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Fundable.com is closed permanently
October 1, 2009 8:51 PM   Subscribe

Fundable.com is closed permanently. According to the site's current index, there is bad blood between the two founders of the site, Louis Helm and John Pratt. The recent story of Mary Robinette Kowal being ripped off was apparently the final straw.

(as a personal note, I've run 2 fundraisers/ransoms for my podcast through fundable and have no complaints. My third ransom was still underway and I have no idea if the money will show up or be refunded to the donors.)
posted by clockworkjoe (116 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Well. That's something. I can't imagine that page will look like that long, if Mr. Pratt has a sensible lawyer.
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:56 PM on October 1, 2009


This is why we can't collaboratively fund nice things.
posted by iamabot at 8:59 PM on October 1, 2009 [22 favorites]


We could if somebody would give me a damn Kickstarter invite like I keep asking.
posted by drjimmy11 at 9:05 PM on October 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


http://www.kapipal.com/ looks like a potentially viable alternative mentioned in the bb comments.
posted by clockworkjoe at 9:11 PM on October 1, 2009


It's a bit hard to take Pratt seriously when 1) he's the one in control of that screed, 2) he's blaming it all on Helm, 3) he went to Helm's father to resolve an earlier issue (seriously, squeeling to your business partner's parent?), and 4) he's very publicly slagging Helm, rather than dispassionately reporting their differences.

I don't know, I just have a hard time believing someone calling someone else "immature" on their web page, when it's the result of a spat. I'm surprised the word "doodyhead" didn't show up.

Still, it seems sad that fundable died; it's a neat idea.
posted by fatbird at 9:19 PM on October 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


John Pratt should start Fungible.com, a world-wide co-op with a cause, where people can grow and trade mushrooms for peace, relaxation, and goodwill for all.
posted by iamkimiam at 9:21 PM on October 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


That's some maximum-strength ill-advised text on that Fundable.com site, I tell you.
posted by jscalzi at 9:26 PM on October 1, 2009 [7 favorites]


I commend John Pratt on his ability to bullshit customers into using a broken site for years, only to eventually kill the site leaving all of the customers high and dry, while simultaneously blaming everything on the (apparently only) programmer. Most people would have taken the easy way out and actually addressed the problems, possibly by spending money to hire more competent programmers, but not John Pratt. He'll go far in the IT executive management world.
posted by burnmp3s at 9:26 PM on October 1, 2009 [6 favorites]


Heh, heh. "Pratt."

Heh.
posted by yhbc at 9:37 PM on October 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


The company has a Better Business Bureau rating of F. This is unacceptable to John Pratt.

John Pratt likes to refer to himself in the third person. John Pratt is perhaps conscious of how this sounds to irate users of the site who had not-insignificant amounts of their money taken in the belief of good faith, but John Pratt is faultless here, so it's okay for John Pratt to write like this.
posted by zer0render at 9:39 PM on October 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


I have no idea how these people got their personal issues wedged onto that web page or why.
posted by dersins at 9:39 PM on October 1, 2009 [4 favorites]


Rule #1, always have a backup programmer on retainer.

Rule #2, if you have to go to a business partner's parents for help dealing with them, replace this person...
posted by SirOmega at 9:44 PM on October 1, 2009


This is the first I've heard of this. Does Pratt have a prior reputation I don't know about? I'm curious why everyone here seems to be assuming he's lying.

Wait, let me pop some popcorn first...
posted by The Tensor at 9:48 PM on October 1, 2009


Oh. Crap. That's at least one project I'm very interested in in potential trouble.
posted by Artw at 9:51 PM on October 1, 2009


he knew about all these issue all this time and closed the site only now? a little birdie tells me there is more than one douchebag involved.

Pack schlägt sich, Pack verträgt sich.
posted by krautland at 9:55 PM on October 1, 2009


I'm curious why everyone here seems to be assuming he's lying.

