The Critics Respond, Part Thirty-Two

criticsazard

Ladies and gentlemen…

The Internet.


Earlier this week, I suggested, with tongue firmly lodged in cheek, that the current Mustang’s four-way-flasher switch was The Worst Button Of All Time. As is almost always the case with me, I had to take a shot at sneaking a few serious issues into what was otherwise a completely frivolous piece.

Issue Zero was my usual concern with bad content driving out good content on the Internet. Pretty much every site out there faces the same problem, and it works like so: Advertisers want clicks and impressions. The cheapest and largest-volume way to do that is to advertise on WorldStar or Pornhub or HuffPo but those clicks and impressions don’t mean anything if every one of your clickers is either an unemployed piece of shit or somebody who is furiously masturbating instead of reading your carefully-crafted banner-sized pitch.

So you have to pay at least lip service to the morally and politically problematic idea of “quality viewers” but that is not a goal for which to strive; rather, it’s an absolute floor on which you’d like to have both feet firmly planted. Looking it from a game theory perspective, what you want is to have

* the maximum number of clicks possible…
* …each of those clicks representing the least intelligent person possible…
* …who can still afford and consume your product.

This, incidentally, explains why advertising on television is still a thing. If you’re reading this blog, chances are that you don’t consume a bunch of broadcast TV in real time. Either you’re using a streaming service, calling up saved content on a DVR, or bypassing that kind of stuff altogether. But old people still watch broadcast TV, and they spend money. There’s also a tremendous racial component:

African-Americans age 18-49 spend more than six hours a day watching Live TV–46% more than the Total U.S. on a Total Day basis and more than any other break. They also spend the most time with DVD playback and video game console use. People age 18-49 in White households use DVR playback the most, while Hispanic homes use it the least. Compared to all races and ethnicities, Asian homes spend the least amount of time watching Live TV and using a video game console.

How the holy fuck can you watch six hours of TV a day? And is anybody surprised that Asian-American households don’t bother to watch television? Is television time a function of economic success, or is economic success a function of television time? Does this explain why high-end luxury-good manufacturers are abandoning television like the proverbial rats off the sinking ship?

Alright, back to the Internet. The majority of the products that are advertised via general-interest sites on the Web are intended to be affordable for most people who have a job and a credit card. Ideally, as stated above, you’d be marketing to the least intelligent person who can pay for your product. The question becomes: how do you figure out who those people are? The good news is that you don’t have to! They self-select through their choice of websites and their choice of content on those sites.

This is what’s eventually going to kill my career as an online writer. I have a lot of smart readers who aren’t particularly rich. I meet them all the time at trackdays and auto shows. Those people are absolute poison from an advertising perspective. They are marketing-resistant. You’re better off choosing to advertise with a writer who writes for a broader — which is a nice way of saying stupid — audience.

Anybody who seriously thinks that this month’s Motor Trend has information on the real Apple Car in it and pays five bucks to buy the magazine from a bookstore… that guy is the Holy Grail of marketers. He’s an idiot and he has five dollars. Don’t let that dude get away. Track him with a fuckin’ helicopter and tag him with a dart gun and an RFID capsule so you know where he is at all times, the same way they’re keeping track of the last rhinos in the wild. You might have some protein supplements or something you need to sell in a hurry.

Eventually I’m going to have to start selling books instead of writing for outlets that depend on advertising money. I’m kind of looking forward to the day and also kind of not looking forward to it. There’s something to be said for being your own boss, but there’s also something to be said for the fact that I’ve never had a check from Hearst or Conde Nast bounce. Like not never.

Issue One — you knew I’d eventually stop the rant. Thanks for sticking around! — is the serious issue of hard-to-find secondary controls on modern automobiles. I’ve written about this a few times, and I’ve never gotten much in the way of positive feedback from readers. Most people are just fine with having to search for their hazard button or their wiper controls or whatever. I think I’m tilting against a windmill here. I’m going to continue to tilt. I think I’m right about it.

The image above makes it plain. This fellow is an absolute marketer’s wet dream: he is remarkably stupid and he can afford a new Mustang. Somebody’s probably trying to clone him en masse as we speak, using saliva recovered from the lip of a can of Monster Energy left in a gutter. He acknowledges that he can’t find his hazard button — but it’s cool, man. He uses the prolespeak neologism ‘smh’ because he just can’t believe I’m such an asshole moron that I think some people can’t find their hazard buttons when they need ’em.

