For Those Asking What I’m Doing To Lose Weight

It’s pretty simple:

  • One meal a day (personally I strive for a low carb, high fat meal, but this isn’t strictly required)
  • During fasting periods, I drink water, black coffee/espresso, tea, and/or broth
  • I mostly avoid artificial sweeteners
  • For long flights, I fast the entire time in transit and eat dinner at the normal time for destination (or skip entirely)
  • I also pick a day during the week (usually Sunday) where I consume less than 500 calories for my “meal” (or skip it entirely)
  • Get enough sleep (for me, about 7-8 hours)

I did not just jump into above “cold turkey” but gradually worked my way up to these guidelines. I expect they will further evolve over time.

For those who think fasting is hard, there is some initial difficulty as your body adapts. Some refer to this process as “keto flu.” It does get much easier.

I do make allowances for “life events” and will occasionally vary from these guidelines. For example, when I was in Ireland, you can bet I drank Guinness outside of a normal meal period. I plan for these events and adjust accordingly.

The benefits I’ve derived from the above include, but are not limited to:

  • Weight loss (averaging 1-2 pounds a week, but it varies from week to week)
  • Lower blood glucose readings (a good thing as a Type 2 diabetic)
  • Food cravings are mostly gone
  • Little to no jet lag (even when I jump 9-10 time zones)
  • More time during the day (because meals take time to have)
  • Lower grocery bills
  • Better sleep

The above appears to be working for me and may or may not work for anyone else. Do your own research and come to your own conclusions by typing the following terms into your search engine of choice:

  • Intermittent fasting
  • Ketogenic diet
  • Dr. Jason Fung
  • The Obesity Code

Happy to answer questions through all the usual channels.

Pulling from the Skinny Drawer!

A couple years ago, I had done a post about my skinny drawer, i.e. a drawer full of clothes that I don’t wear because I had outgrown them or was never properly sized to wear to begin with.

With my current weight being better than it has been in 10 years, and with my currently clothing getting a little too baggy, I decided to have a look in there to see if I could bring some clothing out of retirement.

To my joy, I found a pair of jeans and a pair of khakis that are now “just right.” I was also able to pull out a couple of t-shirts that are not too tight to wear. I also checked a couple shirts in my closet I haven’t worn in a while and they are now appropriately sized!

A few articles of clothing in the drawers will be wearable after I lose another 10 pounds or so. A few other articles, I will have to get a bit closer to my best weight as an adult.

Either way, it’s a definite sign of weight loss progress.

Intermittent Fasting Is Insane...ly Great (For Me, At Least)

This article entitled Intermittent Fasting Is Insane is an excellent example of modern journalism. It's sad that semi-respectable mastheads like the LA Times run articles that are little more than a copyedited version of a Facebook screed. However, given many of the other articles I've read recently, particularly on matters of current events, it's sadly the norm.

Many hours or days between meals has been the norm since humans first walked the earth. We wouldn't be here as a species if we weren't built for this reality. It's only in the last several decades that many of us had access to three meals a day plus snacks, not to mention a constant barrage of advertising that tells us the kinds of foods we should be eating.

So to call intermittent fasting "insane" shows tremendous ignorance of:

  • What intermittent fasting actually is
  • Human history

The first reason the author gives:

It sounds extremely uncomfortable.

Normal eating and normal hunger cues tell us to eat every three to four hours. This is what most people do. For example, they might eat a breakfast around 8 a.m., lunch around noon, some snacks before dinner, and a nice evening meal. When I put it like that it sounds obvious. That's because it's balanced. It's intuitive. It works.

Anytime you try to make a change to your habits, it's bound to be uncomfortable. For example, exercise is definitely uncomfortable if you're out of shape. And yet, you don't see too many articles suggesting you shouldn't exercise. And yes, the first few days of doing this were a little rough, no question. That said, it did not take long to adapt to eating one meal a day.

Also, what this clearly very thin woman doesn't realize is that for some of us, those natural cues that tell us when to eat are completely out of whack. Prior to changing to intermittent fasting, I could and would eat ridiculous amounts of food multiple times a day, plus snacks. Now? I still probably eat a little more than the average person eats at a meal, but I do it only once a day. I've also made other dietary changes that have surely reduced the amount of calories I consume in a day.

