A Discarded Paragraph From a Machine Learning Paper

Cut from the introduction:

Finally the economic incentive. By using machine learning for this task we are freeing up the man-hours of dozens if not hundreds of astrophysics PhD students whose sole existence is to categorize galaxies, quasars, and red giants for their thesis advisers. In this manner we follow the footsteps of Bertrand Russel who advocated for shorter working hours in American industrial revolution of the 20th century \cite{russell-idleness}. Today, thanks to the increasing plurality of machine learning tools we are again questioning what is a necessary weekly hourly allocation of work.

How to Run a Crowdfunding Scam

Despite only ever funding one, the targeted ad powers that be have determined that I really like crowdfunding. I’ve noticed that a specific category always gets advertised to me: technology that can do something truly amazing which no one else is pursuing. A year or so later I catch an article that these same projects either get removed from Kickstarter, move over to Indiegogo, or vanish indefinitely into development hell. I’ll absolutely give the benefit of the doubt to the majority these creators, unexpected snags can pop up when you’re trying to scale hardware products. Though sometimes I wonder if people are just cashing in on technolust. In this brief post I’ll layout some steps to running a crowdfunding scam around a technology product.

  1. Come up with a tech product that:
    1. Fills some niche. Good categories include smartphone accessories, drones, and VR gadgets. For the appearance of novelty you can also take regular day item which just has some bluetooth addon so you can call it “smart” some ideas for free:
      • Smart ring
      • Smart post-it note
      • Smart drawers
    2. Claims to do something way better than anything out there, especially since you can connect it to your phone!
    3. Technically impossible, but not so much as to make customers think that it is impossible. For example (real examples):
      • A hub that transcribes lectures which is also a portable battery and wireless speaker. (Titan Note)
      • A drone that follows you autonomously and takes selfies. (Lily drone)
      • A bracelet which projects a smartphone interface on your wrist. (Cicret)
  2. Hire a prop shop to make a mock of the product.
  3. Make an amazing marketing video featuring the prop-product. Use the magic of editing and special effects to make it look like it’s functional. You could skip step 2 and use a digital model and place it in the video too but you’ll want something physical for later steps.
  4. Post it to Kickstarter or Indiegogo, preference to the latter because if you don’t meet the goal you still get the money.
  5. While the campaign is on-going take the time to develop a crude actually functioning prototype to post as an update to the backers. You don’t want to deceive people too much.
  6. After the campaign is over, post updates every couple months about the challenges and the “progress” you’re making. Do this less frequently as time goes on, a sort of fade away to make people ever forget you still have their money.
  7. Finally, after several months–or years–make a post about how you’ve run out of funding. How there were too many problems with the manufacturers but that you’re proud of your team and the work that you accomplished.
  8. Disappear with all that money.

Settler of Martan

Dear Settler,

Congratulations! Your application to be a citizen in a contest to see who can best develop a yet unnamed island has been accepted! You shall develop the towns and villages under the banner of myself, the Earl of Martan. Godspeed!

Dear Settler,

Welcome to the island! We have provided you the supplies for one town and one road. Settle anywhere you like, but not too close to the competing settlers.

Dear Settler,

Oh, oh no. You should not have settled there, you see you will harvest too much wool and not enough wood, we want your town to be efficiently contribute to the cause. Not to worry, we have provided you with supplies for a second village and road.

Dear Settler,

It has come to our attention that the northwest road you are building has no where to go and we insist you stop building it. This is just a formality, but you may find that building any further is impossible as neighboring societies have also built roads in the vicinity.

Dear Settler,

As you may well already know, a band of thieves is in your area. Cease producing any goods from the resources they are marauding and keep your villagers safe. Our army is abroad and we can do nothing about this for the time being. Stay safe!

Dear Settler,

After some reallocation of resources we are proud to announce that we have the largest army on the island! For some reason, the rules of the contest only state that we can use our armies keep the bandits away, not forcefully annex neighboring villages.

Dear Settler,

You are hear by notified that the village in which you formerly lived is now a vibrant city. Being a larger populace we now request twice the resources you were formerly producing.

Dear Settler,

In so many words, we have lost the contest. You and other towns like you were not as productive as other towns. My status of Earl is being dissolved and ownership of your settlements is to be assumed by the Duke of Catan. Thank you for your service.

Sincerely the Earl of Martan