March 2021

The making money on the internet delusion

Did you ever think that you can easily make money on the internet? Well think again or let me tell you here. First I did not really know how to call it, since I planned to do an article on a specific kind of platform that supports content creators like Patreon or platforms that allow monetization like Youtube, but then I figured it is more like the whole of the internet, since the alternatives to those mainstream monetization services are usually even worse, that is why I chose to call it "The making money on the internet delusion", since I think it is the totality of the internet that has this issue, at least for content creators.

What started this article is all those people asking me why I don't make money or don't even try to make money, since they think that there are all those successful business people making so much money on the internet. It is really hard for me to explain to those people that it is all a delusion for the most part and that there is no money to be made on the internet, at least no significant amounts and at least not for the majority of people. Sure people are presented with those big social media stars or whatever, but they are not show the dark side and the dark side is, that those "successful" people are only the 1% or maybe 2% and I put successful in quotes since even if you manage to get into those top one or two percent, you are still not one of the super rich and famous, the super rich and famous are more like the zero point something percent.

People usually reply then with things like "Oh you just have to try harder" or "You are doing it wrong" or "You are just not good enough", but that is also completely delusional. If you look at the statistics it is somewhere between 95-100% of content creators that make less than minimum wage, depending on the platform and type of content they produce and 95% is already very optimistic, in reality it is more like 98-99% of people that fail and make less than minimum wage. So according to the worldview of normie sheeples 98% of artists are not good enough to be allowed to make minimum wage, or in other words, 98% of artists should not be allowed to survive, since you cannot really make less than the minimum you need to survive in this system at least not much less and maintain a civilized life at the same time.

That is why I call it a delusion, the statistics already prove it, without having to go into detail of why things are like they are. It would simply be insane to attempt to make a living as an artist on the internet or even artist in general just looking at the statistics. However that does not stop many people from attempting to do so and that is basically the definition of insanity, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result or attempting something that is proven to not work and expecting it to work. It is similar to gambling, the maths prove that statistically you will lose definitively in the long run, but there is a slight chance that you win, it is similar with being an artist or content creator, statistically it is proven that you will fail almost all the time, but there is a slight chance you will make it.

My theory is that there is something basically wrong with our society or how is it possible that we basically have a two class society that is upside down. What do I mean with that? Well you have two classes of people in our society, workers and artists. Workers do basic maintenance tasks that keep our society going, those tasks usually require little intelligence and skill, sometimes also low effort. Artists are the culture creators that don't do maintenance, but create things that drive our society forward and improve the quality of life. Before we get into a debate here that artists have no purpose in society, let me tell you, what kind of life would you have, if there were no artists in society? All you could do in such a society without culture is like eat, work, sleep, reproduce and repeat. Without artists there would be no shows on television, no music you could listen to, no paintings you could look at, no games you could play and so on.

What is the problem now? Well the problem is, that artists basically should have a higher value in society, but they are treated worse than even the worst of workers, at least somewhere around 98% of artists. You really have to imagine how ridiculous this is, imagine you are like the top 2% of content creators on the internet in the world and manage to break the barrier of making more than minimum wage, then you go around the block to your local McBurger stand or whatever low job there is and brag about how much money you make and that worker will tell you that he as well makes that much money or even more. Then if you are capable of even a tiny amount of self reflection you should ask yourself, if it was really worth the struggle, to become the best of the best in the world, just to be equal with the lowest of the low in regular human society.

The low class worker is even superior in many ways to a content creator that has managed to survive, the low class worker can just go to his work and do his work without having to think much or use brainpower to constantly invent new ways to make money and he does not have to fear that his career will suddenly be over, he can just go to another McBurger store and work there, while the internet content creator constantly has to fear about his position as the competition is harsh and the platform he probably is on can ban him any time without reason destroying his whole business at once.

