If you arrived at my Patreon page, I want to thank you right away for taking the time to consider supporting this project.
My name is Ricardo Lopes, and I am from Portugal. I started my YouTube channel, The Dissenter, last February, in which I’m trying to bring people interviews and talks with intellectuals and academics from a variety of areas and disciplines, ranging from the Arts and Philosophy to the Social Sciences and Biology.
The primary motivation to start this channel had to do with the fact that I hold a diversity of intellectual interests, which I’ve been cultivating throughout the years. And so, I decided to start by trying to invite some of the academics I admire the most to have intellectually stimulating and relevant conversations with them, and then to share them with you.
A secondary motivation was to try to gather a myriad of academics that have been doing work in fields which could have something to offer to a better understanding of our human condition, thus providing us with knowledge with practical value.
I’ve been interviewing major academics and scholars from fields like Psychology, Anthropology, Sociology, Primatology and Biology, and Philosophy.
- From Psychology: David C. Geary, Richard Lippa, Leda Cosmides, Diana Fleischman, Eric Turkheimer, Lewis Goldberg, Richard Nisbett, Randy Thornhill, David Buss, Gad Saad, Lee Jussim, Hal Arkes, Lee Ross.
- From Anthropology: David F. Lancy, Monique Borgerhoff Mulder, Robert Boyd, Richard Shweder, Alan Fiske, Terrence Deacon.
- From Philosophy: Patrick Lee Miller, Stephen Hicks, Simon Blackburn, Patricia Churchland, Massimo Pigliucci, Rebecca Goldstein, Peter Carruthers, Colin McGinn, Michael Ruse, Alexander Rosenberg.
- From Primatology: Frans de Waal.
- From Neuroscience: Dale Purves.
- Others: Azar Gat, Robin Hanson, James Flynn, Johan Norberg, Jon Entine, Michael Shermer, people from Gapminder like Fernanda Drumond, Richard Wilkinson.
- Upcoming interviews: Michael Graziano, Mark Blyth, David Papineau, Don Ross, second interview with Randy Thornhill, Peter Richerson, Noam Chomsky.
- And in contact with people like Peter Singer, Paul Bloom, William von Hippel, Robert Plomin, Gregory Cochran, Richard Haier, Edvard Moser, E. O. Wilson.
All of the work has been done my me to the date. I manage the channel; contact new guests; keep in touch with guests; prepare the interviews; do, record, and edit the interviews; upload and schedule them; manage the social media (Facebook and Twitter).
Each interview takes a lot of time to prepare, since I want to make them as relevant and stimulating as possible. I reread books and articles from each guest; read new materials; watch talks, interviews, conferences, podcasts, and all sorts of media they’ve appeared on; prepare the interview from beginning to end. I would say that I dedicate tens of hours to most interviews, from preparation to final product.
Why Patreon, and why crowdfunding?
To be honest, I am convinced that the best way to increase the quality and quantity of my content is simply though crowdfunding. I hope to grow my channel further, but I won’t expect to make more than a few coins per month via Google AdSense. It's nowhere near what's needed for me to justify keeping up with all this work in the long run. I’m investing my savings on this, and I’m working full time on this. I would also like to keep ads to a minimum.
With that said, I would also like to be able to invest in new recording material (equipment and software), rent a place of my own to start creating a small studio of my own, and hire someone who can work with video, audio and image editing to help me improve the technical side of what I’ve been doing. The technical part is certainly my weakest element, and I would like to improve it with your help.
Also, and as I alluded to, I would also need the money to support myself working while working on this full time.
I also leave you with some appraisals by guests I had on the show:
"I was very impressed by the quality of Ricardo’s questions and by our discussion. He was very well prepared and ready to discuss a variety of interesting and potentially controversial subjects."
-- David C. Geary, University of Missouri
"I believe that Ricardo Lopes, The Dissenter, is an important voice in contemporary Portuguese culture. He initiates essential conversations that aim at questioning and evolving societal values. I warmly recommend supporting his work".
-- Louise Mazanti, PhD
"Ricardo honors science, which is why he is such a superb interviewer. He’s an exacting researcher and understands the importance of evidence and curiosity. The range of subjects and scientists he addresses is broad. Ricardo's interview show is emerging a go-to place for science lovers."
