Truths about ‘Trust Me, I’m Lying’

The 2017 Freshman Convocation lecture will be given by Ryan Holiday, the author of ‘Trust Me, I’m Lying.’  If you are in my Critical Thinking course, you will have spent some class time exploring some of the key ideas in the book.  If you are in my ‘Myth’ course, you will not have studied it directly, but the hope and expectation is that you have read it, since this was asked of all incoming freshmen.  In fact, Holiday’s book might actually speak in interesting ways to myths and myth-making (when seen from a twenty-first century perspective).  Whichever class you are taking, in this Blog post I want you to carefully respond to the common reading for Stockton freshmen.  Your response may do one of two things (or both!), and should be at least two paragraphs long:  1)  Offer some commentary in the wake of Holiday’s lecture at the Freshman Convocation (on Thursday the 28th ).  Tell us, what did the writer say that really touched a nerve with you?  What did you find interesting about his lecture, and how/why does it connect up with the themes and topics of your class?  Also, what was invigorating about the entire Freshman Convocation event?  Why?  I’ll be curious to hear your thoughts about this talk!  2)  If you aren’t able to attend the lecture or would simply rather discuss the book itself, then I’d like you to do just that.  So, choose a particular moment in (or idea from) ‘Trust Me, I’m Lying’ and make some insightful connections between this text and our course themes, or assigned readings.  To make these connections, you might quote from the book itself, and then discuss what Holiday seems to be saying and doing in your selected moment (relative to truth, lies, and journalism) – and why?  Also, what thoughts do YOU have about the subject – how do YOU respond to the issue(s) raised in the book based on your own knowledge or experience?

41 thoughts on “Truths about ‘Trust Me, I’m Lying’

  1. There are many interesting points made in the book, “Trust Me, I’m Lying” by Ryan Holiday. I read this book over the summer, and wish I was able to attend his lecture, but unfortunately my practice schedule interfered with the convocation lecture. Therefore I will talk about what I thought about the book, specifically what I found interesting about it. First off, I think it is very courageous of Holiday to write this book, explaining how he basically cheats the system to make a profit. This isn’t exactly a normal activity to do, so the fact that he wants to share his experiences with the world is very respectable. It’s great that he wants us all to be able to benefit from reading his book.
    My favorite idea from the book is that he makes a living out of basically lying to the media, and creating a story about something that basically does not exist, and then proceeds to lie again about how interesting this story is, to hype it up. It is amazing how he can act as so many different people in the situation, and rarely gets caught doing it. It is especially interesting if you think about his work as creating instead of lying, because if you look at it this way there is little difference between Holiday and ancient myth makers such as Homer or Sophocles. They all created stories for people, whether based on truth or not, and the common people believed it as the truth. Holiday uses this to make a profit, whereas ancient myth makers probably did not have money as their primary reason for writing. They were probably more interested in other incentives, such as fame or prolonging the culture. One example that is shockingly similar to what Holiday does, however, is Virgil writing the Aeneid for Augustus Caesar. Virgil was hired by Augustus to write the Aeneid, and was paid with property. Holiday is hired by companies to make a story that will bring them publicity, and he is paid in money. Besides the obvious differences which come from the two living in different time periods, the two situations are very similar.

  2. Something that really struck a chord with me at Ryan Holiday’s lecture was the fact that he was speaking out loud. The only connection between the audience and him was his voice. I am focusing so much on the fact that he was talking out loud, because most mythological stories were spread throughout the world by people talking out loud. So, I sat during Holiday’s lecture and thought about how interesting it was that Holiday is spreading the message of his book, the same way mythological stories were spread around.
    I was inspired by Holiday’s lecture and the way he was able to connect with the audience. Something that was invigorating for me was the fact that I got to see in person the author of a book I had read. It was interesting when Holiday talked about his book, “Trust Me, I’m Lying,” because his words actually made me pay attention more to what Is going on around me. The lecture also gave me some insight to Holiday’s experience writing his book. He talked about his feelings of rage and hopelessness while writing his book, “Trust Me, I’m Lying.” Overall, I took away a lot from this lecture, I am taking away a new perspective on life.

  3. At first I wasn’t excited about going to Ryan Holiday’s lecture today. I went thinking that it was going to be extremely boring and how long it was going to take. As soon as he came on stage I was somewhat interested because he was a younger guy. There were a couple of things that I enjoyed about the lecture and it’s what made me actually focus and made the lecture entertaining.

    What I liked about the lecture was that I was able to connect with the author in some ways. He was a younger guy and he was pretty funny at times. Mr. Holiday told us a few stories that I enjoyed about how he used to work for the company American Apparel and how he would fabricate advertisment poster. He also showed us posts of what people said about his book and I found that quite amusing because one guy threw his book in the trash and posted this. I found this interesting because Mr. Holiday was laughing about it, I like hiw he has the sense of humor to laugh about these types of things. Overall the lecture wasn’t as bad as I intended it to be, it was actually an etertaining lecture.

  4. Ryan Holiday’s lecture at the Freshman Convocation event highlighted many of the issues he brought to light in his book, ‘Trust Me, I’m Lying’. He shared stories of times when he manipulated the media to post negative reviews he constructed about his projects in order to create a spark. Holiday provided many examples of “fake news” articles, as well as the headlines that went along with them. These headlines were laughable and completely absurd. This really struck a nerve with me because it’s almost terrifying how people will believe anything they read online. A stunning statistic that he presented to us is, “44% of Americans get their news from Facebook.” Facebook is meant to be a social media platform and news stories go viral based on how many people “like” the post, not based upon the article’s credibility.
    In some respects, these made-up news articles can be compared to the myths we’ve been studying in class. Many myths are about a god or goddess because people believed they were in positions of great power. Today, fake news articles very often revolve around politicians (who, however, are in no way, shape, or form “gods”) who also hold positions of great power. If you can convince people to believe a shocking story about these figures, it will undoubtedly spread like wildfire.
    Ryan Holiday’s lecture overall was intriguing but at the same time relaxed and easy going. He broke up the serious conversations with jokes and more relatable material. He definitely wanted his audience to take away the lesson he was expressing. He urged us to be skeptical when reading news and to turn off all notifications on our phone so we wouldn’t miss what’s going on in the real world. Although I found his book to be a tad repetitive at times, he did an exceptional job of condensing it into this entertaining lecture.