I remind the reader that this fellow’s vote counts the same as yours does.

On the other hand, at least he’s honest enough to admit he’s had the problem. The average Reddit momma’s-basement troll would be just smart enough to avoid admitting that I had any point whatsoever. I’ll take an honest but stupid person over an intelligent sociopath any day. This country won two World Wars by lining up honest but stupid people and having them march directly into enemy fire. So let’s hope that this guy survives the various extinction-level events at Mustang Week long enough to breed. We could use more people like him. You’re heard the phrase, “If you’re so smart, why ain’t you rich?” but maybe it would be better to ask, “If you’re so smart, how come you ain’t good?”

53 Replies to “The Critics Respond, Part Thirty-Two”

  1. Dave L

    As I’m looking at my W/F bag, wearing my Allen Edmonds shoes, and taking $ out of my Couch wallet (along with my son’s guitar straps and my camera straps) I feel like someone owes you something for introducing those and many other products to your readers.

    Reply
    • CoopDeville

      The key is to have a short attention span or a bad memory, take your pick. Each time Jack waxes eloquent about some high end, made in the USA shoe or wallet or marital aid, I look and say “That’s nice, I’d like to have that. I’ll look for it later.” And then forget. Thus, money not spent.

      The only exception were those cool vintage automotive vinyl wallets from etsy. I still remember and want the burgundy classic Cadillac vinyl one. I’ll look for it later.

      Reply
      • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

        When you finally pull the trigger on a Couch wallet, you’ll see they quote me on the product tag 🙂

        Reply
      • Hank Chinaski

        I do this at Hillside, but my preferred jackets would put me in the ‘Jack Baruth Fan Club’ or ‘Village People’.

        aside, Tacos really knocked it out this week.

        Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      Feel free to Paypal me ten thousand dollars so I can buy a ZX-14R — but I would be (almost) just as satisfied with the idea that it’s all working out for you 🙂

      Reply
      • Pseudoperson Randomian

        Set up a “Help Jack get a ZX-14R fund. Pitch it something along the lines of “He promises to write lots of things about it and as many sociopolitical topics as he can link to it. Don’t worry about him falling off – because all that means for you is bonus articles!”.

        Come on Jack, asking for money on the internet is the way to go for people who don’t write for a “broad” audience 😀

        Reply
  2. DeadWeight

    First:

    “Anybody who seriously thinks that this month’s Motor Trend has information on the real Apple Car in it and pays five bucks to buy the magazine from a bookstore… that guy is the Holy Grail of marketers. He’s an idiot and he has five dollars. Don’t let that dude get away. Track him with a fuckin’ helicopter and tag him with a dart gun and an RFID capsule so you know where he is at all times, the same way they’re keeping track of the last rhinos in the wild. You might have some protein supplements or something you need to sell in a hurry.”

    [Rousing applause]

    That’s stellar.

    Second, I often and deeply wonder who/what type of entity buys roughly 91% to roughly 96% of the absolutely useless shit that I see advertised, by all media, daily.

    Third, TTAC has more “hype/media allergic” readers than any other automotive-related websites that I know of (Jalopnik – or as I call it, Automaker SlopKnobJob – has “hype/media” sponges).

    Finally, Shopkins are an evil creation, as they cost approximately 3 cents each to make in China AND ship to the U.S., are marketed to young female children aggressively, are promoted brilliantly as being of “limited, collectible status,” sell for 25x their total production and shipping costs, and I’m really angry that I didn’t invent the Shopkin production and marketing model, as I’d now be a trillionaire and every day could be my own private track day.

    Reply
    • MrGreenMan

      Dog faced gypsy baby long road drifter to judgement day reptile f–ing hazard lights? I keep on moving to Potbelly’s? All your life a cosmic joke, fill your days with peace and smoke, the Mustang-driving moron who can’t find his hazard lights just crashed at a Coffee & Cars where the kitten’s got claws?

      Reply
  3. MrGreenMan

    The Canadian brigadiers over there at TTAC appear to be working on their bona fides for click-bait histrionics.

    By way of comparison, and because I own the business and pay the network bill, the Schmidt-era nudie pictures were content-rich.

