2019-07-08 05:42:25 (edited by Dark 2019-07-08 07:06:56)

I got an email advert from Amazon today, even though I'm supposedly on the list not to receive adverts, indeed the only emails I expect from Amazon are those about updates to the echo, and those notifying me of the status of anything I order.
Be that as it may something struck me about this email.

Everything they were advertising, from films to books to pop music, to audible trials to trailers and cinema tickets bore the word "popular!"

They didn't advertise something as being good, or even critically acclaimed, or worth watching, according to Amazon, I should be interested in something just because lots of other people are.

This logic somewhat beggars my belief.

if someone recommends something to me because it is a good example of something, be that a book, film, something to eat, piece of music or whatever, I'll give it a try and form my own opinion, and say what aspects of that thing I personally liked and what I did not and why I liked them. Indeed, other reviewers I tend to enjoy reading reviews from don't tend to be people I disagree with, but people who can put their opinions coherently.

People are of course welcome to disagree, I'm not claiming to be any kind of ultimate authority on taste, however as a person who has tried many examples of books, games, films, recipes for chilly or whatever, and can claim to have at least a somewhat refined sense of taste for such things, I would much rather hear a recommendation from another discerning person who can tell me exactly why they think the thing they're recommending is worth recommending, than a million million faceless thumbs ups, likes or simply statements that a thing is "popular"

Its actually something that really gets up my nose with book reviews. For any given book, probably %50 of reviews all give a top rating and some bland variant of "this is the best thing ever!" with little reason given (especially when the reviewers received an advanced copy of the book to comment on).

Then, probably %30 do not actually praise the book at all, but simply like the fact that the book agrees with  Sjw axe the reviewer themselves happens to be grinding.

You do still get negative reviews, but these are far rarer, (especially for modern books), and its even rarer to find someone who will actually give reasons for disliking a particular book that are not based on some form of axe grindery anyway.

This is why when I write reviews, i try myself to be critical in the real sense of the word, say what I liked, what I did not, and back up those claims with reference to values people can understand, such as plot, pacing, characters or writing style.

Of course, people are welcome to disagree with me about my attribution of these values to the given book, EG people might find a given pacing slower or faster than I do, or even the importance of these values, EG people might disagree with me on the importance of writing style.

However the fact that we can! disagree about such values gives us a common language, a common motivation, and actually makes the reading of books (or appreciating  anything else), a social event, heck my lady and I chat about books much of the time, and no, we don't always agree or even have the same preferences  (I definitely have much more tolerance and even liking for darker plots than she does).

So, what the hell is with this tendency of everyone to just agree and hand wave and say "yeah its good!", and this stupid business that the only positive  given to anything is that its "popular!"

Of course, being the marxist I am, I would attribute this to the fact that to  our corporate overlords, the fact that something "sells", probably is! the only real critical value something has, particularly since said corporate overlords are not actually interested in creative, artistic or expressive people anyway, however just because the idiot share holders who run the world think like this, why does everyone else?

Perhaps its because these days your not supposed to be able to disagree with anyone, much less have a politely critical conversation, I don't know, but either way, its bloody annoying, and just a little scary.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

Thumbs up +7

2019-07-08 13:14:22 (edited by thetechguy 2019-07-08 13:15:09)

well that's called add mentality. advertisers think that displaying popularity will make someone want to buy something. idk why but yeah.

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want to get in touch. contact me on discord @thetechguy#6929 or email me using the email link at the bottom of this post. if you found this post helpful, informative or funny please click the thumbs up button.

2019-07-08 13:51:28

I agree, when Netflix does it it's usually something I know I don't enjoy in the first place.

I could never get into Stranger Things, watched about the first 10 minutes and then gave up, the same goes for the TV show called Dark.

I couldn't get into that one either.

What I do, for Netflix at least is just browse and if something sounds interesting, I'll read the summary and go from there.

That's how I discovered a tv show called the society, which is supposed to be like a modern day lord of the flies.

Since I never read the book, I read the wikipedia synopsis, and going from that, I don't think it is.

But maybe someone who's read lord of the flies can compare the two.

A lot of those reviews you see online are people being paid to write good reviews, which make it a lot harder to find good honest reviews these days.

Thumbs up

2019-07-08 18:01:25

If I see "popular," it's usually a sign I need to turn the other way and run, especially if it's something a majority of the general U.S. population favors.
Apple Music loves to tell me what artists are trending, and I find myself avoiding that section every time I encounter it.
It also doesn't help that opinions within a group regress to the mean (group think), and when you have a large group of people like we do, it's easy to lose high-quality value.

