Like so many people, you may be shocked that Donald Trump is now President-elect of the United States!
What is going on? Are we living in a b-movie? Did the Russians win the Cold War? Or, are we actually being dominated by a viral algorithm?
None of these possibilities can be categorically ruled out!
Don’t Freak Out
Just a preliminary point: if Obama’s doctrine was “don’t do stupid shit”, my doctrine is “don’t freak out”!
You may have noticed, however, that both social media and incumbent media are increasingly committed to exactly that – they want us to freak out! The more their content triggers our emotions, the more likely we are to click on their bait. Our eyeballs equal their advertising dollars.
Maybe you also ‘knew’ about click bait before Trump, but did you truly ‘believe’ it?* In fact, I only became a true believer in rate-per-click reporting upon reading Tim Wu’s Attention Merchants – highly recommended!
*Full disclosure: as a nerd, I’ve spent way too much time ruminating about Noam Chomskey’s Manufactured Consent, so I have no excuse for not becoming a true believer earlier.
The point is to acknowledge that these are anxious and, yes, angry times.
Is there any good reason to think that a blog will be helpful? I make no guarantees here; but it is my sincere hope that future posts will be useful as you draw lines between fake news and #fakenews.
After all, if you are reading this, you are almost certainly:
- a relative;
- a friend;
- looking for this guy.
You already know that I really enjoy sharing information (although, yes, I am naturally introverted). And, there are some subjects that I write about all day long for work in any case. So, I am more than happy to offer an expert perspective on trade & investment laws, responsible business, and — here comes the joke — whether its true that Trump hired escorts to urinate on NAFTA ;-)!
So, to sum up, I hope that this blog — which is gonna happen monthly at best — might in some small, small way help you to feel more at ease in the age of the Donald.