Shortly after quitting my academic job to go “solo” the Chronicle of Higher Education did a story on me with this headline:
The article highlighted the “crowdfunding” aspect of my business at the time, specifically my use of the Patreon platform to manage recurring monthly pledges from patrons who wanted to offer continuing support for my work.
Recurring monthly pledges are still an important source of support for me, though not my only revenue stream. The sidebar on the right (or below, if you’re viewing this on a smartphone) shows a current list of supporters. The total includes supporters who have signed up via Patreon or via the subscription option at the Critical Thinker Academy website.
Why are so many people willing to do this?
I View Critical Thinking Resources As a Public Good
Everyone benefits from a society where more people are exposed to critical thinking concepts and have the opportunity to develop their critical thinking skills.
I view the critical thinking resources that I produce as a public good that should be accessible to as wide an audience as possible.
Patronage Models are Designed to Support Public Goods
Like other public services, such as public radio and television, the financial model that supports these services is a patronage model. People who value these services can choose to pledge a certain amount of money each month to help maintain these services and support the creation of new content.
This is what I am asking from my supporters, and this is how I would like my supporters to think about their pledge.
I do this work full-time, and this is my sole source of stable, recurring revenue. I am able to continue this work only because of people like you who care enough about critical thinking to offer not only your moral support, but your financial support as well.
What You Get When You Become a Patron
I offer a range of monthly pledge support levels, starting at $3 per month, and scaling up to $100 per month.
1. Any Pledge Level Unlocks Every Course at the Critical Thinker Academy
For any of these support levels, as long as you maintain your subscription, you get access to ALL of the video content and other resources at the Critical Thinker Academy, including any new resources that I may add over time.
Most of my entrepreneur friends find it offensive that I offer full access to the Critical Thinker Academy for as low as $3/month. They think I should raise the floor to at least $10/month.
But they don’t see the emails I get from people around the world who live in countries where $3/month in US dollars is equal to a full day’s pay, and who express their deep gratitude for making it possible for them to access this content.
2. Any Pledge Level Reserves a Seat For You in the Argument Ninja Academy
What is the Argument Ninja Academy?
- Imagine a martial arts academy, but one that teaches students how to think critically and argue persuasively — martial arts for the mind!
- And what if the teaching and learning experience was inspired by martial arts training principles? A belt level system! Drills, forms, and sparring! A focus on skill development and real-world application, rather than rote learning!
- And what if this training program was implemented in an online environment that made use of state-of-the-art learning interactions and gamification features?
The goal of the Argument Ninja Academy project is to design and build such an online learning environment.
To actually implement this program will require a new learning management system, new content development, new administrative support … it’s no longer a one-man job. That’s why I’m assembling a team of specialists who can take my work to the next level.
Your support will help to make this program a reality. In return I will honor your support by ensuring that you will have access to the content in this program, when it becomes available.
This is Why I Have the Higher Pledge Levels
I have the lower pledge levels to allow people with limited financial means to still access valuable critical thinking resources.
The higher pledge levels are intended for patrons of greater financial means who want to see my work continue and the Argument Ninja Academy program fully developed.
Okay, How Do I Sign Up?
Clicking here will take you to our Patreon page, where you can sign up and choose a support level.
You’ll receive a message when you complete the transaction that will let you register with the Critical Thinker Academy for free.