We're just assuming that there's more to the story than an ill-advised /ragequit front page for fundable. To keep us busy as we wait for the real story to trickle out, we're reading between the lines and overanalyzing.
posted by fatbird at 9:57 PM on October 1, 2009


Phew. Looks like Delta Green: Targets of Opportunity (previously) is safe.
posted by Artw at 10:00 PM on October 1, 2009


That's some maximum-strength ill-advised text on that Fundable.com site, I tell you.

Crikey.
posted by Artw at 10:02 PM on October 1, 2009


To keep us busy as we wait for the real story to trickle out, we're reading between the lines and overanalyzing.

If we all chip in twenty cents we can buy some quality beans.
posted by Artw at 10:03 PM on October 1, 2009


What exactly was Fundable.com? It sounds like a platform where people could raise money for their personal projects/needs. Is that about it? What was the benefit of using Fundable as opposed to just collecting the money personally through Paypal?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:04 PM on October 1, 2009


You pledge some money, and only once a certain total of pledges have been reached is the money taken - avoids situations where not enough people contribute and the money has to be given back.
posted by Artw at 10:06 PM on October 1, 2009


October 1, 2009: After 842 requests to do otherwise, Mr. Helm once again left the toilet seat in an upright position rather than the proper, anatomically correct position which is accepted as the standard toilet seat position by the International Toilet Seat Authority.
posted by Avenger at 10:06 PM on October 1, 2009 [5 favorites]


Remind me to tell you about the two weeks I spent at a start up run by a crazy person where no one beleived in source control or proper releases and I got let go partly for pushing those things strongly enough to annoy the original crazy hack developer and partly for getting in the way of the crazy non-developer boss who liked to do copy updates live on the site and break code. Those were some fun times!
posted by Artw at 10:11 PM on October 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


Kickstarter, for the save!
posted by damehex at 10:13 PM on October 1, 2009


I swear I worked for this guy. Or at least received emails (copied to the entire team) which read like this from one of his doppelgangers.

What was that German or Dutch word for embarrassment felt for someone else?
posted by maxwelton at 10:18 PM on October 1, 2009


Customers are encouraged to [..] seek legal action against Louis Helm personally should he fail to resolve your payment issues promptly.

Is this before or after I ask my mom to call his mom?
posted by ryanrs at 10:23 PM on October 1, 2009


Mrs. Helm: Louis Helm—this is your mother. Did you steal someone's money?

Louis: No! I didn't steal anything!

Mrs. Helm: Well there's a whole mailing list full of angry nerds who say you tricked then and took their money.

Louis: I didn't steal it. It, it was an accident. I mean, I was going to give it back.

Mrs. Helm: And did you give it back?

Louis: Not yet, but I'm going to, honest.

Mrs. Helm: You go give back that money right now, mister.

Louis: Ok, mom.

posted by ryanrs at 10:24 PM on October 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


*Someone* is never going to work again, that's for sure.
posted by Artw at 10:26 PM on October 1, 2009


.
posted by finite at 10:26 PM on October 1, 2009


Wow, don't miss the comments on that Boing Boing thread - Pratt weighs in and manages to get into a pissing match with Doctrow, making himself look like a total ass in the process.
posted by Artw at 10:33 PM on October 1, 2009


Who are these people? And why should we care?
posted by ericb at 10:38 PM on October 1, 2009


Who are these people? And why should we care?

Well, not to get all self pluggy, but the Delta Green FPP above was to me an example of Fundable being used to do something cool, and there were plenty more people in thats field (pen and paper RPGs) who were seeing Fundable-like solutions as a possible future for their particular niche publishing sector. I'm pretty sure there were all kinds of other ventures that it was a good match for as well.

Having the site implode and finding out that it was run by a collosal asshole all along is a bit of a shock, TBH.
posted by Artw at 10:45 PM on October 1, 2009


Hoo boy. Now there's some old-school sloppy internet business. It really takes me back to the late 90's.

Next we find out that these guys are 17 and living in mom's basement, I suppose.
posted by empyrean at 10:48 PM on October 1, 2009


*Someone* is never going to work again, that's for sure.