  5. I found the talk very interesting, it’s shocking to me that we live in a world that revolves around fake and real news and us not knowing what’s real or not. At first he explained how when we was a college student he wanted to write but didn’t know how to be heard. One day he said he wrote to one of his favorite bloggers and he actually replied back, later in the future he met him in New York and then became his assistant. Because of this he was working up the chain to where he will eventually be heard just like he wanted to, but the process wasn’t pretty. He went on and explained how he manipulated the public putting out false news on social media, making it sound real and targeted the people who didn’t have high educations and the people who didn’t really have the internet because they were more gullible.

    When he realizes what he was doing was wrong he wrote his book trust me i’m lying exploiting all the loopholes and how people make money off of fake news. What caught my eye is that he fought fire with fire. He used this wrong method of being heard by producing fake news and manipulating the media to publicize his book about how people lie to make money off of us. Because of this marketing people were outraged because the truth came out and he also made a comment that caught my interest. He said “ this is how the president became president” i’m not a political person but he was saying that trump used this method to not only make money but also to manipulate the public to vote for him.

  6. I really enjoyed reading Ryan Holiday’s book, as I think it’s very important to say self-aware about the media we consume, and so I was excited to be able to attend today’s lecture. I found it odd though that the comment that I found the most interesting and that resonated with me the most wasn’t anything he had to say about media manipulation, but something he had said about how people choose career choices. He started the lecture by talking about how most of the time people choose jobs because their parents had been in the same profession, or because it’s popular, etc. and went on to talk about something he had heard on a podcast, where the creator had said that he felt he couldn’t make a living off comedy because he didn’t know anyone else who was. I have a passion for film and digital design and so this uncertainty in your career choice that he brings up is something that I can very easily relate to. Not even just uncertainty but also discouragement as well as it feels like a person’s creativity has sort of an expiration date to it, and there’s a point where you’re faced away from what it is that you love to do and pushed towards something that’s considered secure and safe. Who could ever know what the world would be like if authors like Homer or Sophocles were discouraged from writing these great stories, and so I feel it’s very important to follow what your dreams are despite everything else because there’s so much that could be lost if you don’t.

    I also stayed behind after the lecture to have him sign my phone case (didn’t have my book) and to ask a question I had wanted to ask since I had finished the book. I was very curious of his opinion on company presence on social media, and how they have sort of adopted a personality, and how effective that type of manipulation was on the public. He had told me that he felt a company had a stronger effect when they were more genuine and went on to talk about how he saw more involvement with American Apparel when they had voiced their support for gay marriage, and the same when other companies this year had shown support for Hurricane Harvey victims. This reminded me of how in many stories characters who have a sense of genuineness always come out on top over those whose personalities are more artificial, and so it was cool to see that was also true in real life as well.

  7. In Trust Me, I’m Lying by Ryan Holiday he writes about how easy it is to manufacture fake news and how to get it to spread around various websites and blogs like a virus. Ryan Holiday would often create content that would blow up in popularity all over websites and blogs and became very skillful at it. At one point in the book Holiday says something along the lines of conning the con man by a con man is the greatest feeling in the world. This quote can relate to Odysseus from The Odyssey. Odysseus on multiple occasions was able to overcome adversity that was thrown at him. He was able to escape from the cave that Polyphemos trapped him and his men in by stabbing him in the eye. After hearing about this Poseidon decided to make Odysseus’ journey back home by sending a storm at his ship. Odysseus was then saved by a nymph and Poseidon was upset because his storm didn’t kill Odysseus.

  8. Just like his actual book, Ryan Holiday’s lecture was a gripping satire about how the media and the news we hear today as individuals is greatly altered. His overall stage presence showed that he was passionate about what he was talking about and he truly meant everything that he said. Holiday himself really portrayed the media as being myth makers themselves, blog writers and newscasters come up with made up stories just to get people to talk back to them and spread their word. Just as myths are orally transmitted throughout the generations, so too are news and blogs. One thing that really stuck with me was his overall tone, he was very blunt with his words, he spoke in a stern, sharp manner so it seemed like everything he said was with a purpose. At the same time, Holiday was able to relieve some of that tension by telling some jokes and saying some words we did not expect to hear. What made Holiday so interesting is that he did not portray himself as being completely above what he was talking about. He told about times he manipulated the media to get an edge and those stories made his lecture all the more enjoyable and believable. Along with that tone of believing in something, Holiday spoke of how people may believe anything they hear, for example he spoke of how 44% of people get their news from Facebook, Facebook isn’t even a news website. Just like the concept of the Greeks and Romans adhering to their Gods, Holiday compared this kind of following to people and their particular leaders of a political party, anything that these particular figures do, in some people’s eyes it is right and just because the higher powers willed it to be that way

  9. Ryan Holiday’s lecture was something I was apprehensive about going to, if I’m being completely honest. However, I truly am glad I went to listen to what he had to say. The lecture was fascinating and kept me focused on the topic the whole time. His book, “Trust Me, I’m Lying” centers on media manipulation and how broken the media truly is. Something that really struck me was the fact that Ryan had told us that media manipulation has been around for much longer than we thought. He told us a quick story about Walter Winchell, a famous journalist in the 1940s. Winchell was so popular that he had his own radio broadcast and newspaper column. Yet, a study showed that out of 131 story he published, 53 of them were completely inaccurate, 24 of them were partially inaccurate and only 54 of them were accurate. I was only aware of the brokenness of the media recently and had no idea it was like this for so long. This can be related to our myth class because myths have been around for so long and continue to be told even in today’s society. They have also been changed either in translation or to fit certain cultures, much like the media stories that are created.

    Being able to hear Ryan explain his story and why he wrote the book was invigorating. Reading the words of someone’s journey and actually hearing them tell the story really makes the difference in my opinion. He was able to put some emotion into it and was really able to connect with the audience.

  10. Going into the lecture I thought it was going to be very long and boring. The first thing that peeked my interest was that he was a younger guy so it wouldn’t be so hard to relate to what he was saying. What struck a nerve with me is that we are all so gullible to believe what we see online. We just think anything we see is the truth. Just how he said 44% of Americans get their news from Facebook. Facebook is not a real website and the things on there are not true.I liked the fact that he spoke his mind, he didn’t hold back on what he wanted to say. He goes around talking about his book and he spreads around how he became who he is. The theme of spreading stories relates to the topic in my class. It relates because that’s how the myths we have read got around to others. The overall experience was good, wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.

