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Jargon watch: truth decay

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Truth decay was a concept that I came across when reading Monocle’s Forecast issue.

Donald Trump
President Donald Trump

Michael D Rich is the head of the The RAND Corporation – a not for profit think tank. When he was interviewed and described as being preoccupied with ‘truth decay’. Truth decay occurs when society and the body politic can’t even agree on basic facts.

  • Increasing disagreement about facts and analytical interpretations of facts and data
  • A blurring of the line between opinion and fact
  • The increasing relative volume and resulting influence of opinion and personal experience over fact
  • Declining trust in formerly respected sources of facts

Truth decay. One point that we’ve made over and over again is that no important problem can be solved in the US within the span of just a four-year presidency or a two-year Congress. And the way those problems have been surmounted in the past is consensus and compromise. That’s impossible if two sides can’t agree on the basic facts.

Thought Leaders – The Forecast 2020 Monocle magazine

All of this sounds like the rhetoric used to describe Vladislav Surkov and his work for the Russian government, or Dominic Cummings and Cambridge Analytica. The RAND Corporation is America’s foremost think tank. It spun out of Douglas Aircraft Corporation. From national security it expanded to social and economic areas. It now has its own grad school and nine different research facilities. It’s website is a good source of resources across a range of areas.

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Jargon watch: treasure hunt

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Treasure hunt as defined by NPD is the process of consumers bargain hunting. It might be discounted pricing on items or looking for substitute pre-owned products.


Discounted items used to be seen in the retail trade as the preserve of older consumers alongside couponing. But as empirical experience going along to discount outlets show bargain hunters reach across social classes, income levels and age groups. Discounted products accounted for 3 percent growth in retail, even while retail declined by 1 percent overall in the last quarter.

As for pre-owned goods, whilst NPD thinks that this is a millennial trait – vintage clothing stores, crate digging for records and and eBay are evidence that this trait isn’t new.

Admittedly the motivation that they are ascribing to vintage shopping by millennials and gen-z adds environmental aspects to vintage consumption. (Though is probably quality aspects as well as apparel globalisation and fast fashion have gone hand-in-hand in the demand for heirloom design).

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Jargon watch: qCPM

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qCPM is emblematic of the state of online advertising. qCPM stands for quality cost per mille. It is used interchangeably with vCPM – valuable cost per mille. The implication being that normal advertising impressions are tainted.

Librarian at the Card Files at Senior High School in New Ulm Minnesota ..., 10/1974

Tainted by advertising fraud, click bots, bad neighbourhoods and faulty data. What other industry would sell its seconds products as the norm?

Things are going to get worse. Privacy settings and ad blocking is creating biases in audience data that will only get worse with time.

More information

The Rise Of The qCPM: Rewarding Quality In Programmatic Buying | AdExchanger