Monday, December 02, 2019

Here’s How We Might Actually Help The Hard-Pressed Media - And Development Generally

Posted by Peter Quennell

One of the largest newspaper printing presses; to what purpose?

1. The News-You-Can-Use Concept

We’re almost fully loaded for our widespread exposure of this huge legal hoax.

And there’s a possible constructive alternative to merely rubbing the media’s noses in it, though that, frankly, is pretty enticing as so many messed up so much.

A couple of decades ago, some smart TV and movie producers noticed that having some “news you can use” built into every airing would attract noticeably more eyeballs. As an example, we should be able to learn something interesting or useful from every CSI episode.

2. Nature Of The Problem

American news media right now fall short terribly in this news-you-can-use dimension. Their “breaking news” almost always tends to be bad news, depressing and disempowering, and all too soon a turn-off.

The overall effect of “breaking news” is to jack up nation-wide paranoia and helplessness. Hence the heated confrontations almost everywhere, which can get luridly misreported like the “Knox case”, and we all move on to our next “breaking news” fix.

Plus the superhero-as-savior angle is vastly over-played these days, both in the media and in entertainment. No top-down president, top-down manager, or rogue soldier or cop, is of much relevance to present problems, which need harmonious skilled diverse teams to resolve them. 

So viewership and readership and revenues dwindle, and we encounter all these desperate struggling media websites. And very few of our myriad problems actually get fixed or stay fixed.

3. Nature Of The Solution

TJMK has long tried to include some news you can use if you want to in the inter-country comparisons of policing, legal and penal systems, as in the previous post just below this.

For the most part Italian policing, legal and penal systems are something other countries could really learn from, rather than reject as the Knox campaign incites people to do.

And here is the much wider value of this angle, if it has any.

Virtually no Americans or Europeans have ever been a part of a development project or process (unlike residents of developing countries, who have often experienced several) and could really use those tools they don’t yet know about to get ahead.

In development terms, American news - and European news, especially on Brexit - is almost entirely useless, and worse, it comes with a high cost, because it is so distracting and prone to over-heating hard-pressed segments of the population.

Japan’s remarkable development exploded from the 1960s. It was mirrored in due course by Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan, and then by China, India, and Indonesia. That is more than 50 percent of the world’s population - all growing faster in real terms than Europe or the US are now.

And how did they do this? By first Japan and then all the others “borrowing” and using American systems (with the help of some Americans who moved to Japan) and then taking them further, often much further.

At Toyota, for example, a production system can be tweaked 2,000 times - and then junked and replaced by a new generation system.

Meanwhile, way too many Americans - and Europeans - are barely conscious of systems like those that define their lives and careers… well, except maybe for those on their Apple phone.

For this reason primarily it is actually much slower and harder and more unusual to get development processes (AKA system invention and upgrade processes) moving in the US or in the EC countries than it is in India or Africa!

4. The Main-Media Opportunity

There’s such an enormous “news you can use” opportunity here for the main media.

The NY Times has maybe 100 stories a day where, if one is on this wavelength, one can spot the system angles - a system or some systems broken, waiting for some sharp team to leap in there and fix them. Even in the arts and the sports pages.

The Boeing 737 MAX story is exactly this type of story - Boeing aircraft systems and production and quality control systems were badly developed or broken, Federal government watchdog systems were politically pushed away to arms length - and so nearly 400 people died.

But one has to work really hard from say the NY Times reporting to figure out all the system shortfalls and how to make up for them so all future aircraft are a lot more safe.

The NY Times and BBC and so on could so easily build into many or most of their stories this additional system enhancement angle.  Start to tell us ALL of the news. News-we-can-use is value-adding and empowering and integrating.

And development lessons can really be hammered home by engaging in international systems comparisons. Comparing US and UK versus Italian justice systems is just one place to start.

A lot better than this instance where the premier justice school in the US extensively lied about Italy’s justice - and duped an audience from around the world.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/02/19 at 12:28 PM in

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Main tip? Stay watchful. If you spot some system angle that you can sense value in, worry it like a dog, and maybe create a blog about it to harden your idea and build a constituency.

Follow Bill Gates and Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson and Elon Musk and the two Google guys, in their early days all inventors of systems useful to the world; just dont follow them into “scorched earth” or whatever Mark Zuckerberg is about. 

All the best investigations and ideas that add something seem to surface first in blogs there days. There are several blogs focused on the Boeing 737 MAX disasters which I’ve been watching, example here.

They are quite remarkable in how deep they go, and in their way they are pretty exciting - real sleuthing. They are mostly written by professional aircraft engineers and pilots in their free time.

