Trying to analyze this curation issue from the outside is like the three blind men describing the elephant. It would be interesting to have someone from the inside describe the inner workings of Medium.
How much does it cost to keep this forum going?
How many servers? How many technicians?
How many curators? What are their qualifications? How well are they paid?
How much does it to set up an account? Or a pub?
How much does it cost to service our $50 annual fees?
How much does it cost to store all those articles?
Are the original investors getting a return on their investment?
Who is the CEO and what is his salary?
What big changes have been tried and how did they affect the bottom line?
Until we can get some understanding of these questions, I don't think our opinions will matter that much.
So we can argue that the trick to "feed us what we want to read" is unethical. But if that is what it takes to get people here to pay the bills, can we really blame Medium?
And then there is the Medium math. One contributor was complaining about how many hours she was spending on Medium and only making $800 a month. She should be happy that she is in the top 10% of earning. And she should be realistic: her $800 a month would require her articles bringing at least 192 readers a year. These readers should be willing to pay their $50 fee for her to make that $800 a month. I doubt her work is bringing in this kind of readership. She should be grateful!
And then there is the Medium lottery. Some of our feeds are the popular writers on Medium. We can see them making enough money to justify the time they put into their frequent submissions. They can call themselves professional writers. And by seeing them so often, we too have our subconscious tweaked to convince us that we can be like them too. I think Medium does this deliberately. Keeping aspiring writers hooked into believing they too can win the lottery is part of the business plan. But the math is not there for most of us to attain this goal, regardless of how well we write.
So curation/no curation. It makes no difference to me. I keep saying I need to spend less time here. Maybe after I put my second novel up.
I'm grateful that Medium has given me a forum to present my ideas to the world. Anything beyond that is indeed a blesssing.