  11. Since I could not attend to the lecture due to work, I decided to talk about Ryan Holiday’s book Trust Me, I’m Lying. I thought it was really interesting for someone to write about how the media tends to manipulate us in various ways, which I found very brave. I feel as though it’s not common for people to be so blunt and expose something such as the media, which is a lot bigger than Holiday himself. Holiday even exploits himself and what he’s done and who he’s deceived.
    I definitely could compare various stories that we read to this concept, but I’m choosing to refer to something that we read recently in class which is Virgil’s Aeneid. Instantly, I thought about Sinon from the story. I consider Sinon to be a complete manipulator, which really connected me back to the book Trust Me, I’m Lying. He deceives the Trojans with false information and tries to gain their trust. I feel as though the media does the same exact thing. The media wants to gain the trust of those who read their posts.
    Overall, Sinon and the media aren’t that different. They are manipulators. If it helps them in any way, shape, or form they will deceive you. They both provide enough information to keep you from believing the truth and convince you to believe what information they can support.

  12. One of the ideas Holiday presented in his book “Trust Me, I’m Lying” was how he “leaked” info to an online source from a random account to make his work become noticed publicly. Holiday knew that if he, as one of the corporation heads, sent in the info himself the site would not want to use it, but as a spiteful, anonymous source leaking valuable, juicy information the sites found it useful enlightenment. Just like Holiday, Gods and leaders in our readings have manipulated others by becoming something they are not and using deception to get their way. A perfect example is when Aphrodite disguised herself as a virgin to sleep with a mortal. She knew the mortal would not want to sleep with a Goddess, so to get her way she transfigured herself into a mortal, pure woman. Both Holiday and Aphrodite used their resources to manipulate others. I find Holiday’s deceitfulness to be very intelligent. He knew how to manipulate his target and he did so without flaw and gained success and notoriety from it. I personally have experienced this first- hand; however, I would ponder heavily on using this technique in the future.

  13. After attending Ryan Holiday’s lecture on his book, “Trust me, I’m Lying,” I grew a greater appreciation for his work and ideas. Holiday’s book is split into tow sections, the first Ryan exposes the media (blogs in particular). In The second part, Ryan writes a more detailed view of the media he exposed and how his perspective changes. Holiday emphasizes how we live in a world that revolves around fake and real news. The scariest part is we don’t know what is or isn’t a reliable source

    Holiday started as a college student who just wanted to be heard. It all started when he reached out to one of his favorite bloggers Tucker Max and when he replied back they started becoming friends, and later met up in New York where he became his assistant. Holiday began working up the chain to where he could be heard. He accomplished this by manipulating the public putting false news on social media, targeting the people who aren’t well educated. Holiday realized what he was doing wasn’t right and wrote this book ranting about how people can publish fake news and make the same amount as money as people who write about the real news. Overall, I think Ryan did a good job of summarizing his book into this lecture.

  14. I read “Trust Me I’m Lying” during the summer, and I personally thought it was a good read. It took me a little bit to get into it, but when I finished it, I thought it was an overall good book. At the lecture, I expected Ryan Holiday to just come out and talk about his experience with writing, and I thought I was going to fall asleep. But When he first came out, I honestly thought that I was the character Ryan Howard, from The Office, the show on Netflix, so I was drawn in. When listening to his experience, I could picture myself reading the book and recalling the stories he explained in his book.
    I like how Holiday pretty much said that the media is messed up and there is a good chance that the news and the stories you are hearing about aren’t true. He explained how his dad believes the stories that he sees wherever. He then joking told his dad that he’s the reason Trump is our president. Something that shocked me was that Holiday shared that 44% of Americans get their news from Facebook. Now, I have a Facebook, but I know better than to believe the stuff I see on there and I am 18 years old. Most people assume it is the young kids that fall for that stuff. However, I don’t think that is the case. I believe a lot of older folks think that Facebook is a reliable source. Another interesting fact that makes me a little nervous about the intelligence of the United States was that 7% of Americans think chocolate milk comes from brown cows. Ryan Holiday did a fantastic job explaining what he did, how he did it, and how the media can easily be tampered with. He basically said that anyone could alter the stories that the entire United States sees, which kind of scares me.
    While listening to his lecture, there was this second thought in the back of my head: How trustworthy is this guy? I mean the title of his book is “Trust Me I’m Lying.” What if everything he said is actually a lie? What if he is trying to manipulate us? I just feel like I was second guessing the author as much as I was believing him. But overall, I thought the lecture helped me have a better understanding of the book. Because I read the book, I feel like now I can be more aware of where I get my news from and where the fake stories are at.

  15. I am currently an undeclared student, but I plan to declare a major in marketing. Listening to this lecture as a marketing student, I found some of his tactics and evil-genius ideas very interesting. Holiday discussed “leaking” tactics that his marketing team at American Apparel used to get information and ads out without having any strings attached to them. On one level it is really clever, and on the other it’s sort of immoral. I appreciated the honesty he shared even though he took part in media manipulation, but it also triggered concern how he proved that so many people are easily fooled by the media. Overall I was interested in the talk, but it wasn’t all that shocking to me.
    I thought that this event wasn’t that big of a deal. I don’t pay much attention to the news and I’m not fooled by fake news so I found very little information to be useful. I think as a class there could have been a different book we all read that touched based with bigger issues. As a whole I feel as though my generation is so used to seeing fake headlines all the time that we know not to believe them unless there’s proof. Our generation is the screenshot generation and we figure out everything so without a lot of evidence I don’t feel as though we are that easily tricked.

  16. During my reading of “Trust Me I’m Lying” I have identified a common theme of gaining intelligence. Throughout the book, Ryan Holiday drops knowledge on manipulating the media and gives many examples of him doing so and how to do so yourself. One quote that I can truly relate to our class is when Holiday says, “When intelligent people read, they ask themselves a simple question: What do I plan to do with this information?”. I feel that what we are doing in our class is primarily talking about in this quote, as we merely read myths and epics and must decipher their meanings and elements.
    In our class, we break down ancient texts and attempt to see their true meanings and ideology. Oddly enough the name of this website is The Art(s) of Ideology, only reinforcing my claim. From old texts, we try to connect thoughts from those of ancient times to people in today’s world to identify similarities between our civilizations. Therefore, I can relate Ryan Holidays” Trust Me I’m Lying” to our class as a whole as we are simply planning what to do with the information we are given.


