Why Are You Here?

Why Are You Here? Reading This is True, I mean. I’m going to take a stab at answering that question.

Sure, a lot of readers just like to laugh at the stories, and don’t look any deeper than that. That’s probably not you, though, since you were involved enough to read this. You are probably tired of social media manipulation — both by the companies themselves and the people, companies, political parties, or foreign governments who spend big to push divisive agendas there. Hell, you’re tired of divisive agendas in general! (Hey, who cares about tearing society apart as long as you support their narrow cause long enough to click “Like” or “retweet” or otherwise get counted?!)

You’re tired of “us vs them” because you realize all of us are… “us.”

“Buying stuff” helps too. Yes, this button is real: click to order.

This is True is about thinking; — not “what to think,” which is where so many sites try to lead you these days, but rather how to think on your own so you can come to conclusions that work for you. That’s why True is non-partisan, and if it’s “anti” anything, it’s anti-obliviocy. I believe that if humans in general would be more thoughtful, we can get past an amazing percentage of the problems in the world.

Frankly, That’s a Very Lonely Place to be. Huge media companies like Google and Facebook (and make no mistake: they are “media companies”!) thrive from conflict. I’m trying to forge a path that’s better for you, and for the world. They get huge advantage by selling your information to others: that’s why when you look at some product, you suddenly see ads for that same product everywhere you go. Except, of course, on True’s site: I refused to be part of that, and removed ads from there, and readers pledged to make up the difference. And since I started my publishing company in 1983, it’s been my policy to never sell your personal information to anyone: that’s not what you signed up for.

The question is, are you part of supporting This is True? Because I really need you to do that so True can not just survive, but thrive. (It’s not anywhere near “thrive” now: it’s barely surviving in the face of Facebook’s purposefully addicting strategy.)

I truly need your help to keep True going. The primary component of the budget to keep the publication going is Premium upgrades, so please upgrade to get more stories every week. I know not everyone can afford that, and I know not everyone wants more stories, so it has always been my policy that you can stay on this free distribution for as long as you want to read it. Yet maybe you can afford $5 per quarter. You can set that up here, and get us closer to removing ads from the free newsletter, too, as well as receive other benefits (including Premium). Can’t commit to a regular contribution? You can support True one time on this page.

This week’s popular “Story of the Week” — you’re welcome to grab the graphic (click to see full size) and post it to “spread the word” about True.

Truly can’t afford monetary support? Stay here as long as you’d like, and maybe you’ll help “get the word out” by recommending True to your friends and/or online followers, for instance by sharing this week’s “Story of the Week” on Facebook and Twitter, your blog, or even print it out and put it up at work.

You’ll not just provide support for “Thought-Provoking Entertainment” to continue for you, but you’ll be supporting a more thoughtful world. Thanks for anything you can do.

And the Many Who Are supporting True? Thank you! You’re making a difference.

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This page is an example of This is True’s style of “Thought-Provoking Entertainment”. True is an email newsletter that uses “weird news” as a vehicle to explore the human condition in entertaining way. If that sounds good, click here to open a subscribe form.

To really support True, please sign up for a paid subscription to the much-expanded “Premium” edition:

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Q: Why would I want to pay more than the regular rate?

A: To support the publication to help it thrive and stay online: this kind of support means less future need for price increases (and smaller increases when they do happen), which enables more people to upgrade. This option was requested by existing Premium subscribers.

8 Comments on “Why Are You Here?

  1. Randy, I have been a loyal subscriber of the free edition for years–which I truly enjoy because honestly the paid subscription has always been a little out of my very limited budget. Now that I follow you on Facebook too, I feel a little cheated that you are sharing one of our very FEW free stories there, so it feels like there is one less when I go to read my email. If you’re going to share on FB, couldnt it be one of the Premium Edition stories we would never see anyway?

    Reply
    • Wow… REALLY? You admit you don’t support This is True’s incredibly important mission and yet have the gall to complain that Randy doesn’t give you MORE than you’ve taken week after week “for years”? Your rude selfishness is absolutely mind-blowing.