You have to think about it, the regular worker has a close to 100% chance that he will get paid at least minimum wage, while the internet content creator has a close to 100% chance that he will not get paid minimum wage. It is almost the total opposite. If that sounds already unfair, we have not gotten to the probably worst part yet and that is the publicity. If the regular worker fails at his job and gets fired, he usually can get a new job as there are countless of similar jobs, while the job of each content creator is kind of unique and has to be invented first and the regular worker only may lose some of his reputation in a small circle of his friends and family, but only if he really fails and cannot get a new job or gets a bad one or whatever, while the internet content creator will lose his reputation in front of the entire world, for everyone to see, saved digitally for everyone to "enjoy" to eternity. Sure there is the chance to become famous worldwide, but the trend clearly goes to becoming infamous, even the most famous and successful people are not save from that, they just need to say one wrong word or do one wrong thing and their fame will vanish at an instant.

If one is attempting to become a creator on the internet and the fact of his almost certain financial ruin is not turning him off, then the fact of facing the almost certain disgrace in front of the whole world saved for eternity should turn him off. Well it should turn people of if they are even halfway sane in their brain, but most people of course are not and they continue to try to do so. The question now is, why did I chose to become a content creator even though that I'm considering myself sane, well the thing is, I did not do it for the money, because it is my passion, because that is the main advantage of becoming an artist or content/culture creator, it gives you self fulfillment, a thing the worker usually does not get, since he usually does a thing he hates just to make money, because he needs the money, sure there may be exceptions, but in general it is true. The other advantage the artist has over the worker is, that he creates long term value while the worker is paid and then his work will no longer generate value for him, while the artists value may grow over time. Sadly for many famous artist it took so long for their value to grow, that they only became famous long after their death, but hey if you are already gambling with your life, you might as well gamble on your afterlife.

Well I think it should have become clear now why that making money on the internet thing is a delusion, luckily or I should better say sadly, there is an anomaly, since even though artist usually earn less than the lowest of regular workers in society, that a small number of artists from the already small number of artists who are able to survive suddenly become so popular that they make so much money, that they don't know what to do with all the money. Society itself justifies this with saying that those artists are so exceptionally good, that they earn their gorillions of money or whatever they make, but looking at it rationally there is almost no way to justify why one artists gets almost nothing, while another artists gets almost everything, even though they are kind of similar. Sure one might be better, but not a million times better, more like 20% better or maybe even 50% better, but that in no way justifies why one makes a million times more money, since there is no way in the physical universe to be a million times better than another human to justify that amount of earning that much more.

I also sometimes get very jealous when I see other content creators making a lot of money, doing basically what I do and not much better and many times even much much worse, yet they still make millions sometimes. Now I see that relation for what it is, it is a relation of duper and duped that follow the duper, it is kind of a symbiosis. Previously I claimed there is no way to be like a million times better than another human to justify earning a million times or whatever more in money, well I now have to admit that there is a way and that way is in fantasy and ironically this is also what being an artist is about. Those super famous people manage to create the illusion in people that they are somehow better than everyone else to deserve all their fame and money, the whole money thing in society is just a game of illusion, there is hardly any relation to reality. You have to consider the money system was invented to manage limited physical goods, that is where it is good at, but on the internet we are dealing with unlimited imaginary goods and that is where money is really bad at and I think this is one of the root causes why monetization on the internet is so flawed.

Previously I claimed that the artist is higher than the average worker, well that is true and false at the same time, depending on the individual case. According to the vedic scriptures artists are of the lowest caste, since they are just to entertain the workers so they can keep up their work to produce what society needs. So they are basically clowns or gladiators at the mercy of the working population who produce real work, they are rewarded when they are entertaining and punished if not, but the people who hold the real value maintain the power, that probably also explains why artists are paid so bad, because they have to basically beg those for money who produce the real value. Of course sometimes those workers who produce and have real value, don't know about their power and give it all to some idiot clown in the internet thinking he somehow creates something that is valuable, while in reality he is just a clown being too stupid to do productive work.

However what I see as an artist is someone who creates culture and spiritual work that enlightens humanity, which is a whole different thing and those artists usually do not get paid or earn much, since there is nobody who can even understand their value. If you want to make money on the other hand, you have to prostitute yourself to the lower class, be their bitch and do what they want, since they hold the power (the money) to make you dance. A true artist however does what he wants and makes the others dance, in case of a musician quite literally, since only a true artist can create anything of value, while the regular worker can just reproduce, but never create and even if, he is usually not allowed so on his job, he has to do as instructed.

