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Getting the Conspiracy Theory Theorist to Miami
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NZ $2,871 pledged
76 people pledged
NZ $2,500 minimum target
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Getting The Conspiracy Theory Theorist To Miami
Project 2014-08-30 22:38:50 +1200
My name is Matthew R. X. Dentith, and I am a conspiracy theory theorist who needs your help to get to Miami in March of next year.
"Conspiracy theory theorist, huh?" Yep. I wrote a PhD — In defence of conspiracy theories — on the topic, and now I have a book coming out in November which, very quietly, I'm hoping might be a major contribution to the academic literature.
I also blog on the topic and am regularly asked to pass comment on conspiracy theories (and other beliefs people find weird) in the media, as this little montage should show.
So, I've been asked to present a paper at an interdisciplinary conference on conspiracy theories, the Conference on Conspiracy Theories at the University of Miami. However, I am not currently attached to a university and thus I can't get funding to fly all the way from Auckland, New Zealand, to Miami, Florida. When you are an independent researcher located in the wonderful, but basically distant from everywhere, Aotearoa (New Zealand), meeting up with your peers is rare.
Which why I really want to go. Attending this particular conference is perfect with respect to timing, since my book will be out, and perfect because it's a chance to meet up with other researchers, share resources and generate new conspiracies... Sorry, new avenues of research to take my work further. It's a chance for yet another plucky New Zealander to impress the rest of the world.
I need to raise NZ$2500 to book flights to and from the conference. My registration has been paid for and I don't need to stay in fancy accommodation. I just need to get there. $2500 will pay for most of the travel costs, although if I get more money (and thus give out more rewards), then all the better.
What happens if I get more money than I need to go to travel to Miami? Well, some of that extra money will go towards buying an Apogee MiC (about $NZ350) to take with me to Miami so I can interview people for the Podcaster's Guide to the Conspiracy, a weekly podcast me and my friend Josh Addison produce.
Any additional monies on top of that expense will go directly to charity, specifically the "The New Zealand Speech-language Therapists’ Association". I have a slight stutter and, arguably, my interest in Philosophy came out of my love of language, which was instilled into me after years of speech therapy. My love of debating, despite my speech disfluency, has been a major influence on my life and so it would be nice to give back to the kinds of people who helped me become the public speaker (and, by extension, the philosopher) I am today.
Hullo, old friends
22/09/2018 at 4:37 PM
Long time no hear. But things have been happening: I've had two post-docs since last we communicated, published numerous papers, and edited a book on conspiracy theory. But the important thing I want to tell you about is my new web series, "Conspriacism," which is available online here: Conspiracism.
And which has a Patreon account here.
Why not join me on this new video series looking at conspiracy theory theory and conspiracy theory theorists!
Don't you... forget about me
10/03/2015 at 10:07 AM
Hi, everyone. No, I haven't forgot about you (and yes, annotated thesis chapter and Bingo! pledgers, I especially haven't forgot about you). Indeed, I'm in New York, so I'm almost entirely thinking about you all the time.
"New York," you are surely saying, "but we were sending you to Miami!" And you are; New York happens to be in the same timezone so I'm adjusting here for a few days before flying down to Miami for the conference. That allowed me to visit Ground Zero, the epicentre of 9/11 Conspiracy Theories. You might like to listen to a short recording I made about it here.
Expect more recordings and the like over the next week and a bit; you did help me buy the equipment, after all.
The New Year
05/01/2015 at 10:15 AM
So, the New Year has been and gone and I'm working on the introduction to book 2 ("Conspiracy Theories of Aotearoa") which, should/when it sees print, will allow me to reward some of your lovely people. Which means update time:
The posters have been sent out. I wildly underestimated the shipping costs of sending the posters overseas. Whoops.
All the books have also been sent out. If you are in New Zealand and yours has not turned up, give me a bell. If you are overseas, then I did send them out during the Christmas postage rush, so I imagine your copy might take a while to wend its way to you.
I am working on the Bingo! sets. Albeit, slowly.
Right, back to the word mine!
An update on fulfilling those pledges
25/11/2014 at 10:37 AM
So, a quick update on pledge fulfillment.
- The posters have been ordered and I should be picking those up today. All going well, they should be shipping to those who ordered them within the next week.
- Copies of the book may ship to select pledgers next week. Long story short: the copies I am getting in to fulfil this particular pledge have to go from China to the UK, UK to Australia, Australia to Aotearoa. I'll know more in a week as to where those books are and when they will get here. I'll also advise each book "buyer" individually as to when they might get their copy.
More news as it comes to hand.
Tickets and Microphones
17/11/2014 at 3:17 PM
Just an update to say that I've booked my tickets and bought a fancy, portable microphone. The tickets are presumably the most interesting thing: given that arriving at the conference the day before proceedings started would be a recipe for jetlagged foolishness, I've decided to stop over a few days in New York (which is in the same timezone) before the conference. Then, since I'll be arriving in Miami the day before the proceedings, I'll spend a few days in Miami post the conference, buying up all that tourist tat I promised some of you, and writing about a million postcards.
Now, this all might seem like a holiday, but a trip to New York means visiting Ground Zero and doing some psychogeographical investigation of 9/11. As for Miami... Well, it was Ian Fleming's favourite haunt (this may not be a fact) and Fleming was fond of conspiracies in his various day jobs (this is a fact).
Anyway, March is a long way away. For now, I've got to do some more rewarding of pledges.
What you pledged for
13/11/2014 at 7:14 PM
- Two annotated PhD chapters.
- Four book launch invites (my Mother pledged for one of these; she obviously didn't
- Three coffee and cake dates
- Three electronic copies of "Conspiracy Bingo!" and five physical copies.