      Sometimes the story of the week IS separate from what’s in the free edition (which I know because I get both, and have noticed), but I’ll bet a thousand bucks you’ve never said thanks for that. Just whines when he doesn’t. The page this links to says, once again, “This is True is about thinking.” You should try it sometime, so you don’t look like such an obliviot. No wonder Randy stops posting ANY of these stories for months at a time when that’s the kind of response he gets.

      So Randy, let me take this opportunity to say THANK YOU for sharing SO much. I started with the free edition many years ago, and I made it a goal to save up and support you and get even more stories in return. You made me feel comfortable about my delay by repeatedly assuring us all that we could stay on the free subscription for as long as we would like and as soon as my kiddo went out on his own I upgraded and have been a happy supporter since. I really appreciate the generosity and want you to know that at least some of us notice how much you have given for 25 years now, and how rarely you ask for our support in return. Again, THANK YOU!

      Reply
        • Hey, way to avoid the actual point of my reply. You argue like a Republican: “Hey, look over there!”

          You claim poverty. You, who are on Facebook daily (as far as I can tell from your public posts), so you clearly have your own computer and Internet access. You apparently have a car. You “like” TV shows that are only available on cable\satellite, and treat yourself to outings at ice cream shops, restaurants and coffee houses.

          And you want to be taken seriously that you’re “too poor” to be a decent human being.You asked about me, do I “understand” being poor? You be the judge: my son’s father not only split when he learned I was pregnant, he moved out of town, never to do a thing for his son and leaving me to raise him own my own. I worked two jobs to make it happen, one at a restaurant in hopes I could bring home leftover food to help my son get good nutrition (and I usually could). Our biggest outing every week was to the library. As my son read ANY books he wanted, I used the computers to get online, and that’s where I found This Is True. How I loved Saturdays so I could help my son’s education, explain to him the difference between thinking and doing dumb things, and enjoy mental stimulation from every issue of the newsletters, reading every word top to bottom and following every link.

          I saw my son grow up into an amazing young adult, and now I only have to work five days a week like regular people. I don’t have a car, share an apartment with a coworker, don’t have a TV. That way I can choose what I want to support very carefully, because every dollar counts, and one of the things I choose to support This is True. My roommate gracefully gave me his old computer when get got a new one, and allows me access to his Internet connection so I can be online without going to the library.

          You choose TV, cable, car, eating out. Those are your CHOICES, those are your PRIORITIES. And yet, when it comes time to support what you CHOOSE to read, you whine and cry about not getting MORE for free, berating your benefactor by pleading poverty when it’s really your choice. You CHOOSE to be selfish rather than grateful. You CHOOSE to attack others who call you out on your rudeness. I call bullshit lady.

          If you want to argue the point, then argue the POINT rather than throw out ad hominem diversions (which is something I learned about from This is True, one of many reasons I’m so grateful for being taught how to think!) Your move, but I’ll ignore any more bullshit. Respond to the point! But I won’t be replying soon, since I have to get up early for work tomorrow, and then Monday night my priority is Premium This Is True!

          Reply
  2. As a long-time reader of This Is True, it has been my pleasure to learn some of what the “obliviot” crowd has been up to, on a nearly-weekly basis, for many years. And lately I have been tempted to upgrade to Premium in order to support your efforts to provoke thought among, and provide entertainment to, those of We, the People, who partake of your offerings. My reluctance to upgrade, however, revolves around the dearth of information about the deep and wide corruption of our Republican form of government (e.g., career and unelected bureaucrats controlling government functions, judges legislating from the bench, mendacious and perfidious acts from FBI and CIA, pervasive corpocracy) that you could be educating the American People about each week.

    Should you determine that your place in this “media environment” could include the dissemination of truthful information about our current illegitimate, de facto, for-profit corporations masquerading as “government” (“Government Services Corporations”) and you do begin to add this type of information to This Is True, I would be more than happy to upgrade to Premium as well as add to that amount a sum which will assist you in your efforts to educate the People as to their corrupt “government” at all levels.

    If you find yourself looking around the web for this type of information but are unable to discover anything worthwhile, I may be able to help. Some Americans I know have been researching this topic for years and would, I think, be pleased to provide you with links or other ways to find the info. Please contact me by email if you would like to proceed. Thank you.