So you have to decide as a creator, if you want to prefer to make money and be everyones bitch or follow your passion and create something great, but usually stay poor. Also regardless of all this deeply philosophical stuff, I think the internet should not be monetized at all, since the system of money/capitalism only works on scarcity and real goods, but the internet is based on abundance and imaginary goods, therefore the capitalistic system cannot work on the internet, or at least not work well, regardless on how humans behave, the error is in the system and no matter what you do will fix the issue as long as you keep the system.

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Search bar idiots

The overuse of search bars is a good example of the dumbing down of humanity. It seems people nowadays become more and more incompetent at operating computers and the internet. Instead of using their brain to type in a website into the address bar (not the search bar) and then using their brain to navigate through the menus to find what they are seeking, they seem to now just use the search bar for everything.

Looking at my websites search bar log inspired me to write this blog post. The use of search bars not only shows how stupid humans become, it is also probably one of the greatest accelerators that makes humans more stupid. So what do people enter into search bars? Well I have no idea in general, but I have a log file that shows me the latest entries that have been entered into the search bar, until the log becomes too big and the oldest entries are deleted. So even though I have only a very small representation of a very small part of internet customers, it is most likely already enough to figure out the big picture, considering the stupidity of things entered into the search bar.

What do people enter into my search bar? Well most people come for my textures and texture photos and stuff and what do they enter into the search bar? Well things like "textures" or generic terms like "road" these and similar terms already cover the majority of things entered, sometimes the search terms are in another weird language, even though the website is in english and it should be obvious that this will return in even less useful results. The irony here is, that the textures and other art content are already sorted in one of the best ways possible and will be presented in one of the best and efficient ways possible to the customer, IF he manages to press the mysterious link called "textures" that is visible on ANY sub page of the art section at all times, sadly many users never manage to do this.

I even wrote right on the start page in text how to use the art section and what button to press and in case people are not that good at reading I made an arrow pointing to the buttons in the sub menu, that is like I said always visible and the main categories are always expanded, they can never get lost. So if that person searching for "textures" would just click on the link in the sub menu called "textures" he will immediately shown ALL the textures that are available on my website and if he will click on the sub menu for examples on "asphalt" that will open after he clicked on textures, he will be shown all the asphalt textures perfectly sorted for him. The search bar can impossibly do a better job on it, since it will not create such a nice preview page, well I could spend much work on improving the search results display, but why, the art menu system already does the job perfectly. I admit the part with "road" textures being in "asphalt" is a bit confusing, but I spend many hours on coming up with a good sorting method for the textures and I uncovered that roads are obviously made of asphalt, but asphalt can also be on grounds that are not roads. If I put something in "road" category it will be images of full roads, also roads that are not made of asphalt, but lets not get into detail too much about that here, it is just an example that everything is already well thought through on my website.

The other irony is, that typing things into the search bar actually requires more effort than clicking on the menu link. Clicking on the menu link just requires, well clicking on it, you move your mouse a bit, then do a mouseclick, one of the most simple things ever. Using the search bar however is much more complicated, you need to as well move your mouse to the search bar, click on it, so you can enter something, then move your hands physically aways from the mouse, launch your brain to imagine a search term that might bring you what you want, then type with your hands it into the search bar, press enter, then move one hand to the mouse again, move the mouse and your eyes through the search results, then still using your brain to figure out which entry could be what you wanted, then click on some entries, just to see that in most cases it is not what you wanted and until here, most people have already given up and left the website.

As a web designer I'm faced with a serious challenge here, I mean if people have become too stupid to read text or even click on menu entries and or links that are obviously color coded to make them stick out so that it is totally obvious which is which, I don't really know what to improve anymore. Sure the art/main page is a bit of a mess, originally I wanted it to be that it will immediately display the results, but the problem there was, that I would not have space to enter all the descriptions like what there is on the site, what license the images are, how to use them, how to contribute etc. I tried several different designs, for example I could have made a footer or another menu bar on the right, but those solutions are all kind of ugly, especially as they are not needed for the other categories and for example the art section results page can be very long, so scrolling to the bottom is a long way to go sometimes, so I chose not to put anything there. The most elegant solution was adding another page on top of the art content results, but this will make the results page ugly and you either have not enough space for your text and other stuff, or you are blocking too much of the art section results all the time. My current idea is to remove a lot of the text and add more images and more obvious links, so it will look more flashy so people may click on it more likely.

