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  • DcnJosephSuaiden 3:13 am on November 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    An Open Letter (With Suggestions) to the Good Folks at the @UnitedStatesAFL 

    Dear Guys in Charge of the USAFL:

    As of this writing, you have 35 days to make $499,595.

    As a supporter of the work and goals of your organization, I am a little bothered at how the campaign to create an inter-league system which uses promotion and relegation has gone so far. I am addressing this openly because (a) I’ve attempted to address these things privately to little avail and (b) as a pro/rel supporter I need to remind you guys that your success or failure will, to a degree, directly color how American fans and even potential investors will look at the concepts of pro/rel.

    In short, how you fare affects not just how people see you guys as an organization, but becomes part of the conversation about pro/rel in America.

    With that in mind, there are concerns you seriously need to address if you are going to see your goals attained.

    1. Setting realistic goals. You’re asking for a half a million dollars to create a functional league system. To be frank, I’m not sure what that money goes to. What I do know is that offering a supporters kit which will itself cost money to produce, meaning even less goes to the organization, and even worse, if your top perk is a $350 fan kit, it seems somewhat detached from your greater plans. You had a great fee schedule to start with the lowest division at $1000. Why not offer someone the chance to purchase a club franchise right at that price as part of the campaign? Why is it all “if you build it they will come”? Does the organization need $500,000 to start, or can you guys function with $100K to start? Can you focus on building a single league, the lowest level on the pyramid (which was what I thought was the plan to begin with) perhaps, before painting the office?

    2. Shooting your friends. I’ve said this before: when people offer advice, there’s a reason we do it. We want to see you succeed. And we’re doing this because you’re not. Labelling everyone as a potential competitor’s absolutely ridiculous and you should remove that verbiage immediately. Because I can’t seriously accept that you all believe that. Sure, once you have a professional division (if you’re not, by then, working with people you previously labelled as competitors) that may be worth discussing. But as I’ve mentioned before, a lot of it comes down to multipliers when you’re talking about financing divisions. Assuming you are doing massive three- or four- team promotions per year, even a half-table split to create a division, to get to where USL-Pro is by, say, a factor of 10 starting at that $1,000, you would need to create 6 levels of the pyramid. That would, obviously, take six years at a minimum, since you can only promote once per year unless you do a split season. Which still means three years. Assuming you are growing at SIX TEAMS PER DIVISION PER SEASON.


    This ain’t rocket science. It’s simple math.

    The point I’m trying to make is not that your goals are impossible. They aren’t, although your timeframe is sufficiently long that calling out potential competitors at the professional level when you’re basically working to organize park leagues alienates people at the professional level who might otherwise be donors or associates of your work. Take NASL, for example. A number of people, including the commissioner, have stated their support for your goals. And since you would be doing the legwork of building the pyramid beneath them anyway, it would seem illogical to therefore call them all out as competitors years before that’s even a possibility.

    What that simply guarantees is that people who do have resources to make the US-AFL’s goals reachable who actually support in theory what you are planning in practice will not take you seriously from the outset, if they aren’t outright offended. And since you aren’t offering a way to directly micro-invest in the league right now, you’re simply not in a position to do that.

    3. Your verbiage and video need to be fixed. Yesterday. You have a fairly good level of support, considering what you’re messing up. If you had gotten $10 out of every time your page had been shared on Facebook or Tweeted, you’d have almost ten times what you have now. But if you’re asking for a half-million dollars to get your non-profit organization started, and video is central to successful crowdfunding campaigns, then you’d better pay someone over at Fiverr to make sure your grammar in a video is correct.


    This is not the first grammatical error. Just the most glaring.

    While overall your story is readable, it’s extremely disjointed. You need to simplify and retool for regular people who might be interested. It needs to sound like something people would want. Because right now the only people who would really have a clue as to what you are talking about are people who have been following your story to begin with. And if they’re friends, they’re not going to be impolite and tell you this stuff.

    Well, I’m your friend and it’s time for some tough love. 25 days of a 60 day campaign have passed and you’ve got $405. I guess you all could go to a nice New Year’s celebration, but I don’t think that was your goal.

    I sincerely hope that my letter will be interpreted as being intentionally hurtful. It is not. It’s an honest attempt to get you to see some serious mistakes in your blueprints right now that there are still fixable. I want to see promotion and relegation succeed. And I believe the time, effort and passion you’ve put into this project makes you as good candidates to lead this project as anyone else. But if you truly want to lead this project, I’d say stop hiding in the bubble. Start asking for help. Not money. Help. Ideas. Advice. Work with others. When folks believe they have all the answers, they set themselves up for a screw-up of epic proportions. You have a little over a month to correct missteps that can leave your footing uncertain.

    Because when I get asked why I’m not vocally supporting your project, I’m not going to lie.

    As I have said, I support pro/rel as hard as anyone else out there. But when people ask me why I don’t support this project, it’s because I’m not seeing an endgame. I’m not seeing a basic goal. “Pro/Rel for Everyone” is a great slogan. But if you publicly plan to make it happen, regular people have every right to ask you how you plan to make that happen.

