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Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator Paperback – July 2, 2013
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— Publishers Weekly
“This book will make online media giants very, very uncomfortable.”
— Drew Curtis, founder, Fark.com
“Ryan Holiday’s brilliant exposé of the unreality of the Internet should be required reading for every thinker in America.”
— Edward Jay Epstein, author of How America Lost Its Secrets: Edward Snowden, the Man and the Theft
“[Like] Upton Sinclair on the blogosphere.”
— Tyler Cowen, MarginalRevolution.com, author of Average Is Over
“Ryan Holiday is the internet’s sociopathic id.”
— Dan Mitchell, SF Weekly
“Ryan Holiday is a media genius who promotes, inflates, and hacks some of the biggest names and brands in the world.”
— Chase Jarvis, founder and CEO, CreativeLive
“Ryan has a truly unique perspective on the seedy underbelly of digital culture.”
— Matt Mason, former director of marketing, BitTorrent
“While the observation that the internet favors speed over accuracy is hardly new, Holiday lays out how easily it is to twist it toward any end. . . . Trust Me, I’m Lying provides valuable food for thought regarding how we receive— and perceive— information.”
— New York Post
About the Author
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Look at the way he describes himself:
“I am, to put it bluntly, a media manipulator—I’m paid to deceive. My job is to lie to the media so they can lie to you. I cheat, bribe, and connive for bestselling authors and billion-dollar brands and abuse my understanding of the internet to do it.”
The big question is why would someone expose himself? A normal human tendency is for people to say that he did it because he was caught red handed, or he has a self-interest or some ulterior motive. But it is none of that:
“I didn’t need to write this book. Financially, that is. I could have made a lot more money as a media manipulator, working with politicians and businessmen. I could have remained nameless, touching your life only through the news stories I created. I chose not to do that. I didn’t write this book for free, of course, and no narrator is fully trustworthy, myself included.”
In my opinion, no one has exposed the media system as Rayan Holiday did in this book. A system which he described as: “designed to trick, cajole, and steal every second of the most precious resource in the world—people’s time.”
Anyone who thinks himself or herself knowledgeable or enlightened just because they read and follow the most popular media, blogs and websites should stop and rethink. I have never read a paragraph that captures our current miserable perception of reality as this paragraph from this book:
“Our knowledge and understanding is the final empty, hollow shell. What we think we know turns out to be based on nothing, or worse than nothing—misdirection and embellishment. Our facts aren’t facts; they are opinions dressed up like facts. Our opinions aren’t opinions; they are emotions that feel like opinions. Our information isn’t information; it’s just hastily assembled symbols. There is no way that is a good thing, no matter how much I gained from it personally.”
“Trust Me, I'm Lying” by Ryan Holiday is not a book about lamenting how our lives are becoming fake as a result of the manipulations of the media system. It explains in detail how the system manipulates us. So, if you are a media manipulator, then surely this book will become your bible. But Rayan was aware of this fact:
“Whether you decide to use this book for good or evil, whether you listen to all my advice or just the parts you want to hear? Well, that’s on you.”
For me, I am clear about what I took from this book and it fits within my philosophy in life: I will do my best not to manipulate nor to be manipulated.
Top international reviews
Second half, didn’t finish it. The book continuously reiterates the same retorhic from start to finish about the flaws of the press... after you probably ‘got it’ after the first chapter. Could easily have been 50% shorter but that 50% was fantastic.
This book could have been written in one chapter, which is my pet peeve when it comes to books.