Email Times Best Seller List

Today, there are two billion websites competing for our Human Attention on the Internet. Back in 1993, there were only 623 websites in the entire world. That was roughly 4 years after Tim Berners-Lee 🤩 invented the World Wide Web protocol.

But that wasn’t the start of the Internet.

The URL Internet was built on the backbone of the Voice Internet. The Voice Internet (telephone network) was invented by Alexander Graham Bell 🤩 who strung the first permanent outdoor wires in 1877.

But that wasn’t the start of the Internet.

Before humans could modulate sounds over copper wires, we could manually start and stop the connection between endpoints. The Telegraph Internet sent its first message in 1844 and by 1866 humans were laying cables across the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean from wooden ships.

But that wasn’t the start of the Internet.

The Semaphore Internet began in the 1790’s as a series of hilltop stations with powerful telescopes and large, movable signs. They performed like smoke signals with a little encryption, but it only worked line-of-sight.

But that wasn’t the start of the Internet.

In 1737, Benjamin Franklin opened the first post office in America. At the time, it took more than a month for a letter to travel from Philadelphia to New York on the Postal Internet. Franklin invested heavily in road cutting and overnight riders to reduce that delivery time to 24 hours. Benjamin Franklin 🤩 may have moved more information around the world than anyone ever before him. Alexis de Tocqueville said our Postal Internet was “the only entity capable of circulating the information essential to sustain America’s bold experiment with democracy.” 🇺🇸

But that wasn’t the start of the Internet.

Since before English was invented, before Latin was invented, even before Cuneiform tablets, we’ve had the Aural Internet. This is literally word-of-mouth traveling between two people—the most important messages pass from person to person to person, slowly oozing their way across vast distances.

The start of the Internet was between the first two humans who learned to communicate.

The Internet has been here as long as we have been here. The Internet will be here as long as we will be here. Like one beta-GPT-3 said to me, “Mankind in both its slumbering and awakened state is an enormous machine.”


@midjourneybot: /imagine: all the humans around the world tethered to the Internet

In this last story of Chapter 5 - Economics, I want to explain why I published my book in an unusual way. Instead of selling these stories through a book publisher on Amazon, I released them on a private social network that’s owned by a nonprofit organization called the “Fundamental Frequency Foundation”. There are several reasons for this:

Reason #1 - Transparency

Several years ago, I cohosted a party during South-by-Southwest with tech expert, Azeem Azhar, for readers of the

. After a fun party with lots of smart people, a few of us went out for dinner on a nice spring night. I told them all about the science experiments on myself, the educational experiments on my kids, and how we lived an entire year with only one carry-on suitcase each. At the end of the evening, Azeem asked me if I planned on writing up the results of all my research and I said no—it was just for my own curiosity.

Then he asked, “How much money do you think you’ve invested in all that research?” I told him I had already invested well over $500k dollars. Then he said, “Stuart, think about all the other scientists out there who will never have access to your kind of personal research budget. Don’t you think it would be irresponsible of you to not tell the world what you learned?” Ugh. I gave Azeem all kinds of excuses, but I knew right away that I would have to lock myself in a room one day to write this book. 🙄

I could have published it on Amazon for $15, but I don’t want any costs to limit access to my research. I am a scientist and I care about poor people, so I want this book to always be freely available to anyone willing to learn.

Reason #2 - Amazon Doesn’t Pay Anyway

When you buy a book on Amazon for $15, Jeff Bezos and the book publisher will only send the author about $2.50. Look at J.K. Rowling—she should actually be much richer than she is. Rowling has sold more than 500 million Harry Potter books worldwide, but she’s still not even a billionaire. That’s messed up. How could she not make more than $2 per book?

So if you bought this book on Amazon, they would keep 83.4% of the money. That’s a huge tax. Instead, I would like you to donate $15 to my nonprofit foundation. Your support ensures this content is always freely available and allows us to invest in new ways to communicate this message in the future. If these stories help you in any way, pay it forward.

Venmo in America (pay in 3 seconds):

Stripe (easiest credit cards in EU and USA):

PayPal from 200 countries:

If you invested $15 in this foundation, thank you, it’s now “our” foundation. We will use your money to create technologies that empower the underpowered.