  17. Ryan Holiday’s lecture was both a summary of his book, Trust Me I’m Lying, and an explanation on what he wanted readers to take from it. He talked about how he was inspired to write the book while he was in college; he was mad at how easily the media could be manipulated and wanted to open people’s eyes to how the media is manipulating them. He wrote the book to be provocative, but he didn’t expect it to get the kind of feedback it did. He spoke about how journalists and publicists would bash his book online, because he revealed all their dirty little secrets. Holiday also showed how people used his book in a way that he didn’t approve of. People who were alt-right were using the techniques discussed in his book to spread their message across college campuses all over the country. People would go up to him and thank him for helping them manipulate the media themselves. He wrote the book, not as a playbook, but as a warning. One that people didn’t listen to when the book was released in 2012, he believed that the most recent presidential election was defined by the news coverage surrounding it. Bloggers wrote almost anything that would get clicks about the candidates. Online news, he said, is almost always made to get the reader riled up. He described how we, as readers, are the products that they are making money from. He explained that blogs and news websites are more concerned with the number of clicks that an article gets than the content itself.

    Overall, the lecture very was eye opening, more so than his book was. We, as people, see information and take it at face value. We draw conclusions from articles, headlines, and posts before asking ourselves he important questions. Where did this information come from? Is it credible? What is their intent when writing this? Is it relevant to me? Will it be relevant in a week, a month, six months, a year, twenty years, two hundred years? By not asking these questions, we judge too quickly and we act too quickly. Ryan Holiday urged us to ask the bigger questions about what we read so that we aren’t manipulated by the media.

  18. One idea in the “Trust Me I’m Lying” book that I really enjoyed and I think can really be applied to the topics in this class is the idea that everyone should always ask questions. What Ryan Holiday is saying with this major theme in the book is that you need to look at all sides of something and analyze it before you formulate your opinion on something. In the book it was about media, find multiple sources of media about one topic rather than just believing whatever the first this you hear is. This can apply to the topics we discuss in class because when we read these mythological text, we use these texts to make predictions and inferences about the society of these ancient civilizations. To truly make a cohesive inference about the society of ancient civilizations you need to ask many diverse questions about the text, what did these people believe and why, how did these myths come to be, what do the hero’s tales and stories of the gods mean to each and every person who lives in these societies? Another way to apply it to myth is to know some of the context around the text. Who wrote it, when did they write it, why and what was happening in the world around them at the time?

    My opinion on this topic is that I completely agree with Ryan Holiday. The best way to find the whole truth is to look at it from all sides and form a conclusion by trying to find similarities and differences between the news sources.

  19. In the book ‘Trust Me, I’m Lying’, Ryan Holiday recalls a moment by which he created a billboard for a friend’s movie adaption of a book and then created controversy about the book all to increase its popularity. This behind the scenes manipulation leant credibility to the outrage over the inappropriate content and insults that may or may not have been all just misperceived. Holiday explains his disbelief over the first moment he ventured into manipulating the media on such a large scale on just how well his scheme worked. His lies became the truth. By simply building upon and adding to his original billboard via photos, suggesting protests, or sending emailed complaints to blogs, Holiday was able to transform an obscure movie into a conflict that affected a lot of people and whether they agreed with it or not, they all knew about it.

    In ancient times, creation myths were rampant and beyond that epics such as the Odyssey or the Aeneid. The gods mentioned in one myth are borrowed from and repeated continuously in other myths. These new stories are then accepted as truth because of the common knowledge shared of the Greek gods like Zeus. Later, when the gods were adapted as the Romans’ or other stories about them added to the collection, they were accepted due to the fact that the gods already existed, there was a foundation to be built upon. After creation myths had long been established, then came the epics. These stories used the gods as a backboard to drive the fate of their characters, the gods were real to the minds of the people during that time period and that leant a sense of realism and history to the new myths being created such as Homer’s works and when later pieces like the Aeneid borrowed from characters introduced in the Odyssey, they are readily accepted as they are already well known and established. Without any of the previous works to build on, the Aeneid would have been a wholly different type of story, one unable to link Rome to the early foundations of civilizations that the Greeks had. The gods would seem confusing, their legends unfounded, Odysseus would hold no meaning in the name drops used as Aeneas remembers the war, the entire story would fall apart had it not the lies of its predecessors morphing it into truth.

    I find it astounding that the mere prior mention of a topic has the capability not only lend credibility but to allow us as a society to accept an entirely new topic as truth. That is precisely how fake news has been created and it was Ryan Holiday’s job to modernize the ancient practice that had literally been going on since before recorded history. Ancient stories written down and taken as fact that had previously been oral tales for countless generations, look at any of the modern religions, so many believe what has been told to them without an ounce of truth. It takes faith to do such a thing, but it also takes the knowledge that what a new believer is hearing has been making its rounds for centuries. New religions are not able to gain any traction without feeding off the doctrine of a traditional faith. It is only all too easy to string along keywords and raise an army to fight for your cause. That is Holiday’s concern with today’s media, the power that unchecked facts hold has the ability to literally change the world, just look at our history.

  20. What I found most interesting at the freshman convocation is the fact that Ryan Holiday, the author of “Trust Me I’m Lying”, talks about the manipulation that social media have on our lives. Holiday said that on the internet there is thing called a ‘curiosity gap”. When Facebook or Snapchat and there is all of these articles with clickbait titles such as, “you won’t believe what happens next” or “click this and learn how to get a free iPhone” you as the viewers tend to click on them because you’re curious to see what the article have to offer. By clicking on these websites, the viewers just offered to gain the person who is circulating these “fake” news more venues. We the viewers don’t see it as that; we clicked on them to release our curiosity but in return we have made ourselves into a product that these people feed on.

    On the other hand, this lecture really connects us with our class because in a way Holiday tells us to critically think on how social media have affected us. He said that we gathered all of these information off of the internet everyday but do we really need to know or retain all of that information. The time we spent on a single app could takes us thirty minutes and in those time we could have done something more productive such as going on a jog. However, with these new updates every second we are inclined to think that we must check all of them before going back to our everyday lives. But the question we must ask ourselves is , does it all really matter because it is not life or death if we don’t.

