Archive for July 3rd, 2011

A Rule of Thumb: The Farther Something is From the Headlines, the More Important it Could Be

In the case of general conversation, the general rule is that the more important the point the further it will wander from The Latest News.

I keep repeating that all these observations relate to each other. This goes into the category of “Why is this information produced?”

Crises very seldom hit us from the direction in which everybody is looking. The clutter and the noise news makes fixes our attention in a different direction each week. Commenters have columns which discuss whatever story people are buying right now.

When you ask why this information is produced you run right into the inevitability of its not being important information to use for commentary on any real society.

But when I did direct mailing and speech writing I had to have a “news hook” for whatever I was talking about. Direct mail is solid statistics, down to the long letter, short paragraphs. You can tell down to several percentage points exactly what works and what doesn’t.

People do not give money to groups that are not on issues that are in the media.


I know that BUGS would be lot more popular if it dealt with more late-breaking stories, but the world in which I earned my present financial comfort was one in which I competed with those who think of nothing but a “news hook,” and I have had enough of it.

To a person with a mind a “news hook” is a prison.

Besides, you don’t contribute any real ideas if all your thinking is obsessed with whatever has the sex appeal at this moment to appear in the newspapers.

I have given many examples of this. In November of 1932 Time Magazine reported that nothing was more certain than the Kaiser would be returned to power in Berlin. Everybody had read that and Belgium, which had its own Holocaust that was discredited, had directed a major statement to President Hindenburg on the subject.

They thought Hitler was a monarchist.

You can immediately compare this to the fact that not one paid Sovietologist had the slightest idea in 1981 that the USSR would not live out the decade.

It would be a better world if ANY Futurologist were called on his predictions. But when media speak of the future, they always consult “experts.”