    Reply
  4. Jim

    I’ll tell you what’s stupid – the single swipe function on virtually EVERY American car as compared to the Japanese and Germans. Why do I have to actually take one of my hands completely off the wheel to wipe the windshield when it’s wet or slippery outside but not raining hard enough to keep the wipers on permanently, even intermittently? All the non-domestics let you either press the end of the stalk with a fingertip or push the stalk up or down slightly, again with a fingertip.

    Reply
    • Sammy B

      On all of the Toyotas I can remember driving it’s a quick tap up of the wiper stalk. I can keep my right hand on the wheel and just move my middle finger out to hit the stalk.

      How do the Germans have it set up?

      Reply
      • Jim

        It varies a bit, some are like the Toyota (my older Porsche) and some are you use your pinkie to push the end of the stalk in a little bit (my Mercedes). But you can keep your hands on the wheel in all cases that I am aware of.

        Reply
  5. Michael

    The whole dashboard and simple control issue is why I bought a used 09 Mustang GT. Old school HVAC knobs, limited buttons, no Blutooth, and no GPS infotainment.

    When I was in college circa 1988 my class in broadcast sales had a guest speaker. He was a foul mouthed, 35 year old number one salesman at the number one music station in Philadelphia. He is black, his station follows the urban contemporary format. He told us how wealthy he was because black people had the highest percentage of disposable income of any ethnic group. It was like listening to an African American Gordon Gekko.

    Reply
  6. Kaemu

    Having 3 cars (not one of them special I am afraid), control layout standardization regularly crosses my mind…. Yet, given that I tend to rest my right hand on the shifter, I found the position of the hazard light switch on the new Mustang to be pretty convenient: flick the wrist to flick them on. I got used to it pretty quickly during the three days I rented one. Also, the car really impressed and I would buy one if it were not for the very poor experience I had with the local Ford dealers (tried multiple) doing their damnedest to avoid warranty work. This has soured me on the company pretty much for good.

    Your comment about the increasing lameness of internet media outlets and the impact it will have on your ability to make money is probably overly negative. It seems that a lot of folks are finding ways to independently make a living providing quality content on the Internet without resorting to cheesy SEO and click optimizing tricks. You seem to have a strong core of followers you could build on… To me, you’ve already started with this website.

    Reply
  7. jz78817

    Ladies and gentlemen…

    The Internet.

    no shit. there’s a running story on Jalopnik about the Chrysler Imperial concept from 10 years ago. Those children are shitting on it like it’s some egregious rip-off of Bentley, even though I doubt most Jalopnik writers even had pubic hair when the Imperial concept was unveiled.

    Reply
    • DeadWeight

      Bark seems to like writing for/catering to the majority pre-pubescent (by anatomy or I.Q.) crowd at SlopKnobJobNik for some reason, while Jack wisely eschews it.

      KnobSlopJobzNik couldn’t be more Gawker even if Hulk Hogan’s sex tape happened in the back seat of a Freddy Tavarish “Why Buy A New Nissan Centro for $16,200 When You Can Buy This Insanely Awesome 2010 Mercedes-Benz E350 Instead?’

      Reply
      • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

        Alas, my mostly stunted sense of absolute forthrightness compels me to note that Jalopnik has a problem with me more than I have a problem with Jalopnik. I’m seen as this sort of hugely misogynistic cave-bro.

        Reply
        • DeadWeight

          Jalopnik is an insufferable experience with their 17 year old demographic targeted”[insert vehicle of choice] doesn’t give two fucks” headlines/clickbait,

          Reply
        • jz78817

          they’re generally OK but I get really irritated when they publish something which sounds like a teenager saying “look how awesome I am for discovering something everyone already knew about!”

          Reply
        • Rock36

          Too bad Jalopnik is beholden to their Gawker overlords. Otherwise I might actually frequent their page.

          I think I mentioned it elsewhere here Jack, but if you ever sold a compilation of all your old “Avoidable Contacts”, I would buy it.

          Reply
          • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

            There’s one coming — but I’ve been working on adding some unique content for the book so it’s not just a clip show.

      • Ronnie Schreiber

        The funny thing is that because they like cars, the Jalopnik crew is regarded as troglodytes by the more general Gawker community. Of course Jalopnik’s staff still tilts left and it’s ironic you mentioned Freddy since he’s one of the few non-lefties on their site (along with Bark).

        Regardless of politics and demographics, they still have some talented people working at the site. If I had a budget, I’d hire Torchinsky. I like Raphael Orlove, but he disappointed recently with a post on Venezuela’s meltdown that never once mentioned the word “socialism”.

