Blogs: Crucial or a Waste of Time?

George Washington's picture

Washington’s Blog

Preface: Everyone who is not employed by the giant banks or their government enablers knows that the economy cannot stabilize unless they are broken up.  Bloggers have been saying this ad nauseum, but nothing is changing.

So we've got to ask the question: is blogging crucial or a waste of time?

Crucial for Spreading Accurate Information

We've all seen it.

story that bloggers have bird-dogged for many months, gaining so much
traction that the mainstream media is finally forced to cover it. [Note to ZH readers: as one example, Tyler Durden has broken many such stories, that the msm finally was forced to cover].

Steele - former 20-year Marine Corps infantry and intelligence officer,
the second-ranking civilian in U.S. Marine Corps Intelligence, and
former CIA clandestine services case officer - says that blogging is crucial for saving our country.

Dan Rather points out that “roughly 80 percent” of the media is controlled by no more than six, and possibly as few as four, corporations. As I wrote in July:

This fact has been documented for years, as shown by the following must-see charts prepared by:




This image gives a sense of the decline in diversity in media ownership over the last couple of decades:

The mainstream media are rabidly pro-war and refuse to disclose that many of the "independent" pundits they interview are actually lobbyists. The mainstream press has become lazy, and most of the stories are fed to them by PR firms.

People want change - that's why so many voted for Obama. But as Newsweek's Evan Thomas admitted:

definition, establishments believe in propping up the existing order.
Members of the ruling class have a vested interest in keeping things
pretty much the way they are. Safeguarding the status quo, protecting
traditional institutions, can be healthy and useful, stabilizing and


"If you are of the establishment persuasion (and I am). . . ."

other words, many editors, publishers, producers and reporters think of
themselves as being part of the establishment class, and so do
everything they can to protect those in power.

No wonder trust in the news media is crumbling.

On the other hand, as I wrote a year ago, it is possible to get direct-from-source news on the web:

Many of the world's top PhD economics professors and financial advisors have their own blogs...


The same is true in every other field: politics, science, history, international relations, etc.

what is "news"? What the largest newspapers choose to cover? Or what
various leading experts are saying - and oftentimes heatedly debating
one against the other?

And as award-winning investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill said recently:

I think we're in a moment where corporations are more dominant over
newsgathering and news production and disseminating information than
they've ever been.

Contrary to that, though, you also have this sort of "citizen
journalism" rising up, where you have people that are staring their own
blogs or their own web sites.

So the blogosphere is certainly vital.

A Waste of Time

On the other hand, even with all of the millions of bloggers exposing what's going on, the powers-that-be are ignoring us.

with high-level economics and financial experts demonstrating that the
economy cannot recover until the big banks are broken up, the
government is letting them get bigger and bigger. For example, an all-star cast of well-known experts says that we must break up the big banks, with people like Simon Johnson blogging about this daily for one of the world's most popular news sites (Huffington Post). And yet nothing is changing.

with top security experts showing that the never-ending "war on terror"
is harming our national security, and that covering up for the
torturers and war criminals is making us less safe, the Obama
administration is continuing the never-ending war, and has swept
torture and war crimes under the rug.

I could go on and on, but
if you've been paying any attention, you know that our country is
headed in the wrong direction, no matter how many thoughtful writers
point out the direction we should be headed.

Moreover, the blogsphere is not a "free market" of ideas. Whistleblowers and many of the hardest-hitting blog posts get attacked or buried by the powers-that-be. Because of this censorship, there may be a highly educated minority of millions of Americans, but the majority still gets their news from the mainstream media, including the mainstream news websites.

So blogging may be doing nothing but blowing off steam,
and draining the energy which should be used for massive protests and
strikes. Indeed, maybe we are just shouting within the Matrix, in an
artificial environment.  Maybe we are having as much effect as
protesters in government-approved "protest zone" - miles from the
media, let alone the real events they are protesting.

Knowing stuff isn't enough. Being smart isn't enough. Indeed, being
informed and smart but failing to take action to protect ourselves is a
recipe for disaster (and perhaps even extinction).