Reason #3 - Our Nonprofit Owns My Copyrights

In the age of artificial intelligence, this may be more important than ever. By retaining copyright, our foundation will be the only organization licensed to train generative-ai on this content. Copyrights may become irrelevant in the age of generative-ai, which means anyone on the Internet could train an AI to be me by web scraping So our foundation also has access to my private documents as well, which creates a competitive advantage in the “knowledge marketplace”.

Our foundation will use generative-ai to transform our content into thousands of short video clips for distribution on YouTube, TikTok, Weibo, and Instagram. Each of these digital assets will “fish” for new audience—indefinitely. We will use generative-ai to transform our content into thousands of automated blogposts on Reddit, 𝕏, Threads, LinkedIn, Facebook, Quora, and whatever social media people are consuming 1000 years from now. As generative-ai advances, we will transform our content into Hollywood movies, video games, and kid’s television shows in the constant search for new audience. These digital assets are our weapons in The War for Human Attention.

When I die, I’m going to leave all my assets and intellectual property to our foundation so that it can keep spreading this message long after I’m dead. ✌️

Reason #4 - High Informational Liquidity

Publishing this book on a private social network gives our content an “informational liquidity” that physical books, Audible books, and Kindle books just can’t match.

Book publishers are only interested in those formats because they can tightly control distribution to ensure that each reader pays for the product. The tradeoff is that those formats make it incredibly difficult to share. Audible and Kindle can only be shared with other members of our family plans, and physical books can only be shared with one other person on Earth at a time. By distributing these stories on Substack, even people who can’t afford to buy the book can still afford to share it. We would rather make less money and help more people.

“High informational liquidity” is also the reason I published this book as a series of essays that can be read in any order. Many people don’t have time to read an entire book, so the 20-min essays enable our content to reach a much wider total audience.

Within each essay, there are plenty of original quotes and sound bites that are much easier to consume, followed by share buttons like this:


Those sound bites are intended to either:

  1. make you laugh out loud 😆

  2. empower you with new information that’s critical for your future 🙏

  3. offend you so badly that you “clutch your pearls” 🤬

Regardless of how you respond to each sound bite, they all are designed to create the feeling of surprise. That’s because these specific combinations of emotions create the most virality on the Internet. Check out this research by Fractl to learn more about the emotions that make us tap our share buttons the most:

Ideally, we get as many of those sound bites as possible shared on 𝕏 (formerly known as Twitter). Almost all news starts on 𝕏 these days because they have the lowest “status update friction” in social media. The low character limit allows news to unfold much faster on there than anywhere else. Here are a few recent stats that demonstrate just how important 𝕏 is to the news industry:

  • More than 80% of young journalists rely on Twitter for their job.

  • 94% of people on Twitter express interest in current events

  • 85% of people on Twitter watch, read, or listen to the news at least once a day

  • 83% of people on Twitter Tweet about news

  • 3 in 4 people who come to Twitter for news do so at least once a day

  • 75% of people who come to Twitter for news follow news about politics and current events on Twitter

  • In the first 6.5 months of 2022, there were 4.6B Tweets about news in the US (#1) and 10.4B Tweets about news globally (#2)

So if you have followers on 𝕏, please help me start as many intellectual debates as you can. Some of those debates will turn into “hot takes” and reviews on microblogs. Some of those microblogs will get expanded into features on major publications. Some of those major publications will acquire millions of eyeballs that we could never afford to acquire.

It doesn’t matter if people on 𝕏 think I’m crazy-smart or crazy-crazy, we just need them arguing about it with the hashtag 🤣

Reason #5 - The Medium Is the Message

Not having a book publisher creates the biggest challenge for us. If we want to distribute enough copies of this book to qualify as a “New York Times Best Seller” without the help of The New York Times, Amazon, or a book publisher—then we need your help.

You are our book publisher.


As you read these stories, share them with as many people as you can, preferably by text message or email.

Remember, the only social media that matters is 𝕏. If you share one of these stories on your Facebook, only 4.5% of your total audience will even see your post. That’s the average organic reach on Facebook. With normal click through rates, only about 2% of your 4.5% will investigate further—so 0.09% of your Facebook friends will attempt to read that story.

Conversely, when you share a story to your friends by email, almost all those links get opened. Remember how the medium is the message? Well, the likelihood that any person will start reading any of these stories is most strongly influenced by their relationship with the person who shared them. An email between friends is the medium, but it’s also the message—those people know you care about them.

On that note—let's be pen pals. To chat with me, simply reply to any of the emails I send you each month.