        Reply
        • DeadWeight

          There are several good writers (and seemingly genuinely mature ones, at that) over there, but the Gawker-Borg Collective HiveMindSet of The Machine has a strong gravitational pull that warps the entire communication and aesthetics atmosphere to the point of tainting the infrastructure.

          Reply
        • jz78817

          I think they have plenty of writers who are worthwhile, but they’ve done some things recently which have pretty much pissed me off completely. Some months ago they wanted to get into “motorcycling journalism which didn’t suck.” So they hired a guy to run Lanesplitter, and most of us thought he was doing a great job. then out of the blue, they fired him. No explanation, nothing out of them, and anyone who asked or made reference to it in comments was “dismissed” (the Kinja version of banning commenters.) What left a bad taste in my mouth was the fact that they work for an organization which exists to pry into people’s personal business, but when questioned about their own activities they close ranks and silence any dissenters.

          what further turned me against Jalopnik was when I saw how eager Michael Ballaban was to toe the (Gawker) party line on twitter regarding the Peter Thiel flap.

          Reply
          • agent00F

            Most human actions are conducted in self interest but justified as some grander endeavor like categorical imperative or such. Thus conflicts tend to be battles between personal advantages rather than actual ideological, whether it’s some journalist eager to publish their own opinions against those with some power over them with differing ones, ie. workplace politics. Or some guy rich enough to wage war against a paper publishing dirt on him.

  8. Ark-med

    My 2015, being the base model, still has the hazard flasher switch in the same location — just not as a toggle, but a loose, unsatisfying button, naggingly, concurrently reminding me of my parsimony and my vanity for having purchased that sexy beast of a car just for that intoxicating V8.

    Some old Japanese cars had it in a most intuitive incarnation: as a neon-orange pull-switch atop the steering column.

    Reply
  9. Shocktastic

    Jack Baruth TM lifestyle brand…

    But wait, if I can’t make the trademark thingy in superscript then maybe I shouldn’t play here. All kidding aside, if Farago can make two websites pay off then I’d follow links from your page to help pay the bills…and I am curious to see what sort of introductory coding package you are buying for the clone.

    Reply
    • VolandoBajo

      To make TM superscript, make sure NumLock is on, then hold down Alt key while typing 0153. Works every time.

      Jack Baruth Lifestyle ™ — I oersonally think it works better if you include the third word in the label.

      Reply
  10. kvndoom

    In the late 1990’s I worked rent-to own for about 1.5 years. Horrible job… I’ve seen cockroaches in places you couldn’t imagine cockroaches. The worst of the worst of trailer park society and section 8 housing, death threats from people who think they own something that they haven’t made a payment on in 2 months…. you name it.

    But the one constant was always, ALWAYS the television. Not just blacks, but poor and un(der)educated people spend more on their television than their children. They all had cable or satellite too. 500 channels, I spared no expense…

    I will never forget the time we had to pick up all the goods from a house that was, of course, unable to make the >100 per week payment. We took their oven. We took their refrigerator. We took their microwave. We took the table and chairs out of the kitchen. And on our LAST trip into the house, to reclaim the sacred big-screen, the lady called the store begging, pleading: “is there ANY way we can keep the television? How much can we pay them not to take it?”

    Yeah.

    I might watch 15 hours of live TV a year, 100% of that being the NCAA basketball tourney and the NFL playoffs.

    Reply
  11. Pseudoperson Randomian

    How about patreon, and/or other money making ventures? I think you’ll find that plenty of people on the internet will throw money at good content and creators… Make Baruth into a brand

    Reply
    • Pseudoperson Randomian

      Also, people declared “hugely misogynistic cave-bros” by the internet (or rather the tumblerist parts of it) have a way of getting a cult following because a lot of people (including many liberals like myself, mind you) are pretty sick of being told everything is offensive

      Reply
      • VolandoBajo

        Which sentiment also explains the meteoric rise of Donald Trump.

        Can’t wait until the general campaign starts, and he starts pointing out how much he has been quoted out of context and/or misquoted.

        Paralleling Clinton the intern-chaser’s catchphrase: “It’s the radical Islam, stupid!”.

        Reply
  12. -Nate-Nate

    Wow ~

    Great as always Jack and the comments are fun too .

