Things That Make You Go Hmmm - Such As Mass "Dumbing Down" Courtesy Of 24 Non-Stop "News" (And The Emergence Of Captain Obvious)

Tyler Durden's picture

Two days ago, we presented Dylan Grice's latest thoughts on the substantial futility of trading the news cycle. Yet as Grice readily pointed out, and as even Taleb would glumly admit, what humans lose in the noise factor by avoiding the constant blasting of news, they make up for in entertainment value. And therein lies the rub: more than anything, people (or at least the vast majority)want to be entertained, ostensibly even more than the desire to make money on actionable, and properly filtered, ideas. The human brain has gotten accustomed to an information barrage of 140 letter updates, often times on a second by second basis, which in turn has crippled the ability to filter out the important from the irrelevant. Grant Williams of "Things that make you go hmmm" takes the idea one step further, and makes the claim that ever since the emergence of the 24 Hour newscycle, from its inception by CNN (also known as the CNN Effect), and currently peaking with each and every major news network having its own business new channel, accompanied by dramatic "breaking news" music, the net effect has been the substantial stupefaction of the broader global population: "Somewhere between the early 1990s and today, however, the 24-hour news cycle has, in your humble scribe’s opinion at least, become largely responsible for the ‘dumbing-down’ of the masses." Elsewhere this is also known as the "keep your eyes off the ball" effect, so well manipulated by those in control to mask what is really important with the repeated blasting of that which is truly irrelevant. Yet in another example of self-referential, deprecating and allegoric prose fit for TS Eliot (who pushed the premise of contextual and voluntary hyperlinking 70 years before the invention of the Internet), Williams makes his piece "entertaining" by presenting that number one construct of modern media: Captain Obvious. "In the investment world, this tear in the headspace/time continuum has meant that investors are unable to focus on all the issues brought to their attention and consequently they tend to suffer bouts of panic or euphoria over a certain subject before being distracted by the next piece of  news and moving on (remember Fukushima? It’s still not completely under control in case you were wondering). This strange situation in turn led to the spectacular resurgence in recent years of a Superhero – a man who, for years, has been omniscient in playgrounds the world over but has now become a fixture in more adult environs. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Captain Obvious." In case it is not obvious where this is headed, read on...

Things that Make You Go Hmm (pdf)

Hmmm May 27 2011

Comment viewing options

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

What is fed to  the masses via TV(these days) would insult an  intelligent monkey, I don't own nor watch TV for over 5 years

Taint Boil's picture

I have not watched TV in over two years. I have tried but just can’t make it past 2-3 minutes. What a sorry state the masses are in. Who in the hell watches that crap, even the news is nothing but a staged act. No real news just images and short comments because nobody would watch anything for more than 3 minutes if it didn’t have pictures, explosions, flashy celebrities etc.


The herd definitely needs to be culled. Not to worry Mother Nature and the basic laws of physics and biology will take care of that in time. We are only here (in these great numbers) because of cheap oil and energy. The oil age is only a tiny blip on the timeline of man existing here on Earth.

Pegasus Muse's picture

Someone posted this the other day.

"Idiocracy" introduction - the future of human evolution

Quixotic_Not's picture

no natural predators to thin the herd...

Perhaps GS is doing god's work?!?

IQ 145's picture

 I've never owned a television; I was told my Harold W. Ickes, Jr., when I was 16 years old, that tv was for the ignorant masses. I regard the absense of mind poisoning and simple overload as crucial to my success in life. If you have one in your home and you're raising children, you're participating in a terrible crime.



TempFlashback's picture

I couldn't agree more. If an adult wants to waste their life in front of the television, so be it. But, sitting a kid in front of the TV for hours on end should not be acceptable.

Antidisestablishmentarianismist's picture

I'm not quite as extremist as you; I own a television.  But I haven't watched it in nearly three years while paying for cable (go figure).  It might come in handy someday in a local or national emergency but first I will have to figure out how my remote works.  I consider a television screen conceptually the same thing as a sewage pipe that flows right into and through your living room.  If you want to know what we've lost in terms of political discourse just read the text of the Lincoln-Douglas debates, or read Coolidge's inaugural address.  The degree of debasement, greatly exacerbated by television, reminds me a lot of what has happened to our currency.