She continues:

During periods of fasting, black coffee, calorie-free sweeteners, diet soda, and sugar-free gum are permitted. I'm going to take this opportunity to point out that these calorie-free "hunger remedies" are flagged as warning signs of anorexia by the International Journal of Eating Disorders.

First of all, she links to an article on Livestrong, which does not provide a link to this research. Based on what they're talking about, I'm guessing it's Artificial Sweetener Use among Individuals with Eating Disorders. I can't read the full article without paying for it, but I have no doubt this is definitely true. I know from my own experience that artificial sweeteners, particularly in gum, are bad news and should be avoided, whether or not you have an eating disorder.

Second, she's clearly labeling intermittent fasting as an eating disorder by associating artificial sweetener use and anorexia, which I'm sure exists. Anorexia is defined as:

  • Abnormally low body weight
  • Intense fear of gaining weight
  • A distorted perception of body weight

Considering my doctor has given me an official diagnosis of morbidly obese and telling me to lose weight, anorexia is the farthest thing from my mind.

Black coffee has no sweeteners in it. Neither do espresso shots. And yes, one should be careful about overconsumption.

There are a few different iterations of the plan

One is to alternate days of eating. Eat whatever you want one day, fast for the entirety of the next. I've practiced Yom Kippur, the Jewish holiday where we communally fast for one whole day, and I can tell you from experience that that s--- is not fun. For the holiday, it's not meant to be. You're lethargic and sorrowful, and you spend the day in religious services atoning for sin. But to do that to your body every other day in the name of weight loss? No, thank you.

She's basing her entire opinion of fasting on a single day where she fasted for Yom Kippur. Yes, if you've never fasted, it's tough. However, if she tried it herself more than once or, I don't know, asked someone who fasts regularly, she'd find out it gets a lot easier with practice. Or maybe it wouldn't for her, who knows. But there's no evidence to suggest she tried it for more than one day.

Also, the people who do alternate day fasting don't necessary eat whatever you want the next day, they may only eat a single meal, or maybe two.

Such an extreme dietary regimen is unsettling. Prioritizing a diet over the usual practices of everyday life is a cause for alarm and concern for the mental health of the dieter.

Actually, this diet is surprisingly easy to fit in with the rest of your life. The meal I specifically choose to eat every day is dinner, because it's one of the only meals I eat with my family. The fact I don't eat the rest of the time? They don't notice. When I travel? Same thing: I will eat certain meals (usually dinner) with other people. I might also have lunch with them. For long times in transit, I fast.

Imagine sitting through a workday without having eaten in 30 hours. Imagine skipping dinner with friends because you'd eaten your day's worth of calories at 2 p.m. These are some very plausible realities of intermittent fasting - and I haven't even dared to think about the digestive nightmare it could cause.

I don't have to imagine as I just did a 48 hour fast! It's not difficult at all. If she'd bother to talk to someone who's actually done intermittent fasting for any length of time, she'd know this. Also, if I know I am going to dinner with my friends, I plan around it and move my eating window accordingly (either fasting more or have an extra meal).

And digestive issues? What digestive issues? If anything, my digestion has been much better since I started eating less food. I definitely spend less time on the toilet as well!

"Skipping meals ramps up your stress hormone cortisol, which I consider a dark lord of metabolism," Sara Gottfried, M.D., told the Huffington Post. Essentially, it messes with your system. Who knows what happens to your metabolism when you practice this diet in the long-term?

Everything linked in the linked article was "could" or "may". And yes, if you're stressed, and you're already predisposed to eat, you'll want to eat more. What I've found is by practicing intermittent fasting, I am stressed far less, particularly when traveling. It's one less thing I have to stress about.

As for how this diet works long-term? The whole of human history tells us that, in moderation, fasting will not harm us. Muslims fast during daylight hours during the month of Ramadan, which acts as a variant of One Meal a Day. This has been part of the Muslim tradition since the 7th Century, and they still do it today. Do you hear of health problems as a result of this fasting from the Muslim population? I certainly don't.

And of course, then she quotes a study that supposedly shows that intermittent fasting is no better than a conventional diet. The study is described as follows:

Participants were randomized to 1 of 3 groups for 1 year: alternate-day fasting (25% of energy needs on fast days; 125% of energy needs on alternating “feast days”), calorie restriction (75% of energy needs every day), or a no-intervention control. The trial involved a 6-month weight-loss phase followed by a 6-month weight-maintenance phase.