  21. Holiday is a young man who cursed carelessly. This caught my attention more than any other presenter that I’ve seen at Stockton. He just seemed like he wasn’t afraid just how he wasn’t afraid to expose the media. I did a bit of research and Holiday was a sophomore in college when he dropped out. He was a young man making tough decisions which got him into the place he is now. He was a political science and creative writing major but ended up being a Director of Marketing for American Apparel. His book Trust Me, I’m Lying, made interest points along with his presentation about media manipulation.

    Today majority of Americans get their news from Facebook or any type of social media. People get fooled by anything that is posted. Ryan shared something that I could relate. He talked about being off social media. I’ve also been off social media for some time now and everything he said about touching with reality was true. He realizes how social media plays a role in politics, news, and other things. These things could be manipulated and people can get mislead because they’re so glued to their social accounts.

  22. Ryan Holiday’s lecture revealed several interesting topics that related back to mythology and how it is still present in todays culture. The oxford dictionary defines a myth as “A misrepresentation of the truth”, this sums up Holidays view on his line of work and marketing/media. His strategy is to twist the truth or just to completely lie but make it seem as if it was coming for a resalable source to entice gullible reporters thinking they had the first scoop on breaking news. Holiday seemed a bit hypocritical in his assessment of the media because he himself was one of the largest contributors for the abundance of “fake news” as he called it. Another interesting linking point is how he referenced American defense forces not looking to modern day articles of war to reference their future battle plans but looking back to battles from ancient Greece that parallel the conflict between the united states and china today. Something that I found very interesting is how he used his writing skill and deceit to save his companies potentially thousands of dollars by playing the media. All in all I found the lecture to be interesting but Holiday seemed a little hypocritical and full of himself, he wanted us to stop listening to the news and to focus on things that will make our lives productive however if we stop watching the news and get all our information from small sources of the like that he produces are we more likely to find the truth or another scammer trying to get his story picked up by gullible reporters.

  23. Entering the lecture, I was very curious and intrigued for what he’d have to say and sell to us about his book. Being a communication major myself, I took an interest in his work in the media world. What struck a nerve with me is what he said about the media industry. He described it as corrupt and full of loopholes. His book’s purpose was to glorify these loopholes and make them known to the public. This really upset the industry, as he gave them a bad look, but his point was quite factual. There is a lot of dirt within the industry, as with an industry, and it can come off through the journalists, the way the news frame articles, and even the outlets you get news from. One interesting quote he brought to the attention of the lecture hall was this, “If the country is governed by the public opinion, and the public opinion is governed by the newspaper, shouldn’t we be more concerned with who is governing the news?”. This spoke volumes to me, as it is something I learned into my Intro to Mass Communications course. That there is a total of 6 media outlets that govern almost all forms of media, from TV stations to book publishers. He described the media has weakness, weakness that is exploited. But over fixing it, they hide their vulnerability and don’t put the public’s attention first.

    In our course Myth, Tragedy, and Politics, we have discussed my heavy topics, such as jealousy, violence, treason, and self-discovery. I believe this relates heavy to the context of Holiday’s novel. Much like the gods of ancient Greece, they depicted fates of kings and war heroes, only knowing the truth about how their story will go. This is like how the media world runs. Like Holiday said, very few know is really going on, while the rest is out of the loop, believe whatever is told to them. In fact, he mentions later in the lecture that most parts of society is bombarded with fake stories and news, that they eventually start to take them for truth. This example is able related to stories of deception, where tricks are played on the hero of the tale causing setbacks, like in the Odyssey with the bag of wind. Overall, the Freshman Convocation was very impactful to me, as it opened my eyes to the world that is my major. It made me more interested in getting involved, and eager to really find out more about my trade and what would truly be in store for me.

  24. This lecture was exactly what I thought it would be. An author talking about his book. However, Ryan Holiday is unique and different to me. For one, I’ve never met an author in real life before and it almost feels like I’m meeting a celebrity. He was also a lot younger than I expected him would be so he’s just like us, a millennial talking about pop culture and their manipulation of the masses. It wasn’t a bad lecture but I also almost fell asleep. The points where he made some funny jokes woke me up but other than that, it wasn’t terrible. He really spoke to us about the truth and he really enlightened us about what the media is doing to us and the rest of the world. How people manipulate and lie to get views and money. Simply because he is one of those manipulators.

    He taught us his technique of media manipulation and how bloggers can make money. The whole point is to lie to get attention because that’s what people look for these days. Nothing is interesting when you hear something good but the moment people hear something about Hilary Clinton selling weapons to ISIS, people suddenly bat an eye and go insane. But who cares? Bloggers are making money off of this and that’s all that matters. It’s all about the click bait and the suspense you build up when you say “what you will see next will surprise you.” That’s what brings in views and that’s what gets you money. He taught us this sinister trick to rack in view and make money to get a career as a blogger. Fake news and twisted realities. Coming from a person who has done it before, Ryan Holiday really showed me the correct path to surviving in this harsh, technological-manipulating world. The path to not being manipulated but also how to manipulate.

  25. Ryan Holiday’s presentation was very insightful, his witty and sarcastic take on life is what made the presentation just so captivating. There is one central idea that really hit a nerve for me from the entire presentation which was, the places where we get our news from is more interested in what sells than what is true. Holiday emphasizes that anyone can become a source for an article by simply making an account to HARP. Being a person that usually relies on the New York Times as a source of information, it was shocking to hear that even they use HARP. Also, that when these newspapers were outed, they didn’t come out and say that they wouldn’t use Help A Reporter Out, they kind of just said that they had no idea HARP wasn’t reliable. In my opinion how do you not make sure your sources are reliable when there are thousands of people relying on your information?
    Ryan Holiday’s lecture relates to my class, Critical Thinking and Reading, completely. Near the beginning of the semester we were given the critical thinking wheel which, which outlined all the conscious and non-conscious steps of thinking critically. However, Ryan connected direct to Concepts and Information. I say this because, most of the articles and “news” that we read, we believe we are reading valid information. When in reality the information is fabricated and exaggerated. Even when deep down we know the information has no real concept except to get more reads, we still believe what we are told. All in all, the presentation has made me reconsider a lot of the news I hear. If I cannot trust these well know newspapers and news channel who can I trust? Furthermore, the Freshman Convocation was refreshing because I believed I was the only one who would be excited to see the presentation. When in reality, there were dozens of freshman that were just as intrigued as I was.

