Today’s Rules

You’ll have a hard time finding another person who listens to the same new music as you. Of course you can go online, or go to a gig and find acolytes of the same act, but the odds of going to work, hanging with friends, and finding commonality in new musical tastes is extremely rare.

Playlists did not solve the new music discovery problem. We used to depend on radio to introduce us to new music, then we depended on MTV, now searching for new tunes you like is like looking for a needle in a haystack. How many new tunes can you listen to at one time anyway? And who are the creators of the playlists, which only work as background listening anyway. If you’re a dedicated music fan and you can listen to every song on a playlist…I don’t believe it. The only exception is Rap Caviar, which has lost some of its power and influence since Tuma Basa decamped for YouTube, what a mistake, but there is not another playlist that is acknowledged as great in the entire music ecosystem, and that’s just plain sad.

Repetition breeds acceptance. And in a world of unlimited choice there is little repetition so fewer tracks are embedded in one’s brain, new music becomes ever more disposable.

Sure, younger people listen to more new music, but they are just as confused as the older generations, or focused on very narrow tastes. The younger people are not better at fixing computers, and they are not multitaskers, no one can multitask, but people still talk about it.

Attention spans have not shortened. Evidenced every day by the extended amount of time, hours, that young people play video games and binge television. This is just an excuse developed by oldster creators who are angry no one is paying attention to their productions. There’s a run to greatness. And then there’s everything else. The middle has been hollowed out. Kids know what is great, and avoid everything else except for extremely niche product, that appeals to them personally, that they experience/wear as a badge of honor. It’s harder to separate yourself from others when we all have the same smartphone, but people still do try to differentiate themselves, ergo their unique interests.

People would much rather talk about streaming television than music. Adults rarely talk about music at all. Honchos in the music business rarely talk about music at all. They all want to talk about streaming television and politics, the drivers of today’s culture.

Most people with something to lose avoid talking about politics, unless it’s their brand.

Truth is nonexistent in America today. Finito. Which cheapens the value of the hype the entertainment business has historically traded on. Either people are numbskulls who’ll accept everything you tell them, or they are educated with the power of analysis and are constantly checking what is proffered to them. Unfortunately, fewer are educated with the power of analysis than ever before, which is just how the rich and powerful like it.

Most people don’t listen to the songs at the end of the album. The album model was based on vinyl, two sides, with four prime positions, opening and closing track on each side, you knew the act would put their best stuff there. But now with just a string of songs the audience doesn’t know where to focus, so they start at the top and fall off somewhere along the way, if they even go that far.

Don’t confuse money with power. The media focuses on Netflix’s numbers constantly, talking about how many people are left to subscribe. It’s kinda like cell phones. Now everybody has one and the old leaders, are still the leaders. Verizon, with the historically best service, has had the largest market share for years, and maintains that position. Just because an industry runs out of new customers, that does not mean it has no future. Netflix has first mover advantage, makes the most product, and I don’t know what the upstart streaming services are thinking, it comes down to Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ and HBO Max. As for Apple, the company has so much money it stays in the game. As for Amazon…yes, it’s buying MGM, but so far the company has never truly focused on visual entertainment, they’ve treated it like everything else in the store, an endless cornucopia, caveat emptor. Furthermore, it’s essentially free with Prime. Brands are everything in a world where individuals have sold their souls for cash. Netflix has the best brand, people believe in it. And Disney and HBO Max have legacy power. Amazon? Video is the poor stepsister. And Hulu keeps losing product, how soon until it loses subscribers? As for streaming with advertising…there are always cheap people, but the real business is in people paying every month, and they’ll only pay a limited amount of money.

Buzz happens slower than ever before. And the media is not in control of it. The old movie advertising, all the tricks to get people excited about something? Gone. Now hits pop up organically, and spread via word of mouth. “The Tiger King,” “Squid Game”…even Netflix had no idea of their reach and power. And yes, streaming TV shows gain traction relatively quickly, but music takes forever to gain hold.

George Costanza rules. If you want to succeed in today’s world, just do the opposite of what everybody else is doing. Be credible, turn down sponsorships and endorsements. Go the other way, people will notice it and respect you for going down the road less taken in a world of me-too.

TikTok brings classic rock back from the dead. As well as overlooked recent tunes. No one is in control of the process, it’s spontaneous, but it’s powerful, more powerful than any other platform of exhibition.

Web3 is about removing the power from the tech gatekeepers. Will it go down that way? Questionable, but some of the biggest players in the sphere want it to go that way.

The value of crypto and NFTs are debated constantly in the media, but almost all the stories miss the point. For the younger generation, crypto and its offshoots, like NFTs, are the new music. It’s the late sixties all over again. The oldsters are completely out of the loop, they know nothing. This is exciting to the younger generation, there are many opportunities, and seemingly everybody is playing. You might not own any crypto, but twentysomethings do.