Which is not how I've read most people intermittently fast. Also, the study has an interesting caveat that I was able to find thanks to a Reddit thread:

It’s worth noting that adherence was a problem in this study, especially with the alternate-day fasting group. This made it harder for the authors to draw good statistical conclusions and likely affected the outcome.

Which tells me, the "official" science is far from settled. That said, I've done my own "N of 1 Trial" of intermittent fasting, and the results speak for themselves:

  • Best weight in 10 years, and dropping
  • Lower average blood glucose readings and lower A1c

I'm not going to claim intermittent fasting is for everyone, but I'm pretty sure she had made up her mind long before she wrote the article, only doing minimal research to back up her claims that took me minimal research and my own personal experience to debunk.

See also this comment thread on Reddit

Best Weight in 10 Years

I've struggled with my weight pretty much my whole life. As I got older, this lead to hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes (of the second type), and the other things that result from these conditions being present and prolonged. I have been going to the doctor pretty regularly the last few years to try and get a handle on my diabetes, but had not been very successful at maintaining any sort of positive momentum.

Earlier this year, I was introduced to Dr. Jason Fung and The Obesity Code. I can basically summarize his theory as follows: most weight gain can be explained by having too much insulin in your system. Reduce the insulin, the weight will come off on it's own.

It just so happens that Type 2 Diabetes is primarily about insulin resistance. What Dr. Fung says is that the insulin resistance is caused by the continued presence of elevated levels of insulin in the body. You know, in much the same way an alcoholic requires more and more alcohol to get drunk. Because they keep drinking.

Most doctors, of course, don't know where the insulin resistance comes from, or can't make the logical connection that seems about as obvious as minimizing your carb intake when you have high blood sugar--the exact opposite of what my diabetic "education" told me. The different macronutrients impact blood sugar levels quite differently:

carb-protein-fat.jpg

The other thing I didn't learn from my doctor is that eating anything, even something low-carb or proven to be low glycemic index, will cause an insulin spike. Which, if you have an abundance of insulin in your system already, doesn't seem like a good idea. And, as far as I know, there are no drugs around that actually reduce insulin in the system.

Enter fasting. We would not have survived as a species if we truly required three meals a day plus snacks. Fasting has been practiced for centuries for medical or spiritual purposes. Jews fast on Yom Kippur, Muslims don't eat during the day during the entire month of Ramadan. Needless to say, if it were truly bad for us, we wouldn't be here having this debate.

The kind of fasting I'm talking about is more like what Muslims do on Ramadan, which is basically have one meal a day. Another term for this is intermittent fasting. I usually have dinner but occasionally I will have lunch or even breakfast. While Muslim's don't even drink water while fasting, I drink black coffee. I may also have a cup or two of broth mid-day (not two cups at once). And yes, I've backed off on the heavy cream, except for in my post-dinner tea, even though some say that a little bit of cream is ok.

I started intermittent fasting back in May, almost on accident. I had just came back from Italy, where I, of course, pigged out on carbs, and ate shit food on the airplane. The next day, I basically fasted until dinner because, well, my blood sugar was at 179 mg/dL (definitely elevated), and I wasn't hungry. I saw the impact on my blood sugar and I just kept on doing it.

I noticed another interesting side effect of fasting, which a friend of mine had told me about: it's a pretty good cure for jet lag. Considering I have a habit of jumping 8-10 timezones, this is a very handy feature. Basically, don't eat until you get to your destination, then eat at the normal dinner time. I did this coming back from Israel in June, and it was amazing!

The results so far have been pretty amazing, both for my blood glucose:

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And my weight:

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My doctor showed me my weight from a visit I did to the clinic back in 2007. I'm still about 10 pounds above that mark, but I'm a lot closer than I've been to that mark in the last 10 years. Things are definitely trending the right direction.

For sure, I am eating less food now than I was just a few months ago. In fact, I was kinda surprised when I realized just how much I'm not eating. I'm also surprised how easy it is to not eat. When it's not time to eat, I certainly notice food, but it doesn't bother me. As such, there's no willpower involved. A lot of my previous "cravings" don't exist anymore.