2019-07-08 19:43:33

There has always been "popular opinion" about anything, but at least in the past adds etc would try to at least justify said popular opinion with either reference to quotations, or by displaying qualities which people might like, look at how many film trailers used to say "critically aclaimed" or ""an inspiring tale of adventure" or something like that.

Yet, even the advertisements these days use "popular" as though it is a complementary term without daring to suggest that the thing being advertised might actually have any qualities that make it popular.

With reviews as I said, the situation is pretty much as bad, indeed Cooltirk is absolutely right about people writing reviews just because they were given a free copy of the book, free film tickets  or the like.

The  rare occasions you see critical comments these days, at least with books, are usually with reference to one Sjw issue or other, IE a book has a tough female character or  ratially diverse cast or a gay romance or something, irispective of whether these elements are actually well or badly written.

Similarly, the few times I do find negative comments, they're usually related to said sjw axes, rather than related to whether the book is actually any good or not in terms of writing, plot, characters, pacing and generally the stuff that makes a book good.

Again, this isn't to say I'm an ultimate authority on good books and so on, I'm quite happy to disagree with people, but yee gods, what has happened to people's faculty of critical thinking!

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

Thumbs up

2019-07-08 20:08:10

Well simple, you shouldn't be. An automated process finds the best possible products for you which it then tries advertizing them in a way that you might be compelled to buy them. And what works for the general audience might work for you as well.
It's one of the most basic things when it comes to marketing and selling products.

Greetings Moritz.

Hömma, willze watt von mir oder wie, weil wenn nich, dann lass dir mal sagen, laber mir kein Kottlett anne Wange und hömma, wo wir gerade dabei sind, dann iss hier hängen im Schacht, sonns klapp ich dir hier die Fingernägel auf links, datt kannze mir mal glaubn.

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2019-07-08 20:09:28

Popularity has become synonymous with success, and thus, merit.

Nowadays, I may start my search at what's trending, but I dig. I don't just accept a first-level look at something, and I always reserve the right to form my own opinions. God knows I'm gonna do that anyway.

One of my first questions when I hear a piece of media is popular is to ask why. Why did so many people like it?And will I find that same trait, and find it appealing?
With regard to music, the answer is often no.
With regard to books, the answer is...meh. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.

As far as the whole SJW axe thing? Sometimes the wrong kind of portrayal can ruin a book for me. Put me in a society where most of the characters are misogynists, and I won't have much fun; if you're gonna do that, you'd better have a damn good story and grab my attention in other ways. Flip it around, though, and if you have a wonderfully inclusive/novel idea, but your writing is trash, I won't take you seriously. A good message buried in bad prose is still a generally bad book IMHO. While editing the novels of a friend of mine, I had to help him with some word repetition issues; what it amounted to is that I like his story but do not love his prose, and never will. If any facet of a book is too bad, it can drag a reader's opinion down.

Check out my Manamon text walkthrough at the following link:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/z8ls3rc3f4mkb … n.txt?dl=1

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2019-07-08 20:10:07

Most of the time advertizements miss their point completely, but I found some adds which actually showed me stuff which I would like, from products to movies and TV-Shows on netflics.
As someone above me said, it told me that I could like the series Dark, I checked it and I'm now binging that thing.

Greetings Moritz.

Hömma, willze watt von mir oder wie, weil wenn nich, dann lass dir mal sagen, laber mir kein Kottlett anne Wange und hömma, wo wir gerade dabei sind, dann iss hier hängen im Schacht, sonns klapp ich dir hier die Fingernägel auf links, datt kannze mir mal glaubn.

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2019-07-08 20:14:30

@2, they think this way because it actually works. And we all know why (though some of us pretend to be hopelessly lost on the subject in the interest of nonconformism.) A popular brand is a trusted brand. We are all less likely to go for something that we've hardly heard of.

Netflix and Amazon don't care if we like or don't like something. As long as they have our money. I remember a movie I watched recently called Birdbox. It was immensely popular, and since everyone was talking about it, it got even more people to watch. I finally caved and watched it, and hated it. One of the worst movies I've ever watched. But it was popular, hence use of Netflix services, hence more money for them.

Think about that guy you know (we all know at least one) who has the worst pickup line ever, and he keeps using it, over and over. Or that guy who engages in inappropriate behavior towards women to the point where you can't stand being around him, but he keeps doing it (again, we all have that one guy friend.) Why does he keep doing these things? Because somewhere, his pickup line worked. And, he's probably had sex more than you as his proper, upright wing man. He doesn't care if you, as his wing man, don't like what he's doing. It's getting him somewhere and that's all he cares about. This is how it is with advertisers.

