Discover more from Bailiwick News
PO Box 621
Adding an offline communication option.
In response to the metastasizing surveillance corporate-state, I’ve been trying even harder in recent months to move more of my daily transactions offline: shop more at locally- and regionally-owned food businesses like Way Fruit Farm, Nature’s Pantry, Centre Markets, and Frankferd Farms, in-person whenever possible; pay more in-cash whenever possible, and so on.
Jim Quinn at Burning Platform recently put together a handy list under the heading ‘Irish Democracy,’ citing the work of James C. Scott in Two Cheers for Anarchism.
Our family had been moving in that direction for many years anyway, and intensified the effort over the past year.
I also believe that Substack’s days as a free speech platform are numbered. More and more of the independent writers thrown overboard from legacy media ships are washing up on Substack’s shores, and as more of those writers find interested readers willing to pay for monthly or annual subscriptions, and more independent platforms get launched to meet that demand, the mainstream outlets are becoming more angry and more interested in suppression of competitors through government-directed corporate censorship.
The interests of legacy media outlets, the federal government and Big Tech corporations are aligned, and they no doubt intend to stick close together.
The smaller players do not have independent server platforms, internet service providers or payment processors, and are therefore eminently cancellable.
I have paid online subscriptions to several writers whose work I value, including Matt Taibbi, Glenn Greenwald, Jordan Schachtel and Emily Hill on SubStack, and John Michael Greer through SubscribeStar, and wonder how I’ll be able to read their work when they’re kicked off the Web.
For my own writing, I’ve tried the subscription model a few times in recent years, first with check subscriptions by mail, later with PayPal, and last year briefly with Stripe, which is the payment processor Substack uses.
I very much appreciate the handful of readers who signed up each time to support and encourage me.
But each time after a few months, I cancelled the subscription plans from my end. The main reason is my lifelong companion, the Black Dog of depression.
I place an extremely high value on the trust relationship between writer and reader, and work hard to provide accurate factual information, and analytical opinions that reflect my authentic understanding of how the facts indicate that the world works.
I also strive for consistency: I would like to be able to reliably produce a certain volume of work for readers to read, to provide a fair exchange of my work for reader money.
But when the Black Dog demands more attention, at unpredictable intervals and intensities, I often can’t think or write at all. And when I fail to think and write, I fail to meet the reasonable expectations of subscribing readers, and the Black Dog smothers harder.
These three factors: my profound disgust with transactional life in a surveillance economy, incessantly monitored by Google, Amazon, Twitter, Facebook, Microsoft, Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, Stripe, Verizon, Comcast, AT&T, the National Security Agency, and the other Big Tech/Big Government/Big Media players; my expectation that Big Tech will remove independent publishing platforms like Substack sooner or later, but most likely sooner; and my personal inability to reliably and predictably produce written work worth reading when in depressive episodes, prompted me to rent a Post Office box in Centre Hall.
There’s a fourth reason too. Over the years, I’ve been told repeatedly that potential sources of information about local corruption, government overreach and Penn State’s corporate malfeasance might be interested in providing that information for public disclosure through Bailiwick News, but are too afraid to make contact online or by telephone, because they know that internet and telephone service networks are monitored and whistleblower protection in the United States is extremely weak.
All to say: I’m not leaving Substack until Substack gets kicked off the internet. I set up the P.O. box as an alternative means of communications and a backup plan for when Substack isn’t available anymore.
For anyone who would like to anonymously send documents, non-commital cash donations or your own mailing address to be added to a U.S. mail-based, backup distribution list in case Substack is disappeared by the powers that be, please use the following:
KW Investigations LLC
P.O. Box 621
Centre Hall PA 16828-0621