Further, when I do eat, I am a lot more picky about what I eat. This does mean making (overall) healthier choices, but I can also occasionally eat something off the diet. Even if I do make a mistake, I know what I need to do to get things going the right direction.

People ask me if this is sustainable. I certainly think so. In many ways, it's less restrictive because if I go somewhere that has the wrong kind of food, or even something I don't like, I can just decide not to eat. Which, as I'm finding out, is a good thing to do occasionally.

I am continuing to monitor my blood glucose. I'm doing it a little more frequently than my doctor prescribed to make sure my blood sugar doesn't get dangerously low, which is also bad. So far, that hasn't happened.

Workflows for 10Centuries and Pnut.io

As app.net is shutting down, a number of people are moving onto other social networks. Two members created their own, one being 10 Centuries, which also includes a blogging/podcasting platform, the other being Pnut.io, which has a very similar API to ADN. Both are currently invite only, and I'm happy to share with you if you're interested.

The problem with these smaller social networks is the integrations you might find in iOS or third party services simply don't exist. The good news is: both have documented APIs. Also, apps like Workflow exist that make it easy for non-programmers to actually leverage those APIs.

The end result? I've built a few workflows in the Workflow app that will allow me to utilize both services in whatever way I can get Workflow to allow me to use them. I'm sharing them in case anyone else finds them useful. I may also update them in the future.

10C Auth
10C Blog — used to post this very blog post!
10C Blurb
10C Image Upload and Blurb
10C and Pnut Blurb/Post
10C and Pnut Image Post using Imgur

Hopefully these are self-explanatory. Comments are included in the workflows. Reach out if you have questions.

First 10C Blog Post Written From Notes.app and Posted via Workflow

Ok, it's not really my first blog post written this way. I had to test it, after all. But it's the first semi-real one.

It's been a while since I've played with Workflow, though I use it all the time. It wouldn't be as easy to post my podcasts without it, as I use some automation that Workflow enables.

Apparently, one of the things it can do is send HTTP POST requests complete with user-specified headers. The upshot of this? It can make API calls and parse the output from those calls.

That means you can pretty much do anything you want with Workflow in terms of interacting with external services. Sure, you have to be able to craft the API calls accordingly, but modern REST APIs, provided they are adequately documented, are pretty easy to work with.

I suspect this new-found discovery will enable me to interact better with some of these "smaller" services that may not have ready-made clients for them.

At the very least, I can write and post blog posts from my iPhone on 10Centuries without waiting for a "proper" client to support the API.

Has The Internet Become The Tower of Babel?

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​In my last blog post, I wrote the following:

​It saddens me that in an age where we have more ways to connect with more people than ever before, people are choosing to isolate themselves.

When I was fleshing out that post, I had hit on an idea that I ultimately removed from that post, but want to explore a bit more here. Namely, that what seems to be happening today with the Internet reminds me of a story of The Tower of Babel, a story from The Torah, or the Old Testament of The Bible.

From Genesis 11:1-4

1: And the whole earth was of one language and of one speech.

2: And it came to pass, as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.

3: And they said one to another: 'Come, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly.' And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar.

4: And they said: 'Come, let us build us a city, and a tower, with its top in heaven, and let us make us a name; lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.'

The Internet allows us to communicate across vast distances with anyone and everyone, regardless of physical location, bringing us all to the same virtual location. While there are a lot of languages still spoken on the Internet, the predominant one used is English. It has taken a lot of metaphorical bricks and mortar, and several decades to build, but build it we have, and people have gathered on the Internet.

It's not just the network, of course, as the network we now refer to as the Internet has been around since the end of 1969. It's the fact that we now carry access to it in our pockets, thanks to our smartphones. Our incessant use of social media ensures we are constantly reminded of the other people out there, and interaction is merely a few taps away.

From Genesis 11:5-9

5: And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.

6: And the LORD said: 'Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is what they begin to do; and now nothing will be withholden from them, which they purpose to do.

7: Come, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.'

8: So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth; and they left off to build the city.

9: Therefore was the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth; and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.

The United States just experienced the most contentious Presidential election in the United States in many people's lifetimes, during which people shared countless political memes, articles, and statements. Many of the resulting threads were contentious and argumentative. Not only that, but our exposure to this was constant, between social media and the more traditional forms of media.

