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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Short Attention Span Theater

"Analysts": in every field will say just about anything at any time as long as it is outrageous, inflammatory, and insulting, because it's about the only way they can cut through the noise and momentarily seize the attention of an audience that has the attention span of a flee.

In the financial arena you do get the thoughtful commentary of a Michael Pettis or a Richard Duncan, but few readers even know who they are because you have to have the attention span sufficient to reading a whole book to begin to understand their arguments.

Rather, everyone is familiar with blowhards like Martin Armstrong, Peter Schiff, Jim Kramer and Stuart Varney who continually tout their own brilliance while making extraordinary pronouncements on every market under the sun, falling all over themselves to come up with numbers, theories and harangues more extreme than anyone else and insulting anyone and everyone who doesn't agree.

Why?  Because it gets them attention, and when their numbers don't pan out, they just issue new extreme pronouncements figuring nobody will remember anyway.

And most of the time they're right about one thing: Nobody remembers.

The same is true with those running for public office - especially President.  Thoughtful debate is pointless.  Nobody will listen, especially not the media.  So you get Donal Trump - who when he was simply trying to be loved in NYC was pro choice, pro immigration, pro welfare, pro China.  Now that he's running for Republican nomination: abortion is murder, immigrants are rapists, welfare if for moochers and the Chinese are all greedy cheating bastards.

Why not?  It gets attention.  And if anybody doesn't like it, he'll change it when it's convenient.  Nobody will remember in 10 seconds anyway.

We get what we deserve.  And the incredible thing is the trend to short attention is accelerating.  Now there are novels like those of James Patterson where every chapter is a single sentence.  News sites like Drudge where articles are simply headlines and links.  Networks like Fox and CNBC where analysis is a series of screeds.

The "analyst" who hates the loudest win 

And try to get a thirteen year old off their screen for more than a minute at a time and you'll see the face of the future. 

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