- Seven acknowledgements in the next book.
- Two chances to invent a conspiracy theory which will be presented in Miami.
- Six posters.
- Four copies of the book.
- Fourteen postcards (to be sent from Miami).
- Five pieces of tourist tat.
- Six mentions in "The Podcaster's Guide to the Conspiracy".
Fifteen people pledged for no reward whatsoever but provided almost 23% of the funding. So, thanks anonymous benefactors. I might not be shipping you sweet, sweet rewards, but that doesn't mean I don't appreciare you.
Done and funded!
07/11/2014 at 5:32 PM
114% funded. I'm off for a drink. I'll get a list of who pledged and for what early next week, so expect an update in the next few days. In the meantime, make sure your accounts are flush with monies so that when the PledgeMe team comes to collect, there are no problems... They're in on the conspiracy, you know.
31/10/2014 at 6:53 PM
Just a quick note to say that we're over the line. Still, let's see if we can get even further over that line, eh?
Off to TEDxChristchurch
31/10/2014 at 11:52 AM
Just a note to say that I'm off to TEDxChristchurch this weekend to give a 12 minute presentation on conspiracy theories. I'll post a link to it when it's up on the TEDxChristchurch page.
Also, only about $250 to go to get me over the line. Huzzah!
25/10/2014 at 12:51 PM
So, we're up to 75% funding, which means I just need an average of $48 a day to get over the line. This seems doable, but I am going to need your help. If you know of someone who might like to fund a conspiracy (theory) theorist to go to America, please do consider passing details of this campaign along.
Meanwhile, I hope you have a great long weekend.
Update on funding
12/10/2014 at 9:35 PM
Huzzah. Fifty-four percent funded. Over halfway. Thanks everyone.
Just a reminder that you can get a copy of the book via the PledgeMe: I know it's expensive but even at the discounted author's price it's not cheap. Think of it as an investment (rather than an expensively-priced door stop).
An update on that book of mine (and how you can get hold of it)
09/10/2014 at 6:17 PM
So, I learnt today from the local* distributor that "The Philosophy of Conspiracy Theories" comes out late October, with copies being available locally ** about the 15th of November (which, co-incidently, is now the date of the book launch).
Perhaps more importantly, I'm now able to offer some more copies of the book as backer rewards, since I can get additional copies in (admittedly at some cost). So, there's now a new pledge – The Book: "The Philosophy of Conspiracy Theories" – you can get in on.
So, how about it?
Over at Public Address...
07/10/2014 at 10:09 AM
Russell Brown, media commentator, TV show host, creater and curator at Public Address, et cetera et cetera, has posted an excerpt from The Philosophy of Conspiracy Theories. I'm currently fielding questions and remarking on theories in the comments, so perhaps, if you have a few minutes, you might like to take a gander?
Also, whilst I know all the readers of these updates are the kind of people who have pledged and pledged again, please do think about spreading the word. The early spate of pledges has ended and so a new surge to add to the list of backers is needed.
Two fifths funded!
02/10/2014 at 7:38 PM
Just a quixk update to say that the project is now over 40% funded. Thanks everyone. Hopefully we'll be celebrating the halfway point this weekend.
01/10/2014 at 8:26 AM
I love the inclusions: Reptoids, Paul McCartney is dead, Majestic 12. It's like playin conspiracy bingo!
Thus "Conspiracy Bingo!" was born, a new reward available if you pledge on this campaign.
You can play "Conspiracy Bingo!" at almost any time: at board meetings, during academic talks and while listening to talkback radio. Whenever you think you might be about to hear some conspiracy theories, pull out you bingo board and get ready to play.
The rules of "Conspiracy Bingo!" are both simple and arcane, and it is available both as an electronic download (a printable set of PDFs so you can produce as many bingo cards as you like) and a special edition pre-printed version, complete with four laminated cards you can use again and again.
So, bingo anyone?
On the radio
29/09/2014 at 11:13 AM
Those pledges, they keep on coming in, but today's update is more a helpful link to the interview I did with Kathryn Ryan on Nine to Noon, which played today. You can listen to that here. We recorded this just before the recent general election in Aotearoa (New Zealand), back when I felt younger and more optimistic. Have a listen: the PledgeMe campaign was just a dream back in those days so it doesn't get mentioned, but the forthcoming book does.
A Warning from the Illuminati
28/09/2014 at 11:46 AM
So, we're now over a quarter of the way there, which is pretty great, I must say. So great that it seems the Illuminati are concerned that I might get to disseminate my heretical views.
I find it interesting that there's been a fair number of big donations and little uptake on the smaller reward tiers. Obviously emails and postcards aren't all that popular, so I might see if I can introduce something into the rewards which might tempt a few more backers at the lower levels. Every bit helps.
I did say in the last update that I'd say something about my extraordinary long name. It's long enough that going through customs can be a chore, especially since I can't actually write it all down on any standard form (and my name has to have its own page in my passport). More on this when we get to fifty percent, methinks.
26/09/2014 at 5:06 PM
Two updates in one day? Well, given that I've reached 20% of my funding, it seems apt to celebrate. Next time we hit a similar milestone I'll raise a dram, but it was just a little too early in the day for it today.
Roll on 25%.
Oh, and remember to keep washing the pies!
Day 1 - 6.4% funded
26/09/2014 at 9:47 AM
Well, 5 pledgers in one day! Thanks everyone.
One thing everyone says about crowdfunding is that you've got to keep the impetus up. If there were five pledges everyday of the kind I got yesterday then the project will basically get funded well before the due date, but there's no guarantee of that happening without a little bit of curation by yours truly.
So, today's update is possibly my favourite media appearance ever. Enjoy. Please pass it on to your friends.