Why I am leaving Medium after five years of self-publishing

My last article wasn’t considered good enough to be curated into any topic category, despite being viewed over 20,000 times and having over 5,000 applause. It even included cover art that was an incredible illustration inspired by and created just for the article by a very talented illustrator. Would you like to know why it wasn’t curated? I did. The answer is Medium wants to prevent writers from earning money in any way but through a paywall.

As you know, we have our publicly available Curation Guidelines, so always make sure you are writing with those in mind. Your story…


Original illustration created for this article by Sinnerman
(You can listen to my reading of this article on your favorite podcast platform)

Primary season has begun and as Trump marches toward a possible second term, a list of Democrats over 20-candidates-long is vying for the honor of being the one who prevents that from happening. One of those candidates, Andrew Yang, has proposed a universal basic income of $1,000 per month that he calls a “Freedom Dividend.” As a longtime advocate of UBI, I have something to say about this, and the details of his plan as proposed.

This article is meant to be a detailed response to…


Or How to Spot Disinformation in a World of Propaganda

Click the link above to listen to this article on Anchor or your favorite podcast platform

In April 2019, a report titled “Universal Basic Income: A Union Perspective” was paid for and published by Public Services International (PSI), a global trade union representing 20 million workers employed around the world providing public services. This report was authored by Anna Coote and Edanur Yazici of the New Economics Foundation (NEF), a British left-leaning think-tank. They concluded that providing services to all is better than providing income to all. …


My Keynote Speech at Imagine Belfast Festival of Ideas & Politics

Also available in Italian, Spanish, and Korean

Push the play button above to listen to my reading of this

Think like a Martian…

That’s a lesson I learned years ago from a theoretical physicist named Richard Feynman. I never met him, but he was one of my teachers as a fellow human being, and that’s one of the lessons that has stuck with me the most since I learned it, so I want to, in turn, share it with you all now.

There’s a way of looking at the world with new eyes, as if we know nothing about…


Evaluating the Preliminary Results of a Partial UBI and Slightly Less Bureaucracy

Push the play button if you’d like to listen to me narrate this article.

After two years of experimentation within a two-year experimental design, Finland released on February 8, 2019, preliminary results of their basic income experiment. For anyone who reads the full report, it can be considered nothing short of both promising and fascinating, but what it can’t be called is complete, because the results are still preliminary and based on only the first half of the experiment.

With that said, as is also true of the experiments in the U.S. and Canada in the 1970s, there are certainly…


A look back at my favorite UBI reads of the year

As a moderator of the /r/BasicIncome subreddit, I read a lot of links every year about UBI, probably around 100 per month. Like last year, I’ve compiled a list of the ten articles/papers/reports I consider the most important to read out of everything published this year. Please bookmark, read,and share!

10) “The Role of Luck in Life Success Is Far Greater Than We Realized” by Scott Barry Kaufman for Scientific American

My first selection for this list is one that never even mentioned the words “basic income” but as you’ll discover in the following excerpt from it, there’s no other…


Prospect Magazine approached me to write an article for them about what people get most wrong about unconditional basic income. It was published on December 3, 2018. As it exists behind a soft paywall and in a UK context instead of the US, the full article can be found below in pre-edited form. You can also choose to listen to it in audio form.

Click the play button to listen to my narration of this article

What People Get Most Wrong About Unconditional Basic Income (UBI)

The idea of an unconditional basic income as a foundational social investment policy is an evolution of traditional safety nets in recognition of the…


Image by Or Hiltch / Flickr Creative Commons License BY-NC 2.0

How IP-Funded Basic Income Could Enrich the Public Domain

You know what a zombie is, right? Do you know why you know? You know because of a mistake that threw Night of the Living Dead freely into the public domain, bypassing all standard copyright protections. Purely by accident, George Romero’s groundbreaking film instantly became a horror classic that could be licensed at no cost. The result was a movie that every theater could show, every TV station could broadcast, every artist could adapt and build off of… it was essentially a gift to the entire world.

I think the success of zombies as a worldwide phenomenon provides an…


Ontario should demand the completion of the OBIP experiment in the name of empirical evidence and human research ethics

A crime took place in Ontario at the end of July, 2018. The perpetrator was Doug Ford, the new Progressive Conservative Premier of Ontario, and the victim was the Ontario Basic Income Pilot (OBIP) experiment that had begun under the previous government, where 4,000 people in Ontario in four different cities (Hamilton, Brantford, Thunder Bay, and Lindsay) had recently just begun receiving — instead of the existing conditional welfare benefits for the unemployed and disabled — an unconditional income boost, based simply on the amount of income they were earning, with an additional boost for those with disabilities.


The text below is a speech I wrote for a keynote in Ireland for DemCon 2018. The PowerPoint I created for it is also available here.

Click the play button to listen to this speech on Anchor

“Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration.” — Frank Herbert, Dune

Fear… About a century ago, the world witnessed what happens when fear takes hold of the minds of the citizenry of nations. Fear of poverty, fear of the other, fear of change… these fears led to the rise of leaders who promised total control because fear…

Scott Santens

I no longer write on Medium. If you want to follow my writing, please subscribe to scottsantens.news.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store