WTVD News Vehicle

Two monks argue about a flag.

One says, “The flag is moving.”

The other says, “The wind is moving.”

The Sixth Patriarch happens to walk by and remarks, “Not the wind, not the flag; mind is moving.”

Markets exist as  where capital, investors and investments intersect in the form of securities. It is where the buying and selling of debt and equity occurs. Those with capital can invest in or lend to those who can put it to better potential long-term use, be they start-ups or existing companies or governments.

Media is a business form that creates content, which then attracts an audience. Media then monetizes that primarily by selling access to this audience to its advertisers.

With Markets, the irrational behavior is a bug. Smarter, more experienced investors are aware of this all-too-human behavior. It creates opportunities, but is wildly disruptive. When markets become irrational, a majority of its participants suffer. Entire schools of thought have arisen to study irrational behavior of financial actors (i.e., Behavioral Economics and Neurofinance). It is not considered an advantage when markets spiral into their regular fits of irrationality.

With Media, irrational behavior is a feature, not a bug. The goal is to attract a large audience that can be monetized with adverts. Hence, there is an incentive to emphasize the outrageous, the ridiculous, to create buzz and hype. An entire subspecialties dedicated to studying memes and viral events has arisen to capitalize on this. It is considered an advantage when media spirals into their regular fits of hype. From a business perspective, “Irrationality” to organizations that sell audiences to advertisers, is quite a rational behavior

The media creates content to fit the cognitive biases/preconceived notions of their viewers. People respond to these hyped stories emotionally not rationally; well told news narratives don’t sell anymore . Media has abandoned sharp, objective journalism in place of this. Welcome to the youtube’ified era.

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