ColonelCooper's picture

"If you have one in your home and you're raising children, you're participating in a terrible crime."

Wrong.  You sir, in your pointy headed academic, oh so smart rush to judgement, forget one thing: I'm in charge at my house.  I have two children, and several TVs.  At this moment, with three out of four people up and about, they are all off.  They will likely be off all day.  They weren't on at all yesterday.  I do not remember about the day before.  Maybe, maybe not.  TV doesn't ruin children any more than guns kill people.  A TV is a monitor.  It only shows what you put on it.   

I will agree with you that 98% of programming is mind numbing sewage, but you're statement is a little over the top.  Just like your monniker.

theMAXILOPEZpsycho's picture

oh come on! sports are great!

luckily I can watch them for free via internet streaming

disabledvet's picture

How does "all the information get factored in" yet "everyone is seemingly surprised when El Paso Energy spits itself in two the stock price goes up 5 percent in one day on the news?"  Anywho I've taken my cue from Victor Kruger of the tribe Kurgin ("forgive me, I am a worm") and "stayed an idiot" to the best of my ability.  I have taken to using sign language of late while speaking in simple sentences (i.e. "can you get me a coffee?" both spoken and signed--albeit my signing skills are rudimentary and offensive as well)...apparently my people think i do this "for added annoyance." actually i'm just trying to avoid the whole "look at me when i talk to you" moment though.

Creepy Lurker's picture

LOL! I got a perfect visual on the rudimentary sign language. Maybe you should also talk very slowly. It's bound to help.

Rodent Freikorps's picture

Is there a mention of the socialist control of the education system, that is then reinforced by massaged media like news and Hollywood?

It is a pretty complete system by now.

I'd read the thing, but I'm boycotting news today since Syfy is running a Star Trek movie marathon.

Alcoholic Native American's picture

Follow the money.................George Soros.

robobbob's picture

follow the soros-just an arm of the greater octopus

Oh regional Indian's picture

Indeed. Interesting anecdotal view from India.

15 years ago we had maybe 5 channels on TV.

Now we have maybe 500. TV channels mushrooming. 24/7 programming is the norm here.

And the 'consultants" that got most of the boom going all belong to the US and in fact are the saem folks that started VOA and other such propaganda channels long ago. 

Go figure.


downwiththebanks's picture

To fix education, start by closing all the propaganda factories known as "Business Schools".  

Then, stop teaching to multiple-choice tests which glorifies the Banker-Gangsters and Slaveholders that the NaziRat administers hand-jobs to on a daily basis.

Finally, end segregation in the school system.  White (Over)Privilege in public schools reinforces racist ignorance.  Distribute tax revenue to schools equally, and stop diverting the funding to schools in the ghettos to Pigs and security systems and buy books for a change.

Rodent Freikorps's picture

Good idea. Spend. Spend. Spend.

That'll teach those bankers.

downwiththebanks's picture

I suppose you're right.  Closing business schools would mean hapless, useless social parasites thrown into society without skills or intelligence.

But other than that, ending the overpriced, consultant-addled testing industry and the militarization and the overpolicing of schools would obviously CUT costs.

Good try, NaziRat.

sgt_doom's picture

Ha, pretty funny: "..socialist control of the education system.."

Spewed forth like a true, uneducated and illiterate ignoramus.  You certainly are aware of the history of public education in America, aren't you, oh simple-minded one?


You mean you are completely unaware of the Rockefellers and the origins of mass public education?

Now about your definition of socialism....I believe you are referring to plutocracy.

Rodent Freikorps's picture

Where did you get the idea the banks dislike socialism?

It makes govt. their partner in crime. QED.

And never lose sight of their use of it to indoctrinate.

How's that working for you?

theMAXILOPEZpsycho's picture

well where do these young plebs end up working after being churned out by the education system? it sure as shit aint in the free market

bugs_'s picture

Captain Obvious vs Captain Hindsight.

but they had better watch out for Captain Blame!!

JW n FL's picture
by bugs_
on Sat, 05/28/2011 - 11:43


Captain Obvious vs Captain Hindsight.

but they had better watch out for Captain Blame!!


