I just hit 20,000 followers in my G+ stream. I’ve adopted the habit of celebrating follower milestones with a reflective essay. You can find previous milestone essays in my profile; this will go alongside them.
Two years ago I left an adjuncting position in Illinois to focus on my writing and research. I conduct most of that work publicly on my G+ stream and blog. In that time, I’ve published an article, sat through some graduate level math classes, and put myself in a position to defend a doctoral dissertation in the Summer. I won the #ifihadglass contest and brought Glass into a classroom of gifted teenagers, and I’ve started developing a game for wearable computers meant to run on the device. I also moved, first to California to make a freaking movie with +kyle broom , and then to New York to be with +Rebecca Spizzirri and +Jon Lawhead. They have all supported me in uncountably many ways, I don’t know where to begin.
During this time I’ve had no fixed source of income, and it’s freed me up to write and learn a lot, and in the process I’ve cultivated one of the most interesting and active digital communities I’ve ever participated in. I’m a little rough around the edges and it hasn’t always made me friends, but I’m honored to be a part of it and I’m optimistic about it’s future.
I feel like these two years have been the most productive of my life. But I’ll eventually need a stable source of income if I want to keep doing this. I’m currently leading a single class at Fordham University, but that position ends in December and I have nothing afterwards currently lined up. I currently have no other sources of income; my total income this year will be just under the national poverty line, a fact I think about every day as I’m on the bus to the Bronx wearing Glass. I really have no interest in going on the phil job market after I complete my degree. I’d like to be blogging full time, independently or with some larger institution that fits me well.
I’m hoping that the community I’ve developed here might go some way towards making people seriously consider paying me to continue doing my work. I don’t really know how reasonable that hope is. If you have some idea about how that might happen, please let me know in the comments below, or pass this post on to someone who might. I’m based in Manhattan and can work anywhere in the city, and I’m looking to start in Janurary. If you’d like to contribute directly, paypal me at djestrada at gmail. It’ll help me make it to Janurary. More than anything else, if you’ve enjoyed my work, participate.
The most recent burst of a thousand or so seems to be prompted by the share of +Fraser Cain‘s fabulous Super Science Circle, which is Thanks to Fraser and everyone in it. Thanks also to +Danial Hallock, +Gideon Rosenblat, +Peter Edenist, +Yonatan Zunger, +Matt Uebel +Jordan Peacock +Andreas Schou +Science on Google+, and everyone else on the network who put some wind behind my voice and helped it to be heard.
Also, thanks to everyone who reads and comments on my work here. Your encouragement and criticisms are one of my deepest sources of confidence and motivation. Thanks for pushing me harder, sorry if I’m sometimes an incorrigible long-winded blowhard. I couldn’t do it without you =)