Oooh, can it be me?
posted by !Jim at 10:48 PM on October 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


FuckedCompany, why did you leave us?
posted by Artw at 10:50 PM on October 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


John Pratt's comments and emails in Kowal's blog (linked to in the Boing Boing story) are also something to behold. What a tool. I suspect lawyers will be feasting on his flesh for years to come. He certainly has given them more than enough rope to hang him.
posted by Skeptic at 11:02 PM on October 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Am I the only one that still can't read BB comment threads where their moderators are talking because they remember how much their heads were up their asses during the violet blue debacle?
posted by flaterik at 11:37 PM on October 1, 2009 [7 favorites]


Before starting fundable.com, Mr. Pratt made his living as a professional passive aggressive.
posted by dirigibleman at 11:41 PM on October 1, 2009 [5 favorites]


Oh, this one is worth reading, even if you remember how much their heads were up their asses during the violet blue debacle.

This is mainly Cory, who IIRC wisely said nothing during that whole fiasco (which you could argue was in itself pretty weasley and hypocritical, but at least he didn't make the situation worse) and this time he's actually 100% taking on someone who deserves it.

Quality assist from Mr. Scalzi too.
posted by Artw at 11:42 PM on October 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


What is the violet blue debacle, for those of us who skipped BB and came straight to Metafilter?
posted by fatbird at 11:44 PM on October 1, 2009


ftbrd: Bng Bng Fnds 21st Cntry Trtsky.
posted by ryanrs at 11:47 PM on October 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


TBH Though I'd like to say it was a principled stance against that kind of thing that led to me giving up on BoinG Boing, in reality it was all the Steampunk crap.
posted by Artw at 11:55 PM on October 1, 2009 [5 favorites]


Wait, doesn't this mean that if someone cleverer than me can work out the old IP, the site is still there? Just that "fundable.com" has been pointed by Pratt - the domain owner - somewhere else, but the actual site at 111.111.111.111 or whatever is still there? Because Pratt alleges that Helm locked him out of the site, suggesting Helm has the hosting and therefore the site. Just idly speculating.
posted by alasdair at 12:01 AM on October 2, 2009


I did start reading it and just got derailed after seeing some of the mod names.

Mr. Scalzi's contribution was quite good though.
posted by flaterik at 12:06 AM on October 2, 2009


Nope.
posted by carping demon at 12:19 AM on October 2, 2009


flaterik, you're not the only one by a long shot.
posted by hattifattener at 12:46 AM on October 2, 2009


Their mods remind me of our sixcolors. I read about their antics and think to myself, "Wow, you seem pretty enthusiastic about this bad idea. I hope it works out for you, I guess."
posted by ryanrs at 1:06 AM on October 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


What is fundable.com?
posted by koeselitz at 1:28 AM on October 2, 2009


ericb:Who are these people? And why should we care?

Artw: Well, not to get all self pluggy, but the Delta Green FPP above was to me an example of Fundable being used to do something cool, and there were plenty more people in thats field (pen and paper RPGs) who were seeing Fundable-like solutions as a possible future for their particular niche publishing sector. I'm pretty sure there were all kinds of other ventures that it was a good match for as well.

Having the site implode and finding out that it was run by a collosal asshole all along is a bit of a shock, TBH.


Okay, let's try this again, Artw.

Who are these people? And why should we care?

I'm f'ing serious. I don't have any idea who fundable.com is or what they do. Is it impossible for people to explain things around here?
posted by koeselitz at 1:32 AM on October 2, 2009


A cached FAQ about who Fundable.com is or was.
posted by koeselitz at 1:36 AM on October 2, 2009


Seriously, this is why I don't read Boing Boing - because people seem incapable of being coherent.
posted by koeselitz at 1:37 AM on October 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


Look. Just because you don't understand what everyone is talking about doesn't make the rest of us incoherent. Go ask in the green if you can't be bothered to google it.
posted by ryanrs at 1:44 AM on October 2, 2009 [8 favorites]


maxwelton:

i do believe you want plaatsvervangende schammte
posted by thedaniel at 1:54 AM on October 2, 2009


i do believe you want plaatsvervangende schammte

Thank you. I'm going to start in on trying to remember that tomorrow, with the first three letters, and add one per day until I get it right.
posted by maxwelton at 2:15 AM on October 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Is it impossible for people to explain things around here?