Further back there somewhat in their depth of 737 reporting is that done by the New York Times (ahead of all other newspapers though), and by the international bodies, especially of the UN (yes that UN), which are remarkable in getting the facts put together first.

Further back there again in their depth of 737 reporting is what the US Federal government and some other governments (thanks France) and the Boeing company are putting out. Half of it is blowing smoke.

And on a completely different planet and frankly useless in making anything better is the reporting of CNN and the other cable news networks.

The most promising of those, surprisingly, was Al Jazeerah, run by a mostly British team, but the Emir of Qatar foolishly pulled the plug on them.  Modernized systems are precisely what the Middle East needs.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/02/19 at 02:49 PM | #

Thanks for the thought-provoking article, Pete. I agree and think that America’s history of “rugged individualism”, while wonderful and necessary in the past centuries to promote individual liberty, must be reexamined in light of the modern complexities of societies, including the threat of global climate change.

The press must adjust, and including systems or team thinking is a big part of that. I have learned so much from TJMK as to the comparisons between the US and Italian justice systems. If anything, the Italian system is more careful, with many checks and balances such as automatic appeals and written motivation reports.

On December 4th, I always remember Suzanne Jovin who was murdered on this day in 1998. Today she would be 42, twice her age at her untimely death. The New Haven and Yale authorities dropped the ball pretty badly on finding the truth about her murder. I do think the Italians might have done a more careful job.

I recently was reading, as much as I could understand in Italian, Patrizia Stefanoni’s slides on the DNA in Meredith’s case. It seemed highly professional, and since she showed the actual scans of the evidence, I could see the peaks for Knox in among those for the victim. Highly damning indeed.

Posted by Earthling on 12/04/19 at 04:31 AM | #

Hi Earthling

“I think that America’s history of “rugged individualism”, while wonderful and necessary in the past centuries to promote individual liberty, must be reexamined…”

Very smart take. Americans in their natural state are kind caring diligent people (or so Charles Dickens said) who can work well in groups, and yet here we all are at one another’s throats.

The Italian case was a godsend for destructive hotheads like Bruce Fischer and Steve Moore, and other mafia poodles like the Skeptics gang, because they could all lash away and try to build a reputation and maybe some income from that.

But they not only diminished Italy. They took the US down a peg too. The John Jay College disaster in the last para of the top post? Fischer got Kassin addled and on-board; Fischer was behind that.

On our own narrow front we can’t expect the media to love our message if all it consists of is “You suck”. Hinting at how their reporting and prospects can improve seems a nice big carrot to balance our little stick.

On the wider front, yes, the real confrontation should not be between left and right, Red States and Blue States, or the two coasts and everywhere in between.

It should be between system and system, as in US v Italian justice as we have tried to prove; and between top-down v bottom-up, with millions at the bottom much more skilled and empowered (and not duped into thinking billionaires have their backs).

The structures are often already there. School boards and town councils and 4H. Every farmer, business, school, village, town, city, state can only gain by sharing their system innovation experiences with some others, locally or worldwide.

There is the Seattle-Perugia Twin Cities thing, could it gain by moving to this wavelength? Definitely so. There is the Italian-American Friendship Society (of which the meddling ex-MP Girlanda was head), could it gain by moving to this wavelength? Definitely so.

Journalism and law are two professions where it is harder and harder to make a buck. Some in both professions have helped us incredibly here. Journalism schools and law schools could really learn something from them in return.

What has been posted by Chimera and James Raper and Cardiol MD, for example, all experts in their fields, as are so many others here, could be of real value to those schools.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/04/19 at 09:32 AM | #

Steve Moore was on True Crime HLN show today Dec. 4, 2019 at the noon hour. He was interviewed as “former FBI agent” about 4 teens who had escaped a juvenile detention center. HLN labels this show Headline News.

He wore a black suit jacket, snow white dress shirt and blue tie. His face wore a lot of pancake makeup probably for the HD cameras. He looked well, maybe a few pounds heavier or it’s the cameras. At first I barely recognized him.

I was out grabbing burger and saw him on big screen TV as he was interviewed about the police manhunt for teens.

Now to catch up on comments after Thanksgiving break and No, I didn’t gorge on pumpkin pies this year but not through willpower, simply circumstances.

Posted by Hopeful on 12/04/19 at 02:49 PM | #

Hi Hopeful

Pumpkin pie? Hmmm. I wont say no. But do try juicing pomegranates during their current short season, they are the most nutritious food on Earth. Tip: this kind of juicer is best for that.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/04/19 at 02:58 PM | #

A final note on how really important it is to get the right systems right, if our Italian case hasn’t yet hammered this home, and keep the snake-oil salesmen at bay!

