19 Comments
Jan 6Liked by Justin Ling

We, your subscribers do care. Take care.

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To repeat what I've posted at other Substacks I subscribe to:

- I have direct links in my bookmarks to BEAS, paulwells.substack.com, and the others. I don't see anything pushed at me by never visiting "substack.com" as such.

- Small papers that couldn't afford their own presses always had to go to a printers' - the U.Calgary student paper with all the community newsletters, club newsletters - and the 1970s Calgary branch of the KKK. No problem, as both being their customer did not cause letters columns to interact, or readers from one subjected to content from the other. Substack can let a reader do that, see above.

People imagine that Donald was the first pol to actually propagate conspiracy theories (think I'm repeating this, again, it deserves it; my Canadaland "Duly Noted" would be the same every week).

GW Bush peddled a ludicrous theory that Saddam would conspire with his arch-enemies (worse than America), the Islamists who wanted him brought down - to hand them a free nuclear bomb, no less. The NYT and WaPo not only did not debunk this pathetically obvious falsehood, they took the side of selling the war - NYT with Judy Miller, later disgraced and the NYT apologized, WaPo with 27 of 29 war op-eds in favour. What kind of "liberal" press keeps Noam Chomsky locked out for 25 years?

I think the big papers and the networks do provide one service to liberalism and progressivism: if THEY actually carry a story that harms the arguments or prospects of the right-wing, then, wow, it must be a serious story.

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Jan 6Liked by Justin Ling

Hello Justin, I don’t see myself discontinuing my paid subscription to your Substack anytime soon. I always look forward to your journalistic dives, and I also appreciate that you keep the amount of publishing at a manageable level for me. I’m finding that people who publish daily or almost daily content don’t have the in-depth material I enjoy, plus I only have so many hours in a day for screen time. Wishing you an inspiring 2024.

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Very much enjoyed this. One of the really good lines: "We have yet to discover the internet version of printing words onto dead trees and throwing them at peoples’ homes". What do you think of a model where a Canadian News aggregator allows authors and orgs to submit content, people subscribe, advertisers advertise, content providers split the income from subscriptions and advertisers, with a share reserved for the aggregator service. Allow people to subscribe to unmediated, or to various mediators - a cut needs to be saved for the mediators as well. Sound like a decent business model?

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I very much appreciate this analysis and find some comfort in knowing that there are some journalists that see through the “corruption” of the so called mainstream media.

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Jan 9Liked by Justin Ling

Excellent as always! Thank you for constantly expanding and granularizing my understanding of things.

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There's this remarkable SF author, John C. Wright. He is a converted Catholic who is very strong in his religious ideology. Outsider critics would say his real religion is Trump:

https://www.scifiwright.com/2024/01/summary-2020-presidential-election-fraud/

...but I would urge anybody to read a bit of Wright, to note that he's a on a whole different level of argument, pulling out Greek and Latin philosophers with ease, along with religious scholarship well beyond mine. The top issue today is about his earlier column on " Wokeness being a materialist restatement of Gnosticism." There's never violence threatened, no direct insults, Wright bans and deletes comments for such; it's more like the old USENET beat-downs called "fisking", after point-by-point critiques of Robert Fisk. It's instructive.

You should have a peek, Justin, it's a different kind of Trump debate.

A point? Yes, I have one! This very, very controversial material is hosted on his own blog, with all monetization and comment-handing provided by Disqus, who have been around a long time.

It seems to work for him; and Disqus, UNLIKE SUBSTACK, is like those newspaper printshops that handled both community newsletters and KKK newsletters in the age of newsprint: Mr. Wright's world does not interact with any other Disqus customers.

So what's wrong with them?

(reposting this now to Moscrop's note that he's moving to Ghost. Never heard of them, all-new relationship he's asking me to take up. Disqus account, I've had for many years.)

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Jan 7·edited Jan 9Liked by Justin Ling

Thanks, Justin, I always enjoy your insights (minus the typos...) From a Canadian perspective, your non-mention of the Globe and Mail did surprise. It costs a fortune to subscribe (at least to the paper version) but most of the time delivers good journalism and has some columnists who consistently offer useful insights.

As for Substack's "Nazi problem," it does bother me and, following the example of Brigitte Pellerin, I'm considering moving over to Ghost. Its help desk's answer to the question how they handle this matter compared very favourably to Hamish McKenzie's. Its business model (a flat fee based on the number of subscribers; writers keep 100% of the revenue) also should be very attractive to many and makes people like me, who never intend to ask for paid subscriptions, feel better than being 'forced' to be freeloaders. I'm continuing to look into the pros and cons and your several references are helpful in that regard.

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