Maybe we need to get outside the cyber-playground and the designated protest zones, and shout with our real, physical voices at real, physical people before anyone will actually pay attention.

Useful or a Waste of Time?

Do you think blogs are useful or a waste of time? Let us know what you think.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Hephasteus's picture

Fine quit blogging. See if I care. I'll just watch mainstream media.

I was totally lying about that last thing. But you know the mainstream media when they read that were all like. YES!!! THEY ALWAYS COME BACK!!!! Then they read that I was lying and then they were all like. Awe man.

chindit13's picture

About the only success I can see resulting from the existence of blogs is that Goldman Sachs did not get the lead role in the Citibank share resale.  That's a heck of a lot of bytes for a tiny victory.

Other than that, blogs inform, entertain, help some of us vent, and perhaps occasionally embarrass someone who needs embarrassing.  Embarrassment, rather than financial or political harm, is what gets bloggers banned and their ISP's cut off.

The fact is, two years into this crisis, which more or less coincides with the birth of the majority of bear-type financial blogs, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING has changed.  In fact, the control of TBTB is greater than before.  TBTF banks are bigger.  TBTB are richer.  The Fed's door has not been pried open even one inch.  We are all on the hook for the crimes and failures of those who have taken even greater control over the system they brought to its knees.  Not a single person responsible for the crisis has been punished, indicted, done hard time, been summarily executed....nothing.

Thomas Paine wrote, and people met in cafes and bars and coffee houses to discuss what he wrote and what should be done.  One man looked another in the eye and said, "I'll put my life on the line for an ideal.  Join me."  They planned, they executed the plan, they won freedom.  Many people had to die, but the cost proved worthwhile. 

Most of us have the same degree of anger of those who read Paine, but we read sitting at home in our underwear, sipping coffee or Barolo or single malt, and we comment anonymously.  In an elevator with only two other riders, I could not pick out Chumbawamba (well, maybe I could make an educated guess if the other rider looked like Mitt Romney).  Our anger and frustration finds an outlet in blogs.  Our personal bombs are diffused.  We read the next revelation, get incensed, maybe drop kick the neighbor's cat over the telephone lines, then we write a comment and go to sleep.

We all know the system is broken.  We all know TPTB not only ruined the country for the 306 million Americans who are not them, but feels no shame, no remorse, no contrition, no fear, and has absolutely no intention of fixing something that for them is not broken.  For them, things have never been better.

Their biggest concern in life, other than trying to get a bigger bonus or prettier trophy mistress than their competitor on the next desk or in the next building, is that some snot nosed blogger might embarrass them.  As for their butt men (Congress), most are not smart enough to know how to turn on a computer, much less access a webpage.  All they want is to get re-elected, because they like the feeling of power it gives them, however false that might be.  Bloggers cannot stop the money flow to the pols who answer to the bankers, so the system is not ever going to fix itself.

Blogging is not an alternative nor a solution.  The Tea Party movement, made impotent and foolish (in my mind) by adopting as its champion one of America's dumbest and least capable women, is not an alternative nor a solution.  These are just bases thrown into a beaker of acid, neutralizing it.  Neutralizing us. 

There is only one alternative left, but so far we are not meeting in the cafes and bars and coffee houses to discuss and plan and execute the things---the only things---that can take the country away from those who destroyed it.

Sailor Jo's picture

So sorry - blogging is largely blowing in the wind.

In  the course of the health care debate I presented my ideas to senators, the President, Congressmen and so on. Response: Zilch, Zero

The same happened with my ideas about modern city development including traffic and energy. Response: Zilch, Zero.


My general blogging may be read by some people but my ideas never showed up anywhere. As said above: Politicians like the comfort of status quo. That makes life easy and profitable. As much as I like to believe that the quantity (and sometimes quality) will help to further change I have my serious doubts. But not enough to give up. In a democracy I see voting as an obligation and blogging goes right along with it.

cocoablini's picture

I don't even read the mainstream press anymore. I vomit when I do...