Settle, petal. I thought Artw had explained it fairly clearly and concisely in response to TPS. What more did you want? An essay?
posted by Sparx at 2:58 AM on October 2, 2009


it's "schaamte" though
posted by atrazine at 4:44 AM on October 2, 2009


I realize that a lot of people thing John Pratt is acting childishly, but let the record show that Louis Helm's father was consulted and determined that Louis Helm, not John Pratt, was acting immature.
posted by DU at 4:45 AM on October 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


YOU GUYS DON'T KNOW ABOUT FUNDABLE.COM? WHAT ARE YOU, LIVING IN THE 2008s OR SOMETHING?
posted by Eideteker at 5:27 AM on October 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Another online partnership falls victim to the "I'm taking my ball and going home" syndrome...
posted by mmoncur at 5:32 AM on October 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


John Pratt's personal reputation was torn apart on BoingBoing.net

That is an utterly fucking hilarious sentence.
posted by fire&wings at 6:09 AM on October 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


Pratt falls.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:24 AM on October 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


> I don't have any idea who fundable.com is or what they do.

Fundable was a threshold pledge system, which in broad strokes works like this:
1. Say you need $5,000 for a cookie (It's a very special cookie; it cures organizational malaise), but you can't afford it. So you decide to raise funds to buy it.
2. You, in good conscience, don't want to leave people in the lurch if they donate money for your cookie but you fail to raise enough to buy the cookie.
2a. You also have to get word out somehow that you're raising money for that cookie.
3. You create your cookie project on Fundable (or Kickstarter or another similar site). Visitors to the site can pledge some amount of money; when your cookie project meets its fundraising goal, you collect the money and get your cookie. If you fail to meet the goal (usually because you have a deadline associated with the fundraising campaign) the pledgers do not have to pay anything and you don't collect anything. Your project gets touted on the site itself, drawing some traffic from browsers who might not otherwise happen across your own website.

The advantages of using a centralized service like this are twofold: First, somebody else has taken care of the pledge tracking, bookkeeping, transaction security and so on on your behalf. That's a ton of work off your hands. Second, assuming the people running the site keep their books clean and don't lose their shit, the site and its procedures make you a more trustworthy recipient for donations than a paypal button on your blog does; pledgers know they won't pay anything for a cookie you don't get, and reliability of the pledge tracking and maintenance is in the hands of a specialist.
posted by ardgedee at 7:09 AM on October 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Is this something I'd need Google Wave to understand?
posted by lukemeister at 7:21 AM on October 2, 2009


Is there a website where we can all donate some money to get fundable back up and running? ITS A WORTHY CAUSE!!!!?
posted by outsider at 8:06 AM on October 2, 2009


To those who don't understand Fundable.com:

Click on the link that says "The recent story of Mary Robinette Kowal being ripped off". In my browser it is blue, but it may be a different color in your browser. Then, on the page that opens in your browser window, click on the link that says "My very bad experience with Fundable.com".

A "blog post" will come up on your screen. The post details what Fundible.com claims to be, and why Mary Robinette Kowal was mad at them. In that post, she "quotes" email communications with one of the founders. Those "quote" are inset from the rest of the text with a big line next to them, to show that they are not made up by Ms. Kowal.

After reading that post, if you have any more questions, feel free to come back here and ask them.

I, too, was once "in the dark" about what Fundible.com purported to do for their clients. But thanks to the power of hyperlinks I found information about them right here on these internets. We truly have reached the future.
posted by muddgirl at 8:27 AM on October 2, 2009 [3 favorites]


That's some maximum-strength ill-advised text on that Fundable.com site, I tell you.

Yeah, and I'm shocked that it's still up this morning. Not only is it ill-advised, but it takes all the fun out of snooping in the HTML source code for bitter comments from bitter, bitter web developers, like we did during the dot-com collapse as site after site put up sincere farewell messages at odds with what we saw under View | Source.

