Ev Williams is a ablaze man. His vision for online publishing offers up a near-utopian vision of what a democratized internet looks like in Medium. He also once ran a couple of other businesses you may have heard of: Twitter, which he co-founded, and Odeo, a accepted podcast app that may have actually launched before the public was ready for it, and years prior to the new podcast boom.

And then he lost his goddamn mind.

Earlier this year, Williams laid off 50 staff members. He also appear Medium would be removing ads from the site until the aggregation found a better way to monetize its content. Ads, he said, “[are causing] accretion amounts of misinformation…and burden to put out more agreeable more cheaply?—?depth, originality, or affection be damned. It’s unsustainable and unsatisfying for producers and consumers alike….We need a new model.

He’s right. All of those things are spot on, and we need a new path forward, a path that pays journalists and publications for their hard work, and one that rewards sites consistently putting out great content.

No altercation there.

But I have my doubts as to whether this is it. Today, Williams took to Medium to advertise a cable model. For just $5 a month, you can get a scattering of extras, including: absolute content, early access to a new UI, and an offline account list — which most of us already have, in Pocket.

If Ev Williams truly believes this is the “something better” to turn the corner from ad-supported publishing, then I stand by my aboriginal statement: he’s lost his goddamn mind.

Ask the New York Times about the success its had with a paywall — arguably a better cable model since it absolutely blocks agreeable until you pony up a few bucks, article Medium doing. Or, there’s Sarah Lacy over at Pando. I’m sure she’s doing great, but I think her email pleas to past subscribers tell publishers all they need to know: ascent is hard for publications with a cable model. Then, there’s , , and a scattering of others I pay for each month; all offer great content, few are scalable.

Or maybe Williams doesn’t really care about advantage after all, article a scattering of past Medium advisers posited after their hasty exit. If that’s the case, this will absolutely bring in revenue. It won’t, however, abutment a belvedere the size of Medium.

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