The Dim-Post

June 24, 2010

A buffoon of ones own

Filed under: blogging,media — danylmc @ 1:08 pm

The Columbia Journalism review recently ran an article on the transformation of modern journalism. The whole thing is worth reading but this excerpt popped into my mind today:

when the Internet forced journalism to compete economically after years of monopoly, journalism panicked and adopted some of the worst examples of the nothing-based economy, in which success depends on the continued infantilization of both supply and demand.

Prompted by CK linking (approvingly) to a Stuff blog by financial commentator Bruce Sheppard on the causes of the housing bubble:

Housing has become a competition, let us see who can have the biggest house, cause if you have the biggest house you are the biggest man. Interestingly Hotchin is short. Why do we think like that? Here is a quick straw pole for you to run in your work place, ask the women, “when choosing a man, what do you pick big heart, big house or big …?”

Well in most groups when I run this politically incorrect survey the house wins by a country mile. So it is the woman’s fault, they want the man that can provide the best for them and his kids.

You can find lots of non-MSM bloggers that are just as infantile, half-witted and confused as Sheppard – but you can also find real constitutional lawyers talking about controversial new legislation that you simply cannot find any discussion of in the mainstream media. Of course an MSM blog needs to be palatable to a mainstream audience – but Sheppard’s writing is – frankly – terrible and some of his advice is even worse. This does seem to be a case in which a mainstream media outlet has bafflingly replicated the worst qualities of the blogosphere for no apparent reason.

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33 Comments »

  1. But Danyl, he wears a plastic viking helmet to shareholder meetings.

    L

    Comment by Lew — June 24, 2010 @ 1:13 pm

  2. Maybe so however he did do more to protect shareholder interests over the past decade than Seccom and plane jane.

    Comment by davy crockett — June 24, 2010 @ 1:33 pm

  3. Don’t worry, a blogger doesn’t have any real power. A financial regulator, on the other hand …

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/stories/2010/05/31/124805039314

    Comment by sammy — June 24, 2010 @ 1:33 pm

  4. Bless, he’s merely eccentric.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — June 24, 2010 @ 1:34 pm

  5. Ditto davy

    Sheppard has been a lone voice in the wilderness for investors rights for many years. Hard to bag him just on that score. In fact I think he covered himself in glory with his behaviour at the time of the Hanover moratorium vote. Calling the yes voters brain dead who should be euthanised. Exactly.

    And wheres the terrible advice in that insurance article? Admittedly I just skim read it, but he seems to be saying:

    – work out what you need
    – don’t buy unnecessary coverage
    – be skeptical of insurance salespeople

    All seems sensible to me.

    Would live to be a fly on the wall at meetings of the new financial regulator. Bruce sitting cross table from Jane……

    Comment by nadis — June 24, 2010 @ 1:42 pm

  6. This pole made of straw that he proposes. Lacking in structural strength, surely?

    Comment by Russell Brown — June 24, 2010 @ 1:49 pm

  7. “Lacking in structural strength, surely?”

    Flexibility is key here.

    The strength to withstand any conditions!

    Comment by Sam Finnemore — June 24, 2010 @ 2:00 pm

  8. the purpose of a straw pole is to show you which way the wind is blowing. It can’t do that if it won’t bend.

    Comment by kahikatea — June 24, 2010 @ 2:24 pm

  9. …and Sam Finnemore is right. A well-constructed straw house will spring back up when the wolf stops blowing on it, whereas a brick house that has been blown over stays blown over.

    Comment by kahikatea — June 24, 2010 @ 2:28 pm

  10. Your comments about Bruce Sheppard are nonsense. Bruce may be an oddball in some respects but his comments on any given subject display more common sense than we either hear from our empty vessel PM or in blogland. Unlike the PM (aka the emperor with no clothes) he doesn’t need Crosby Textor speak.

    Comment by pohutukawa kid — June 24, 2010 @ 2:33 pm

  11. But: it takes a substantuially larger wolf to blow over the house made of brick.

    Comment by Phil — June 24, 2010 @ 2:35 pm

  12. I forgot my /hanoverfinance close tag…

    Comment by Sam Finnemore — June 24, 2010 @ 2:53 pm

  13. “Pole”.