No one loves a bitterness slut who makes it all too easy, Mr. Pratt.
posted by maudlin at 9:03 AM on October 2, 2009


Shorter fundable.com front page:

Helm is no longer in control and was a prat, while Pratt was the good guy and had managed to take the helm.
posted by MuffinMan at 9:14 AM on October 2, 2009 [5 favorites]


Someone less lazy than I would send this to the passive aggressive notes site that I'm too lazy to link
posted by kathrineg at 9:18 AM on October 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


Grown people act like fourteen-year-olds on the interwebs? Go figure.

In the mean time, I'm really, really mad that John went to Lou's dad, that was major uncool. Now he's on restriction and can't go to Lisa's party.

I'm done now.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:42 AM on October 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Kickstarter is still around. It sounds like Fundable did the same thing.
posted by painquale at 9:51 AM on October 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


In a recent statement, Lou's dad informed the public that Lou was rubber and John was glue. He went on to relate that John was ugly and his mother (who, he alleges, wears Army boots) dresses him funny.

Lou's dad refused to take any questions from reporters, but did direct their further attention to "guess what? Chicken butt."
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:53 AM on October 2, 2009 [4 favorites]


I held my nose and clicked the BB link.

"Fundable rips off Hugo-nominated writer Mary Robinette Kowal"

Hugo-nominated? Who gives a shit? Does being nominated for science fiction's equivalent of an MTV video award somehow make a person more deserving of reparations for being ripped off?

And, apropos of nothing, it warms my heart to see that BB's moderators are still a gang of petulant douchebags.
posted by Ratio at 10:08 AM on October 2, 2009 [4 favorites]


Why does any writer need a 1400$ computer so much they have to beg for it, anyway? I mean, if your gig is writing fiction, you can get by with pretty much anything. No doubt a nice computer is nicer but less time coveting and more time writing makes bank account a healthier place.
posted by Rumple at 10:19 AM on October 2, 2009


"Fundable rips off Hugo-nominated writer Doctorow's friend Mary Robinette Kowal"

FTFY

The shit would never have hit the fan for Fundable if they hadn't preyed on someone who, literary merit apart, appears to be a long-standing friend of Doctorow and run a moderately popular blog herself. Pratt seems to have been unfazed about just blocking the payments to "fraudsters" until Kowal's post suddenly surfaced near the top of Google searches for Fundable.
posted by Skeptic at 10:22 AM on October 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Is it even possible to find a Mac laptop for less than like $1200 bucks?

Also, note that the two biggest "donors" were herself and her father. It doesn't seem like she used the site for the promotion capabilities, but rather as a facilitator for her friends and family to make fee-free donations.

(A surprising number of people, by the way, take money from their parents to buy nice gadgets. It may be an age-group thing, but every person I know IRL that owns an iPhone is a poor grad student or actor/waiter who got it from their parents).
posted by muddgirl at 10:24 AM on October 2, 2009


Is it even possible to find a Mac laptop for less than like $1200 bucks?


Is it even possible to write fiction on a 400$ Dell?
posted by Rumple at 10:28 AM on October 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


Hey, you're preaching to the choir here. I just find it distasteful to denigrate someone for... heck, I don't even know what we're accusing her of here. Having friends and family that are willing to throw $700 bucks her way to get a superior tool for her job?
posted by muddgirl at 10:35 AM on October 2, 2009


It's not really our business, but there is a mild trend of artists who claim to need tools for their art that are hilarious overkill. It's a bit like a watercolor artist telling you that they need deliveries of bottled water to work on their paintings.

I mean, maybe it will help their process or whatever, but it's still funny.
posted by kathrineg at 10:43 AM on October 2, 2009


Hey, I just got my last laptop for $300, but if she wants a nice macbook that's her own business.
posted by Artw at 10:50 AM on October 2, 2009


UPDATE

I got an email from fundable.com today.

Dear Fundable Customer,

I apologize for this situation. A criminal has hijacked Fundable.com and frozen access to our PayPal account in an attempt to extort money from the company.

