When you’re first starting out in the blog world, you will likely feel tempted to obsessively insert links to related articles, YouTube videos and other Internet pages in your posts. The reasons are threefold, and on the surface they all look like good ones:
- Linking is easy and ubiquitous. Back in the bad old 56k dialup days, when writing web pages required a minimum of programming knowledge, inserting hyperlinks added to the amount of work you had to do. Plus, since there was less information on the Internet period, there wasn’t that much to link to anyway. Nowadays, with everyone and their grandmother hooked up to the Web and blogging platforms like WordPress taking the busywork out of writing, linking to other peoples’ work is second nature.
- Linking lets you buttress your arguments. We are all standing on the shoulders of giants, the countless other thinkers and philosophers whose writings have influenced our own. Citing the work of those who came before you adds heft and credibility to your own.
- Linking drives traffic to and from your site. Adding a link to someone else’s blog is one of the easiest ways to get them to notice you; some of them will even link you back as a gesture of appreciation. Even if they don’t, the pingback system on WordPress blogs lets you get traffic from just the link itself, as curious readers check out the comments.
Unfortunately, there is a downside to excessive linking: it ruins your readers’ ability to enjoy your own writing.
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One of the joys of reading and learning about the past is discovering that many of the problems we’re dealing with today have been around for longer than we thought, and learning how our forerunners dealt with them. Enter Ernest Mann, a writer who is completely unknown to the manosphere (and the world at large), but deserves to be more widely read. Mann saw the problems of expanding government, environmental degradation and wage slavery and proposed the Priceless Economic System as a way of ending them. The PES was simple; eliminate currency and have everyone work for free, only at jobs they enjoyed doing, and live more simply, without television, pop music or the other myriad shiny things the elite use to keep us poor, dumb and content.
Unlike the leftists though, Mann didn’t call for wealth redistribution from the safety of his Gulfstream Five; he lived by example.
In 1969, at the age of 42, Ernest Mann decided he’d had enough of the rat race and checked out. He sold most of his worldly possessions and spent the rest of his life advocating for the PES, living in unfinished basements and rustic wood cabins in his native Minnesota. To push his radical ideas, Mann created the Little Free Press newsletter, which he intermittently published until his grandson murdered him in 1996. Nearly two decades later, my friend and Mann pen pal Trevor Blake has brought his work back into print with I Was Robot, a compilation of the best of the Little Free Press.
If you have any interest in minimalism and breaking free of the corporate consumerist hamster wheel, you need to pick this one up.
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