The future is unpredictable. Just when you think you know where things are going, the unexpected happens. Not so much the war in Ukraine, but the resolve of the Ukrainian people and the single-minded leadership of Zelensky. Everybody in America gets into politics to get rich. It’s better than entertainment. Get elected and you can trade on your donors forever. Zelensky is not about this. He’s Mr. Smith, but he certainly isn’t in Washington.

Don’t expect the story to be on Fox News. Stop waiting for it and its viewers to wake up to the truth, they don’t even see it! Fox News is a controlled ecosystem just like the news in Russia. That’s the truth, just like Trump is an autocrat. I mean step way back, this is a guy who thinks the rules don’t apply to him, yet people are so caught up in the red versus blue they can’t acknowledge this. Once you undermine the game, there is no game, remember this.

Everybody believes they are powerful, everybody believes they have a voice, and they exercise it online. Raise your head and it will be chopped off. This is the world we live in, if you think you’re better than everybody else you’re in for a rude awakening.

No one trusts the legal system anymore. They shake their fist and say they’re going to sue…but the last place you want to be is court, it’s time-consuming, expensive and you’ve got no idea of the result. Actually, the legal system is for the rich only. It only works if you’ve got money. And if you’ve got money, you can bury almost anybody. I’m talking civil, of course the hoi polloi get caught up in the criminal legal system. Hell, we need people to fill all those for profit jails!

Everybody wants a smaller government until they need it, then they want relief from the disaster they experienced.

The rise in gas prices is the greatest incentive to buy electric cars…if there were inventory the numbers would shoot into the stratosphere. This is the turning point, this is the inflection point, from now on it’s all electric. I don’t want to hear about government support, I don’t want to hear about precious metals for batteries, the public can sense and see the future. A car is their second biggest investment. And they don’t want to be at the whim of the oil companies. Yet why people keep having to drive ever bigger trucks… Once again, don’t expect people to be rational.

Nothing is foolproof. Spotify went down a couple of weeks back, and Apple did just last week. This is not a reason not to believe in services. Hell, you’ve been paying for cable for decades and think about how many times that went out! The truth is products are built better than ever before, they work right out of the box, and tech reliability keeps improving.

If you believe Social Security will collapse, you believe the U.S. government will collapse. Want to take those odds? I didn’t think so.

Everybody’s an expert, and almost nobody knows the score. With so much information available online, why does misinformation rule? People still live like it’s the pre-internet era. They’ll tell you what’s best when you can go online and easily suss out what’s best yourself, and it’s rarely what people tell you it is. People are attached to what they’ve owned and what they’ve experienced, they don’t want to admit they made a mistake, or even that they’re wrong. So if you have an important decision to make, call your friends last, go online first. I’d say the same thing about bloviating about politics, but…people don’t want to find out they’re wrong. And why can’t they even Google to find out the veracity, the trustworthiness of the site/people they are quoting? It’s mind-blowing.

People are either lying about being poor or lying about being rich. It’s cool to be poor and it’s cool to be rich. The poor are downtrodden and the rich are overlords. When the truth is most people talking like this are neither poor nor rich, just average. There are truly poor out there, too many, but they don’t brag about it.

You’re on your own. No one is looking out for you. If you don’t know this yet, you’ve been sheltered by your parents, or they are rich. America is a giant casino, which is rigged, and those who own it don’t want you to win, no matter what they say. Las Vegas doesn’t advertise its truth, that the whole city is built on losers. The odds are against you. So, if you want to win learn the game, the facts. Because if you get ripped-off or lose, the odds of someone coming to aid you…are close to nil.

The world runs on sex. Pure and simple. The richest people with the best pedigree will risk it all for sex. Then again, is sex what life is really all about? I mean if we weren’t focused on sex, there’d be no new generations. But if you can’t understand what is going on, look at the sexual element. And the monetary element too. People do their best to hide their truth but it’s evident, you’ve just got to look harder.

The world runs on information. That’s the beauty of the internet world. You can be sitting at home, without portfolio, but if you read and gather information you have the ability to play with the successful. It takes effort, but the information is at your fingertips, you’ve just got to read it.

People are impressed by the knowledgeable and articulate. If you think it’s all about how you look, fashion, you’ve immediately taken yourself out of the game, unless you’re so good-looking that you can trade on that alone, and that’s a matter of genetics, and almost no one wins that lottery.

Don’t do what everybody else does. The competition is too rough.

Don’t tell people they’re better than that. That just makes you look bad, that you think you’re better than them!

Don’t apologize unless you mean it. Apologies have become nearly worthless in our society. They’re get out of jail free cards. Stand your ground, and if you’re wrong admit it. Because character is everything, live long enough and you’ll find that out.

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