'Jolt Culture can be seen in the thrust of contemporary magazines from Rolling Stone and People to Maxim and Entertainment Weekly, which increasingly rely on pictures and short captions rather than longer form stories. Newspapers are responding to the trend through the heavier use of what's known as "alternative story forms" -- quick-hit information boxes that boil down the essential facts of any given story to a few easily digested tidbits. It is apparent in the rise of "talking-head" television, which substitutes passion for analysis, and in films that trade in jaw-dropping spectacle rather than taut narratives about characters facing tough moral choices.
Jolt Culture is often conflated with the "dumbing-down" of America. They are, undoubtedly, partners in crime. Trivia books -- which strip meaning from knowledge, providing us with information but the not the context we need to apply it -- embody this relationship. At bottom, they provide us with fleeting sensation.'