The State of the Jungle

By PAUL WHEATON

It seems that the more stuff I create, the more people want of me.

At the same time, the more stuff I create and post to the mighty internet, the more people find and then they need to give me their feedback.

I am getting to the point where just reading the feedback is bigger than a full time job. I am on the phone with cassie right now and I ask her “how many hours a day do you spend JUST READING the stuff that is sent to you?” About three hours. I think that the stuff that I
read that cassie doesn’t read is also about three hours. 6 hours a day, 7 days a week: 42 hours. So, yeah, a full time job. Just reading, without replying. So, to meet my humor needs, I share with you the grand list of what most of this stuff is like.

1) You need to say my message

1b) I know you don’t agree with my message, so we need to have a six hour chat so you can stop being so stupid. And, no, I won’t listen to your stupidity.

2) You need to make your videos/podcasts/articles this other way. Why not? Explain it to me in detail.

3) I need you to promote my stuff (and no, I’m not going to promote your stuff – that would be silly)

4) I have promoted your stuff on my teeny, tiny, pissant site. I now demand that you take the time to think of a way to promote my stuff in a big way (and no, I don’t want to create an account on your stupid forums)

5) Answer my question in email that has already been answered in the forums.

6) When bad guys hassle you, why don’t you just do what the bad guys want and get on with your life? Explain it to me in detail.

7) You need to run your forums my way (and no, I’ve never run forums before). Why not? Explain it to me in detail.

paul-wheaton8) I want to buy the web site permies.com for dirt cheap. Hello? Hello? Why won’t you respond to my emails? That’s just rude. You need to be professional.

9) How much advertising can I get on permies.com for $50. Hello? Hello? Why won’t you respond to my emails? That’s just rude. You need to be professional.

10) I have listened to all of your podcasts and watched all of your videos. I have read many of your posts at permies.com. I want to get into a six hour email discussion with you about how I question your values and you need to be held accountable to me.

11) I found your video submission to this other site to be really good. But since you used your real name on the site, and you used your real name on the video I cleverly deduced that the site poster and the video maker are the same person. Therefore, I think it is wrong of you to do that. And I demand that you stop. No, I am not the site owner. Hello? Are you going to stop? Hello? Hello? Don’t you dare ignore me!

12) Hi! I noticed that you live in Montana. That is beautiful country. I have a cousin that lives in Bozeman. I live in North Carolina. Have you ever been to North Carolina?

13) Hi! I noticed that you live in Montana. That is beautiful country. I have a cousin that lives in Bozeman. I live in South Carolina. Have you ever been to South Carolina?

14) Hi! I noticed that you live in Montana. That is beautiful country. I have a cousin that lives in Bozeman. I live in Utah. Have you ever been to Utah?

15) Hi! I noticed that you live in Montana. That is beautiful country. I have a cousin that lives in Bozeman. I live in Michigan. Have you ever been to Michigan?

16) Hi! I noticed that you live in Montana. That is beautiful country. I have a cousin that lives in Bozeman. I live in Mexico. Have you ever been to Mexico?

17) Hi! I noticed that you live in Montana. That is beautiful country. I have a cousin that lives in Bozeman. I live in Costa Rica. Have you ever been to Costa Rica?

18) Hi! I noticed that you live in Montana. That is beautiful country. I have a cousin that lives in Bozeman. I live in England. Have you ever been to England?

19) Hi! I noticed that you live in Montana. That is beautiful country. I have a cousin that lives in Bozeman. I live in Southern California. Have you ever been to Southern California?

20 … 29) Very similar to 12 through 19

30) ________ sent you a private message on some system that will require you to log in and jump through weird hoops to track down the private message. The private message will probably be long, rambling, demanding, and make no sense. You will be tempted to reply, but that would just lead to another email like this one.

31) I forgot my password on permies.com and the email address was a throwaway email from a company/ISP that I’m no longer affiliated with. Could you please give me an hour to try to figure out if I’m a bad guy or if I am legit?

