The Future of the Applied Complexity Newsletter

When I began the Applied Complexity Newsletter the purpose was straightforward: to develop a channel of communication with likeminded folks that was independent of Twitter, where I’ve grown a decent-sized following, to my amazement. So far it has done a great job of that, with a humbling number of people signing up for what has amounted to only a handful of posts (originally promised as the “monthly” newsletter, I’ve delivered something more like a “quarterly” letter).

Long story short: I’m going to write and publish more frequently here, and some of the posts will eventually fall behind a paywall.

No BS: the reason I will put some things behind a paywall is to justify spending more time writing, and to transition into writing in long-er form than twitter allows. Twitter has been an incredible gym for training to be concise; here I will aim to be just slightly less concise.

A paywall has other benefits that I look forward to enjoying, including creating a selectively-permeable boundary to participating in comments and discussions. One of the downsides of twitter is the way noise is so easily injected by those with little investment and often bad faith. I am hoping and expecting that the back-and-forth here will be very high-quality, especially on any paywalled posts.

The theme of selectively-permeable boundaries has been raised here before and will continue to be a recurring theme. Living patterns depend on these boundaries — they are not arbitrary, and they enable possibilities that are otherwise not tenable. In other words, it’s cozy on the inside!

What to expect:

  • 2-ish posts a week

  • At least one public post a month after paywall goes up ( will put up paywall in ~2 months to give folks a sense of what they’d be paying for).

  • High-entropy — no constraint on what topics I might post about. A non-exhaustive list:

    • fundamental complexity concepts, case-studies and examples of applied complexity, application of complexity lens to ongoing and future events (without chasing noise), book reviews/recommendations, excerpts and drafts from not-yet-published books (working on two right now), discussions on localism (fundamentals and politics), notes from the homestead with an eye towards sustainable, regenerative, and self-reliant living, more technical posts and topics perhaps even with some code snippets, etc. etc.

This last bullet is enabled by the self-publishing model that substack supports. Thank God for self-publishing. I can just say what I want with no filter. Maybe 2021 isn’t all bad:

The legacy publishers are dying. People are waking up to the face that what they produce is not genuine, but rather carefully crafted messaging in support of the agenda(s) of the owners. It is what it is — a model and paradigm that deserves to perish.

If you choose to follow me here you follow ME. For better or worse.

This is an all an experiment — let’s see how it goes.



All best,

Joe