51 Comments

Congrats, Erik! I just hit that "upgrade" button. Your essays are part of what inspired me to start a Substack in the first place, and many of what I now consider best practices (cadence, aesthetic) I learned from you. I'm proud to support you.

There are two reasons in particular I'm excited you're taking this leap. First, academia melts people's brains, and we need more people thinking outside of it. The ceiling for even the greatest scientists is pretty low inside academia because they'll spend most of their time getting grants and figuring out how to get papers into journals. And many great scientists won't succeed because success requires near-Machiavellian levels of careerism and will to power. I want to see what smart people like you do when they're free of those structural constraints.

And second, I find something very wholesome about the mini-Medici patronage model of Substack. Most of us have very little power over anything beyond our immediate spheres, and most of the money we spend is basically extracted from us by force. I don't *want* to support my landlord, but I must, because the apartment next door is even worse. But supporting someone on Substack is different: this person does more of what I think is good because I choose to give them a couple bucks. In a just society, I think all commerce would feel more like that.

Anyway, I wish you the very best. I think you'll have massive success, and it will be a huge inspiration to other writers like me.

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Nov 15, 2022·edited Nov 15, 2022Liked by Erik Hoel

Congratulations Erik.

This will be the first Substack publication I buy a paid subscription for. Partly because it’s extremely aligned with my interests, but mostly because I think it’s *worth* paying for.

I’m excited about this genre too, and you have been a true inspiration to me. For what it’s worth I think you are doing an excellent job at creating valuable essays and sharing important, thought provoking ideas.

My question for you is: what do you think about the outlook on the science of consciousness? I see this as THE problem of our era, and a true tragedy if there are not sufficient incentives for the relatively small number of scientists actually interested in working on it.

(Also, just so you know: in real life, I am a data scientist / consultant. Feel free to hit me up about doing some data analysis for TIP -- I think that would be extremely fun ;))

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A compelling post. I have upgraded to paid. I strongly identify with the point that an academic's career path can be so determined by the particular politics they espouse. I'm a leftish-liberal but I'm increasingly distressed by the leftish-liberal book world where a fiction writer's expressed and active politics have become more important than the quality of their work on the page. I'm still going to publish books—there is no other job I want—but Substack has become an increasingly successful place for me to also publish. So, yes, I dig your words and I'll help support your solo journey.

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Thrilled to read/see this. A great day for decentralization in the distribution of good ideas.

It would be neat to at some point get a meta-commentary on what internal goals you'd had set for when to cross over the paid threshold and some high level pointers on what you'd have done differently.

Godspeed, I look forward to reading what you have in store next.

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Freaking love your newsletter. Easy upgrade!

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I’m in. I wish there was a way to do bench biology without needing 100K worth of equipment. But if there’s a way to do “bench philosophy”, then I’m all in

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Nov 15, 2022Liked by Erik Hoel

Congrats!!

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Congratulations Erik, I know the feeling. The mainstream media demands loyalty, likewise in the field of science, but 19 years ago I broke away from the system and became an independent news provider with my National News Network in Hungary.

Today, this is the way forward and Substack helps many excellent revolutionary spirits to do this, helping to fight against the fake state media's overreach for the truth.

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Nov 15, 2022·edited Nov 15, 2022Liked by Erik Hoel

Shivers reading the last ten lines.

Very exciting stuff Erik. Subscribtions will start pouring in soon I'm sure. Can't wait to submit something for the essay competition too.

Looking forward to the journey.

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Upgraded. Bon voyage!

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Nov 15, 2022Liked by Erik Hoel

Congratulations. This was an instant subscribe for me!

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A few months ago I was looking for an option to go paid on your Substack. I couldn't find it. I thought to myself "surely with writing this good, there is a paid option", so I chalked it up to my inability to properly navigate to the pay wall.

And now, I realize I was wrong all along. And that's great! I appreciate your Substack and writing, and I am happy to contribute. Cheers my friend.

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Nov 15, 2022Liked by Erik Hoel

Congratulations Erik! I upgraded to paid. Good luck, but I suspect you won’t need it. You have great stuff here already.

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Congratulations, Erik! Your success on this platform is well deserved (and frankly inspirational)

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Easiest purchase ever. Excited for more TIP!

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Good luck with the transition.

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