Yardfarmer's picture

About Me

Yardfarmer is at home on his urban ranch in the Queen City. From his underground bunker he cogitates, agitates, and disseminates, hoping to find solace in the frozen waste of cyberspace. This was not what he wanted or really intended, but the force of circumstance has inexorably charted his most unexpected voyage into this alien realm, a veritable black hole sucking in the various flotsams and jetsoms of fragmented consciousness such as his own. With his senses progressively failing and the world growing mad around him, Kushmonster has become his message in a bottle cast to the electronic waves of the web in the hope that it might be discovered upon the shore of some fellow exile stranded in some likewise lonely outpost in this inexorable and unremitting wasteland.

brodix's picture

Think of the powers that be as a scab over a wound. When it first developed, it had a function to protect, but as it dries out and gets harder and crustier, it starts to peel away. This can take a very long time. Look at monarchy. look at communism. Look at the Catholic Church. Eventually though it does fall away and a new, more flexible scab starts to form.....

 As they say in science; Change happens one funeral at a time.

 Each time, we push a little further, learn a little more.

moneymutt's picture

There is truth in both your points GW, but I just do a thought expirement and think, yes blogs and their information have failed to change a lot in our still corrupt, crony govt., but where would we be without them? It would be worse, much worse. Much of the corruption of our country has been promoted by relentless drumbeat of MSM memes, and many of these have succeeding in spite of blogs screaming into the wind, so it can seem worthless at times. But consider how much further along they would be with NO counter voice. It may be blogs are simple making up for other losses, so the net effect historically is nuetral, or they are only slowing the erosion, but we would certainly way worse without them.

No matter who the tyrannical parasite is in the history of the world, they always resist and hate free speech, and try to control others free will...that says enough to me, that anything promoting free speech and respecting free will of others (as long as they are not injurying others) is opposition to evil.

I do believe blogs and free speech are only allowed in this country as long as they are not terribly effective, once someone, something really challenges, that is when it is resisted. That's not to say effective free speech cannot thrive, just that it will also have to struggle.

And finally, I remember the Philly guy that was shook down by the corrupt street cops who went back to police admin demanding his driver's license be returned to him. His persistence eventually lead to exposure and conviction of many thug cops who had been previously running amok, preying on citizens.

You just never know when some story, some tidbit, some protest, some ray of sunshine will be the tipping point to create real improvements.

Long live blogs and our precious, tireless bloggers....

tip e. canoe's picture

depends on whether you believe in the myth of the 100th monkey.  if so, then every monkey that wakes up brings us one monkey closer. 

Dirtt's picture

Yes.  More importantly than blogging we must be engaging communities and neighbors.  If we phuck up in November then its all over. 

UnBearorBull's picture

Forgot to add that ZH has certainly made a difference to me. And to my blood pressure most days.

Thanks ZH crew for bringing us so much information and insights that the green shoots machine keeps forgetting to mention.


UnBearorBull's picture

Blogs have definitely made a huge difference in exposing the Great Global Warming Fraud.

The corporate media is still almost silent on how that scheme is collapsing under the weight of its own bogus 'science.'

Given the potential creation of a collosal bubble machine built on carbon offset and credits, the end of this scam will no doubt anger many of the usual suspects.

Enjoy the net while its still as open as it is. The Chinese model is probably the future.

2discern's picture

The blogging of info fulfills a great gap the lame-stream-media won't cover. The very premise of their silence to truthful cogent life changing news is indicting. For example, this article I posted on ZH in various comment areas is NOW in the main stream. This is the largest lawsuit in US history against the SEC.  see-

What most don't know, this exposure is only the tip of the iceberg. The fraud and deceit from the top (yes, barry soetero) on down in leadership, finance committees, czars, staffers, etc.  if America knew the dealings...oh, my. 

Kreditanstalt's picture

I wouldn't worry so much.  Blogging or no blogging, the thing will only break down slowly, as more and more people de-legitimize government, more and more people break more and more petty laws, more and more people avoid and evade...

illyia's picture

Thank You ZH, GW et al.

+10K for the blogs.


Hammer59's picture

The power of the press belongs to those that can operate one.

