Discover more from Epistemink
I might be taking a 1 or 2 months hiatus towards the end of the year as I’ll be too busy appreciating being back in Asia again after covid kept me away for so long. Or, who knows, maybe the isolation will make me write more. Also, if you’re in the Bay Area this October, hit me up by mail or twitter.
At any rate, about a year has passed, so I think it’s due time to make another reader survey.
You can find it here.
At this URL: https://forms.gle/655kGf83yVRQfnHr6
Help With The Blog
I’m considering getting some “editors” from my audience, you’d essentially:
Get access to draft posts to leave your comments and corrections
Get to pitch me things I should read & write about
Get to read drafts that for whatever reasons I chose not to ultimately publish
I previously asked friends to read drafts to get opinions, but I tend to not want to do this due to the social pressure it implies, and I often want to write about something where I wouldn’t necessarily know anyone directly interested in the subject.
I’ll sweeten the deal by adding in a nice “premium subscriber” substack badge to your profile and giving you the opportunity to pitch any links of yours for each of my linkposts (which I’m considering doing on at least a tri-monthly basis)
So if you enjoy reading this blog enough to want to help me, give me an email about this at
george @ cerebralab.com
Feelings On Substack
On the whole, I’m rather torn about the move to substack.
On the one hand, I have tripled the number of people subscribing in a year, and it’s less of a hassle than maintaining my own blog.
On the other hand, they are too aggressive about collecting subscriptions, email open rates are pretty shitty (~60% on average) and I’ve actually noticed fewer comments than on my original blog, as well as less traffic (maybe they filter it better, but I know their SEO is abominable).
I also kind of miss having reactions, I loved the reactions, and I miss the quirky element of having my own blog, the categories, series, odd art… not to mention that it was actually fast, loading my own article on substack on a mobile phone feels shameful. I, with one server, can do better than this.
So with the knowledge I got from substack, I’m now considering spending a weekend doing an overhaul of my old blog and moving epistem.ink to that as it's a platform. The work seems fun now, but I’m sure I’d end up being annoying. One thing that I probably won’t be able to get right is sending full articles via email or RSS; And I’m still not 100% sure I want to “get that right”, maybe it’s part of the quirkiness, you have to enter it to read it, I’d wager it would lead to me losing a bunch of subscribers, and maybe the reason they’ve grown so fast once I switched, but I know not.
Direction Of Writing
More generally, I’ve diverged a lot from the “Berkely rationality” movement, and I’d wager some of the people reading this might not even know what that is. I’ve also dropped the idea of this being a “technical” blog in any way, though I’ve toyed around with getting my notes for various books and paper discussions into article format and posting them, I’m curious if anyone has an opinion on that.
At this point, the blog probably aligns most closely with the “metarationality” movement/community/thing. As I’m my own life is moving away from:
I am really good at juggling concepts and thinking symbolically, I should craft my life around that
In some ways it's a useful quirk of my brain that I think that way, especially in today’s economy, but I should be a lot more fluid about how and when I apply rational thinking and try developing in other areas. Thinking conceptually still has some ROI left for me, and it’s fun to do and see other people do, but my biggest focus should be improving in other areas.
And the blog reflects that I no longer feel like there’s a point in doing a deep conceptual analysis on this or that subject, or even trying to put together a theory about how this or that field or paradigm or method works and analyze what’s interesting/wrong/odd about it.
I still kinda want to do those things, but I need to find a different angle to grab at them, one that feels fun for me.
And seriously, if you’ve got 2 minutes, it’d help me immensely if you filled out the survey.