32) Somebody on permies said something I don’t agree with and I demand that you delete it and ban them immediately. But never tell anyone I said this. Why not? Explain it to me in detail.

33) Can you attend our event that would take four days of your driving at your expense? There might be as many as eight people there. Why not? Explain it to me in detail.

34) Thanks for taking six hours to teach me how I can help save you one hour of time. It turns out that I can’t actually do that one hour thing. Sorry.

35) There is one point in this video that I don’t like. I demand that you change the video and re-upload it. And, no, i will not upload my own video. Why will you not do as I demand? Explain it to me in detail.

36) Hi, we’re going to have some lame event where six people might attend. We think it would be a great opportunity for you to give us $500. We’ll mention you at the event and mention you in tiny print on our lame posters. Why not? Explain it to me in detail.

37) I need you to explain to me, step by step, how to build a rocket mass heater. In email. And after you have spent four hours, I will tell you that that won’t work because of some crazy thing.

38) I see that you posted something an hour ago, therefore you are currently on-line. But you have not posted to the thing I want to you Paul Wheaton featuredpost to. I now need you to explain, to my satisfaction, why you posted to that thing and not to my thing.

39) Hi, this is youtube, we noticed that this one video had gotten a lot of views. We need you to provide proof that everything in the video was created by you or that you have written permission that satisfies our legal department. Make yourself comfortable, this is gonna take a while.

40) I know we set a date and time for you to spend a day driving here to video this stuff, and this is sorta the last second, but I have to cancel because I think my hair will look too messy.

41) I know you drove a long ways to get here and I told you I would be glad to do this, but now that I’m thinking about it, I’m not sure I’m comfortable with the whole youtube thing. So I’m just gonna say “no”.

42) Now that you have taken all of that video, how much are you going to pay me? I won’t settle for a penny less than a thousand dollars.

43) Remember when you drove all the way out here and took that video a week ago? I need to ask that you not use that.

44) Now that we’re done taking video, I need you to make sure that you run your video by me before you put it on youtube. Frankly, I don’t trust you.

45) I remember when your web site was small and you asked me to do stuff with you. I would have nothing to do with you then. But now that your web site is big, I like the idea that we have a relationship. And by “relationship” i mean that you do what i say.

46) You made a video of me four days ago. When will that video be up? Why not tomorrow? Explain it to me in detail.

47) Can you come speak at our far, far away event? I will promise that 100 people will be there, but when you arrive there will be only four people and an apology from me that I forgot to announce the event.

48) I refuse to use a site that uses any form of censorship, but i still insist that you promote my stuff because your censored site has mysteriously become a thousand times bigger than my free-for-all-spam-and-hate-infested site. Now that you are so big, you have an obligation to do as I say and be my personal bitch.

49) Can you drive five hours to give me four hours of advice that I will ignore? I’ll give you a cup of coffee in return. Why not? Explain it to me in detail.

50) How dare you say these things! You are misleading people! You are destroying the fabric of our society!

51) Paul, I love ya, and all the stuff you do, but you gotta change this one thing you do to be more like me. And if you make this change, I will give you empty promises of helping you do things. Of course, if you make this change, i will lose all respect for you and do nothing.

52) Your efforts to block spam from permies.com have somehow blocked me. I am not a spammer. Take down your spam block so I can get in. (exchange 20 emails in an attempt to resolve this – and in the end still not be sure if they really are a spammer or not)

52b) WTF? You banned me? What did I ever do to you? (uh, apparently you use the same IP as a spammer)

53) Please give me detailed instructions on how to make a permaculture site like yours, but, you know, without you.

54) I thought I would forward this to you: “I refuse to have anything to do with Paul Wheaton. He’s a money grubber, a censor and doesn’t even abide the permaculture ethics. All of the real permaculture community avoids him.” —- you might want to consider what they are saying. If you are not going to change, can you please explain to me, in detail, why?

