George Mack

What is ignored or neglected by the media -- but will be studied by historians?

Here's the full list of 25 examples:

1. What Happened To Mental Hospitals?


1. The USA decided to treat more of the mentally ill at a community level (failed)

2. And had new hope in a wonder drug called Thorazine (didn't work as hoped)

2. The Rise Of Negative Media

Since 2010, the media massively increased headlines that use fear, anger, disgust, and sadness.

It has also decreased articles of neutrality and joy.

It's no surprise that few media outlets are covering this meta point.

3. The Aging Population Crisis

70% of countries are below the required population replacement levels.

You need a 2.1 fertility rate to maintain a population:

• US = 1.64

• Germany = 1.53

• Japan = 1.34

• China = 1.28

• Korea (image below) = 0.84

4. The Scale of Pharma Marketing

According to Kantar data -- Pharma ads are the news’ biggest customers:

1. CBS - 4/5 of their biggest advertisers are pharmaceuticals

2. ABC - Biggest advertiser is pharmaceutical

3. MSNBC - Biggest advertiser is pharmaceutical

5. The Headline-Death Gap

67% of deaths are from heart disease, cancer, and road incidents.

The New York Times barely covers these topics.


6. The Rise Of The BRICS

• BRICS = Brazil, Russia, India, China, SA (+ Bangladesh, Egypt and UAE)

• G7 = Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK (+ EU)

BRICS are now 31.5% of global GDP vs the G7's 30%.

7. The Silent Fentanyl Pandemic

• Overdose is the leading cause of death in under 45's (Replacing suicide)

• Covid killed 8,900 young people in 2020. Overdoses killed 49,000. (2/3rds Fentanyl)

• In 2022, police seized enough Fentanyl to kill every adult and child in America

8. The Rise Of Obesity In America:

You can only appreciate this epidemic by watching this video...

9. UK Housing Market Inflation

It's the most unaffordable since Victorian times

93% inflation in 28 years:

In 1994, it was 4.4x the average salary

In 2022, it was 8.5x the average salary

10. The Lost Lockdown Generation

• Reading ability in the USA is the lowest in 30 years

• Maths scores are the worst since tests began in 1969

• 50% rise in mental health emergency room visits for young people

This has been swept under the rug.

11. The Homeschooling Boom

In 1971, 78,000 kids were homeschooled in America.

In 2021, 5 million kids were homeschooled in America.

Why is homeschooling booming?

12. Male Testosterone Levels Plummeting:

Some studies are pointing towards the following in men:

1. Testosterone levels dropped 20% in the last 20 years.

2. Sperm counts have plummeted by 59% from 1973.

So few conversations about why this is happening.

13. Don't Ignore India:

• 2023 is the year India becomes the world’s largest population.

• Indians are the number one users of Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and WhatsApp.

• In 2021, India exported more in software ($133 billion) than Saudi Arabia did in oil ($113 billion)

14. The Friendship Recession

• 15% of men have no close friends.

• 10% of women have no close friends

• This has increased massively since 1990 -- and is continuing to grow

15. Global Millionaire Migration

In 2019, the USA had a net migration of 10,800 millionaires.

In 2022, this dropped to 1,500 millionaires.

That's an 85% drop in 3 years!

16. Norway Is So Damn Rich

In 2022, Norway's oil fund was larger than the combined wealth of the 10 richest people in the world.

It makes $1 billion per week -- and holds 1.4% of the world's shares.

(Nuance: Be skeptical of individual Forbes net-worth figures)

17. The Scale of Saudi Aramco

If you stopped most people in the street in the West, they would not know of Saudi Aramco.

In Q2 2022, it reported more net profit than Microsoft, Apple, Meta, and Tesla combined.

18. YouTube Is The New TV

TikTok and Snapchat are associated with Gen-Z by the media

But YouTube is another level

One-in-five teenagers report being "almost constantly on YouTube"

19. How Incredible Modern Aviation Is

In 2021, there were only 176 deaths from 2.2 billion airline passengers.

In the same year, ~1.3 million people died in road accidents.

The airline industry might be humans most profound achievement to date

20. Japan's Homeless Rate

Why does Japan have so few homeless?

1. Are they lying with their stats?
2. Doing something unethical?
3. Know something we do not?

Either way -- it's an important question that few are exploring.

21. The Video Game Industry Is Bigger Than You Think

The gaming industry is bigger than all music, TV, and film combined.

It has out-earned music and entertainment for the last 8 years!

22. Inflationary Industries vs Deflationary Industries

• Why are hospital services and college tuition fees getting more expensive?

• Why are TVs and software getting cheaper?

23. The Great Tech Neglect

The UK government recently posted a job for the Head of Cyber Security -- at £57K per year.

Contrast this with Singapore which pays politicians $750K per year (arguably a less important job)

24. The Rise Of The Leveraged Individual

There's no such thing as "mainstream media" anymore

Instead, there is "legacy media" & "new media"

The only thing that gives the "mainstream media" power is the legacy language of "mainstream media"

This is the Emperor's New Clothes

• When it comes to new media, faces & personalities are outranking brands.

• Branding in marketing started in the 1500's.

• Meanwhile, human facial recognition dates millions of years - which is why there's such a power law to individual creators.

25. The Importance Of Exercise

The mortality gap between a smoker and non-smoker: 40%.

The mortality gap between the bottom 25% of exercise fitness and top 2%: 400%

The best marketing minds of their generation created anti-smoking ads -- where are the pro exercise ads?

In the 2nd hour of my Modern Wisdom podcast, we go deep into the Media-Historian gap.

It's now on Spotify here:

I'm shortly going to be starting a new series:

"What ideas sound crazy today -- but will be normal 10 years from now?"

If you have any great examples, please send them below.

🚨 Nuance:

The media-historian gap isn't that these topics have never been discussed by any media

E.g. Economist + Financial Times are examples of great media organisations covering some topics

The point is that historians will give them way more weight than *most* media does

If I had to re-title this essay it would be:

What is ignored by the zeitgeist -- but will be studied by historians?

If you zoom out, the media is just the pre-frontal cortex of the zeitgeist.

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Thu Jul 13 19:15:00 +0000 2023