, in trying to save money I ended up wasting money I didn’t have, and getting only a little bit further ahead than if I’d done nothing at all – not further enough ahead to even be able to do what I need to.
I really hate having to do this sort of thing, but if I don’t I’ll have a bunch of people claiming that I’m “looking for a handout” or “trying to get a free ride.” That’s nonsense, it’s a lie. I work very, very hard to create my videos, and in spite of the bitter hostility displayed by some people toward that work – the common refrain being that I’m “not doing anything” – in reality I am doing something, and while I’d prefer to be modest about it this is simply not the context for modesty; I need to make my case. So here are a few examples of what people who have seen my work have to say about what it’s worth:
I totally agree with your views on this and many other topics..I also believe your talent would serve the greater good if you had your own news outlet…simply that intelligent and your voice should be seen all over for the betterment of the 99%. I find you tell things matter of factly and try very hard to be unbiased as possible... I find you an inspiration... I wish the you the best.
It's refreshing to see an intelligent and well spoken young person stating opinions based on facts and not emotions. Well done LowGenius.
As a Obama supporter this is a great critique of his administration and a great illustration of the current situation. While I don't always agree with you you always have very good points and well thought out arguments. Keep them coming and thanks for posting these!
God loves you & keep up your great work..Your video is a real eye opener! :)
Wow thank you for documenting this, more people should open their eyes to homelessness and the fact that you don't deserve to be there...no one does.
Bravo my friend, that was absolutely brilliant expose of the scam that is, Ron Paul.
Wow I have to say that this is the best video I have seen in a long time. You are spot on thank you so much for making this video.
I think you are simply, awesome!
I'm subscribing to your channel. I really enjoy your logic
OMG...will you marry me??? LOL...just kidding. Seriously dude...I am speechless. Just absolutely spot on. *Stands up and applauds*
I think you're the greatest, and I'd love to see you freaking go big time, my Friend
This made me cry. Thank you for saying everything I've been wanting to say for years...
Hey brother, I absolutely loved this vid and you freaking nailed it
Those are just from YouTube comments. There are hundreds more, but frankly I’m embarrassing myself. The point is, I am making a difference with my work. This isn’t just some time-wasting nonsense that I do in between World of Warcraft raids, this is my life’s work. It will continue to evolve and grow as I complete my education and am able to travel and do more documentary filming.
I am not just out to change the world for the better, I am changing it.
Unfortunately, world-changing doesn’t pay very well, and the equipment I use to do is has gone to the Great Circuitboard In The Sky, and I don’t have the income to replace it.
That’s why I’m asking for your help, right now, today.
Well, what I want is a multi-million-dollar studio and a well-paid, well-qualified production team, but that’s not very realistic at the moment. What I need, like yesterday, is a new computer for media editing.
I had started making a wish list for people who want to contribute anonymously, but this situation got in the way. You can see a few items of that list by clicking the link in the previous sentence. One of those items is this computer: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2577777&Sku=C122-12043 That’s the cheapest desktop that has the specs to do a good job of editing media, without going real crazy or real expensive, and that will remain functional for at least a couple of years. With the cheapest shipping, it’s a hair over $1020. Long and short, that’s what I’m trying to make happen, and it needs to happen fast.
Now here’s the thing. I’ve been doing this for a while, and it’s been a constant money struggle, more than anything else. I work, but I can only do so much. I’m not making enough to even cover my own bills…but this isn’t about covering bills.
It’s time for me to kick what I do into high gear. That means I need to get equipped. The computer is the main, number one, highest priority in that regard, but it’s not the only thing. Everything from rigging my greenscreen properly, getting around to do location shooting, buying more memory cards for my camera, additional software for effects, proper lighting, a cheap teleprompter setup…hell, I need a vehicle to get around and do location shoots. An eye exam and contacts so I can see to read my scripts. Health insurance and funds so I can get my teeth fixed and smile on camera again. I could legitimately drop $25K tomorrow and not have everything covered that needs to be.
Obviously, I don’t expect that kind of funding to come in via contributions, but I do make a little bit from running ads on this site and my videos, so the more traffic I get on this site and that one, the more that avenue of income will grow.
But please – please - don’t think this is about money. I need the money to do what I do – and what I do is my best to improve the world for all people through promoting and spreading media and political literacy, drawing attention to social issues…and sometimes, just plain going off on a rant. As time goes on and I have more and more resources available to me, I’ll be doing documentary features, larger scripted projects, and more – some of which will be part of my classwork, some of which will be along the lines of the monologues I’ve been doing, some of which will take the camera off of me and put it on others.
All of which is geared toward the furtherance of core principles – putting cooperation over competition; mutual respect for human dignity; working together toward a world in which each person has every possible fair chance to become the best person they can be.
In short: I’m going to change the world – we are going to change the world – for the better. It’s time to put aside all these old games and lies and move forward together, and it happens that I have a set of skills that makes me a good catalyst for that sort of thing.
That doesn’t make me all great and wonderful. I’m just the guy in front of the camera. I need all the help I can get – whether that’s monetary contributions, gift cards for equipment suppliers, or simply sharing links to my videos and blogs – to make this stuff happen, and that’s why I’m asking for that help.
Some folks prefer to get…something…when they contribute to a cause like this, and I recognize that even though I don’t see it this way, most people will perceive the “cause” in this case to be me. So, taking a cue from Kickstarter, here’s the incentives:
- Anyone contributing more than $10 in cash or gift cards will be listed in the thanks section of the credits on all videos produced for six months, starting from the point of getting this computer thing taken care of. You will be identified by first name and last initial. If you do not want to be identified this way, please say so in the space provided for notes in both the donation and gift card process. Obviously, if you want to be really anonymous, the easiest way is to make an anonymous gift card purchase – then even I won’t know who you are.
- Anyone contributing more than $49 in cash or gift card will be credited as an associate producer on all videos for six months.
- Anyone contributing more than $99 in cash or gift card will be credited as an associate producer for six months, and have the opportunity to call the topic for one video.
- On the off chance that it happens:
- Anyone contributing more than $249 in cash or gift card will be credited as a producer for six months and have the opportunity to call the topic for up to two videos.
- Anyone contributing more than $499 in cash or gift card will be credited as executive producer for six months, and have the opportunity to call the topic for up to six videos (maximum one per month).
- Anyone contributing more than $999 in cash or gift card will be credited as executive producer for one year and have the opportunity to call the topic for up to six videos. (I’d offer more topic calls, but I can only produce so many videos).
- Anyone contributing more than $1499 in cash or gift card….we’ll talk.
- Important caveat: Anyone who knows me, knows that my opinions are not for sale. These offers to call topics are precisely that – you can call a topic, and I’ll do my best to research it and cover it. I make absolutely no promise that you will agree with or like the conclusions I reach or the perspective I bring to those topics.
So, that’s the whole enchilada. I’m doing everything I can for everyone I can. I need people to do some things to help ensure that I can keep doing it.