You Sir are a Jean-E-Ous!

SOLnow's picture

Captain Obvious spends way to much time preaching to the choir.  I can count on one hand the number of people I've talked to "offline" who would consider any of the past five years as "obvious".  People prefer Captain Oblivious.

Milestones's picture

Bingo!!    Milestones

Milestones's picture

Bingo!!    Milestones

rsnoble's picture

Do you think im thinking right on per my trying to decouple from the norm bullshit posts on another thread.

1.  Wifes diabetic.  In relatively good health though.  Lost her insurance and job.  Can't get a private insurer.  Can quailty for state coverage but has huge deductibles in 6 months and cost $500 month.  Current meds are around that per month.

2. job, no insurance, burn victim that is constantly turned away from work because of a "perceived disability", rejected from disability twice, now finding a job is even harder because of cherry picking.

3.  House is paid off.

4. Most medical bankruptcies are people that have insurance.  20% copay on 200k(that's a hangnail these days) = your finished.

 My plan: Since the current system isn't working for me, and trying to get it to work seem s impossible-----

1. Fuck getting insurance.

2. Apply for food stamps

3. Apply for programs the drug companies have that give you meds for 80% off if you have low income

4.  Stay in a low income job when I get one so I can't have my wages garnished

5.  If a hospital bill comes along---file bk anyhow.

6.  I don't think in the state of KS I can lose the house over medical, so concluded take a low paying job, don't get insurance, and keep all money I make in the blackmarket which im currently doing somewhere it's not accountable for.

So there you have it......I've spent the last 20 fucking years trying to play by the rules and haven't got anywhere except massive kicks to the nutsake.  I have officially thrown my hands up in the air and have called it quits.  As far as im concerned our society has put us in a 'do whatever it takes' position.



dick cheneys ghost's picture

Best of luck to you and yours........the black market or underground economy is where is it at........$1 trillion dollars and growing as average americans are fed up with the current system.......When multi-national corporations start playing by the rules, so will I.

CH1's picture

Regulation drives all the cool things out of the 'white' market.

A black market is the only place to get things that are not sanitized for the masses.

ElvisDog's picture

One thing I would add - stash away enough cash (literally cash - $20 bills) to pay your property tax and insurance for the next 2-3 years. I believe the only way you can lose your house is through tax liens if you don't pay your property tax.

And I don't know anything about your wife obviously, but the best non-drug thing she could do to control her diabetes would be to lose any extra weight she is carrying.

Creepy Lurker's picture

Agree with Elvis Dog about the cash for prop tax. Yes, file for not only food stamps, but everything, including medicaid. Put on the "poor show" while working the underground economy. F**k the gubbmint and f**k what the neighbors think. You gotta do for you and yours.

kaiserhoff's picture

Dump the corporate pill pushers and explore alternative medicine for yourself and your wife, especially ginseng (long term) to normalize blood sugar.  Might be a new career path for you in there, somewhere.  Best of luck.

gmrpeabody's picture

I have found that I can purchase my meds cheaper from Wall Mart without insurance than I can from my own expensive insurance perscription plan (Medco). Yet Medco constantly barrages me with the old "you pay $75 and we pay $400" bullshit!

I prefer the "I pay $60 and you pay $0" plan!

anonnn's picture

I've spent the last 50 years...

You learn fast!

WonderDawg's picture

He said 20 years. You should practice your reading comprehension before you go popping off.


FrankDrakman's picture

I realize you're in a bad way, but seriously - $500/month for diabetes meds? I take insulin injections 3 times a day, and Metformin (generic) 3 times a day. The insulin (Novolog) costs less than 180/month, and the Metformin costs about $30 for six months' supply. I've been diabetic for over 10 years, and kept it in pretty good control. Maybe your wife could find another endocrinologist who might be able to suggest less expensive meds. 

bankonzhongguo's picture

Hey, watch it in KS. 