Back to the search bar problems, I already thought about removing the search bar, but this also creates other issues, since the search bar is very good when searching for content or info that is not already perfectly sorted. For example each texture has the possibility to have alternative keywords entered, so it can be found by search engines or found through my search bar, but this is more meant as an exception, since I cannot write a perfect description for 5000 images, that would take an extreme amount of time and even if I managed to do that, the practical advantage would be very small, if not nonexistent at all. It is just meant to search for something that cannot already be found through the sites main and submenu sorting system, which is already very good.

Another problem is the user login bar, since people confuse it with the search bar sometimes, though not that often, what happens more often though is that people try to login there, I may have to remove the user login bar at some point, since even though my website was initially meant as a multi user website, there have only been occasionally other users. The reason I did not remove it yet, is because it is convenient for me and it is also tied to a convenient user menu on the "other side" if logged in.

Back to the search bar, well this is only the issue on my site meaning my website, but this is only the minor issue, the bigger issue is, that most visitors to my website come well through the search bar from some search engine, which in most cases is the obvious monopolist in that area. From the people coming from a search engine most click the link or menu buttons on the website they were searching for, but only if the search result gave them what they wanted, if not, which is most cases, they just leave. Sometimes if people have not gotten what they wanted through their search engine, instead of manually navigating the website, they immediately enter their search terms again in my search bar and if not given what they wanted which is in most cases, they leave immediately. When people come from search engines to my websites, they usually do not reveal what people searched for to me, but I can often assume, as it is usually not that complex, as already described with my "textures" example.

My conclusion in this matter is, that the big majority of people browsing the internet do not seem to use anything else than the search bar most of the time. The filter they see the internet through is their search engine and even when clicking on a search result arriving at another website, they usually never navigate the website itself out of curiosity what else there might be, instead they either leave or use the websites internal search engine and then leave, but most websites don't have a search bar or a search bar that is shit, so most people probably leave immediately. The reasons most websites don't have a search bar is because a search bar is a luxury, it requires a lot of processing power and programming knowledge to make it functioning well, so most websites don't have it or simply refer to a major external search engine.

The weirdest fact here probably is, that even though most normal websites cannot afford to have a proper search bar, the major tech companies running search engines, somehow can afford having not only the most sophisticated search engines, but also search engines that search the entire internet everytime someone wants to search something on a small website, they cannot only afford that, they can afford that people do that nonstop. Imagine you have a website and instead of people using your menu buttons and hotlinks to navigate your website they would use the search bar for everything, so everything they want something, they use a search engine that scans the ENTIRE website EVERYTIME for everything, just to give people what a simple hyperlink could have given them. If every visitor of your website would do that instead of using the buttons or read the texts on your website your traffic and processing power costs would probably explode.

Most people still probably cannot imagine how insane the overuse of the search bar is, let me give you an analogy:
Imagine you search for something in a friends house, lets say a cup, where do you go to find a cup? Well the first thing you try if you are someway sane, is to go to the kitchen, go to the cupboard, open it and see if there are cups in the cupboard and in most cases you will succeed. Of course some people will do things slightly different, so you may have to search other cabinets in the kitchen or maybe in the living room, but using your common sense you can usually nail the issue down very quickly.
Now imagine using a search engine for finding your cup, that search engine would go through every cabinet in every room of the house everytime, scan it, compare every item found with a database and give you the result. Even if the search engine starts in the kitchen in the cupboard where the cups are, they usually also still search the rest of the house, since there could be more cups hidden in other cabinets.
Now imagine every time you search for a cup in your friends house, you not only use a search engine to scan the entire apartment of your friend, but also the entire house, the entire neighbourhood, the entire city, the entire country, the entire earth every time just to find a cup in your friends house and exactly this is what many people do on the internet. Just because people are lazy to use their own brain, they employ a huge army of server farms, which are somehow paid for even though everyone can use them for free in infinite amounts to infinite extends. Luckily there are thousands of scientists spending billions of dollars to make this process very effective and reduce the costs of it by a lot, but it is simply a high tech high cost solution so that people no longer have to use their brains.

