Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Mass Stupidity

There has been lots of talk this week after the release of the new viewer about mass uptake of SL and other virtual worlds, like this is the great goal for us all.

SL has been compared to StupidFarm and FoolVille on Facebook and generally come off worst because more people play stupid games than will ever enjoy SL, apparently.

"Virtual World Expert".... hmm.....now there's a claim to make about yourself, or, actually, anyone...... Ralph Koster has a view, taken up by NWN, that SL is dying because it's not stupid enough for mass uptake. What a shame..

Now, the most popular TV programmes are things I wouldn't watch if you paid me (well,......not quite true, but you would have to pay me to watch...), and the most popular of our newspapers are complete crap from front page to last.

When has popularity ever spawned quality?

Do the majority of people visit the Tate Gallery?? oh...so that means the Tate is dying too, I guess.... more people go to MacDonalds.

I am at a total loss. Why, when and how did mass-uptake of a cultural or social product become the Holy Grail?

If, as an artist I wanted to sell paintings, I would paint fluffy kitties...... authors would write crappy soppy love stories.... and sculptors would do horses and dogs in bronze.

Anyone who thinks that the public knows best is a fool, and pandering to "everyone" simply reduces everything to the lowest common denominator..... mass stupidity.



  1. "Why, when and how did mass-uptake of a cultural or social product become the Holy Grail?"

    When it became possible to sell information about the product's users to advertisers who want to sell them more stuff.

    "...like this is the great goal for us all."

    It's the great goal for the owners and operators. The rest of us are expected to consume, and to allow ourselves to be tracked and induced to consume even more.

  2. :)).... yes, exactly.... but to read comments on these articles you would think that this aim was supported and condoned by the average VW user.

    The fact that it is not what most of us want, or even consider important is seldom voiced.

    Reminds me a lot of Noam Chomsky's "manufacturing consent" concept.
    Ridicule and marginalise those who don't agree.....

  3. Ridicule and marginalise them should be an artists concept that could give a lot of fun and we don't need the masses to do so, what a relief!

  4. Unfortunately, SL, like VRML before it, has been taken over by monetizing-beancounters; the same people who manufacture trends and fads and sit breathlessly on pointy spindles awaiting the gold rush (in 24 hrs) and write things off if said goldrush does not appear in that period.

    Never mind that they are taking things backwards - attenpting to dictate what is "cool" and "popular" and ignoring the entire dataset of what made something continue for years as an interesting and perennial discovery - talent, craft, thought, engagement - realness.

    The same people who want to make "the next Beatles" because they see ca$h cows, not understanding that The Beatles continue their longetivity because their music was crafted painstakingly & honestly. Their ephemeral mayfly view of "business" lends itself better to managing inventory for a WalMart than the arts.

    The trend towards dehumanizing people into accounting-units of potential foodsources and interchangeable cogs in the machinery of commerce is the logical extention of the Industrial Age - humans as machines, subject to spreadsheet analysis and commodification.

    Fortunately, an old maxim applies:
    "In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is." Linear beancounter-types, beware.

    I await the Renaissance breathlessly. The historical cycle is long but implacable. I hope the potential and promise of SL and VWs in general does not get lost in the transition.

    *quickly makes a ridiculously fluffy kitten-horse in bronze weighing 2,317lbs*

  5. hehehehehe... well, one of the nicest things about doing a blog, if you are honest about your thoughts and feelings, is that you get some feedback from people who either agree or disagree.

    Lalo, SaveMe, Miso and Wizzy...thanks..:))

    I think, Miso, if the Renaissance gets strangled at birth by the bean counters that Open Sims, like spores, will carry the new genetic material and coalesce into some new and wonderful alien being.
    .... but then I'm an optimist....