    I don’t think you’re quite grasping the role of This is True, John. It’s not to “tell the truth” about whatever topic might be of special interest to a portion of the potential readership, it’s to do commentary on the news — and, more specifically, news of a “weird” nature which illustrates “the human condition.” I’ve been inviting readers for more than 25 years now to submit recent news stories from “legitimate, mainstream” news sources for consideration which fit this model, whether they’re paid subscribers or not. Have you submitted any stories within the guidelines of the linked page in the 20+ years you’ve been a subscriber? If not, why not?

    As for whether you will support the publication as described is up to you, but no, I’m not going to change what tens of thousands of readers signed up for in order to get one guy to finally dig $32/year out of his pocket. If you think there should be a publication to cover your specific topic, then by all means you should create one. -rc

    Reply
    • John, let me offer what I hope is constructive criticism.

      When you use a phrase like, “…our current illegitimate, de facto, for-profit corporations masquerading as “government”…”, you start to lose credibility. It doesn’t really matter if that statement is right or wrong for you to lose that credibility. When you say those sorts of very partisan, emotionally charged phrases that express an extreme stance without providing reasons that you make those claims, your argument takes a turn away from logic and moves towards merely provoking an emotional response.

      Of course maybe that was your intent. But if it isn’t, and you do want to be taken seriously, you could try to run your argument past the “old relative I really love, but has views completely contrary to my own” test. That is, aim to both educate and inform a person (whom as per the “test” you love and care for) who has different thoughts, ideologies, and background knowledge than your own, while at the same time trying to avoid overtly marginalizing their own beliefs. This test not only helps things to stay civil, but it increases the chances that the recipient may pay attention to, and be receptive to, your ideas instead of dismissing them out of hand.

      Reply
  3. HEY Randy, I’m here right now to be grateful, for your refreshingly non-political newsletter (is that what these are still called?).

    I feel like you came to my attention about the exact same time I got my first computer and modem. Maybe around 1987?

    I haven’t always been premium but finally got to the point that I don’t even miss… whatever I’m paying and have auto renew set.

    I do hope you get a lot of gratitude, there are too few folks willing to take a minute to show appreciation for your time, efforts, classiness, clever writing or any of the many other reasons we should thank you. I love the weekly funny and relaxing read!

    Thanks for your support, Joe. Yes, I get tons of kudos (great example), and appreciate every one of them. But maybe you got online around 1987, but TRUE didn’t! It started in June 1994. -rc

    Reply
  4. Thank you once again for the insight and entertainment you have provided me since probably about when you started. I will post the Graphic on my Facebook page to pass the word.

    I think I heard about ThisIsTrue.com from a fellow NCAR staffer about 1994 and have been a free subscriber ever since. Later I upgraded and will continue to until I can no longer function. I sincerely hope you are grooming a young person to take your place in 20 years or so. This light in the darkness of obliviocy must continue when you and I are gone. Thanks also for offering customized “Get Out of Hell Free” cards. Now that I am retired and do not have a business card. I hand them out like gangbusters. Probably will have to place another order about this time next year at the rate I am giving them out. When someone gets one they usually chuckle and I have them turn it over to point out the 7+1 saying the +1 is critically important which almost always gets another chuckle.

    My wife and I have not yet had a chance to do a road trip to the SW portion of our great state. Unfortunately I have been a little ill for a couple years. Getting better now and hope perhaps to do the trip this coming season. When we do, we will certainly let you and Kit know so perhaps we could buy you lunch in Ridgway or Ouray. Maybe even do a ride along if your unit allows them. I was a Red Cross Advanced FA instructor when I was a Boy Scout leader in Boulder. My Son has been a Paramedic for almost 15 years and his sister is considering quitting being a science teacher to become a EMT/Firefighter.

    Keep up the great work!

    With support like that, I can! You wouldn’t be able to ride along, but you don’t really want to anyway: at an average of a call a day, odds are you’d sit there bored out of your mind. But do come visit: it’s an absolutely gorgeous area! -rc

    Reply

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