Hey Forrest Hangen,
Great article. You're coming from a great angle that I know I have thought about myself and I could safely assume scores, if not hundreds or thousands of people on Medium are thinking.
It is true — there tends to be this splattering of empty content that is reaching its way across social media. Here, at Medium, things are different.
I've even found myself on another content generating site, Quora, getting caught in the rigmarole of the "popularity contest." I'm a writer, I have always been since I was a little boy. I started to get swayed and overly-enamored by the views and upvotes and likes that I lost touch with the community and the consciousness-expanding writing that I wanted to create. I got lazy with the writing and found the "special sauce" formula that would get views and the rest of the lot stated above.
Articles like this drastically help foster the fantastic community that is being built here on Medium.
I can't say enough about this article. Looking forward to more of your work.