Should MST3K continue using Kickstarter?

For those wondering why I asked this, Kickstarter recently decided to switch it’s entire platform to blockchains. Not only does this not benefit the users in anyway, blockchains are incredibly bad for the environment. If any crowdfunding campaign happens in the future, I would like it to be on a different platform that isn’t using blockchains.

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I’m never using Kickstarter again, too many failed projects with 0 way to fix that issue.

I’m tired of funding scammers.

I know there’s a lot of good people using it too, but it’s too common now.

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Blockchain is not inherently bad for the environment, or at least not any worse than any other use of a computer to help you get your work done. In fact, there is some evidence that usage of blockchains can reduce middlemen, and therefor perhaps reduce some of the computing power they require to accomplish their tasks, which would actually be better for the environment.

What is bad for the environment is cryptocurrency mining, and in particular those cryptocurrencies that have followed Bitcoin in exclusively using GPUs, which consume more power, to do their mining. Cryptocurrency mining is simply wasting computer resources, and therefor power, to generate random numbers for no reason other than to match another random number, and add to the blockchain. It is bad for the environment due to all that wasted computing power, but that is not a problem for blockchain in general, where the blockchain is added to as necessary, and no one is wasting power mining random numbers to add to it.

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Blockchain doesn’t even do anything for a regular website. It is just a bunch of buzzwords to trick investors into thinking the site has more value than it actually does.

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Any website that is interested in tracking transactions could benefit from blockchain. Blockchain and cryptocurrency are not the same, although all cryptocurrencies use blockchains, not all blockchains are cryptocurrency related.

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Looks like I picked the right time to wean myself off the platform.

I can’t think of any earthly reason why they are making this change, other than having all those unearned bucks to burn through. Probably funding some late-to-the-game money spinning idea like Kickcoin. A pity they couldn’t spend the money on making the site genuinely better for the backers, as well as safer.

I’ve pretty much stopped backing new projects, with just a rare pledge now to folks I know. Whoever is picking their Projects We Love seems to be a huge fan of mediocre comic books and tabletop games, so I get fewer and fewer interesting projects anyway.

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Or they could just track transactions.

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To take the question in a different direction, I’m hoping the Gizmoplex will have some advertising support and there will be no need for future crowd funding. With the sets all built and using chroma key as they do, it seems ongoing expenses could be covered. But that depends on the size and demographic of the audience.

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The Gizmoplex is going to be subscription funded not unlike Rifftrax Friends, so I’m not sure if extra advertising would be required

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Sure, but blockchain has the added benefit of making the transactions immutable. With a normal transactional database structure, anyone with access can change them on their own.

Once again, while all cryptocurrency uses blockchain, not all blockchains are used for cryptocurrency. Any time you have a need to make your transactions simultaneously more transparent, and more secure, blockchain can help.

Here is a good entry level Medium article on what blockchain actually is:
What is Blockchain? Simply Explained by a 15-Year-Old

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There are two types of blockchains:

Proof of work, which is GPU intensive, and

Proof of stake, in which an entity can approve blockchain transactions simply by owning that chain’s currency.

Bitcoin, for instance is proof of work. Most miners now are trying to move to renewable sources for the computing power necessary.

Ethereum is currently proof of work, but is preparing to switch to proof of stake. I’m assuming Kickstarter will be utilizing an etherium based blockchain.

The blanket statement “blockchains are bad for the environment” is not accurate. Blockchain technology is multi-faceted and is going to be ubiquitous in the future.

One thing I’m hoping for someday is a blockchain-based election system that will shut DOWN the dangerous “mass election fraud” claims once and for all.

Yeah, I know, good luck with that. In the 90’s I was certain the internet was going to make everybody smarter; instead all it did was amplify the stupidity.

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Meh, I’m of the opinion that blockchain is largely a solution in search of a problem. The concept is basically a ledger of transactions – any kind of transaction – that’s more difficult to corrupt than non-blockchain schemes. It has its benefits, but it’s not the only way to secure things.

In this world where software is one open-source module piled atop another into huge mountains, each authored by separate people or teams, there’s really no accountability for quality or efficiency, so the result is a tangle of impenetrable Swiss cheese code riddled with bugs and security holes, leaving the blockchain benefit as negligible at best.