I will be refunding your payments or sending you payments as appropriate as soon as we regain control from the criminal who has done this. We are working with PayPal and the FBI to bring this matter to a speedy resolution.

Thank you for your patience.


Louie Helm

--
Online Fundraising
www.Fundable.com

posted by clockworkjoe at 11:02 AM on October 2, 2009 [4 favorites]


This is getting more and more hilarious.
posted by muddgirl at 11:05 AM on October 2, 2009


Hijacked! Oh my stars and garters! Now I definitely won't sue them.
posted by kathrineg at 11:16 AM on October 2, 2009


Rumple:

Why does any writer need a 1400$ computer so much they have to beg for it, anyway? I mean, if your gig is writing fiction, you can get by with pretty much anything. No doubt a nice computer is nicer but less time coveting and more time writing makes bank account a healthier place.

Speaking as someone with better than average knowledge of the situation, Rumple, I suggest you consider that one of the reasons MRK used Fundable was not to beg for a new computer, but to make it simpler for friends/family who decided to combine resources to get her a new computer for her birthday to aggregate their funds into a single pool which she could then access quickly. That you assumed she was begging says more about you than it does about her.

As for why she might need a $1,400 computer over a $400 one, consider, if you will, that like most writers MRK might do other sorts of work, some of which might involve using a computer, and so she might need to do other things that require a computer to have capabilities a bottom-of-the-line might not have. Consider also that MRK might have actually researched the computer she wanted, based on her needs and also on the idea that the computer she was purchasing would need to be robust enough to last for several years -- in short, paying for quality now so she wouldn't have to pay not having picked quality later.

Aside from this, when MRK or any other writer needs your approval about which tool they wish to use to do their work, I'm sure they will let you know. If I were you I wouldn't be waiting up nights.

Also: Seriously, Rumple, what the fuck? Someone gets ripped off by an organization which purports to help people poll their resources to do beneficial things, and your response is to piss all over the woman for wanting a nice computer, and to mock the people who wanted to help her get it? Really?
posted by jscalzi at 11:21 AM on October 2, 2009 [5 favorites]


Hijacked! Oh my stars and garters! Now I definitely won't sue them.

Note that the "criminal" who "hijacked" the web page and the Paypal account was co-founder John Pratt. I know eventually they'll lawyer up and stop making ridiculous accusations but I hope it doesn't happen till the end of the work day at least!
posted by muddgirl at 11:40 AM on October 2, 2009


Why does any writer need a 1400$ computer so much they have to beg for it, anyway? I mean, if your gig is writing fiction, you can get by with pretty much anything. No doubt a nice computer is nicer but less time coveting and more time writing makes bank account a healthier place.

High marks for appropriate dudgeon, Scalzi, but you missed the obvious point: If you spend all day actually working on a computer, quality becomes a pretty important factor. If your job involves driving for eight hours a day, you can certainly get by with a Ford Escort, but you're likely to think the investment in something better is easily justified. And you'd be right.
posted by fatbird at 12:53 PM on October 2, 2009


If your job involves driving for eight hours a day, you can certainly get by with a Ford Escort, but you're likely to think the investment in something better is easily justified. And you'd be right.

Actually, when I was driving for 10 hours a day as a courier in Phoenix, I went for the smallest, cheapest, least "wow this car is cool" car I could find. Because driving that much just runs a vehicle into the ground, and what you want is an engine which will last forever but which doesn't use much gas contained in a chassis which nobody thinks has value and which you don't mind getting a bit beat up over time.

I totally understand what you're saying, and know plenty of drivers who would disagree with me, but I put 150K miles on a Geo Metro in 2 years, and made a lot of money because I didn't go for a "nice ride" to sit in all day.

(I say this typing in my spiffy iMac, so obviously I don't make those kinds of choices for everything.)

posted by hippybear at 1:05 PM on October 2, 2009


From MRK's blog:

"I’m opening the floor for suggestions on a new laptop. For starters, don’t suggest a mac; I’m happy being a pc girl," and "I got the Lenovo X61."

