Saturday, May 5, 2012


How would you like to support the work of someone who is both an astronomer and a musician?

I'm doing serious astronomical research and making beautiful music. I want to eat, sleep, breathe, and live astronomy and music.

I have one obstacle in the way: I need money to pay for household expenses.  There are quite a few ways to get money.  Most people opt for taking a job.  Nothing wrong with this and millions of people all over the world do it every day, but there are alternatives.  I'm choosing to find supporters who will gift me every month because it requires a decent amount of responsibility on my part, while giving me the greatest chance to be free to follow my interests, minimizing any negative consequences, and maximizing the rewards.

I'm looking for supporters who are willing to gift me $5 dollars (US) a month.  This is very similar to other "crowd funding" projects except that in this case I'm looking for continuous support rather than a one-time gift to fund a specific project.

Still having doubts?  I don’t blame you.  What I’m basically asking you is to take a chance and gift me the money I need to pay my household bills so I can do what I want instead of getting a job like everyone else.  So at that level my proposal seems like a scam to fool people into paying me to sit on my butt all day and watch TV.  But if you already know me pretty well, you know that I march to the beat of a different drum.  You also know that I don’t shy away from any form of work.  I don't do ANYTHING for money, but I will do almost anything to pay the bills so I can keep doing what I enjoy.  I especially enjoy work if it’s necessary and/or meaningful.  If you think about it, there really isn’t much of a difference between being supported by a number of “employers” or just one employer – it’s just a matter of perspective.  Plus, if you think your support could be better utilized by someone else, then you always have the option of suspending or ending that support.

I've been in astronomy at pretty much every level.  The only thing I didn't get into was trying to get funding.  When I was staff at the University of Arizona, I saw the people above me spend 80% of their time writing grant proposals so they could pay people like me to do all the work.  Where does this money come from?  Mainly the National Science Foundation and the military.  Who funds these two entities?  YOU!!!!  So look at what I'm proposing to you this way: would you rather directly fund someone who you can have direct contact with and see that your dollars are well-spent, or give those dollars to a government entity that then doles it out according to it's priorities?  So what I'm suggesting is that we drop the "middle man".

My monthly budget is $2500, which means I'm looking for a continuous level of 500 supporters.  Here’s a promise: Once I reach this level of support, I will not accept any additional support (the 'Subscribe' button at the top of this blog will go away).  I’m interested in Astronomical Research and Making Beautiful Music.  I’m not interested in "making money" and have very little use for it.   I only need money because this society requires money to supply the necessities of modern life: shelter, food, water, electricity, transportation, etc.  So I’m only going to take what I need.  The only way that I can convince you of this is to ask you take a chance for a couple months and see what happens.

Take a chance on a sure thing.

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