    I like The Telly a great deal and would probably turn it on if my home wasn’t the only place I can get away from it .

    Surely I’m not the only one who’ll follow your writing but never once click on any of the adverts ? .

    Maybe because I’m old and have different tastes but I don’t trust any sort of advertising .

    -Nate

    Reply
    • VolandoBajo

      Nate, you fully qualify as a charter member of the Old Geezer™ club.

      Personally, if I can’t see it, smell it, taste it or handle it, I don’t believe it.

      And I hope to drive my Panther (97 Grand Marquis) till I die or at least to 100.

      And Jack is also eligible for the honor, in the Junior division.

      DeadWeight has some fairly impressive credentials also.

      Reply
  13. agent00F

    There’s an interesting psychological phenomenon whereby it’s easy to recognize adequacy in others but not in oneself. For example, in the other post I read here: http://jackbaruth.com/?p=4480#more-4480, it appears easy to recognize lack of racing expertise in others, but not the same lack of economic expertise with oneself in the the very paragraphs following.

    Where that applies to this post is application of the same ego towards persons who don’t care much about specifics of switchgear, perhaps rightly so given its relative unimportance in the scheme of things. More generally in the Issue Zero context, most people don’t bother to research every detail of what they spend money on. While it’s probably the case that the author is smarter than his targets, that has little relevance per se when obsession over details is a hobby to put it kindly or a psychosis otherwise. It’s also entirely possible scott_0 possesses more expertise in some area that the author has strong opinions on; iow, not impossible he or some peer is an economist. Similarly, there are other sites appealing to different hobbies which might ridicule readers of this place on their “ignorant” choices in those regards. To be clear, this isn’t a value judgement, just some necessary perspective from the “dumb normal people’s” side; the ones who use emergency blinkers rarely enough to forget where it is.

    As another example, the first linked article talks about appealing to the proles with clickbait, yet articles inferring superiority to the sheeple is also bait for a different audience. In both cases, the appeal of the bait is clear enough in ensuing comments.

    Finally for something concrete, personally I’ve had to design some computer UI/UX, which are abstractions less restricted by limitations of physical switches. The main lesson to learn if any is the wide range of conflicting priorities which predate any final solution. In this case of console controls it looks like aesthetic appeal stack-ranked above absolute utility, which isn’t an uncommon circumstance if the first comment above is true: often people just buy things because they’re pretty, and the smarter ones are only better at rationalizing their decisions.

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      So are you implying that I’m an economic idiot and and egotist in the matter of switchgear location?

      Reply
      • agent00F

        I believe the greater point is that the two aren’t mutually exclusive. Imagine for a moment your counterpart in economics rather than cars. He writes two articles, one about a deeply held econ misconception which you might have and another with misconception of his own about cars. He then responds to your articles as some of those aforementioned readers did. Between the two of you, who is correct to consider the other an idiot? The scenario might be even more poignant if a guitar(-playing) expert were the counterpart, I recall you are bit of an enthusiast there which makes one susceptible to passions over objectivity. Let’s say he complains about a guitar feature which trades practicality for aesthetics. Which is really more important anyway to buyers? The same can be said about cars.

        On the matter of ego, it’s natural that someone who writes about cars professional knows/thinks more about them than their readers. Whether that warrants ego (esp in a harmless/entertaining blog post) isn’t for me to say, but consider that readers have two choices: refuse to admit this like in the stability-control case, which classifies them as idiots by definition, or admit their relative ignorance as scott_0 did and still be labeled an idiot. Seems they can’t win.

        On the whole I did enjoy reading these posts here, just trying to be fair and balanced.

        Reply
    • VolandoBajo

      And I’ve had to straighten out (normalize) databases designed by UI/UX people whose databases were mirrors of their interface designs, that were impossible or at least extremely time-consuming to query. In their worst incarnations, you could get different answers to the same meta-query, depending on which portion of the unnormalized database you took the data from. A real horror-show…

      Most UI/UX designs are at best industrial art, and seldom science or engineering in the best sense of those words.

      Nothing personal, just pointing out that the finger you point has three companions pointing at you.

      Reply
      • agent00F

        The purpose of that paragraph concerns UI in cars as referenced in the blog entry, which has nothing to do with databases or their design thereof.

        It’s worth mentioning that db is one of more trivial classes in cs so not exactly something to brag about.

