* There is a market for liberal liturgy. Many people, as they get older, especially, find the repetition of familiar words comforting. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s better if the words are true in the first place.
* Heather Cox Richardson, for better or worse, seems to be the only genuine American (WASP, descended from the founding colonists) mentioned in the article. Her writing and thoughts are a microcosm of the American tragedy. She is more erudite, more philosophically grounded and more temperate than anyone else on sub-stack (or Unz for that matter), but ultimately convinced that her superior moral values will inevitably prevail and blind to how she is opening the door to her own destruction. She reminds me of my New England liberal Republican grandparents and their friends, and the whole WASP hegemony that was swept aside in the 1960s.
* “Sober and boring” is what a functional democracy requires. The sensationalism, outrage du jour and radical posturing on both the right and left is very damaging. Part of it is market driven of course, every writer has to get attention and clicks in a crowded market, but it is also a product of our failed demographics. A United States that had stayed majority WASP, German and Scandinavian would not have sunk to the depths America is at today.
* Many of the vast 21st Century Silicon Valley fortunes have been built on the philosophy that you get a lot of users first and then figure out how to make money off them later.
* No, most of the time they never figure it out. That means they either go bust like MySpace or if they’re lucky or conniving enough, they sucker a Big Tech firm with the lure of all those users and sell for a princely sum right before they’re about to go bankrupt, as tumblr and youtube did (fun fact: youtube loses money to this day, 15 years after being acquired!).
The truth is that the tech guys are fairly stupid when it comes to business and a couple gigantic successes like google search or FB ads sustain the entire market for consumer online services.
Of course, the media business is replete with outright morons, as it’s been obvious for decades that they’d have to start charging and the advertising free ride was over, yet they are only starting to realize that now.
But what do they have to offer writers and other content creators when they can just hang out a shingle themselves on Substack or Ghost and go direct to their audience? Nothing, which is why the long-predicted death of the legacy media business is finally happening now.
* there are actually very very intelligent people who go to Stanford MBA school in order to figure out the best way to successfully charge hundreds of thousands of people a couple of extra cents each in difficult to decipher “hidden costs” on their phone bills. Lots of those guys live in the finite number of nice houses on nice lots in Silicon Valley, and nobody driving by their houses knows that the home-owners of those beautiful homes have wasted their intellectual gifts, literally, on pennies.