    There’s still time to change the message, but right now the answers make me nervous.

    Your friend, though I may have said some upsetting stuff,

    Deacon Joseph

  • DcnJosephSuaiden 4:02 am on November 20, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Why Neo-Malthusians Are Dishonest Crumbsnatchers, Introduction, Chap. 1. 

    This is the first part of an e-booklet I’m writing in anticipation of, God willing, my soon to be published e-book: The Malthusian Jump: How to Use an 18th Century Demographer’s Philosophy to Improve Your Life. It will also have actual footnotes.


    The name of the Reverend Thomas Robert Malthus has become long-reviled in modern society, and over the course of a few words I’d like to explain why this is not only largely undeserved, but a huge mistake. Most of the use of the term “Malthusian” extends not to the good reverend himself, but alleged “neo-Malthusians” who are in fact little but power-hungry statists disguised as economists and demographers. As Malthus’ core teachings not only changed how I live my life, but offer a great survival blueprint in times of economic crisis (which I will, God willing, discuss in a bit more detail in my upcoming book, The Malthusian Jump), their misrepresentation is increasingly used to further social programs which Malthus would have likely condemned as destructive, if not outright sinister.

    But does that justify the horrible title? Calling people “crumbsnatchers” implies misappropriation of someone else’s leftovers for legitimacy. Over the course of this essay I intend to demonstrate precisely that: neo-Malthusians, without the veneer of legitimacy given them by attaching this man’s great name and a sentence or two of his writing to justify their factually anti-Malthusian policies, are in fact crumbsnatchers in every sense of the word, without a single valid reasoning to their argument, and you should ignore them. The good news is that even dismantling their dishonest policies can benefit you, the reader, by recognizing what is useful and fairly useless in modern social policy and get you started on a happier, more Malthusian existence.

    Chapter 1. The Problem is the Solution

    This natural inequality of the two powers, of population, and of production of the earth, and that great law of our nature which must constantly keep their effects equal, form the great difficulty that appears to me insurmountable in the way to the perfectibility of society.
    — Thomas R. Malthus

    Thus the central goal of “The Population Bomb”, to encourage the adoption of policies that would gradually reduce birthrates and eventually start a global decline towards a human population size that is sustainable in the long run, has been partially achieved.
    — Paul Ehrlich

    I will freely admit that I am inverting a song title of a very nice Mark Scudder album to demonstrate that Neo-Malthusians operate from a starkly different central premise than Malthus himself: Malthus was less concerned with solving the problem of population in a practical sense than a mathematical one– in fact, Malthus’ central arguments are that population, in the absence of resources, self-decimates.

    This is precisely the opposite concern of Ehrlich and other “neo-Malthusians”, who are really just eugenicist sympathizers that don’t want to come out and say it.

    For these people, the canard is that resources have already largely been expended: it is now the task of a government, an elite or what have you to reduce that population by hook or by crook! On the other hand, Malthus never envisions a global society that has expended its resources: in fact, his entire argument is based upon regional capacity for production, and in fact limits the depths of the argument to overpopulated areas. “Neo-Malthusian” posers simply pretend that every inch and corner of the world is New Delhi, so it’s time to round up the untouchables and head’em to the gas chambers!

    The truth is that according to Malthus, the “problem” of population is in fact its own solution. When population becomes too heavy in regards to agricultural production, it drops itself off to a sustainable level.

    The power of population is so superior to the power of the earth to produce subsistence for man, that premature death must in some shape or other visit the human race. The vices of mankind are active and able ministers of depopulation. They are the precursors in the great army of destruction, and often finish the dreadful work themselves. But should they fail in this war of extermination, sickly seasons, epidemics, pestilence, and plague advance in terrific array, and sweep off their thousands and tens of thousands. Should success be still incomplete, gigantic inevitable famine stalks in the rear, and with one mighty blow levels the population with the food of the world.


    By contrast, “neo-Malthusian” fakes are far more interested in controlling the level of population artificially: through conferences, books and government policies defending basic ideas that Hitler found tasteful, poor Reverend Malthus’ name gets dragged through the mud in the name of a future ideal society, of which opposition can only lead to widespread containment and extermination. In fact, my central argument is that these eugenicist policies, where applied most strictly, in fact, are simply a mask for an elite to have control of a pliable, stupid populace for their own benefit. “Neo-Malthusians” are not interested in sustainable population: they are interested in an idealized population for their own maximum benefit.

    In short, they, unlike Malthus, believe in a “perfectible society”– one in which the average Joe and Jane are cogs in a mindless, productive machine at their service. It’s a perfect society– for its architects, such as the Club of Rome, the idiots who built the Georgia Guidestones and its propagandists at the highest levels.

    And when you think “population’s gotten too large“, you’ve fallen for the trick.

    For the rest of us, though, the payees in this warped system, the solution to self-improvement economically can be easily deduced from Malthus’ writings– simple lessons we can learn from an economy of scarcity.

    Consider this going back to school. Let’s begin.

    Coming up: Chapter 2. Taking Back Malthus

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