First I hesitated to write this blog post, since calling your visitors idiots may be disadvantageous, just maybe, but then I figured, hey chances are high they will never read it, since they cannot navigate the website through menu buttons or read texts, so I will be pretty safe, even though it will on the front page for a while. This example also shows the power of search engines, since if search engine delete something out of their search results, it will be inaccessible to most people immediately, since they cannot do anything else than type things into the search bar. It really makes me wonder how the idiots still manage to type texts into the search bar, even though they usually cannot read texts and clicking buttons is theoretically easier, but then I remembered how they try to introduce the voice assistants or voice searches in the browser and thinking about the privacy nightmares this brings people using these must be one of the biggest kinds of idiots in existence, especially considering using keyboard and mouse to navigate the internet is most likely faster and more efficient anyway.

Search engines are hyped as one of the biggest inventions of the internet, but I don't really see them as that good, I could probably could come up with a better solution in one afternoon. Search engines or search bars to me are more like a backup system, if you don't know any better or you are lazy, but even then they are not reliable, since they usually censor aka "using intelligent algorithms" to show you, what they think you want to see, or they think you are allowed to see. Like my previous example how search engines can make things vanish from the internet for most people, even though they are not making anything vanish for real, but it will appear to for people, since they can only see what the search engine shows them, they no longer have the ability to think and navigate the internet for themselves.

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The boredom of circular based multiplayer games

I already covered why linear story based games are boring, but this applies mostly to singleplayer games and I thought there must be an equivalent for multiplayer games, since somehow multiplayer games also feel boring, but it's not so clear why, so I try to break it down as well. At first I thought there may not be enough content for an article about this topic, but I will try anyway. The first problem was that I did not really knew how to call it, so I called it circular based, which sounds a bit weird, but I will now get to why I chose those terms.

Let me summarize the previous article about why linear story based games are boring, it is because those games are just based on going from A to B in a predetermined path, which often cannot even be left. I looked at it from a level design perspective and linear story based games often have a level design which can be imagined as a tube, where you go from A to B and even if it looks like there are ways left and right where you can go to, they are often just decoration. Some might argue that now with the rise of open world game this is fixed, but this is only partly the case, because even though everything is seemingly open the story is still a linear tube.

So how did multiplayer games begin? Multiplayer games originally were just an extra to a story based linear game, but it quickly turned out to be more popular and more fun than the single player version. The linear story based game design obviously could not be applied to the multiplayer version as it would become obvious how boring such a world is and how it would destroy the gameplay. What did game designers do to solve that? Well they made extra multiplayer levels, which are not based on the linear tube design, but on a circular design, which often was still like a tube, but at least there was no dead ends, so that the game could flow. On the first impression it looks like they solved the problem, but on a deeper look they created another problem, they simply went into the other extreme.

I remember when I made my first multiplayer levels I was on a level designer community forum and there were experts giving advice how to design a good multiplayer map and I still remember one "expert" explaining how you cannot have dead ends in a multiplayer map, because if someone goes into that dead end, he is kind of fucked, because he cannot get out if someone for example is camping at the entrance or puts explosives there or whatever the game has to offer. To some degree I followed that advice, since it was kind of obvious why it is good, but after having some multiplayer matches on a level which had a dead end room I started to really like the idea of a dead end.

What happened with our dead end multiplayer level match? Well one team camped inside a room and the other team had to storm the room, the problem was, that it was kind of a stalemate, because everyone was camping the only entrance. So why was that stalemate actually good for the gameplay and made it more fun? Because you had to use your brain to solve that problem, since you could not go another way, so you were forced to think 4 dimensional. For example you could use extreme tight angles to shoot in our out, or try to throw a grenade, or use high caliber rifles to just shoot through the wall and hope to hit someone, or hide inside our outside, or play mind games. To make a long story short it can actually make the game more interesting when not everything is "perfect", it can be beneficial to have occasional bottlenecks or hiding spots.

