Propaganda, Fraud, and Small Talk

A snarky person could call the title of this post “the tagline for Facebook and Twitter.” A bitter person could expand this to mean all of media.

I’ve got a cold (it’s a bummer to end the year with a cold, but if it runs its course by January 1st I’ll be happy) so it’s been hard to concentrate this morning. Instead of working on the final draft of the Second Edition of Startup Opportunities: Know When to Quit Your Day Job (being published by Wiley in Q117) I’ve been surfing the web, looking at Twitter and Facebook, responding to email, and drinking apple cider.

I came across three articles this morning that were prompted by an email exchange about truth / fake news / exaggeration, which was stimulated by Fred Wilson’s Headlines post today.

I figured I’d be done after reading Erin Griffith’s The Ugly Unethical Underside of Silicon Valley. There’s a lot of meat in the article but Erin’s writing deserves a better, less clickbait headline. But, we know that’s not going to happen.

I then bumped into ‘How Propaganda Works’ Is a Timely Reminder for a Post-Truth Age which resulted in a one-click Amazon purchase of the book How Propaganda Works.

I still felt sick, but for another reason.

I finished my random reading off with some Garrison Keillor who always makes me happier. Our country is bitterly divided. How ’bout a little small talk? ends with a great punch line.

“They say the country is bitterly divided. Maybe so, but that’s no reason to be rude. My mailman likes to banter, and so do the guys at Lloyd’s Automotive and the cabdrivers. So what’s going on with you? Cat got your tongue? Where’d you get that sweater? What’s that product you put on your hair?”

I’m going to quit stalling and go work on two more chapters of Startup Opportunities and then take an afternoon nap. And that’s the truth.


Also published on Medium.