Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Curse of the Mass

Observing the TV shows about Football gives me a bad feeling. The reason being that these shows have converged towards gossip and off the field issues a lot more than technical in field matters. Which coach cursed who, what strange things happened between General Managers and players, player off field embarrassments and so on. You seldom see proper analysis of the team tactics or player techniques. This is just Football, almost any popular show, magazine or newspaper about a certain topic which has audience such as sports, movies, etc. behaves the same after a while. What is the problem? Is there a problem? Well, no doubt these programs have huge audiences. That is exactly the problem. Humans seek patterns, finding these patterns provides satisfaction. Watching such programs reflect the human being relationships such as fights, breakups, love, hatred can be felt by almost anybody and brings joy to these people, but talking all tactics and techniques will be understood by only a few, maybe 20% of football fans really understand team tactics, so by having a very technical TV program, you'll end up boring 80% of the audience and making the switch the channel. And the goals of these program being only to have "MORE" viewers, their evolution has no choice but to be how they are currently.

This is the curse of the mass on noble products and processes.

In other dimensions, consider the company Microsoft. Ever wonder why their products are not comparable to the top products in the field? Has to do with the goal for the products, not to be the best, but to have the most users. Half of the problems in the software world initiated from the day they decided to provide programming for everyone, hence VB was born. Ironically having the most users can not converge to the best product either, just like how the best music will not have the most audience, the best movie will not be a block buster and the best football show will not have so many viewers. "Best" here is formed on top of the quality attributes inside the domain (sports, movies,..) and not based on audience and sales.


not-nietsche said...

adding to that, there's no criteria defined for such qualities. meaning there's no interest unless it is personal interest.

Anonymous said...

Thanks I always hated those programs and this whole concept behind the trivia that people love in Iran, instead of "thing" itself but I didn't know the cause.