The absolute best way to share is by text message. Even in business marketing, links in SMS get opened 20-35% of the time while links in email get opened 2-10% of the time.

Reason #6 - Knowing Our Audience

Amazon computers know everything about the people who buy books on their platform, but they don't share that information with the authors. For example, author Robert Greene has a best seller on Amazon right now called “The 48 Laws of Power”. Amazon knows the email addresses of everyone who bought that book. On Kindle and Audible, Amazon knows how fast each person read that book or where they got stuck. They even know if each reader shared that book with another person. All that information is incredibly valuable to Robert Greene, but Amazon is never going to share that with him.

By publishing these stories on our own private social network, we get to see:

  • which stories are read most often

  • which stories are shared most often

  • which videos are watched most often

  • which stories generate the most donations

  • which stories generate the most new subscribers

We convert a small percentage of our readers into monthly subscribers who we can talk to for free. So when we publish new books and stories in the future, we already have a core audience of readers we can learn from.

Reason #7 - Segmenting Our Audience

One of the biggest benefits of the higher “information liquidity” is that it allows us to segment our audience in a way books never will.

Segmenting each audience is a major problem in attention economics, even on social media. For example, Kim Kardashian has 350M followers on Instagram. I bet she pulls more human attention from all her platforms each week than CNN. Some of her Instagram followers are there because of her reality show, some are there for her fashion, and some are there because she’s a smoking hot mom. The problem for Kim is that all those people are interested in a different message from her, but she has to say the same thing to everybody. Instagram chooses the specific reach into 9% of her audience for every post.

To combat this problem, I use @mentions all throughout my stories. I think of them like “Cubist Literature”, where there is more than one perspective for each story. @mentions are the easiest way for me to talk “inside baseball” to a tiny group of experts. This trick will work in a physical book, but in the future, the artificial intelligence that runs will translate my original content into a better, shorter story for each reader based on everything it knows about their age, education level, personality, mood, and past interactions. That’s why we serve our own webpages—our computers learn which stories you read, which ones you share, and which videos you watch.

The future of audience segmentation is individualization and you can only deliver that through the web.


Hopefully you will never read this sentence because the artificial intelligence we train should know you better than I know you and it will decide that this sentence is intentionally superfluous. I love this joke.

Reason #8 - Hearing Our audience

Authors who distribute their content in physical books, Kindle, and Audible don’t have an integrated forum for their readers to discuss their reactions. All throughout our stories we invite readers to comment and ask questions while they read. That’s what makes this a social network. Our foundation owns all the content generated from these reader interactions, so that’s what makes it a private social network.

This feedback is incredibly important because it helps us improve the most boring parts of our stories for future readers. We don’t have first editions and second editions of our books—we update them continuously from the feedback of our audience. 🙌

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Reason #9 - Movies and GIFs

Physical books, Kindles, and Audible books can’t include them in the stories.

@influencers: If human attention is the world’s most valuable commodity, then you guys are the future of our economy. If you have more than 1 million followers on your podcast, radio show, tv show, Facebook, Weibo, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok, Twitch, or YouTube channel…then I want to be a guest on your show.

“Influencer” to me could mean politicians, athletes, chefs, artists, scientists, and I really don’t care as long as you have a million followers. I don’t care if you live in Hollywood, Bollywood, Dollywood, or live stream from your parents’ basement like the movie, “Pump Up the Volume” 🤘. Let’s share some stories.

@bestsellingbookpublishers: I have a few more books that I want to write for profit. This book only contains the intellectual property I’m willing to give the world for free.

I have been publishing 400-word essays on Instagram for my real life friends for years. I’ve covered everything from guns and racism to parenting and the Internet. I want to turn the best essays into several thousand-word pieces for an anthology. I’m thinking way less science and religion…and something more like “Arguably” by Christopher Hitchens. I also have enough hilarious stories of mishaps and adventures from the ends of the Earth to write a few David Sedaris books. If you want to publish any of those books, email me here:

@bookagents: If you represent some of the best authors in the world and you’re willing to represent me, I want an agent who can get me more than $2.50 per book out of the publishers. 😁

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@christians: We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit ministry dedicated to spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ to academics, scholars, and scientists because they have tremendous influence on everyone’s world view. Their opinions directly affect our children’s education, the media, national policy, and budgets for future scientific research. Please consider investing some of your tithe this year into our mission of eradicating the false doctrine of Darwinian Evolution.


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