  26. What I found interesting about Ryan Holidays lecture was mainly that I believed it was going to be completely boring but turned out to be somewhat entertaining at times. The way Ryan Holiday’s mind is set on some topics is based on critical thinking. Holiday has a different way of seeing things and puts it in a different perspective so that you can understand his reasoning. What Holiday said about putting controversial stories out and having them “leaked” was a smart way of putting it out there because if he did it, it was be plagiarism. That way of doing something that turned out good for Holiday in the end, was a smart move on his part. What I had found invigorating about the Freshmen Convocation event was that Ryan Holiday was able to connect to the audience because he was younger and easier to talk to than what a lot of my friends and I thought he was going to be. He was able to just speak his mind and how he feels with the audience. He showed picture examples on his powerpoint to make sure we all have a better understanding about his book and what he was talking about. Overall, Holiday’s Lecture was not a bad experience at all. I figured I would have been asleep 10 minutes in but i was able to pay attention and stay awake for the whole time.

  27. After reading “Trust me I’m Lying”, there is a major concern that needs to be addressed before believing what Ryan Holiday is portraying about the media. The question that needs to be asked is whether the information he is saying about the media and how they produce a buzz, as he calls it, is accurate or are their assumptions being made based on his own experience. This relates directly to our class discussion of the Critical Thinking wheel, falling in the areas of Information and assumptions/paradigms. Through these two prongs on the critical thinking wheel can evaluate the reliability of Holidays statement, that the media manipulates its content for buzz. He goes on further to tell us that such affiliates, like blogs, rely deeply upon getting traffic on their sight by their view count by any means necessary. So as stated before, let’s truly find out if Holiday is telling the truth or is his information bias upon his own remarks. WIthout good, reliable information and having assumptions thrown around, no text can be declared accurate.
    First, it is important to discuss the information Holiday is portraying and to see the accuracy of such claims. The most notable claims made, in my opinion, are those of how bloggers create articles. He goes through a step-by-step process essentially, that outlines how bloggers create their new. Through Holiday’s eyes bloggers, use eye-catching titles, fake news, technology against readers, and many other methods so they can get paid. As stated before, without reliable information, a statement is useless, and so it takes a critical thinker to ask themselves is this information accurate? The problem is I cannot agree with Holidays notion on bloggers, and this comes from my personal connections with peers of mine that are bloggers and extended research with reliable sources on how bloggers really create their news. Now it is important to mention that what Holiday states about how bloggers post news does happen, but it isn’t really the “method” that many bloggers follow.
    My extended background leads me to believe that a majority of bloggers do not follow finances as their overarching goal, they bring to the table reliable information that has been back up to the world, that they find interesting. So this does interfere with Holiday’s overwhelming assumption of how bloggers create news. I use the word assumption in this case because it seems as Holiday is taking his own experiences/knowledge and making a general assumption to a majority of bloggers. Holiday has not met all the bloggers in the world so he cannot speak for them all, and when you have inevident information you substitute that with your assumptions to create a story and in this case a novel. My opinion stands firm and clear that Holiday created this book based on his paradigms that were created due to his field of work, and assumptions were ultimately created out of this as he thought a generalization could be made to all media outlets.

  28. I really thought that I was going to be wasting my time but really it gave me alot of good information. I was really shocked at how young Ryan Holiday was. His convocation really showed me how uninformed the world truly is. Ryan Holiday said that seven percent of America believes, chocolate milk comes from brown cows. 77 percent of Americans get their news from Facebook. I found both of these statistics shocking. Ryan mentioned a conversation he had with his Dad. Ryan’s dad believed that they truly tried to drop a piano on a funeral. Ryan said his dads words were “I don’t know how they got the piano up there” Ryan replied with ” you’re the reason Trump was elected” this really hit a nerve with me. I am sorry it was obvious who the better choice was between Killary, and Trump. But, his point was valid that there are many links to blogs that are total lies that try to blow up to main stream media. One of the examples he gave was “Drunk Hillary Beats up Bill on Election Night”.
    These topics have a lot to do with our class in critical thinking. people read what is posted, printed or said and they believe it is true. For example, chocolate milk coming from brown cows. Now if they really thought about it critically, Chocolate is made from cocoa since when do cows produce cocoa?

  29. Ryan Holiday had little to nothing to speak about during his lecture at the Freshman Convocation. It was obvious what he was going to be speaking about in his “lecture” which was how he cheated himself through life by using others. Holiday was not speaking about anything new to his audience. If anyone has read the book carefully, he clearly brags about how he rose to the top and became this amazing journalist by tricking the desperate and ignorant in the Introduction chapter. We sat on our seats in the PAC listening to him talk to us about how he became a “media manipulator” for at least 20 minutes. It was uninteresting having to hear the summary of his book after we already read it. Keep in mind, the book is extremely repetitive which means Holiday stood on stage sounding like a broken record. What I found interested about this whole thing is that he did not provide us with information that most of us were not already aware of. There are a variety of topics to speak about with the media but Holiday decided to speak about himself. He knows he does not have much to say which is why he spoke about the only thing he truly knows. His book.

    The only thing useful from the lecture is the connection it had with what we are learning in class. Ryan mentions how false news spreads fast and no one questions it. We were taught to ask questions and find the purpose behind the information we are looking at. We also practiced analyzing concepts and information which can be vital for reviewing articles. If we understand the main idea to the article then we will understand the information being thrown at us. Overall, the Freshman Convocation was not that interested. It lived up to my expectations and taught me nothing new.

