Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction [Audiobook]

Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction [Audiobook]
Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction [Audiobook] by Derek Thompson, read by Derek Thompson
2017 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 11 hrs 34 mins | 318.33MB

Nothing "goes viral". If you think a popular movie, song, or app came out of nowhere to become a word-of-mouth success in today's crowded media environment, you're missing the real story. Each blockbuster has a secret history - of power, influence, dark broadcasters, and passionate cults that turn some new products into cultural phenomena. Even the most brilliant ideas wither in obscurity if they fail to connect with the right network, and the consumers that matter most aren't the early adopters but rather their friends, followers, and imitators - the audience of your audience.

In his groundbreaking investigation, Atlantic senior editor Derek Thompson uncovers the hidden psychology of why we like what we like and reveals the economics of cultural markets that invisibly shape our lives. Shattering the sentimental myths of hit making that dominate pop culture and business, Thompson shows quality is insufficient for success, nobody has "good taste", and some of the most popular products in history were one bad break away from utter failure. It may be a new world, but there are some enduring truths to what audiences and consumers want. People love a familiar surprise: a product that is bold yet sneakily recognizable.

All businesses, artists, and people looking to promote themselves and their work want to know what makes some works so successful while others disappear. Hit Makers is a magical mystery tour through the last century of pop culture blockbusters and the most valuable currency of the 21st century - people's attention.

From the dawn of impressionist art to the future of Facebook, from Etsy designers to the origin of Star Wars, Derek Thompson leaves no pet rock unturned to tell the fascinating story of how culture happens and why things become popular.

In Hit Makers, Derek Thompson investigates:

  • The secret link between ESPN's sticky programming and the The Weeknd's catchy choruses
  • Why Facebook is the world's most important modern newspaper
  • How advertising critics predicted Donald Trump
  • The fifth grader who accidentally launched "Rock Around the Clock", the biggest hit in rock and roll history
  • How Barack Obama and his speechwriters think of themselves as songwriters
  • How Disney conquered the world - but the future of hits belongs to savvy amateurs and individuals
  • The French collector who accidentally created the Impressionist canon
  • Quantitative evidence that the biggest music hits aren't always the best
  • Why almost all Hollywood blockbusters are sequels, reboots, and adaptations
  • Why one year - 1991 - is responsible for the way pop music sounds today
  • Why another year - 1932 - created the business model of film
  • How data scientists proved that going viral is a myth
  • How 19th-century immigration patterns explain the most heard song in the Western Hemisphere

The Unsettlers: In Search of the Good Life in Today's America [Audiobook]

The Unsettlers: In Search of the Good Life in Today's America [Audiobook]
The Unsettlers: In Search of the Good Life in Today's America [Audiobook] by Mark Sundeen, read by the Author
2017 | MP3@64 kbps | 10 hrs 51 mins | 298.9MB

The radical search for the simple life in today's America.

On a frigid April night, a classically trained opera singer, five months pregnant, and her husband, a former marine biologist, disembark an Amtrak train in La Plata, Missouri, assemble two bikes, and pedal off into the night, bound for a homestead they've purchased sight unseen. Meanwhile, a horticulturist, heir to the Great Migration that brought masses of African Americans to Detroit, and her husband, a product of the white flight from it, have turned to urban farming to revitalize the blighted city they both love. And near Missoula, Montana, a couple who have been at the forefront of organic farming for decades navigate what it means to live and raise a family ethically.

A work of immersive journalism steeped in a distinctively American social history and sparked by a personal quest, The Unsettlers traces the search for the simple life through the stories of these new pioneers and what inspired each of them to look for - or create - a better existence. Captivating and clear-eyed, it dares us to imagine what a sustainable, ethical, authentic future might actually look like.

The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap [Audiobook]

The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap [Audiobook]
The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap [Audiobook] by Matt Taibbi, read by Ray Porter
2014 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 14 hours | 387.27MB

A scathing portrait of an urgent new American crisis.

Over the last two decades, America has been falling deeper and deeper into a statistical mystery:

Poverty goes up. Crime goes down. The prison population doubles. Fraud by the rich wipes out 40 percent of the world's wealth. The rich get massively richer. No one goes to jail.

In search of a solution, journalist Matt Taibbi discovered the Divide, the seam in American life where our two most troubling trends - growing wealth inequality and mass incarceration - come together, driven by a dramatic shift in American citizenship: Our basic rights are now determined by our wealth or poverty. The Divide is what allows massively destructive fraud by the hyperwealthy to go unpunished, while turning poverty itself into a crime - but it's impossible to see until you look at these two alarming trends side by side.

In The Divide, Matt Taibbi takes readers on a galvanizing journey through both sides of our new system of justice - the fun-house-mirror worlds of the untouchably wealthy and the criminalized poor. He uncovers the startling looting that preceded the financial collapse; a wild conspiracy of billionaire hedge fund managers to destroy a company through dirty tricks; and the story of a whistleblower who gets in the way of the largest banks in America, only to find herself in the crosshairs. On the other side of the Divide, Taibbi takes us to the front lines of the immigrant dragnet; into the newly punitive welfare system which treats its beneficiaries as thieves; and deep inside the stop-and-frisk world, where standing in front of your own home has become an arrestable offense. As he narrates these incredible stories, he draws out and analyzes their common source: a perverse new standard of justice, based on a radical, disturbing new vision of civil rights.

Through astonishing - and enraging - accounts of the high-stakes capers of the wealthy and nightmare stories of regular people caught in the Divide's punishing logic, Taibbi lays bare one of the greatest challenges we face in contemporary American life: surviving a system that devours the lives of the poor, turns a blind eye to the destructive crimes of the wealthy, and implicates us all.

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