Say something honest (how to)

writing advice for the modern intellectual

6 min readJun 12, 2021


The truth is, saying the right buzzwords and triggering the pattern recognition, either in the “algorithm” or in the vague notion of the average reader on whatever platform you’re on, to provoke a reaction, doesnt work. You can tick off all the boxes all day and it wont make the magic happen. There are two internets. There are two kinds of “writing”, two universes of writing. This was also the case before the internet. “The internet”, that is, social media post 2007, merely formalised it.

One universe is the one of copy. “copywriting”. Words and words and words, than no one ever actually reads. This is the universe you try to succeed in when you try to solve it like a logic puzzle, of ticking the right boxes and using the right buzzwords. it’s not that it doesn’t, technically speaking, work — it’s that even though it does, no one will ever read it. Except robots. You gotta ask yourself, do you really want the admiration of robots.

The other universe is that of humanity. Of actual people who breathe and eat and shit and cry and think and speak. And read.

Once you see this distinction, it can’t be unseen. Most things today are written for robots, not for humans. A lot of things you used to enjoy. Tv shows, tv “tropes”, tv writing — this is all for robots. Copy. Categorically. There is not a single exception.

Growing older today, you have two options in matters of taste: nostalgia or bitterness. Sour grapes. “back in my day”ism. “cope”. Either you become a reddit pornbrained beardbabyman who eats candy and makes a soyface, or you become a LARPer poser who pretends to read books and is full of yourself and larping as an intellectual to cope with the fact that you’re a failson.

The previous paragraph was written in robot. Here is the same paragraph in human:

it’s not the case that you grew out of star wars, or that star wars was “turned bad”, or that someone “ruined” star wars. What happened was that you discovered what “star wars” always-already, was. And the bitterness in that experience is not one of petty consumer dissatisfaction that your baby toys aren’t fun any more, it’s bitter because there is an implication baked in there that you were wrong about what you thought media was. You were wrong about what you thought art was, and what it was capable of. The bitterness is that of accepting a personal failure, in this…