Good systems are the very guts of growth. ALL growth happens fastest when new systems first take off. The highest value-added is in their first several years.

Compare Apple before IPhone with now, where it has entered its slower-growth, corrupting, destructive phase - it retains hundreds of lobbyists now. (There are over 12,000 lobbyists in Washington, almost all working for firms in their slower-growth, corrupting, destructive phase.)

It is really the “little people” who start off inventing things in their garages and the still-little firms that create most growth.

On average an astounding 75% of any economy is adding zero real growth, meaning net profit after the true cost of its capital is factored in (typically 8-10 percent in the US and much higher where there is more risk).

At any one time, most of the geographical United States is in zero growth, or below. Folks in the “Red States” do have a real beef, and unfortunately are prone to being cynically “used”.

Five wee warnings here:

(1) If economists tell you growth is all about incentives, they are wrong. The combined impact of them on growth is very small. Knowhow, not purpose or effort or time put in, is 10 or 100 times more in need.

(2) If presidents tell you it is all about “policy” or trade wars or immigrants or bigger or smaller budgets, they too are wrong. They have next to no effect on growth.

(3) If billionaires and multi-million-a-year CEOs tell you it’s all about incentivizing them, they too are wrong. In most economies top managers are paid a fraction of what American top managers are paid - and they mostly achieve faster growth.

(4) If oil companies and coal companies and chemical companies tell you they must be de-regulated and pollute, and not pay for it, they are wrong too. There is a real cost now in growth if the population gets sick or killed as a result. And a gigantic cost down the road.

(5) If prime ministers like the UK and German ones tell you austerity is all and we must cut-cut-cut, that is about as useful as the leeches doctors applied for 2500 years.

(6) And if anyone tells you pricey capital slows growth, and all related taxes and regulation must be removed, they too are wrong.

Actually there is far more capital loose in the world these days than good systems to put it to work and it is a nuisance in spades. When capital does spot a spike in value, real or false, it all pours in - and soon kills the golden goose.

That’s what happened to the US internet bubble in the 1990s and the US housing bubble in 2008. It is happening with US stocks and private equity now. Lean & mean should be the rule, though go easy on the mean.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/04/19 at 03:03 PM | #

Steve Moore’s involvement in the case was always tinged with self-interest. He said wasn’t writing a book and then he wrote Special Agent Man: My Life in the FBI as a Terrorist Hunter, Helicopter Pilot, and Certified Sniper and co-authored The Forgotten Killer: Rudy Guede and the Murder of Meredith Kercher.

He also said we wouldn’t hear from him again once Amanda Knox went home and he’s still appearing on TV eight years after she went home.

Posted by The Machine on 12/04/19 at 03:43 PM | #

Hi Machine, and Hopeful

Yes the man is a total fraud. Steve Moore infuriates real FBI. No wonder he was pushed out the door as soon as his contract would allow.

Next stop: glorified college security guard, from which he was fired - falsely blaming us - and frogmarched off the campus.

He could be the Kiss of Death to CNN’s HLN (where Hopeful caught him) which needs him like a hole in the head.

HLN is CNN’s essentially-failed much smaller brother, which moved from doing headlines to doing crime with a lot of old recycled clips.

See this:

The Ken Jautz mentioned there is “our” Ken Jautz who kept CNN mostly biased against Italy despite our noble efforts here.

Anti-truth which Steve Moore represents is killing CNN’s HLN. Ken Jautz should have learned from those posts!

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/04/19 at 04:03 PM | #

The movie streamer Netflix is now in the news, in a bad way. Already subscribers are being forecast to plunge next year.

You may recall that Netflix (with Knox PR) produced and aired the deeply dishonest “Amanda Knox” worldwide which resulted in over 600 anti-Italy reviews.

They’ll be our first main target early next year when we send out packages highlighting the true case and worst media. For now, our Netflixhoax series rests here:

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/10/19 at 12:53 PM | #

Ah!! A very good example pops up. Here are Finland and the US objectively compared, on the lines of the suggestions above, in the New York Times.

If you find it is behind a pay firewall, please say, and we will upload an Acrobat copy.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/10/19 at 08:17 PM | #

Amanda Knox’s pathological need to be constantly in the public eye shows no signs of abating. She and Lorena Bobbitt are talking about women’s rights on Good Morning America this morning:

Posted by The Machine on 12/11/19 at 06:53 AM | #

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