Some from Cassie:

55) I find it extremely offensive that you don’t fear words. Because of that, I spent my entire afternoon carefully crafting this email with no curse words to show you that people can be just as rude and judgmental without using the F word.

Paul Wheaton Featured56) I’ve never used a computer before today. Can you post my three sentence idea onto your forums? No? Well, then will you spend 2 hours virtually holding my hand while walking me through the steps on how to sign up and make a post?

57) THIS FREE THING YOU GAVE US ISN’T WORKING YOU F***ING DOUCHEBAGS. Three minutes later.. Oh, I was clicking the wrong thing. Never mind.

58) I know you specifically said the free thing you’re giving away would only be available for 24 hours and I know you told us in advance that this was the case… but I was cutting my toenails so I missed it. Can you personally send it to me?

59) Here’s a 3-4 paragraph angry rant about the government that’s sure to brighten your day. Enjoy.

60) I’m gonna be in missoula for one day. That day is tomorrow. I’m sure you have absolutely no other plans so I’d love to visit Wheaton Labs and have you give me a personal tour. Yes, the full one that takes four hours.

61) I’m a member of permies.com. My friend’s brother’s half-cousin’s dog just started a crowd-funding campaign. Will you share it to your massive audience even though the dog has never heard of you and doesn’t give a shit about permies?

62) Can you read my 5 page blog and send me a dissertation-length response? If you don’t like it though, fuck off.

_________________

I want to thank Burra, Cassie, Adrien, Devaka and all the staff at permies.com for doing all the hard work that makes the whole site seem
so simple and pleasant.

I want to thank every person that clicks on “report to moderator” for icky stuff on the forum. That is a massive time saver to me.

I want to thank every person that has answered a permies.com question with the words “paul would say …” and they are spot on. That is a big help.

I want to thank every person that has lots of good posts high on interesting content and has never posted something that I ended up
deleting. You are setting the pace and tone for this site and making zero work for me. Thanks!

I want to thank the folks that send me purely words of encouragement. I think I have heard from about 20 people that have said “In my book, you are the coolest person in the world.” and from about five that have said “You are my sepp holzer.” One time on reddit I saw a comment that said “Wow, Paul Wheaton posts here?” and then somebody commented on that to say “yeah, is reddit awesome or what?” — that was a big upper for me.

I want to thank the publishers and movie producers that value my opinion so much that they send me free stuff.

I want to thank all of the people who say they will do something and then do it. Invisibly. Or, they do cool things for me and never utter
a peep. I only find out about that coolness by accident much later. That is crazy awesome.

I want to thank all of the people that stand up for me on the internet.

I want to thank Jocelyn Campbell for the hundreds of little things she does for me every week.

I want to thank all of the people that think I am f***ing awesome exactly the way I am.

Discuss this more in a thread dedicated to this blog at permies.com:

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See the entire Paul Wheaton archive.

paul-wheaton-bioPaul Wheaton is the tyrannical dictator of Permies.com, the largest permaculture forum on the web. As a certified master gardener and permaculture designer, he’s built an empire around what he calls, ‘infecting brains with permaculture’. His forums are full of rich information, and there are a number of great free resources, guides, and articles that can be found on his sister site, Richsoil.com as well.

Most recently, he has worked with rocket mass heater experts Ernie and Erica in developing a DVD set on making your own rocket mass heater, and has produced another video series on permaculture gardening, which detail how to use hugelkultur, swales, and natural ponds to capture and utilize water without irrigation. His recent work with natural buildings based on Mike Oehler’s designs have resulted in the creation of the Wofati, a semi underground natural home design.

Crowned the Duke of Permaculture by Geoff Lawton and the Bad Boy of Permaculture by the Occupy Monsanto movement, Paul continues to educate and inspire at his property – dubbed Wheaton Labs – in western Montana, where he conducts experiments in permaculture and natural building, hosts workshops, and entertains the curious passerby. More information on stays at the property can be found here.