People are slowing waking up to what has happened to our country. Sure, the PTB will attempt to preserve the status quo, but look what happened to Healthcare reform.

Sure, Obama was a little too "green"  (ie. underexperienced) to be POTUS, but he is a damn sight better than Bush. Blogs offer an oppurtunity to escape msm and learn. If the ruling class fails at their little social experiment and either loses control of the masses or causes widespread unemployment/poverty---the end result will be their demise.

We are slowly approaching a "V" for Vendetta" scenerio rather than a "Fight Club" one.

You can f--k all people some of the time, and you can f--k some people all of the time, but you cant f---k all people all of the time.


kwvrad's picture

we just have to spread the word it takes time, I put a link to zerohedge on my youtube account , the more folks we tell the more knowledge gets out there... thanks tyler and everyone on this site, you folks dont realize it but, YOU ARE MAKING A BIG DIFFERENCE...

Atoyota's picture

As pointed out in your opener, Tyler has broken many stories that were eventually covered.

It's not a waste of time, but there is a lot of "noise" in the blogosphere. It's a site like ZH that provides a good filter. I wish there were more...

Matto's picture

Subversion has to start somewhere..

vj01's picture

Blogging is very helpful 

swamp's picture

All is good except for the Obama part. I didn't vote for him because I researched him (through blogs) and knew he was a puppet fraud. Kind of a scary one too because so many people were (are?) mesmerized by him, like they were Hitler when he came into power.


Blogs are good.

AnonymousMonetarist's picture

Blogging is cheaper than therapy.

chancee's picture

You're blind if you can't see the HUGE difference the blogs/internet have made in the current crisis.  Take 2003/2004 for example.  The Fed et al were able to do all their manipulating behind the scenes, under the cover of CNBC, etc.  And they succeeded... sending us into a brutal housing bubble, credit bubble, and ultimately the crash and recession. 


If it wasn't currently for the internet, the phony government statistics and propaganda, along with Goldman Sachs behavior, would probably be going mostly unquestioned.  For the first time in probably a century, a medium has come along thats leveling the playing field a bit.  The mainstream media has been in the pocket of the wealthy for decades.  Blogs are a major disaster for the likes CNBC and crooked Treasury Secretarys.  And they know it.  Look how they've already tried to get a handle on it by inviting all those bloggers to the Treasury a while back for a Question and Answer session.  Now, this TRUTH that's been, and continues to be exposed in blogs and all across the internet... needs to be translated into VOTES.  As in VOTING OUT the status quo.  And I mean REAL CHANGE, not phony Obama change.

Rainman's picture

I have a very good friend from childhood. He and I and a couple of other guys from the old hood get together once a year in Vegas for a couple days to get away from our wives, get drunk as monkeys, gamble and visit the titty bar.

My old pal is the regional publisher of a large city business newspaper...and has been for some time.

At breakfast ( 3 a.m. ) I asked him if he ever visited the ZH website. He said no, never heard of it. I told him that he should explore the deeper interpretations of the markets and financial stories affecting world economies instead of just churning out the same old chamber of commerce-approved boilerplate bullshit. Maybe it would help circulation and ad rates, which is his biggest concern.

He said " WTF, The last thing my advertisers want to see is deep interpretations. Few readers would understand it anyway. They just want it all looking good and simple." 

And that's today's business journalism in just 3 brief sentences. I left it alone and went to bed. Too tired to mix it up.

Village Idiot's picture

Let's hope it's not a waste of time - Justice needs to be served.

anony's picture

You do not live in a world that offers Justice, you live in a world that imposes Laws.

For justice you will have to wait till you get to heaven.

Leo Kolivakis's picture

The big hitch is this: how can you make a living off blogging? I don't like models that charge people to read blogs and advertising is tricky because you can't accept anyone to post ads on your blog. I was thinking of earning my keep through investment recommendations - a lot more detailed recommendations on stocks, bonds, currencies. Will cross that bridge when or if I get there.

