Swimming with Sharks: Media Defense in Bloody Water

My children took swimming lessons when they were toddlers. It was one of those Australian schools where the kids jump right in and experience the difference and the trauma of water and the inability to breathe (and the ability to sink!).

We also signed them up for lifeguard training at the age of 9 so they could understand and manage the rigors of the ocean.

The Media Collusion course is similar. The ocean in this case is the ocean of ideas, politics, news and advertising media.

What are the skills we offer for 15-20 year olds at a point in their life when they’re forming ideas about how the world works (ideas that they’ll carry forward for decades)?

Dog paddle: Learn how the news works and is funded. Who produces it and why? How do journalists create stories? What’s the history of media and advertising?

Tread water: Learn about new media and the way web advertising/news works and is funded. Is digital media all that different from traditional media? How does online advertising work? What’s CPM? What’s a click farm? How do bots work?

Freestyle: What does it mean to “follow the money” when analyzing news stories? What’s a native ad?

Backstroke: Who are the new media giants? How do Instagram and YouTube stars make their money? Should you get news opinions from celebrities? How about from PewdDiePie? What is a meme, really?

Butterfly: What is “newsjacking” and “celebrityjacking?” How do journalists find their stories? What’s a press release? How does press promotion work in the digital world? (Book: The Attention Merchants

Ocean readiness: Who is the Lear Foundation and what do they do? What is Hollywood Health and Society? Is your attention worth money? 

If your kids can master just a few of these strokes and skills, they’ll be changed forever.
This course is for parents who want their kids to:

• Be smart
• Excel in college
• Lead productive lives
• Not be fooled
• Not waste time
• Understand how things work
• Understand complexity
• Understand economic motives across the culture
• Craft ideas and create solutions that help others
• Maintain good mental health
• Maintain “informational hygiene”
• Understand digital habituation
• Educate their kids beyond core curricula/traditional classes

It’s for kids who want to:

• Be different than others
• Connect with other smart people
• Add to their educational experience
• Understand more than what meets the eye
• Converse intelligently with teachers, adults and professors
• Show the world they’re savvy
• Avoid getting duped
• Plan for better health, finances and relationships
• Discuss politics, news, advertising and business in a sane, civil manner
• Debate and discuss complex subjects
• Be the life of the party, the one with unique insights
• Understand the inner-workings of YouTube celebrities, Fortnite economics and various web marketing shenanigans
• Understand how their very own habits and obsessions are formed

This course is not for:
• The illiterate or the literacy-uninterested
• Non-avid readers
• C students
• Those who hate school
• Couch potatoes and screen junkies
• The unmotivated (politically, socially, financially, physically)
• Those who are content to have the outer world shape and form their inner world
• Those who don’t care about addiction and its consequences

What’s it for?
• Better living
• Clearer choices
• Deeper understanding
• Mental health
• Lifelong learning
• A clear lens through which to see a confusing, manipulative media world
• Safety
• Survivability
• Thriving
• Agreeability – converse better, understand others

We do this through understanding. The more they know, the better off they’ll be in the long run. It’s not about limiting and restricting them, demonizing tools as opposed to shaping behaviors.

They’ll learn:
• How their games work
• How media economies work
• The psychology of gambling/slot machines and how that translates to smartphone check-ins, for example.

With the power to know these things, they’ll change their behaviors and question their own choices.

That makes for a better human. . . someone you’d want to debate with across the dinner table. Someone who can reason in a very confused public sphere.

They don’t have to be a Luddite, but they have to know the realities of what’s behind the screen.

• Who’s working against their interests
• Who’s asking for their time in trade for advertising $$$
• Who’s working for their interests
• How to tell the difference
• Where to go for answers

Learn more by signing up below . . .



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