, 14 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
I have been giving a lot of thought to the patriot vs paytriot issue, as I feel it is of importance. It cuts to the heart of the service to all vs only to self issue. As a baseline, nobody should expect to get paid for educating themselves about the world and sharing opinions.
There is clearly an abuse when someone repackages free content that may have involved loss of life and limb by members of the military and intelligence community, and sells it pretending to have created its underlying value, or confusing buyers of its origin or veracity.
Many people are making large sacrifices in order to align themselves to their conscience and the best truth they can find. There is no special reward due for making such sacrifice merely because of one's professional prestige, minor celebrity, or past achievements.
Where things become more complex is when you bring more to the party. I have taken work assets, most importantly my mailing list built up over many years, and used it to inform people of difficult realities they may not want to hear. This has real costs: you are "controversial".
The gaslighting of the public by corrupted media organisations, painting the #QAnon military intelligence programme as "Russian bots" or whatever, has a real impact still. To clients and associates you have aligned yourself to "crazy", even if you know that the reverse is true.
It takes maybe a day a week of my time to produce my newsletter — half a day of casual research from email lists and social media, and a few hours to edit it all together. This also has an opportunity cost: I am not writing about subjects that are easily buyable as consulting.
Nobody is forced to subscribe, and I don't put up a paywall. This is a question of both conscience and practicality. There is a disturbing truth that needs to be widely understood, and I don't want to build an analyst business selling reports & news. I have to pay my way. So how?
I have no other income or resources to draw upon. If I got an ordinary job, I would not be free to present the unvarnished reality: I would have to limit myself to what is acceptable to my employer. That's assuming I could even get such a position given my outspoken prominence.
At the moment the infrastructure for citizen journalism is in its infancy. The online world has been warped to the business model of Google and Facebook. The widespread expectation is to receive his quality insight and analysis for free. This is now deeply problematic for us all.
As @GenFlynn noted, the #QArmy is irregular insurgent information warfare. You don't expect to get a wage for leaving your (virtual) farm to fight for your family against invaders; but you do need a family to support you in that fight. In contrast, standing armies need salaries.
Whilst I am hopeful of finding common ground against a shared enemy in the near future, some of my key business relationships have been strained or severed as a result of me taking a highly public stand against the criminal #DeepState. It's my choice and I own the consequences.
The bottom line that I see is that there is no simple and easy answer to the patriot vs paytriot question. We have different contributions to make, and our circumstances and sacrifices vary. That said, relying on altruism alone to attract top talent seems like an unwise strategy.
We are at the very beginning of a new journey of institution building. Those who light the way out of the maze of #FakeNews deception via citizen journalism, and create public information goods of high quality, should not have such severe anxiety over how to feed their families.
In the interim, we have flawed services like Patreon and Paypal for the "praytriot", as you have to pray that they don't arbitrarily cut you off for saying something that offends them. This is real warfare, and we need to adapt to the terrain as it is, not how we wish it to be.
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