It’s relatively clear that Substack is getting ready for a big convergence of some kind. Maybe they’ll be bought up by Twitter, or funded by Soros. I don’t have any idea what’s next, but it’s clear that something is next, and next is always worse.
Today their ‘director of communications’ is leaving for bigger pastures. She has always been a code talker, issuing strange Delphic prophecies that are not meant to be read by peasants. Obviously the aristocrats know the code, and obviously they have made the job offer she was seeking.
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Irrelevant: I noticed another lazy failure of detail in their UI. When you’re turning a paid subscription on or off, the software claims that your Trial Period will end on 12/31/1969. That’s the day before the Start Of The Unixverse on 1/1/70. This piece of Trial Period code seems to be widely distributed; I’ve seen it elsewhere. Ignoring details and bugs is part of the Silicon Valley mindset, where the sole purpose of running a business is to raise Share Value and get bought by Twitter. An old-style profit business pays attention to details because customers care about details, and ALSO because skilled employees ENJOY making high-quality products. Profit respects both the customer and the skilled worker.
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Update 8/12: Their ‘chief writing officer’ is starting to clarify the new direction. He’s focusing HARD on the Big Bucks that a few writers can pull in. Unlike his previous vagueness, he’s giving specific amounts now. There’s nothing in this piece about counterculture or independence or truth. It’s all Big Bucks.
The audience for this message is obvious. Establishment writers who want to continue writing estabished lies for bigger salaries. The non-establishment voices may still be there, but the non-establishment voices are already swamped and algorithmed into irrelevance by the Deepstate Superstars like Dan Rather and Robert Reich who were tired of making Little Bucks.
Relevant: His essay starts by envying the Big Bucks that Facebook pays to software developers:
I’m not saying there’ll be no justice in the world until writers have employers who’ll do their laundry, but I do believe that good writing brings at least as much value to the world as good coding.
Well, he’s obviously practicing what he preaches. Substack is NOT valuing its own programmers!