Becoming a Learning Machine and Addressing Legitimacy in the Creator Economy


Hatched by Glasp

Aug 20, 2023

3 min read


Becoming a Learning Machine and Addressing Legitimacy in the Creator Economy


In a world where continuous learning and adaptation are crucial for personal and professional growth, individuals are seeking ways to become learning machines. This article explores the strategies employed by two individuals to optimize their learning abilities and enhance their knowledge retention. Additionally, it delves into the legitimacy crisis faced by the creator economy and proposes potential solutions to restore trust and empower creators.

Building Yourself into a Learning Machine:

Simon, an individual passionate about optimizing his own brain, discovered that reading extensively and retaining knowledge were key to leveling up in his field. By reading broadly, he gained a comprehensive understanding of various subjects, which ultimately enhanced his job performance. To retain what he read, Simon employed a highlighting system using his Kindle and utilized Readwise, a platform that allowed him to organize and review his highlights. Furthermore, he incorporated flashcards and a Zettelkasten system to reinforce his learning and make connections between different concepts. This habit proved to be highly impactful over time, enabling him to continuously expand his knowledge.

Exploring the Legitimacy Crisis in the Creator Economy:

The rise of the creator economy can be attributed to pivotal moments in 2007 and 2017. The sharing of advertising revenue with creators by YouTube in 2007 laid the foundation for this economy, while the cracks in its legitimacy became evident during the "Adpocalypse" of 2017. Legitimacy is derived from trust, and the loss of trust occurs when creators feel that their interests are not adequately represented or protected. The platform economy initially sought legitimacy through rational-legal means, but policy changes during the Adpocalypse highlighted the platforms' focus on their own interests rather than those of creators.

Resolving the Legitimacy Crisis:

To restore legitimacy in the creator economy, two potential routes can be taken. Firstly, platforms can re-establish legitimacy by realigning their rules and practices with the interests and norms of the community. However, this approach requires a genuine commitment to change, which the platforms have yet to demonstrate fully. The second route involves the emergence of alternative platforms that offer a more democratic and decentralized model, challenging the incumbent platforms. These challengers would prioritize the values and incentives of creators and provide a fairer and more empowering environment.

Empowering Creators through Data Ownership and Cooperative Models:

Data control and mediation are significant sources of conflict in the current platform economy. To realign the social contract in this economy, it is crucial to change this dynamic and provide creators with ownership and control over their data. Next-generation platforms are already shifting towards more data-portable models, enabling creators to retain ownership of their valuable data. Additionally, participatory decision-making and cooperative business models can empower creators by involving them in critical decisions and ensuring fair treatment.


Becoming a learning machine requires deliberate strategies, such as extensive reading, knowledge retention techniques, and making meaningful connections between concepts. Similarly, addressing the legitimacy crisis in the creator economy necessitates efforts to realign the platform's rules and practices with the interests of creators, as well as the emergence of alternative platforms that prioritize fairness and empowerment. By empowering creators through data ownership and cooperative models, the creator economy can regain legitimacy and ensure a more sustainable and equitable future for all stakeholders.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Cultivate a habit of extensive reading and retain knowledge by utilizing highlighting systems, such as Readwise, to organize and review important information.
  • 2. Establish a learning system that incorporates flashcards and concept connections, allowing for a deeper understanding and retention of complex ideas.
  • 3. Support and engage with next-generation platforms that prioritize data ownership and participatory decision-making, contributing to a more democratic and empowering creator economy.

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