@BicycleBill: you are right on! I think the general populace in N. America let go of their commonsense long ago and now needs to be told what is hot, what is news (more like opinions!), how to think, how to find a place when they drive, etc...
Hype makes news these days, moves markets, creates winners & losers, so on.
This is a great reality check on our hype-driven culture. Problem is that the caffeinated media and PR people hype each latest development as the solution to whatever ails you. Whatever your problem, "x" will solve it (remember hearing that Wikis would be the answer to all your prayers?)
The other reality is that many of the really transformative events and products often come "out of nowhere", and we don't see them coming--transistors and ICs are just two examples.