Reggie Middleton's picture

I'm about to write a series on this topic. There are blogs that are profitable, with wide margins and marquis clients. The key is for the Content and distribution companies to buy into them now before they get too expensive. The smarter ones know not to change the formula since that is what makes the blog worthwhile in the first place.More on this later.

Leo Kolivakis's picture

Be curious to read your thoughts on this. Let me know.

Missing_Link's picture

So blogging may be doing nothing but blowing off steam, and draining the energy which should be used for massive protests and strikes.

Yes, let's have massive protests and strikes.  Bring a grinding halt to productivity  ...  that'll fix our economy for sure. 

George, in many cases, blogs make an important contribution.  However, in some cases, such as yours, they only serve as a distraction from the much more important articles and degrade the signal-to-noise ratio.  So the best thing you could do would be to blog less.

Waterfallsparkles's picture

I love your blogs.  They are so close to my own beliefs.

I like to think that the more Blogers talk about how the economy is falling off the cliff.  Which in the "Real World" it is the more they pump the Market to prove them wrong.  It is like they are trying to discredit all of the Blogers forcing the Public to believe the Cnbc's and Msnbc's of the World.  Painting Blogers like they are all wearing Tin Foil Hats.  That way they can keep control.

Truth will not be hidden forever.

Keep up the good work.

WmWallace's picture

CIA Officer- Robert Steele stresses the importance of Blogging

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

The enemy lies.

If they tell you something is under control, it's falling apart. If they say blogs are unimportant and immaterial, they're trembling in their boots at the potential of blogs.

The enemy lies. Robert Steele does not.

Marvin_M's picture

CD, your comments are always pithy and entertaining.  Just a few random thoughts:

1 I never dreamed that there was a real alternate universe until I was laid off and fell into blogosphere worm hole

2 After a little more than a year following ZH sight and many others, my perception of reality has been altered forever

3 Truth is a quantum entity that emerges into a known physical state only after being observed differently by everyone

4 Bloggers are generally paranoid by nature but that does not mean that they are not in danger of ever taken seriously by ....them

5 If you seek affirmation of the power of the internet and its emergent truth is feared and dealt with by those with the most to lose, look no further than China

fxrxexexdxoxmx's picture

If blogging has no real threat to any government in control, why are bloggers arrested and ISP shut down or attacked in other countries?

The will for real change will be found on the blog.

The desire for honest change is growing.

And hopefully the agents of that change are here and now.

verum quod lies's picture


Do you really think they are a net negative force just absorbing what could be useful "problem solving muscle"? Is it not possible, that for most people that focus their energy on blogs that, they are the type of people that are not willing to do much anyway (i.e., in terms of actual action)? Pushing that thought further, isn't it possible that without blogs, certain people wouldn't even be engaged at all (for example, many of the bloggers on ZH), possibly including yourself?

carbonmutant's picture

"Freedom of the Press belongs to those who own one."

homer44's picture

No political/corporate entity thrives today, and probably yesterday, without a 'Tony Soprano Department' willing and able to place horses heads in the beds of selected recalcitrant recipients to help lubricate the decision making process. The blogosphere is too nebulous, effete and centrally insecure a place(?) to organize or hire the necessary problem solving muscle. This lacuna leads, unfortunately, to General Washington's bleakest possibility: Blogging absorbs an incredible amount of critical energy with no real effect---producing tons of light, but little or no heat. In fact, it leads inexorably to a debilitated refractory state in the plebs. Elite dirtbags' dream come true. 

Change blogs really need a 'Tony Soprano' response  to Cheney's monumental question: "So?". Blogging, again unfortunately, seems to hold the same relationship with real change as masturbation holds (npi) with intercourse.

Fuckin depressing   

verum quod lies's picture

As is often the case, the answer depends on the context. Sure, it can be a relatively useless outlet if it just serves to blow off steam and no positive change or course correction results. That said, and as mentioned, they are one of the few, if only, sources of truth, or at least partial truth, for a significant subset of people today. Additionally, and as noted by others, you don't need a majority to have an impact (for example, the MSM is dominated by just a handfull of organizations, and a corresponding small number of decision makers). Therefore, it also depends who is influenced by the truth and/or arguments made. On balance, I firmly believe that when we look back on this period some decades from now, and assuming things turn around, that blogs will have played a positive role. At a minimum, for example, clearly socialist and related trolls read their competition's blogs and sometimes feel the need to respond to them.

colonial's picture

Blogging has become an essential part of the media world. 

