I just read “Trust me I’m Lying” by Ryan Holiday, and wow, it’s the strongest argument possible for TSIS optimal information sharing. It’s also a tutorial for manipulating the media and public opinion for exposure. Because you have to.
Holiday explains exactly what’s wrong with the internet blog economy. Content producers are paid by the click, so they’ll do anything to get you to click, and there’s no penalty for publishing garbage and lies. In fact, there are huge incentives and no disincentives, assuming you’re willing to double down dirty when you get caught.
This is exactly what TSIS optimal information sharing is about. It’s not just integrity (identity validation, traceback, ratings and criticism outside the control of the source). It’s also about incentives aligned with the reader rather than the content producer, with rewards according to reader value ratings, including subsequent ratings of criticism and corrections.
Holiday explains that lies become truth by repetition as they spread, and even reputable news agencies get sucked in because they don’t have the time and money to check, and they can’t afford to wait and miss the hot news that brings readers back.
I hate to admit it, but Holiday convinced me to use a little something something from his catalog of manipulation strategies, because 20 minutes of boring videos may not get the attention that TSIS needs to make a difference. I’m not saying that we should baldly lie to the world, but we have to target what makes people click and watch and comment and get involved, like everybody else. Or die.
Thanks to Matt Mainville for the best book recommendation ever!