What are people doing as a result of all this? They are unfriending people, blocking them, muting them, refusing to discuss certain issues, or simply logging off the Internet. They're unable, or maybe unwilling to communicate with someone who voted differently than they did, posting messages much like this Daily Kos article on their social media of choice. You know, just in case anyone tries to engage them with a differing point of view.

It's not exactly the same as "the LORD" being responsible for confounding our language so "that they may not understand one another's speech," but it has much the same effect. It doesn't take a Rabbi or a Priest to see the parallels.

On Political Parties, Politicians, and Other Controversial Issues

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It saddens me that in an age where we have more ways to connect with more people than ever before, people are choosing to isolate themselves. Given all the vitriol and hatred expressed at those who appear to have a different point of view, I'm not surprised.

Many issues these days, particularly in the mainstream media, are portrayed as us versus them, you're either with us or against us. People are forced to choose one side or the other with little room for a nuanced position. Further, people who support Political Party A, Candidate X, and/or Issue N must also support these other positions for these reasons, even if that's not the case.

Once people have chosen a side, they often share material that promote their particular agenda. Someone posts they disagree with your view? They're one of "them," someone who doesn't support Issue N, and must obviously support Political Party B and Candidate Y. Worse, they make remarks denigrating and/or vilifying "them."

As someone with Aspergers, I am prone to thinking of things in black and white terms. In reality, I know things are rarely that way. My unique life experiences have shaped my views on a wide range of topics. They rarely fall into one of the two extremes, and I'm sure my views are different from yours for different reasons. I accept that I don't have all the answers. I accept that I may be wrong more often than not. I'm just trying to make sense of the mess the world has become.

I have yet to find someone I agree with 100% of the time. Therefore, I expect to disagree with everyone on something. If I challenge or question your views, it's to try and understand why it is you hold that particular view and help you understand why I hold mine. Maybe I'll learn something and I'll change my views. Maybe you'll learn something and change yours. Or, maybe, we'll agree to disagree.

Sadly, with increasing frequency, discussions involving controversial topics devolve into denigrating a bogeyman, directing vitriol and hatred at "them," i.e. those who do not support their issue or their candidate. You either support their issues, candidate, or party 100% without question or you're one of "them" with little room for discussion or nuance.

Political candidates and political parties often serve as convenient bogeyman in these discussions. While you can certainly influence who gets elected through voting, you have limited ability to directly influence what these politicians do in office, particularly as a group and especially at the national level. Likewise, they have limited ability to influence you, at least day-to-day.

Particular laws, Executive Orders, or policies can impact you, of course. And sure, if you're 100% against that law, Executive Order, or policy and maybe if you show up in person and protest in numbers (without damaging other people's property), a few politicians might change their minds. The odds of that happening, however, are not very high.

Given that I have a limited amount of energy, I choose to focus on the things I can directly influence as a result of direct actions I take to promote the things that matter to me. This means focusing more on the people I interact with, be it in person or online, where I can have a direct impact.

I recognize to advance a specific goal, I may have to support a specific organization, a specific candidate, or even a specific political party, i.e. one of "them." The support I provide is commensurate to the influence I have over that entity, which for national political parties and politicians, is practically zero. Even when I do provide support, it's specific to the issues I care about and it's not unconditional.

If you wonder how we got here, why there is less and less reasoned discourse in the world, if you wonder why there is less and less compassion and understanding in the world, if you wonder why there is more and more hatred and vitriol in the world, consider how your own actions have contributed to this reality. I'm by no means a saint in this regard, everyone can and must do better if we are to remain a civil society.

You may disagree with the things I choose to support and why. Likewise, I may disagree with the things you choose to support and why. Provided we can express our preferences and differences without vilifying and remain accountable for our actions, we can continue to be friends. If you feel or demonstrate otherwise, you have no place in my life.


Photo Credit: Eugenio Siri
Link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/redmondbarry/45534059/

A Tale of Two Glucometers

In addition to struggling with my weight, I have also been struggling with Type 2 diabetes the last couple years. I realize it's nothing compared to what I've seen Type 1's have to go through in terms of calculating how much insulin to take and when, but it's frustrating when I find out I'm not doing quite as well as I thought I was.

When I first got diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes two years ago, my A1C was 7.9. It had went down close to 6, but it's now back to a 7.1 based on a recent blood test, which I will be discussing with my doctor as I go in for an annual physical.