        Reply
        • VolandoBajo

          Agent00F Sorry, I hadn’t caught the fact that you were referring specifically to design experience for automotive interfaces…and yes, DB normalization is a relatively straightforward process, when done at the front end of a project.

          But I was referring to the case where an unnormalized UI was translated field for field into a DB design, a large body of code was written against it, and then attempts at anything other than single transactions, such as complex aggregated reports, either run painfully slowly, or produce conflicting results due to unnormalized data being out of sync, or both.

          But I recognize that in the automotive realm, UI design is of a completely different nature, first by not having any significant data consolidation requirements, and second, by virtue of the complexity of building an electromechanical implementation as a significant part of the UI, above and beyond simple physical layout.

          So chalk up my prior comment to its being something I threw out on the spur of the moment, based on a misunderstanding of the context.

          But if you have never had to deal with reengineering a system backend which had all of its data stored only in a 1 to 1 relationship to UI panels, consider yourself fortunate.

          Especially in the early days of widespread adoption of WIMP (windows, icons, mouse and pointer) system interfaces, I saw more than one corporate system re-engineering effort (as a consultant) that caused a lot more effort than would have been required if UI panels were not taken as the sole basis for DB design.

          But once again, I was referring to computer system UI, and not to automotive systems, as I had failed to notice that you were referring to automotive UI interfaces. Probably should have, given that this discussion arose out of a discussion of automotive UI, but late in the middle of a night of insomnia, that point eluded me. Sorry.

          Reply
          • agent00F

            “But I recognize that in the automotive realm, UI design is of a completely different nature, first by not having any significant data consolidation requirements, and second, by virtue of the complexity of building an electromechanical implementation as a significant part of the UI, above and beyond simple physical layout.”

            I don’t think that modern computer & car UI design differ substantially anymore, given cars are using computers increasingly similar to their desktop counterparts. Physical switches are treated within the application layer same as their virtual counterparts, and that’s gradually shifting to virtual buttons on a touchscreen anyway. Basic controls don’t need a db backend, but a surprising number of embedded system come SQLite anyway which some infotainment application or such might end up using.

      • VolandoBajo

        AgentOOF A PS…just for the record, I wasn’t bragging about such DB work, nor did that kind of work represent more than a small part of what I did. I was merely pointing out that in a different context, UI design alone can and often has led to subsequent grief, when no forethought was given to the remainder of a system that lay behind the UI.

        Reply
        • VolandaBajo

          I don’t disagree with any of what you said. But I do want to note that the aggregation of such data doesn’t create time-consuming reporting nightmares, in that the data can be, and probably is, massaged into a normalized DB form before analytical SW is turned loose on it.

          In a corporate environment, however, if the data goes directly into a DB that is severely unnormalized, there is a much greater potential for long running queries.

          At one project for one of the largest engineering and project management companies in the world, not on the scale of Brown and Root or Halliburton, but not much further down the scale, using a state of the art latest rev of an Oracle DB, the best anyone could do with one of their standard reports was to reduce its run time from 45 hours to 28 hours. The problem was only resolved after a complete DB restructuring, decoupling the DB design from the UI design. After that the run time went down to a couple of hours, plus or minus.

          It was memories/flashbacks of that and a couple of other situations I had run into as a consultant that led to my initial rant about using UI design as the foundation for DB design.

          As the saying goes, YMMV. But I know what I saw, and I know that some sharp people tried to optimize that query, before management finally agreed to fund a DB restructure.

          Reply
  14. skitter

    ‘If you’re so smart, how come you ain’t good?’

    Well, I’m done for the day.
    Time to go back to bed.

    Reply
  15. agent00F

    On this broader topic in general, journalists/writers unerringly consider themselves adventurers for objective truth, and to be fair that’s what their audience claim to desire. However if we look at how the economics work in practice, evolutionary advantage in writing as a job is only measured in captive audience. In other words, writers are only paid to attract those eyeballs, so their actual job is to convince readers they have the truth or such, more so than truth/facts themselves.

    In that sense they’re not so different than politicians telling people what they want to hear, which is oddly vilified when it merely exemplifies a concentration of the people-pleasing component in most jobs. Again in fairness, maybe it’s a part of the job that many dislike, but then it’s mysterious why it underlies so many careers. It’s as if we pay others to say what we want to hear, then hate ourselves for it, however indirectly.

    Reply

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