So, can we get back to the trainwreck?
posted by jamaro at 1:16 PM on October 2, 2009


I used Mac was an example. A tablet PC would serve the same "can only find above a certain price" criteria.
posted by muddgirl at 1:19 PM on October 2, 2009


whatever, her dad made anonymous donations, it wasn't totally just a convenience to address some sort of pre-arranged favour. Other people are addressing the fundable angle which is obviously BS bad customer service. She wanted her nice laptop and she got it, good for her, via donation. I'm not calling that virtuous though.

But scalzi, seriously, over-react much? I didn't say she needed my permission, I didn't piss all over her, I pissed a very controlled stream of piss close by. Deal with it. Though I like your style of snark, man. Well put.
posted by Rumple at 1:23 PM on October 2, 2009


So you are being curmudgeonly because some random writer you've never heard before was soliciting donations on her blog? And also because she was referred to as a "Hugo-nominated" writer? I guess I'm just not jaded enough to recognize the source of the ire.
posted by muddgirl at 1:42 PM on October 2, 2009


Rumple:

I didn't piss all over her, I pissed a very controlled stream of piss close by.

Dude, if that's your definition of "controlled" I suggest you avoid urinating anywhere in a subway station, since wherever you are you're going to hit the third rail. Your attack on her choice of computer and manner of collecting funds for it was made out of ignorance and assumption and also a specious belief that you apparently know better than she what was the right tool for her to have for her work.

Since you rather directly question her (or indeed any writer's) need for a $1,400 computer, you clearly have strong opinions about what computers writers should have and what they should do with them, although what I'm not seeing is a commensurate reason why your opinion about a writer's tools needs to be taken seriously at all, either in a general sense, or in the specific case with this particular writer.

More to the point, using the occasion of someone getting ripped off and jerked around as a launching pad to criticize them for "begging" for a computer you clearly think is more than that person should have indicates the sort of "she shouldn't have worn that dress" blame-the-victim thinking which is odious wherever one finds it.

If you don't have a problem with either her getting the computer or the manner in which she got it, why did you bring it up? And if you do have a problem with it, I reiterate: Seriously, Rumple, what the fuck? Is there a method to your patent asshattery here, or is it just something you're doing for fun?

"whatever, her dad made anonymous donations, it wasn't totally just a convenience to address some sort of pre-arranged favour."

You are in fact entirely wrong about that, Rumple.
posted by jscalzi at 1:58 PM on October 2, 2009


Ah, yeah, it was someone else who anonymously donated 710.00. Apologies for that.

Nonetheless, jscalzi, you seem to be wrapped rather tight about this. Good day to you.
posted by Rumple at 2:05 PM on October 2, 2009


Nonetheless, jscalzi, you seem to be wrapped rather tight about this. Good day to you.

That's a pretty flacid evasion after you basically said that she's not a good enough writer to justify a better computer.
posted by fatbird at 2:07 PM on October 2, 2009 [3 favorites]


The crazy screed has vanished; can someone point me to an archive?
posted by subbes at 2:46 PM on October 2, 2009


More to the point, using the occasion of someone getting ripped off and jerked around as a launching pad to criticize them for "begging" for a computer you clearly think is more than that person should have indicates the sort of "she shouldn't have worn that dress" blame-the-victim thinking which is odious wherever one finds it.

If you don't have a problem with either her getting the computer or the manner in which she got it, why did you bring it up? And if you do have a problem with it, I reiterate: Seriously, Rumple, what the fuck? Is there a method to your patent asshattery here, or is it just something you're doing for fun?


Dude, simmer down. He wasn't even the person who made fun of her for being Hugo-nominated. He made two comments which read as gentle ribbing. You are overreacting.

If anything, you should've said something about my calling a $1400 laptop "hilarious overkill".
posted by kathrineg at 2:52 PM on October 2, 2009


fatbird: "That's a pretty flacid evasion after you basically said that she's not a good enough writer to justify a better computer."