-- Jon Entine, Founder of the Genetic Literacy Project
"I was very impressed by the quality of Ricardo’s questions and by our discussion. He was very well prepared and ready to discuss a variety of interesting and potentially controversial subjects."-- David C. Geary, University of Missouri
"Compliments to Ricardo - it is rare to get such a well prepared, well informed and finely nuanced interviewer."-- Azar Gat, Tel Aviv University
“Ricardo is curious, well-prepared and creative in his questioning - a real contributor to the broader understanding of science.”-- Monique Borgerhoff Mulder, UC Davis
"Journalists and podcasters could learn a lot from the Dissenter. Ricardo's interviews are a great resource because he is always prepared with research on his guests, insightful questions and a laserlike focus. It was a delight to participate in his channel because The Dissenter is obviously enthusiastic about learning and public engagement with science"-- Diana Fleischman, University of Portsmouth
“My experience on The Dissenter with Ricardo Lopes was superb! He is informed and articulate, and asked so many good questions. I would be happy to appear on his program again.”--Nancy Segal, California State University, Fullerton
“My interview with Ricardo Lopes was carefully planned to introduce the public to the fundamentals of what IQ is all about, and to allow me to state my own views without any ‘interviewer bias’, something which is most welcome.”--James Flynn, Emeritus Professor of Political Studies, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
“I was very impressed with Ricardo’s penetrating style of conversation. It was more a conversation--an engaging, spontaneous, and free-ranging conversation--than a standard interview, and only the most well-prepared of questioners can bring this off so naturally. His expertise was all the more impressive considering that, in order to interview me, he was stepping out of his normal intellectual terrain—science—and into philosophy.”-- Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, Philosopher, Author of Plato at the Googleplex, recipient of the National Humanities Medal
“Ricardo Lopes is an outstanding interviewer — super-well prepared, logically organized, a good sense of the audience and what will be interesting, and how to avoid confusing technical jargon. He also has a reassuring and charming manner. Altogether, 10/10.”-- Patricia Churchland, UC President's Professor of Philosophy Emerita at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences
“I watched the show with admiration for the questions you asked that all the work you put into it. You are doing a real service for the community of scholars and I hope it gives you the satisfaction you deserve.”
-- Dale Purves, Geller Professor of Neurobiology Emeritus, Duke University
“Combining broad interests and a penetrating intellect with a degree of intellectual entrepreneurialism, Ricardo Lopes has developed a channel for the dissemination of serious ideas. A tribute to the possibilities of extended enlightened conversation on the internet.”-- Jerry Z. Muller, Ordinary Professor of History, Catholic University of America
“I thought the questions were excellent and I very much enjoyed answering them. I hope your viewers feel that they learned something of interest.”-- Richard Nisbett, Theodore M. Newcomb Distinguished Professor of social psychology, co-director of the Culture and Cognition program, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
“An interview with Ricardo Lopes is like an expert massage: it can be uncomfortably penetrating at times, but you emerge with a warm healthy glow”-- Colin McGinn
“Ricardo was astonishingly well-prepared for the interview, given the range of topics he covers on his channel - the questions were highly apposite and well-chosen. He also sent them to me in advance, so I had time to think about how best to answer them - which I think made for a much better interview. In general, he was thoroughly professional, well-organised and friendly - I hugely enjoyed our chat!”-- Helen Steward, University of Leeds
“I often implore people to get engaged. Everyone has a voice. Everyone can contribute to the battle of ideas. The Dissenter is a perfect manifestation of an intellectually curious individual who decided to create a forum from which to discuss grand topics. May his channel continue to grow. He is building a fantastic repository of insightful conversations.”-- Gad Saad, Professor of Marketing at Concordia University, Author of The Evolutionary Bases of Consumption
“The breadth and depth of Ricardo's knowledge goes far beyond the average science writer or interviewer. He is highly skilled at getting to the heart of overarching research questions and has a great facility for translating complex concepts into an accessible forum for a broad audience. His interviewing style is simultaneously warm, engaging, thoughtful, probing, and challenging, which makes for great conversations!”-- Jennifer Vonk, Professor of Comparative/Cognitive Psychology at Oakland University
"I have done many interviews and can attest that Ricardo does an excellent job in both preparation and conversation. He had excellent questions that were directive but also allowed for exploration and detail, and it was clear he is well-read on the topics he covers. It was so much better than any time I've been interviewed by a mainstream journalist. The Dissenter represents a joining of disciplines and perspectives toward a common goal of greater understanding and I really appreciate that. I thoroughly enjoyed talking with Ricardo and highly recommend him as an interviewer!"-- Carin Perilloux, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Southwestern University
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