    Says it all, really.

    Comment by dontsurf — June 24, 2010 @ 4:56 pm

  14. DP

    You need to hang out in Auckland more. Bigger house the better. Lets put it this way, most men don’t really care where they live as long as there are basic necessities. Some even by choice still live at home with Mum. In order to attract a woman however they have to up their game creating a demand for a bigger and better house in a nicer more expensive area.

    If you read Sheppard’s post later on he goes into more detail. In essence in a colourful, non-PC way he’s simply stating buy a home you can afford. Which is common sense that isn’t so common these days.

    Bruce is now actually on the FMA Establishment Board which in itself is potentially far more powerful as it will establish the groundwork and process for the new Super-regulator.

    Comment by Cactus Kate — June 24, 2010 @ 7:43 pm

  15. Kate – actually, not all of us want men for their money. Still it’s cool if that’s what you go for. Someone has to marry the dickheads who think that because they earn a lot of money all women wnat them, if only so that they’ll stop annoying the rest of us.

    Comment by Helenalex — June 24, 2010 @ 8:29 pm

  16. Helenalex – in my experience there is absolutely no statistical correlation worthy of reporting between a man’s house size and being a dickhead. Blokes living at home with their mothers can be dickheads as well, generally caused by their wanting of the large house that the other bloke has without an ability to pay for it.

    Comment by Cactus Kate — June 24, 2010 @ 10:09 pm

  17. Danyl, – I am curious.

    Why do you think Sheppard is wrong?

    Is it just the blame the woman line or is it the basic advice?

    Comment by Phil Sage (sagenz) — June 25, 2010 @ 12:11 am

  18. He doesn’t, it is an experiment.

    Comment by arfarf — June 25, 2010 @ 5:48 am

  19. I guess I find the debate so stupid it’s hard to articulate my disagreement, but briefly:
    In all the cities I’ve lived in people have been mostly indifferent to house size byond a certain level of comfort. Location is the big price/wealth indicator, and this is obviously tied to a whole lot of factors (schools, commuting, safety) that have nothing to do with dick size.
    In my workplace all the women have doctorates and well paid academic jobs so asking them a ‘straw pole’ on whether they like guys based on ‘big heart, big house or big dick’ would (a) make me look like an idiot and (b) get an overwhelming vote for big heart because they can buy big houses themselves, if they were so inclined. In terms of kids they want guys who are going to be around a lot to help out. Schoolteachers are popular because of the long holidays.

    Comment by danylmc — June 25, 2010 @ 6:55 am

  20. @Kate – I do love it that Sheppard is going to sit across the FMA board table from Diplock. Hard to think of a more suitable punishment for her.

    Comment by danylmc — June 25, 2010 @ 7:17 am

  21. Did your readers leap to the side of the argument you expected them to? Was part of the experiment to test if readers had read the links?

    Comment by arfarf — June 25, 2010 @ 7:33 am

  22. I think you are being too harsh. Sheppard has demonstrated that he knows how to play the game – hence the plastic viking helmet, which is a sure-fire way to get yourself on network news as the lead item. This is the visual equivalent of the polished journalist’s hook into a story.
    Admittedly his writing is crap, but then isn’t that the point about the changes in journalism as wrought by the interweb? You don’t actually have to understand how to use an apostrophe any more (Cactus Kate is a good example of this) you just have to have some fresh ideas.
    I read his piece on housing and it makes damn good sense. Bear in mind that we are emerging from one of the biggest housing bubbles in history, and there are still lots of people out there who think they will grow rich simply by hocking themselves to the eyeballs for those vast empty mansions. Look again at Sheppard’s great image of the baby boomer wave breaking on the beach and it doesn’t take much of an intellectual leap to see that for lots of us, this is all going to end very badly!

    Comment by Neil — June 25, 2010 @ 7:43 am

  23. LOL, glad the Columbia Journalism review doesn’t need to engage in journalistic jingoism to hack at hackery.

    “when the Internet forced journalism to compete economically after years of monopoly, journalism panicked and adopted some of the worst examples of the nothing-based economy, in which success depends on the continued infantilization of both supply and demand.”

