Media Consumption Is Hazardous

“…have a system that protects me from misinformation.” – Ryan Holiday

That made me think of Peter Thiel’s book Zero to One, as an example of an important truth which most people would not agree with you, in action. Most people go to great lengths to absorb only information which can’t change them – truth has nothing to do with it. They might well believe they are being open-minded, but they’re actually being quite closed off.

Interestingly, there’s no reference to any of the RealClear* blogs. I read them specifically because they arrange contrarian points of view side-by-side. This ensures that, even if you’re being exposed to misinformation, you’re being pulled in both directions. That makes renders (at least part of) the tactics of manipulation null and void, because they are laid bare. However, at this point, I rarely read outside of my tightly curated RSS and Twitter feeds and a few email lists…

There is the seed of a much larger idea here. This concept is clearly at the basis of the RealClear* business formulation.

Is there a larger context or possibility?


  • One must first attract attention in order to be able to convey a message
  • People are inherently curious and will often make great effort to pursue and learn about something that seems mysterious
  • People respond to things that are big, bright, and unusual
  • You learn the most when you have no idea what you are doing
  • Jobs that at first might seem boring often turn out to be quite interesting
  • If something works well it doesn’t really matter that it might be old
  • A Sperry antiaircraft searchlight is an outstanding conversation starter
  • Getting people to show up is half the battle
  • Don’t be shy. If you don’t engage people you have no hope of making a sale
  • In naming a company or service, it’s better to be simple and descriptive rather than clever and confusing
  • If you don’t pay close attention to all the details, things will explode – Alexander Isley

Just reading a list of wisdom, even with pithy and fun anecdotes, doesn’t sink in. The knowledge just flows by and is not absorbed. Yet set within the context of his story and it does. See for yourself: click and read.

This isn’t new. Try getting through Mediations after reading Letters to a Stoic. Much of the knowledge inherent in Meditations is unavailable to anyone other than Marcus Aurelius. This is especially noticeable when contrasted with Seneca’s narrative style, even in the one-sided and partial form that remains.

It’s amazing how much more effective a narrative, even a short one, is at passing along a knowledge – a thought.

That’s Stonehenge.

Imagine the stories told against the backdrop of towering granite, a starry night, and a roaring bonfire…

We do not know the words spoken, yet they still resonate in our bones.

I wager this would be a good read: Graphic Content: True Stories from Top Creatives