  30. Before attending Ryan Holiday’s lecture, I thought it was going to be very boring and I didn’t think I was going to show any interest to what he had to say. But once Ryan stepped on to the stage and I realized how young he actually was, I knew right from there that my early assumptions about this lecture were not going to be true. I thought it was very cool to be able to hear firsthand about the stories and things that he used to come up with the content that he used in his book. When his book was released in 2013, a big public relations blogger wrote how Ryan was ruining the industry by lying and for what he was doing. I found it so interesting that he was admitting to how much he tried to manipulate the industry and how he only did it to make money. I have never heard of something like this first hand, and it was super informative about how so many people are believing fake news.
    After reading Mr. Holiday’s book, it makes me second guess how I get my news. It is clear that outlets such as Facebook, and online news sites are not always reliable, and it is easy for fake news stories or twisted plots to be published. To be honest, it kind of angered me that he was able to do that so easily, and citizens were paying money to read stories that were simply made up. If a man such as Mr. Holiday, who came clean about it and even wrote a book about it, was able to do such a thing, obviously there are so many more people out there that are capable of taking advantage of readers. The freshman convention event was extremely interesting because I have never been to something like this, and I’m truly happy I went because my opinions on this type of thing was drastically changed.

  31. Ryan holiday honestly just took advantage of the media industry. What he did to manipulate the media seems unreal but news sites made this complete reality. When i think about it, it makes me realize that anybody really could do this if they wanted to. It is as simple as coming up with your twist on a news story and sending it out to other blogs that nationally recognized media sites take their information from, and your article has now just became famous.
    Ryan holiday was nothing like i actually imagined. The style of writing he uses made me think he was going to be this really energetic guy but in reality was really laid back. He kind of just went over the book  in a power point for his lecture. It was useful to get visuals of where he worked and what he was actually doing instead of reading. It was a good lecture, wasn’t the most entertaining but now i have a better understanding how some ordinary guy became to completely manipulate the media.

  32. I really enjoyed the freshman convocation at the Performing Arts Center on Thursday, September 28th, but I went in with the impression that maybe it would be a bit more interactive than it was. Nonetheless, it was a very cool experience. Ryan Holiday was funny, serious, and sharp. His 3 tips of advice were interesting and caught me off guard a bit. Tip #1 was “Your outrage gets exploited”. That is very true indeed. No one is interested in rational reactions or responses to something. People are glued to watching someone acting in an irrational manner. #2. There is a digital divide. One very fascinating statistic while discussing #2, is that “44% of Americans get their news from Facebook”. It is insane to consider that nearly 150 million people living in America are aware of what is happening in the world through a single social media outlet. The third tip caught me off guard. #3. Stop following the News. I guess it really does make sense given the fact that there is a lot of fake news out there and there is always media manipulation going about. However, Holiday went more into depth, telling everyone to remove all push notifications from their phone and other devices. He said that the only social media app he had installed was Instagram and even that was in a hard to access folder. In addition, he claimed that he did not have any news apps installed either. If he is against that, how does he expect people to know what is happening internationally and nationally? Other than that, I didn’t learn much else than what the book taught me; however, the freshman convocation and meeting Ryan Holiday was a really cool experience.

  33. At first I thought that Ryan Holiday’s lecture was going to be really boring, but when he began, I found that what he had to say was very interesting. I liked how he incorporated a few jokes into his lecture like when he said that 7% of Americans still think that chocolate milk comes from a brown cow. I also liked how he talked about his job at American Apparel and how he pretty much started at the bottom and then worked his way up. During the lecture Ryan Holiday talked about the media and how it manipulates people like us. He explains that the media is derived of “fake news” because a small blog will write something fake just to get views. And the more views that blog gets the more money they make. Now this is very concerning because we won’t know what’s real or what’s fake on the news. Holiday himself admitted that he has spread fake news to catch people’s attention. Another topic that Holiday discussed was that 44% of Americans get their news from Facebook. To be honest as a person who has a Facebook, I personally don’t believe the news articles, but it’s still scary to think that 44% of people do. Ryan Holiday also mentions his book “Trust me I’m Lying” and during the lecture he said that when his book first came out there were people who thought his book was trash. Holiday knew that his book was going to be very controversial, but he still published it anyway because he wanted to expose the truths about the media. Which gets me to think: Should I trust this guy? Is what he’s saying true? Or is he just like every blogger out there who’s only interest is the money? All in all I found his lecture very informative and intriguing.

  34. Attending Ryan Holidays lecture I could not help but notice it was clear reflection of what I read in “Trust Me I’m Lying”. A few bits and details were missing but he got his point across distinctively. He explained early in the lecture about how he finally go to work for this journalistic/blogging company. This was his dream job. He could not help but notice whenever he sent an article in to be published or I guess that would make headlines he kept getting shut down. Later he used a dummy source with the same article title, and to his surprise that article got published. He did to point out the media does not look for facts. The “media’s” facts are pure guesses according to Ryan Holiday. In the lecture he labeled it as “Bullshit facts”. He explained to us in the lecture about how influential he has been to some high ranking people. He told us word for word Dov Charney, CEO and founder of American Apparel: “Behind my reputation as a marketing genius there is Ryan Holiday, who I consult often and has helped build and done more for my business than just about anyone.” Even though Ryan Holiday has probably tarnished his career and burned a few bridges, he knows his opinions and views has shed light on many undisclosed topics in the media. Being in the lecture I could not help but notice what Ryan Holiday was saying was pure repetitive from the book. He seemed to mostly talk about himself then anything else. Besides what people he has influenced and consulted with. Overall the freshman convocation taught me nothing new besides what was read in the book.

  35. On Thursday, I attended the lecture by Ryan Holiday about his book, “Trust Me, I’m Lying”. I was very happy when he came out and I could see how young he was. When the author is closer to your age, I feel like it allows you to connect with them more. Although I didn’t necessary enjoy the lecture, I was happy when I found out that he lives on a farm I also enjoyed listening to his voice and seeing some of the interesting pictures he included in his slide show.
    I didn’t quite like the lecture because it was pretty much about the media, marketing and technology. These are topics that I personally, do not quite enjoy hearing about. I thought he did however make some interesting points. I found it interesting, and somewhat even questionable, that he wrote a book explaining the mechanics and secrets behind marketing, even though that is what he did for a career. I really enjoyed seeing the billboards that he vandalized for business. I found his puppy advertisement hilarious and intriguing. However, in the end, it was still a lecture. This means you sit in a chair for a long period of time, sometimes starring or looking around at the other people or playing games secretly on your phone, while a person speaks to you. I thought that overall, Ryan Holiday did well at discussing his book.