    Comment by davy crockett — June 25, 2010 @ 8:00 am

  24. …whether they like guys based on ‘big heart, big house or big dick’…

    Actually, human dick size suggests that women often do like guys based on ‘big dick’ – otherwise it’s hard to understand why we aren’t hung like monkeys. Of course, half a million years ago ‘big house’ wasn’t really a factor, so maybe penis size is now on the way down towards monkey proportions again (in Auckland, anyway, if Kate is right).

    You don’t actually have to understand how to use an apostrophe any more…

    In my experience, if you want literate people to take your ideas seriously, it helps to be able to write. I’m sure most people who read my blog posts conclude I’m an idiot with nothing of value to contribute, but at least they’ll be doing that on the basis of the content rather than me being unable to tell the difference between poll and pole (or there and their, etc).

    Comment by Psycho Milt — June 25, 2010 @ 8:02 am

  25. “In terms of kids they want guys who are going to be around a lot to help out. Schoolteachers are popular because of the long holidays.”

    that is true. academic women often trade down to men less intelligent than them. there was a study done, it’s usually A – out of necessity, and B – so they don’t have to career sacrifice (hence the teachers).

    Comment by che tibby — June 25, 2010 @ 8:05 am

  26. I read his piece on housing and it makes damn good sense. Bear in mind that we are emerging from one of the biggest housing bubbles in history, and there are still lots of people out there who think they will grow rich simply by hocking themselves to the eyeballs for those vast empty mansions. Look again at Sheppard’s great image of the baby boomer wave breaking on the beach and it doesn’t take much of an intellectual leap to see that for lots of us, this is all going to end very badly!

    Right, but aren’t those just points that have been made many, many, many times by many financial commentators? Sheppard writes as if he’s the first and only person in the world to have realised the retirement of the baby boomers is a looming crisis but he’s just repeating conventional wisdom in a lengthy and tedious manner. That in itself is not a bad thing for a financial blogger to do – although any amateur blogger could do it better than Shepphard – but when you wrap conventional wisdom and banal advice (invest prudently! only buy what you need!) up in tropes about women causing the housing bubble because they want guys with big houses more than they want guys with big dicks . . . well, like I said: you’re really reinventing the worst of the blogosphere instead of the good stuff.

    Comment by danylmc — June 25, 2010 @ 8:19 am

  27. Che, what are suggesting about academic women that they have to trade down in the partner stakes?
    A academic women aren’t fussy
    B academic women are all dogs
    C A and B
    D other

    Comment by arfarf — June 25, 2010 @ 8:24 am

  28. D other.

    the issue lies not with the women, but the partners they select.

    the study i read said that smart women often *select* men less intelligent than themselves – not that they *had* to do so.

    think of that scene in seinfield where elaine explains why she’s dating the mechanic. the phrase “big, muscular arms” is used.

    Comment by che tibby — June 25, 2010 @ 8:31 am

  29. i just contradicted myself a bit…

    Comment by che tibby — June 25, 2010 @ 8:32 am

  30. “Right, but aren’t those just points that have been made many, many, many times by many financial commentators?”
    True, but everymanandwoman don’t listen to “real” financial commentators. In this age of celebrity, it is Sheppard and Morgan that folk turn to. Sheppard doesn’t talk bollocks too often, so his copybook contains few blots.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — June 25, 2010 @ 1:19 pm

  31. That’s a nasty burn on schoolteachers Che. On the other hand, my wife is studying towards a PhD so … I must have nice arms?

    Comment by Adge — June 25, 2010 @ 1:26 pm

  32. Academic women with dark rectangular glasses and strict pulled back hair and a no nonsense approach with the birch…

    *goddamn it David Benson-Pope, stop channelling through me*

    Comment by davy crockett — June 25, 2010 @ 2:06 pm

  33. “You don’t actually have to understand how to use an apostrophe any more (Cactus Kate is a good example of this) you just have to have some fresh ideas”.

    I take offence to thi’s Neil, grammar may have been a school in Auckland to me but the usage of the apostrophe i’s one thing I do very well. The few errors I do make ar’e simple typo’s. Which given I write quit’e often 6 figure’s’ of word’s a week on a blog and at work, i’sn’t to’o bloody bad i’s it?

    Comment by Cactus Kate — July 1, 2010 @ 12:38 am


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