How did these clowns get everyone acting like trained fucking monkeys?
You have it backwards. Someone in marketing realized that people behave in predictable ways in response to certain stimuli and have taken advantage of it.
A market economy is simply one where natural selection is applied to favor whatever generates the most profit. It turns out that using simple psychological tricks (e.g. big savings, "can't miss" opportunity, implied scarcity, etc.) are a great way to get people to spend money. Businesses that engage in this behavior have better long term success than those that don't, so we tend to see more of it. We're just reaching the point where because almost everyone is doing it, it becomes a less effective strategy and so it becomes necessary for the companies to start trying new strategies which may yield more effective long-term success.
If you have enough people complaining about a lack of meaning or pointless consumerism, companies will attempt to take advantage of that in order to sell their wares. Some would say that this has already happened.
The key points to get from the graphs above are that for some reason the Snapdragon 800 SoC in the Nexus 5 only ends up using 3 of its 4 cores most of the time, with the frequency on the other three Krait 400 cores oscillating between 1GHz and 1.6GHz. The Snapdragon 805 in the Nexus 6 keeps all four cores at their max frequency for about twelve minutes before they all throttle down to 2GHz and remain there for nearly two hours. Meanwhile, Snapdragon 808 can only keep its two A57 cores at their peak frequency for two minutes before throttling both down to 633MHz and putting the A53s up to their peak 1.44GHz. After twelve minutes the A57s are just shut off entirely, and you're left with a cluster of 4 A53 cores at 1.44GHz. I didn't bother running this test as long as I did for Snapdragon 800 and 805 because the events at the two and twelve minute marks tell you everything you need to know.
Part of the blame is probably the 20 nm TSMC node that apparently had problems with leakage at higher voltages, but that's unlikely to be the only issue.
"If I do not want others to quote me, I do not speak." -- Phil Wayne