Me: Hey, that's really interesting. I'll bet most people have no idea that even happens. You should write an essay about it.
Friend: [Eyes lighting up] Hey yeah! I should write an essay about that. Where should I publish it if I did?
I used to have practical answers for them, back when I was naive, before I knew how the sausage was made. Nothing about publishing in the mainstream media industry incentivises people to publish. It is a masochistic process, wrought with frustration at every tier as you negotiate the multiple interests invested in the process—none of which is typically the interest of "the greater good." Self-publishing may be "easy," but it is not without cost. Even writing this here into the Patreon CMS has massive issues. The incentivation in the whole system is warped beyond repair.
It is time to build a new system.
In recent years, I would shrug my shoulders and say, "well, you can pitch mainstream if you expect to get paid, but it's barely worth thr trouble. Wordpress is fine, but it won't necessarily do your story justice." Then I'd go into a dark place, livid the ideology behind our technological structures has decayed beyond the simplest internet core vaule: to disseminate information worldwide. "Just write it for yourself, so you have it for later," I'd concede. "Or write it for me and I'll find a way to have it reach others."
I'm sick of telling people there is no outlet for their most compelling stories. I've waited 10 years for someone to build something better. I hoped they would so I wouldn't have to.
But they didn't.
So I will.
I am building a machine...