I had a relative in Johnson County and one of those local Meyer Lansky wannabe banks got their hooks into her.  In two years they had her consigned into a nursing home, shot up with haldol and then the local good ol' boys went to work converting her estate.  Anywhere else in the universe it would have been attempted murder and financial elder abuse.  In KS, its 'Fuck'em. They're old. Who's next?'  Do everything you can to keep your home and be judgement proof.  Remember - if you go to a lawyer for advice in a small market, you may find yourself being the main course.  Lazy estate and probate lawyers are psychopaths.  Once somebody finds that equity, you are toast.  I would suggest going to the hospital under an assumed name.  Just show up at the ER with no ID with your complaints and do not reference anything in your past.  How do you think all the illegals have free babies in the US?  Get some fake ID, take your wedding rings off and get a PO box as a cut out and never reference your house on any medical records.  Ever. Do not even consider bankruptcy.  That too costs money.   Get in front of that game and let the bills go directly into a black hole.  The first 10 days of any medical care is chargeable back to Medicare, so you do not even need a SSN for any medicare "benefits."  After 10 days the "for-profit" hospital eats it.

I'm wrong or crazy? 

After everything that has happened these last years, who else is coming to help you?

All Risk No Reward's picture

rsnoble, while diabetes is bad news, the good news is that type 2 can be seriously impacted by a hormonally balanced diet.

a spanish study correlated an 83% reduction in diabetes due to diet - and the people on the good diet were the genetically highest risk group!

for those that can't break the main stream, google "joslin diabetes center nutritional guidelines" and implement their plan using lean meats, egg whites, lean protein powders and lean dairy (eg, 1.5% cottage cheese) for protein, vegetables and low glycemic fruits for carbs and heart healthy fats - organic extra virgin olive oil, macadamia nuts, almonds, peanuts, etc...

for those who can venture out of the main stream, check out dr. barry sears' zone books (library, amazon or discount book store - americans love their industrial food addiction).

for those who want a look under the hood of a hormonally balanced diet and why it works...

check out this PDF download...

there are some typos in the article, but the information is better than solid gold under your mattress.

Big Finance Capital maximizes their societal asset stripping by selling industrial "food" that makes you hungry (you pay them more when you buy more!) and makes you sick (Big Finance Capital pharma makes bank when you are sick, too!).

dr. sears doesn't address the GMO scam (youtube "jeffrey m smith")- i recommend eating non GMO foods and removing the industrial toxins from the water you drink, too.

this anti-inflammatory eating plan really works - manuel uribe, the former heaviest man in the world, has lost over 600 lbs in 4-5 years and his vitals are that of a healthy teenager.  jenny thompson and dara torres have brought home the motherload of olympic medals applying this diet's principles.

garmin's cycling team applies the zone diet principles.

randall mccloy, the "on death's door" survivor of the sago mining disaster was treated under the guidance of dr. sears and his recovery was called "miraculous."

high dose fish oil is a powerful anti-inflammatory, too.  i recommend omapure in volume to bring the price down to $20 a bottle, but dr. sears' omegarx is probably the best stuff on the market - but costs about twice as much.

make thyself well by eating like you were design and/or evolved to eat.

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Solution is obvious: avoid all mainstream news outlets. Really clarifies your thinking when you disconnect from the Matrix.

Quixotic_Not's picture

Our society has become corrupt. 

As a collective we now care more about how a matter is perceived or can be manipulated to look good, than whether there is any substance to it.

We eat up sound bites that are warm and fuzzy and disregard the reality of the situation. 

We dismiss the tough road that leads to real accomplishment and instead follow the easy road to short term happiness and emotional well being. 

Absolutely everything is infected with this disease in the U.S.;  Education, finance, politics, media, faith, economics... EVERYTHING

sgt_doom's picture

What's this "we" crap -- kemosabe??

Back in 1963, over 600 companies managed the American media.

Today, it is officially 5, but given their financial interlocking, and further financially interlocked with the top three banks through structured finance deals, it is effective on ONE or TWO corporations which control the bulk of the American media.

In other words, there is NO media.

ElvisDog's picture

DSK is thinking "Michelle, would you dress up in a housekeeper costume?"

rsnoble's picture

And btw if I were to lose this house I already made a firm commitiment I will kill whoever orders it and before I live to take them out I am going to burn this motherfucker to the ground.