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Big Milestone Is Here! And a Message From Your [Replicant] Author
Well, folks, firstly before we get to the news coverage which will hopefully come later in the day, I’d like to announce that we’ve reached another huge milestone. It seems like only yesterday that we hit the 5k total subscribers milestone which I celebrated here:
In that post I ‘outed’ myself as having been the Sitrep writer known as ‘Nightvision’ on the Saker blog last year. I mention that only to inform any new subscribers, but also to use it for a subsequent point I intend to make.
But first, the big announcement is that as of yesterday we’ve now hit the big 10k milestone:
Some highlights include the previously posted fact that at one point this channel was the #4 top trending in all of Substack:
It’s not on the list currently, though it fluctuates so maybe it’ll return in the future. And my reports continue to be spotlighted by many respected analysts in the field such as Mercouris and Larry Johnson.
But this brings me to the next point. Which is that due to the blog’s meteoric rise there’ve been a lot of questions recently cropping up about how I’m able to sustain such a ‘vast output’. Both the aforementioned Mercouris and Johnson have even floated the idea that this channel may be a collective, cooperative, etc. These suggestions were not ill-intentioned, but rather an understandable reaction to the perceived prolific output level I sustain.
In fact, some have even suggested I might be an AI, as according to one commenter who ran excerpts of my article through ChatGPT, the AI chatbot appeared to ‘confirm’ that my writing “was produced by ChatGPT”. I don’t quite know whether to be flattered or offended that ChatGPT thinks so, but he/she/it is clearly offbase—though I must confess being partial to the advantages enjoyed by Replicants:
Though the short expiration date does prove problematic.
But that is all to say, believe it or not: I’m not a collective, cooperative, an AI, nor do I utilize AI chatbots for my articles. I don’t think it’s even possible to do so because the current crop of AI are so utterly biased, that they’d likely refuse to even write copy with a pro-Russian slant. Just yesterday I recounted how I ran one of my recent articles through Google’s new Bard AI just to see how it would summarize it, and it deceptively stated the theme of my article revolved around Ukraine winning the war and that Ukraine should be supplied with more munitions from the West.
I invite anyone to try to write an article akin to mine with an AI. I suspect it’s not possible and would actually take more time to edit and finetune the gibberish than it would to write the whole thing yourself.
Also, though I’m not a Russian MOD mole and other such recently suggested notions, I will say that I’ve run in certain circles which allowed me an occasional peek behind the curtain of how things work. But generally, this is rarely specific information but rather more a below-the-surface understanding of how certain state/military apparatuses naturally function, their decision-making inclinations, etc., which allows me to more accurately parse out events that would otherwise be deemed ambiguous or inconclusive by the public at large. In short, it’s an understanding which informs my perspective to more accurately reflect things we can’t “see” beneath the surface, but can make educated assessments about that may at least be closer to the truth.
So, if I’m not an AI, collective, etc., what’s the secret? I hate to let the hopefuls down, but it simply comes down to a lot of work and man hours. Not to tout myself, but I follow a lot of other writers on Substack and once in a while see some of the top ones comment on their work ethic, which gives me a chance to compare. For instance, Max Read whom I know many of you subscribe to, has over a 1000 paid subscribers and recently commented how he writes 4000 words of copy per week, which apparently in the journalistic field is considered a lot. I wouldn’t know, as I was never an ‘official’ journalist in that capacity, but I pumped out nearly 25,000 words in just the two days of the recent reader’s mailbag series. Both Part 1 and 2 were somewhere in the ~12k words range. And normally I probably do anywhere between 15-30k words a week. If I was an AI or a collective of people, I likely wouldn’t have been forced to break the mailbag in two parts for the first time; I tried to finish it on the first day but simply couldn’t manage.
I saw another top writer state they take upwards of four hours to write their pieces. Well, I confess some of mine take 8-12 hours or even more. The historical, researched ones can take several days. Some have brought up the fact that I have two publications, and it would be impossible for one person to write both. But the truth is, if you’ve noticed, my Dark Futura publication started off doing multiple articles per week, and quickly took a dip as I, being overwhelmed, simply found it impossible to keep up. It’s now down to a measly one per week, though I still hope to bring it back up to at least two in the future—it’s just that the recent period in the SMO has been so eventful that I was forced to prioritize this publication here.
The only ‘secret sauce’ to this is having good organizational skills by which you create a system to have a lot of information at hand, organized in a way that allows you to retrieve it quickly and efficiently. Ultimately, though it comes from years of experience of following events and knowing where to go for each piece of news; i.e. which accounts are trustworthy, which channels will have the most important morsels; basically: shortcuts, an optimization of workflow. It means doing this professionally rather than as a hobbyist or simple dilettante dabbling at articles here and there when whim or fancy strikes. I take the work seriously and have created my own personally optimized pipelines and workflows over the course of years.
Also, for anyone that truly reads my work carefully, and particularly has read it under ‘Nightvision’ on the Saker blog, you’ll note a few things:
My writing style has not changed, it can be compared to Nightvision’s posts and be seen there’s no ‘collective’ or AIs intervening
For those who have a particular sensitivity to language, you’ll note that I have many (sometimes annoying) verbal and literary peccadillos which crop up and which I often fail to root out, though not for lack of trying. These include a lot of prepositional phrases I can’t seem to get rid of, like starting every paragraph with: “With that said…….” Why, oh why, can’t I root these out? Surely, if I was multiple people or had AI assistance I wouldn’t have these bugbears riding my back.
The truth is, the longer a piece is, the more of these will slip in because to make up for the huge amounts of time it takes to write it, I have to work faster, which means the consistency slips. You know what they say, “something’s gotta give”. The more time I have, the more polished a piece will generally be. But sometimes, if the information is critical, I just want to get it out there, which results in the piece not getting as much polish as I’d like.
See: attentive readers can even spot one of my famous idiosyncrasies above: I only just spotted it now, re-reading the last paragraph, but I’m going to leave it in as an example. I often unconsciously revert to some variation of: ‘The truth is’, ‘In truth’, ‘The fact is’, ‘The fact of the matter is’, etc. These are annoying bits of fluff language I try to shake, which a good editor would likely zap on account of it bloating the prose. It’s a crutch I fall on when I’m working too fast, and you’ll see many examples dotting my work with their trademark.
With that out of the way:
Last but not least, the other big announcement is that on the eve of this big 10k milestone, I’ve finally decided to take the big plunge towards doing this 100% full time. Particularly because there has been such a big boost in readership recently, I feel confident that now is the time, and take it as a sign that I can survive after cutting the cord with ‘The Man’. But that also means I’m going to make one final appeal for anyone who might be on the fence, or considering becoming a member of The Garden, to please do so, as it’ll give me that last bit of assurance for a clear landing: as cutting off one’s other means of employment is always an anxiety-inducing step fraught with unknowns.
On the 5K milestone I said that I was now finally thinking about doing it, and here at the 10K one, I can confidently take that plunge, but graciously ask for that last bit of reassurance from anyone who might’ve been thinking of committing to a monthly/yearly paid Pledge but hasn’t done so yet. It’ll simply give me more peace of mind in taking that big, life-changing step.
So to those, and all previous subscribers, I once again give a big hearty, gracious Thank You for your support, which means a lot and allows me to continue doing this—what I hope to be—valuable work.
Here’s to 10k, now onto the next milestone!
Onward and upward!
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