Curiosity – Pandering Cycle


Why do the masses want dumbed down good things? Why does that happen repeatedly? Why not take the shortcut of making bland crap in the first place? The masses don’t chase that necessarily. There is plenty of it. They want bland crap with a reputation for not being bland crap. They want a lie. They want to pretend to be early adopters, power gamers, super nerds, etc. – pretend to be seeking out something high quality, special, different – while actually they are fed bland crap they can digest. They don’t actually like and can’t deal with the kind of great things that early adopters and the best people want. But they want to pretend to like those things but actually what they are consuming is different, changed, easier. That’s why they make hard games like diablo 3 and then nerf them (and partly they were using the reputation of diablo 2, which was harder).

I was listening to the Fountainhead and thought of your article when I came across this part (emphasis added):


It had a fastidious jacket of midnight blue with plain silver letters and a silver pyramid in one corner. It was subtitled “Architecture for Everybody” and its success was sensational. It presented the entire history of architecture, from mud hut to skyscraper, in the terms of the man in the street, but it made these terms appear scientific. Its author stated in his preface that it was an attempt “to bring architecture where it belongs—to the people.” He stated further that he wished to see the average man “think and speak of architecture as he speaks of baseball.” He did not bore his readers with the technicalities of the Five Orders, the post and lintel, the flying buttress or reinforced concrete. He filled his pages with homey accounts of the daily life of the Egyptian housekeeper, the Roman shoe-cobbler, the mistress of Louis XIV, what they ate, how they washed, where they shopped and what effect their buildings had upon their existence. But he gave his readers the impression that they were learning all they had to know about the Five Orders and the reinforced concrete. He gave his readers the impression that there were no problems, no achievements, no reaches of thought beyond the common daily routine of people nameless in the past as they were in the present; that science had no goal and no expression beyond its influence on this routine; that merely by living through their own obscure days his readers were representing and achieving all the highest objectives of any civilization. His scientific precision was impeccable and his erudition astounding; no one could refute him on the cooking utensils of Babylon or the doormats of Byzantium. He wrote with the flash and the color of a first-hand observer. He did not plod laboriously through the centuries; he danced, said the critics, down the road of the ages, as a jester, a friend and a prophet.

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