Borrowing the investment term, blogs add "alpha" to general news coverage. 

Consider that many mainstream media (msm,) outlets chastised in comments here have their own blogs and some are quite good.  Often times a blog post can summarize a theme, provide a few links, and make a point with limited  editorial approval that increasingly is difficult given the fact that advertisers are NOT supporting msm...fewer ad pages mean fewer stories. 

We've also seen electronic media embrace blogs as well including traditional news services, cable news stations and specialized news services who now all run platforms that have video archives and blogs in addition to mainstream articles. 

More than likely, stand-alone blogs will undergo a natural shake-out and the best blogs will hold a place in the daily reading/scanning of key decision makers while others will disappear due to the inability to sustain active readership. 

One final thought; readers here obviously know the value of blogs as we read and interact with two bloggers who do not actually use their real names.  Who would have thought any kind of internet service could survive with this kind of business model? 

Ruffcut's picture

Geez, blogging is hard. We have to actually read and not be force fed info based on polls on what makes us watch the boob tube.

Investigative news? Gone the way of the blacksmith.

Szydkid's picture

I don't see how the blog readers and writers are going to have a whole lot of influence on these United States.  The population appears to break down as follows:

330 million total

275 million lacking brain activity

10 million running various federal, state, and local governments

25 million in mega-corporations or aspiring to such

10 million pursuing higher education

And us.

We lose.


But at least we know how, why, and to whom.


merehuman's picture

Szydkid. Its up to us to educate and inform. Each of us who visits here must take resposibility of their knowledge and pass it on. And convince the next soul to pass it on.  How else can we return to normal?

Thorny Xi's picture

From my own blog's header: "As long as men can speak in liberty, you can bet they won't act." Charles Jared Ingersoll, to Alexis De Toqueville - circa 1830

The Disappointed's picture

I kept wondering if last Thursday's CFTC meeting on metal trading would have happened without GATA and/or Ted Butler writing about the manipulation of those markets.

waterdog's picture

Blogging can be educational for some of us. I knew absolutely nothing about the investing world before I began visiting this site; although I thought I knew a lot. Most of this stuff is still over my head but, I know a hell of a lot more than my buddies know. I really had no concept of how the financial survival of the world depended on so few people until I began reading ZH. The blogger comments to each post made reading about all this worldly corruption more entertaining.

My desire to learn this stuff has led me to studying for the Series 7 exam. One day in the future, when I blog here, bloggers will be able to say, gee waterdog, I remember when you were an absolute idiot. 

Until then, I shall remain that idiot; because Mr. Durden et al allow me to be who I am and there are not many blog sites that allow people like me to stay around for very long.

Blogging is essential to learning the truth, and learning how to think out loud.


Leo Kolivakis's picture

We are all in the information arbitrage business, and we all have something to contribute to the larger discussion. My biases were formed by sitting down with countless hedge fund and private equity managers. I want to inform people on what is going on with their pensions. Unfortunately, too many people aren't interested or they have the attitude that "bwah, the professionals are taking care of my pensions".

The professionals are taking care of themselves. In a nutshell, here is how it works: your pension contributions go to big public pension funds, which feed the big investment banks and the big hedge funds and private equity funds which provide the bulk of the fees to these big banks. The pension fund managers game their benchmarks, especially in alternative investments, collecting big bonuses at the end of their fiscal year and the song & dance goes on until one day you go collect your pension and the government cuts your benefits in half because the Pension Ponzi has collapsed, and assets are not enough to cover all those cushy pensions. Everyone makes money except for YOU.

Are you still not interested in pensions? Yeah, that's what I thought, so keep reading Pension Pulse. Nobody else will tell it to you like it really is.

Dicite justitiam's picture

Cheers Leo.  Your service is invaluable.