Kickstarter embracing blockchain smells like a marketing move. No real benefit to anyone, nor any noticeable difference in energy consumption, but it sounds flashy and exciting.

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There are really great uses for blockchains, especially in regards to DLT and decentralized consortiums. These are all concepts, though. Environmental impact comes from real world activity and that’s (primarily) coming from public “proof of work” in mining. The mad dash of people hopping onto the gravy train with no known destination and pumping out cryptocurrency as quickly as possible – that’s haggard and harmful. And it is just one, specific application of blockchains.

I hadn’t heard the news of Kickstarter wanting to move into blockchain so I’ll go poking around on that a little later, and thank everyone for bringing it to my radar.

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My company briefly looked into blockchain a few years back (I think there is one guy who won’t let it go, and still is), but at least in my part of the org we did not see any practical use for it. Around the same time, we implemented an event driven database in the sake of embracing the bleeding edge. Similar to blockchain in one fashion, it is a purely additive way of addressing transactions, and it was somewhat useful in the early days of the product for troubleshooting, but the data kept piling up, and our storage needs kept growing. Just this summer I had the pleasure of converting the app to a relational database to save on storage and db cpu costs.

I look at blockchain much in the same way. You have the evergrowing waste of space that a purely additive system entails. With the projects I work on, I don’t see the need for it, and it would likely do more harm than good. That does no mean that there are no good uses for it, and I can certainly see why Kickstarter would consider it, considering that they have a need for secure and transparent transactions.

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Doesn’t proof of stake, at least in a cryptocurrency context, privilege people already privileged enough to own the currency, thereby creating an accelerating inequality problem?

I mean, it’s better than literally cooking the planet to death making random numbers, but I feel like creating a closed club where the richest have the most control is also bad.

On a different note, the best description of Bitcoin I ever read was
Imagine leaving your SUV idling 24 hours a day in order to produce tokens you can exchange for heroin
Sadly I do not know the originator of that description.

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I’m also hoping they won’t need to crowd fund in the future, the big determining factor there is how much profit the Gizmoplex brings in. If they make enough hopefully they can sustain themselves without having to do regular fundraising.

I would guess that’s also why they’ve been doing regular tours. Touring is incredibly hard work and takes a lot of planning, but from my understanding (and I could be wrong, not an expert), they are INCREDIBLY profitable if attendance is solid.

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I also hope they won’t need to continue using Kickstarter after the Gizmoplex gets going, just because if anything Kickstarter shouldn’t be necessary for a bigger entity once they get their project off the ground. Especially for something like the Gizmoplex that shouldn’t have any problem generating it’s own revenue. It’s just that….when you use KS you’re placing an awful lot of trust in the creator, and while we obviously trust the good people at Mystery Science Theater as both a legitimate organization and one that cares about their fanbase, it’s still gonna be a relief when the Gizmoplex gets truly underway.

Even if the subscriptions aren’t enough to sustain the Gizmoplex, I would still rather see outside ads than see them have to return to KS every couple years to make new seasons. Not excessive or obnoxious advertising, I’d want…ads that feel like I’d see them on network tv twenty years ago. Y’know, they’d have to help contribute to the mst3k atmosphere :joy: I’m saying this prtly because I think it would be a good step for their business but also because…I am rather fond of the commercial break bumpers :yum:

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Whether or not they add ads to the Gizmoplex, I suspect we’ll see act breaks in the new season since they seem interested in airing the shows on other ad-supported platforms.

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I respect your opinion on this but mine is the complete opposite. I’d much rather have to return to KS every couple years than deal with any ads, ever.

I’m hopeful there’s a plan coming together for the Gizmoplex to sustain itself. Subscription revenue from, say, 20,000 MSTies should be wildly more than enough to sustain the system, but I don’t think it would cover the costs of creating new episodes. Maybe we’ll get some insight on this after the new season premieres …

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Using Kickstarter takes time and resources away from working on episodes. In a perfect world, MST3K would be able to sustain itself without having to launch a Kickstarter campaign every couple of years. It seems pretty apparent that with the kickstarter model, we would not have a new season every year, there just isn’t time for it. I would be OK with an ad supported model, but that never sits well with me when I am paying for a subscription as well, no matter how many times the cable companies tell me I should just shut up, sit down, and give them my eyeballs and money.

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