Among the many other stats you get on a blood test is your current blood glucose level. Since I had to go in fasting, I checked before I went in. My meter gave me a 104 mg/dL. The blood test said 143 mg/dL, which is a huge swing! Another data point: my 3 month average on my glucometer was 126 mg/dL. The "estimated" average from my A1C number, which is supposed to reflect a 2-3 month average? 157 mg/dL.

All of that suggests my meter might be at fault. Given that I was having some technical issues with the iHealth meter I acquired a couple years ago, namely that it would lose track of which vial of strips I was using and, very recently, completely lost sync with my phone, I decided it was time to try a different meter. And, re-reading that old post, it seems I should have expected inaccurate readings might crop up again.

Rather than get another "smart" meter, I opted for something a bit lower tech based on a recommendation from Larry, a fellow diabetic: The Contour Next by Ascensia (formerly Bayer). It lacks Bluetooth, but I can plug a Micro USB cable to pull the data off of it, if I so choose.

The other redeeming quality of this meter: the strips are even cheaper than the iHealth meter, which is why I chose that meter in the first place. I actually bought 200 test strips and the Contour Next meter for about the same price I pay for 200 test strips from iHealth. And the Contour Next strips are much more widely available. I should check and see what they cost if I go through my insurance.

Since I still had a couple iHealth strips left, I figured I'd do a side-by-side comparison of the two meters from the same drop of blood. From Thursday night:

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And from Friday morning:

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How can two meters get such wildly different results? It's hard to say, but it turns out, such inaccuracies are actually within the US FDA Guidelines for Self-Monitoring Blood Glucose (SMBG) Test Systems:

Blood glucose test results are used by people with diabetes to make critical decisions about their treatment; therefore, it is important that the results are accurate so that nutritional and drug dosing errors are better avoided. Your studies should demonstrate that your SMBG is sufficient for this purpose by showing that 95% of all SMBG results in this study are within +/- 15% of the comparator results across the entire claimed measuring range of the device and that 99% of all SMBG results are within +/- 20% of the comparator results across the entire claimed measuring range of the device

I suppose if my results were really high, a +/- of 20% wouldn't be that big of a deal. On the lower end of the scale, where I am, that +/- 20% can make the difference between being normal and not normal, either mildly high or possibly hypoglycemic (low blood sugar, potentially very bad).

Regardless, I think I will stick with the new meter. Ascensia, which was a business unit of Bayer before it was sold to Panasonic Healthcare, has probably been making glucometers a bit longer than the iHealth guys have been in existence.

Edited to add second test result on 6 Jan 2017

On Medium and Compensating Authors For The Value They Provide

Medium has always been a curious service for me. It provides a nice place to publish your stuff--for free--as well as find an interact with content others write. Each comment in itself becomes its own post, which can be quoted and responded to. For example, the basis for this post originated as a comment

It's not clear to me what Medium's business model is, since the average Joe doesn't pay for it. Clearly they're not happy with the direction things are going and have announced layoffs as part a plan Renewing Medium's Focus:

We believe people who write and share ideas should be rewarded on their ability to enlighten and inform, not simply their ability to attract a few seconds of attention. We believe there are millions of thinking people who want to deepen their understanding of the world and are dissatisfied with what they get from traditional news and their social feeds. We believe that a better system — one that serves people — is possible. In fact, it’s imperative.

So, we are shifting our resources and attention to defining a new model for writers and creators to be rewarded, based on the value they’re creating for people. And toward building a transformational product for curious humans who want to get smarter about the world every day.

As someone who has written a couple of books published through a traditional publisher and paid blog posts for blogs, I didn’t find the traditional methods of compensation all that profitable.

Given that plenty of people write for the sheer joy of getting their ideas out there and the fact relatively few people want to pay for anything on the Internet, I don’t see a way to build a closed system that directly compensates creators in any meaningful way.

Where the real compensation will come from, in my experience, is outside the system. For example, my work, published for all to see in the late 1990s, essentially turned into my resume that allowed me to make a pretty comfortable living in Information Security.

That’s just my take. I would love for the Medium folks to prove me wrong, but I am not optimistic. Meanwhile, I will continue to use Medium as a place to syndicate content, but I probably won't use it as a place to originate anything. At least until they can figure out their business model.

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