  36. During the Freshmen Convocation event lecture from Ryan Holiday on his book, “Trust me, I’m Lying” I was intrigued. While my major is communication I had agreed with a good amount of what Holiday was preaching about fake news. Personally I found it interesting some of the ways Holiday would basically “BS” people. While he created HARO ( help a reporter out), no one ever questioned if it was truly him or not. Holiday was mentioned in some absurd articles just for a reference and for the most part they were lies. I had agreed with Holiday about how you shouldn’t have an opinion about everything you see and only if it connects with you. Although I had agreed with most of what Holiday said, most of the lecture was him talking about himself. Holiday continuously gloated about how he destroyed billboards, and how he wrote the book himself and random facts about himself. Also Holiday preached about how good of a liar he was, did you think that some of the stories or facts he had mentioned to us were just LIES?
    I found this lecture to connect with critical thinking and to our class because I questioned a lot of what Holiday had to say. I also draw many assumptions based on what he would talk about. I found that this was a good lecture because I had a common interest in what he would talk about him his book. Although Holiday mentioned a good amount about himself during the lecture I felt as if he preached to a good amount of students to not believe everything they see or hear on television because, it could just be for entertainment. Also I found this lecture invigorating because he tried not to born his audience to death by throwing in random pictures of his animals and telling stories to keep people listening.

  37. When I saw the “trailer” for the book “Trust Me I’m Lying”, I was actually very interested and curious to see what the book was about. It caught my attention and made me really want to read the book, which is exactly what Ryan Holiday wanted. He gassed up his book so much that in the end, it completely blew up in his face. I do have to give him props for having the guts to put the media on blast and inform his audience on what goes on behind the scenes of media manipulation. He obviously became a prime example of it so the fact that he basically exposed everyone and everything, even himself, he wanted his readers to be informed about the manipulation of the media. The personal experiences that Holiday shares with us is important because it helps us really understand how and why the media does what it does.

    In the book, Ryan Holiday talks about the nine tactics in which are used for media manipulation. He goes into depth for each one of them and exposes blogs while he’s at it. One important key factor to his manipulation is “trading up the chain”. He explains that you need to start at a small blog, and gives the example of Gawker, and then keep working your way up until you get to a more popular and bigger blog. Towards the middle of the book in section XIII, he talks about how everything he had done backfired on him and that what he was doing to the system was now doing it back to him. He got a taste of his own medicine and he could not stand it. All in all, did I like this book? No. I honestly did not like this book at all because I did not find one bit of it interesting which had me confused because his trailer for it seemed like it would be a decent book. I feel as if he was repetitive and I think he could of went about certain things a different way. However, I do give him credit for wanting to turn his life around and become the bigger person and expose the media to society.

  38. To me the convocation seemed a bit repetitive. But I became interested when I saw how young he actually was. As a reader of “Trust me, I’m Lying” I was made to believe that he was an older man judging the current generation on the beliefs of media. Ryan Holiday uses his former life to explain what himself and other media manipulators do to lure you into certain blogs or cites for views. He explained that it was once his job to create ‘click baits’ to grab viewers attention and get more views on certain topics. They do this because the more views, the more money they generate.
    I thought it was interesting that he once had a career that would manipulate you to press on an article that would have its title reformatted so that it seemed much interesting to the reader. But now he is past that part of his life and now he shit talks it for a living. He goes to schools and bashes the people that do the same exact thing that he used to do. I also found it funny that he posted tweets that were made about him and his book about how crappy it was and he included it in his presentation. I thought that was a neat feature to add to his presentation. I feel like it connected to us, young readers, because many of us use twitter a lot and to see someone as famous as him, come to us and talk about getting bashed on twitter is extremely humorous.

  39. There has been a lot that I have learned about in Critical Thinking so far. One of those things being that it’s not always easy to expand upon an idea when there are so many things to touch on within that one idea. Expressed opinions, theories, and thoughts tend to naturally start running through your brain, also in which you’ll use those methods in your everyday life. Even though I did not attend the Ryan Holiday lecture, I still continued to read more of the book and some things I came across were very mind boggling and interesting in the sense that many of the things going on in the reading happens in other articles and discussions in class. For example, in the first chapter, Traffic is Money, Ryan Holiday talks about blogs and states, “A few blogs produce a portion of their revenue through selling extras-hosting conferences or affiliate deals-but, for the most part, this is the business: Traffic is money.” The last sentence, “Traffic is money,” makes me think that everything around the world always revolves around money. That’s the goal in ever matter. Reminding me of the Eating Dog articles that we watched in class, all those people want is money for the dogs just as we gain money from cows and pigs. Everything in this world ties to money and that’s what I have learned.

    As well as lying. Almost everyone and everything in this world is involved with or consisted of lies. Manipulating and foolishness is what gets people around in life as sad as it is. Just like he discussed often in this book. When he talks about how he is a retail store worker yet he does his online work on the side. Being that the online work consists of him plagiarizing and copying things off of other peoples work makes it into something else and sells it. By doing this they make loads of money clearly because if he’s desperate enough to do this work on the side just to make extra money. I don’t agree fake news or let alone anything that is plagiarized should be sold. That is my opinion from my own knowledge personally.

  40. In Ryan Holiday’s lecture it was very simpler to the book. I came into the lecture not wanting to go because I felt I was going to another stupid high school assembly. I actually enjoyed listening to Ryan talk about his book, list experience, and how he got to where he is now. To me Holiday really keep me involved in his lecture with adding a few jokes here and there and still relating his book to news that is happening today. He talked about each step in his life that got him to where he is today. He loved his initial job, journalism, but as time went on he realized that in order for his stories to get out into the world he had to step out of his comfort zone and start making the “fake news” that readers of today’s world believe is the real news. One thing that really stuck with me after the lecture was something that Ryan said when he was answering the crowds’ questions. I’m not too sure what the question was word for word but it was something about Donald Trump and the “fake news” and the relation. You could tell that Ryan really answered this question from the heart and felt so strongly about it. The words that really stayed with me were, “…it is crazy how I wrote a book on how politics and the world creates articles just to make someone popular. It makes me so angry how I feel so strong about not doing the wrong thing when my president in a way is doing the exact same thing that I am talking about. I feel as this lecture to me related to our class when we were doing assumptions because I went in already assuming that I wouldn’t like the lecture and weren’t get anything out of it. As time went on I got more and more involved with Ryan’s lecture.

Comments are closed.