Astral Codex Ten has a paid subscription option. You pay $10 (or $2.50 if you can’t afford the regular price) per month, and get:

  • Extra articles (usually 1-2 per month)

  • A Hidden Open Thread per week

  • Access to the occasional Ask Me Anythings I do with subscribers

  • Early access to some draft posts

  • The warm glow of supporting the blog.

I feel awkward doing a subscription drive, because I already make a lot of money with this blog. But the graph of paid subscribers over time looks like this:

Even though I gained about 20,000 unpaid subscribers per year, on net I lost about 500 paid subscribers.

I asked Substack to remove their usual “please subscribe” popups and “teasers” of subscriber-only posts from ACX. I think this improves reader experience, but the consequence is that people don’t think about subscribing and I keep losing subscribers.

I make an embarrassingly large amount of money from this blog, but not so much that I can continue losing ~10% of subscribers every year indefinitely. So even though I’m still getting an embarrassingly large amount, I will be holding subscription drives yearly instead of waiting until I’m actually needy. Please don’t feel guilted into buying a subscription unless you really want to and can easily afford it - again, the amount of money I’m making blogging really is embarrassingly large.

Last year I wrote fourteen subscriber-only articles:

  1. Henrietta Lacks Seems Like A Nice Person, But Not A Scientific Hero - why do we celebrate someone with weird cell mutations so much more than real scientists?

  2. Bonus Wisdom Of Crowds Analysis - do people with multiple personalities do better at wisdom of crowds tasks than others?

  3. Book Review: What’s Our Problem - Tim Urban’s book on political polarization.

  4. Are We All Doxastic Voluntarists? - Can we voluntarily choose what we believe to be true? And if not, how can we judge people who believe the wrong thing (eg racism)?

  5. Book Review: Paper Belt On Fire - A Peter Thiel minion’s memoir of his war against the education system.

  6. But Seriously, Are Bloxors Greeblic? - Asking the important questions.

  7. The Psychology Of Fantasy - Why do so many fantasy books converge on the same tropes?

  8. Assistant Dictator Book Club: America Against America - Chinese #2 Wang Huning spent six months in America as a budding academic and decided to devote the rest of his life to destroying it.

  9. Book Review: Programming And Metaprogramming The Human Biocomputer John Lilly took giant doses of LSD in sensory deprivation tanks and reported back on the results (the results were: he went crazy).

  10. Wikipedia Wednesday - Five of the most interesting Wiki articles I read this year.

  11. Book Review: Beelzebub’s Tales To His Grandson - A cult leader presents his esoteric system through terrible space opera - no, not that cult leader presenting his esoteric system through terrible space opera!

  12. Seen In The Bay - Photos of unusual things that caught my interest.

  13. What Ever Happened To Neoreaction? - How come this was a big deal in 2013 and nobody thinks about it anymore?

  14. Book Review: Cyropaedia - Why is everyone terrible except Cyrus the Great?

To whet your appetite, I’ve un-paywalled the three of these in bold, at least for a while. Check them out. If you like them, consider subscribing.

A common folktale involves a deal with the Devil - some shmuck gets everything he ever wanted, and the only catch is that he must leave one copper coin outside on New Years’ every year. Of course, one year he’s so busy enjoying his infinite luxury that he forgets, so the Devil takes his soul. The modern version of this is “if you subscribe once, you can read everything in the archives, but if you forget to unsubscribe afterwards, you’ll pay money every month forever”. I like my chances with this, so go ahead and try it if you want - in addition to the fourteen posts above, you’ll get the twelve subscriber-only posts from last year and sixteen posts from 2021, for a total of 42 new ACX posts. And all you have to do is remember to unsubscribe later. Muahahaha.

You can subscribe here:


If you need the student / financial hardship discount, and for some reason it doesn’t show up at the button above, you can get it here.