He never said that, but feel free to derail this thread even further by criticizing him more.
posted by kathrineg at 2:53 PM on October 2, 2009


Just to stop the apparently endless conversation about my computer choice...

My netbook sufficed for writing. I also do graphic design and work as a voice actor, so need to be able to record audio. Netbook is woeful for that.

The tablet feature? That's a toy. People, I was turning 40. I'm not allowed to have a toy?

Also, I have screenshots of the screed.
posted by maryrobinette at 2:58 PM on October 2, 2009 [6 favorites]


kathrineg:

"you're overreacting"

Your opinion.

My opinion: I'm telling someone he's being a patent asshat in precisely the manner he deserves.

I live with me, so my opinion here wins. But thank you for playing.
posted by jscalzi at 3:06 PM on October 2, 2009


maryrobinette: "Also, I have screenshots of the screed."

Wait, there was a screed? I seem to have missed something significant.

Anyway, I think that you should have 10 tablet computers if it brings you joy, and sorry that these assholes ripped you off.
posted by kathrineg at 3:09 PM on October 2, 2009


Annnnd...fundable.com is back up and apparently accepting new collections. I like that stock photo they have on the front page with the dollar bills forming devil horns on that woman's head.
posted by jamaro at 3:10 PM on October 2, 2009


the screed
These would be tall, bad-tempered beings who glower out of the darkness with red eyes and spell immediate doom for hapless supporting characters, wouldn't they?
posted by Grangousier at 3:10 PM on October 2, 2009


Anyway, jscalzi, it seems that I am overreacting about your overreaction. Apologies.

Now let's get back to what this thread is really about--hilarious side-stepping and imaginary highjackers.
posted by kathrineg at 3:16 PM on October 2, 2009


fundable.com is back up and apparently accepting new collections.

When I go to the link, it still says permanently closed, but the angst is gone.
posted by fatbird at 3:17 PM on October 2, 2009


katherineg:

Now let's get back to what this thread is really about--hilarious side-stepping and imaginary highjackers.

Agreed! Boo to all that! Boo, I say!
posted by jscalzi at 3:19 PM on October 2, 2009


The angst is gone, but Louis Helm is back in charge. (Screenshot, just in case.)

There is not enough popcorn in the world right now ...
posted by maudlin at 3:22 PM on October 2, 2009


It's all the way up for me.

Anyone else sorely tempted to start a bunch of fundraising with the purpose "fundable.com"?
posted by muddgirl at 3:31 PM on October 2, 2009


The angst is gone, but Louis Helm is back in charge.

I'm not sure. Pratt very directly pointed people to Louis Helm for support and lawsuits on the screed version. That's the same information that was there this morning.

Someone needs to call Helm's Dad and find out what the hell is going on.
posted by fatbird at 3:33 PM on October 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


I checked the source code, too. Nothing. Do these people not respect all Internet traditions?

*cries*
posted by maudlin at 3:36 PM on October 2, 2009


katherineg: Here's the screenshot -- or rather, three, since it is not short.
posted by maryrobinette at 3:41 PM on October 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Louis Helm reacted emotionally"

Heh

Any bets on how long it'll take for the police and/or someone's pastor to be involved?
posted by kathrineg at 3:44 PM on October 2, 2009


"It's been emotional."
posted by Artw at 3:59 PM on October 2, 2009


Looks to be operational again.
Hmm, time for a bookmark and an occasional chechup, no?
posted by 5X88 at 9:15 PM on October 2, 2009


Maybe we're seeing different things because the "hijack" was done by DNS changes and the records haven't propagated everywhere yet? I've only ever seen the "operational" version.

Thank you for the screenshots.
posted by subbes at 5:26 PM on October 3, 2009


Note to self: never, ever do anything to make jscalzi angry at you.
posted by deborah at 5:43 PM on October 3, 2009


I'm not sure I'd be able to tell the difference, deborah.
posted by hattifattener at 6:49 PM on October 3, 2009


Note to self: never, ever do anything to make jscalzi angry at you.


Don't feed the bully.
posted by gnome de plume at 2:16 PM on October 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


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