That example was for typical multiplayer deathmatch scenarios, but there are other multiplayer gamemodes like capture the flag that work different, where it more linear and dead ends again. The problem here is not to much the linear or circular design, it's more about the balance. Think about how reality is designed, in reality you always have a bit of both, sometimes more of one, sometimes more of the other.

I think the main problem in video games vs reality is, that in video games the game designers try to be the players babysitter and try to design the game so that the player cannot go or do wrong, that is why they make story based single player games designed like a tube, where the player cannot go left and right and multiplayer games designed like a circle, so that no player ever gets lost or can run away or hide. This is one of the core mechanics on how to destroy fun. Of course a large portion of gamers are stupid and they kind of need a babysitter, but that does not solve the problem, it rather makes it worse, since the more you babysit them, the more they will need a babysitter in the future.

A funny thing is even if I think I have no content for an article it often comes to me while I'm writing, the reason why I say funny is, because I just had a funny intuition about multiplayer gaming. The thing I found what normal stupid gamers really hate is when you are trolling them, if you don't know what trolling means, trolling is basically being up on someone, because you are more intelligent. How can you do that in multiplayer games? Well the more complex the game is, the more opportunities there are to use those mechanics against someone. For example, if the level has dead ends, you can use them to hide there, to camp inside and shoot the enemy when he comes in, or wait till he gets in and camp on the outside. What happens then? The stupid gamers complain and the game designers remove all those "evil" dead ends, to make the game "flow" again. The issue here was not the dead end, but the fact that people cannot use their brain. This is just one example, of course dead ends are neither good or bad, well maybe a little bit bad, it is just one opportunity a player can use, or not use, some other examples are secret rooms or secret spots you can climb up or good hiding spots, or good camping spots and so on.

I made quite a few multiplayer levels and hosted quite a few multiplayer sessions as well as observed others play and one conclusion to me is that most players like boring levels that are basically just circular corridors, almost no dead ends, no secret rooms, no hiding spots, no climbing spots, no camping spots etc. The only variation there is, is that you can go round the circle one way or the other way, occasionally take cover behind some objects and if you try to go camping or find a superior strategic position you can almost be sure there is always a way to get to you from behind. These example are mostly for arena type shooters, which have no open world levels, but open world games partly have similar issues, they often don't let you go inside buildings, climb up buildings, hide outside the map, interact with the map or whatever. There are a few games that are exceptions and that get most of the things right, but they usually do not get popular, probably for the reasons I bring up here. Open world levels usually just use different methods to get players in line and to avoid the fun, but in general they are better I think, though I don't have that much reference as I don't play that many games anymore, it is mostly my experience from the past, but I'm pretty sure things have not changed much, even though there is the technology now to make more complex level and gameplay design. The usually just use the better graphics to decorate their primitive roundcourse levels so they look better, while not actually adding more geometry that is relevant for the gameplay.

My intuition now says to me, there is already quite some text on a single issue for an article I thought would be short, but now I think this also could have been part of the serious of "Bad game design choices", one for "boring story based single player games" and one for "boring circular based dumbed down multiplayer games", however another few seconds later my intution said, well basically yes, but practically you cannot really call it a bad game design choice, even though it is bad game design, but the problem is the choice here, since there is not really much choice, as there are not many alternatives, it is just like almost everyone does it now.

Many seconds later my intuition said I should try some self reflection and maybe the issue is just me, but for that I can reply, well maybe yes, since I have played quite a lot of games and maybe I just played it so long until it got boring, partly this is possibly true, but on the other hand I must say, that older games often did better by having a "worse" or less sophisticated game and level design, because that caused more interesting situations where you had to think outside the box to solve them. My other argument would be, that the natural process should be an evolution, where things would improve over time, which would counteract things getting boring, but this is not happening anymore for the most part. You cannot just do the same thing over and over again, then only make the decoration and graphics nicer and thin you are improving. Maybe someone who is young today and gets into gaming will not notice how boring it is, but someone who was there from the beginning will notice that it is mostly still the same boring stuff that was there 20 or even more years ago and sometimes it is even worse now. Sure the linear story based games are probably the bigger issue, but mutliplayer games also have their issues and it probably would not hurt to improve things, even if people that get into gaming now would not notice at all, because they have no reference how it was before, but better is better.

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