Thumbs up

2019-07-08 21:03:27

The rare occasion I have found myself indulging in pop culture was watching the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. With Avengers: Endgame having been released just a few months ago, the world is still talking about the action-packed events that took place during the film.
What makes this movie so good? How did it manage to gross over $2.7B in just a couple of months?
The short answer is continuity, climax, and conclusion, and no, I don't mean how the movie ended.
It's only every so often that we witness good storytelling, especially in film. Without boring the non-fans, the MCU drew on human experience (albeit through a superhero dynamic) and created such depth to the characters. Throughout the 22-movie series, we saw characters change in their own ways, some as a result of how other characters evolved along the way.
In sum, a franchise that won the hearts of millions all across the globe turned out to actually be something worth investing my time in. It wasn't just about the CGI effects or the fact that Captain America lifted Thor's hammer. There was a sense of realism. The characters were three-dimensional. We even got to see some characters geting closure with their parents, something we often don't get in our own lives.
And yet, this is a franchise that the world really loves.

2019-07-09 02:19:05

Because it's a conversation starter.
I have no interest in sports, or most popular music, ETC, but I make the effort to have a general idea of what's trending just so I can fill awkward conversational gaps with random strangers.

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2019-07-09 04:14:59

I would bet that the main attraction for watching Birdbox in this community was to rip it apart and see whether the NFB had something to jump up and down and scream about, so I don't really take that anecdote seriously. Thus why I didn't bother watching it, just as I almost never watch any Hollywood adaptations of blindness, because if you do, you suddenly become the scum of the earth.

In regards to critical thinking, this is one of those skills that's being phased out at an alarmingly rapid pace. If people can't even tell the difference between clickbait and real facts, why the hell should they be expected to engage in meaningful discourse about books, music, etc.? This is why I've all but given up on socializing, at least in the typical ways you're expected to do it.

The glass is neither half empty nor half full. It's just holding half the amount it can potentially hold.

Thumbs up +1

2019-07-09 07:25:15

I don't want to derail the conversation, but I just thought I'd chip in to say that I actually agree with the NFB's viewpoint on the film Bird Box, which is essentially that the film doesn't portray blind people; rather, it portrays people who are using temporary blindness itself as an adaptation to their circumstances. Unlike blind people, these people are only "blind" for a period of time which they have control over, and they adjust their lifestyle to the maximum extent possible to avoid having to be in situations in which they need to be blind, not because blindness is a handicap, but because there are more important reasons why people have to give up their sight (I'm not spoiling the movie). Because the film does not have blind characters on-screen until the very last scenes of the movie, the filmmakers are able to choose the interpretation of people without sight that they most like, and their interpretation can be quite free because of the differences between the real world and the fictitious world of the film. So in short, I don't think you should avoid watching this movie or reading the book on which it was based simply because the characters wear blindfolds in some scenes.

Now, I can attempt to return to the topic of the thread by talking about the Bird Box Challenge, which consists of people demonstrating how effectively they can perform everyday tasks while blindfolded. I think it's sad that people would do this. Just because you see something in a movie doesn't mean you have to copy it; that's a very childish thing to do, especially when the movie is in a world so far removed from reality. But as other people have said, the world appears to unfortunately be becoming dumber, where people will do anything to just achieve popularity. One goal of copying others has not changed over the generations—people still do things to conform to others, but the specific activities they engage in to conform are just different today.

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2019-07-09 09:15:52 (edited by Dark 2019-07-09 09:18:53)

On the subject of Birdbox, I've not seen the film but I did write This review in 2014 just after I read the book.

My issues weren't specifically with  portrayal of blind people, more that Mailerman really should've really thought more about consistency and maybe done a bit of research.

Interestingly enough, I wouldn't mind seeing the film, but only because I'm faintly curious as to differences from the book and what they do with the adaptation, oh, and on the one hand all these facebook challenges sound a bit bonkers, on the other, if people find they don't die without sight that might actually be sort of helpful big_smile.

As regards the comments on popularity, I personally found that if I am socialising, I don't have a good enough poker face to pretend to be interested in something I'm not interested in. I have no interest in sport and I doubt I could fake an interest well enough to fool anyone, much less actually converse in a two way manner, which is why it wouldn't really help me to look at something popular for social reasons.

As to popularity meaning success, to be honest my issue here isn't that something "is!" popular, its just why should I exactly care! that something is popular.

If I go into a shop and they sell several brands of something, I'll generally go with what saves money and/or is good quality. The price is obvious, the quality I determine either by trying the thing myself, or where that isn't possible, finding a person I trust, IE an intelligent person who has tried that thing to give me an opinion.

As I said, I'd much rather someone disagreed with me rationally than just say "Try this is good"

For example, as I've said before, I really dislike superheroes, the cardboard reusable villains, the angxy self obsessed heroes, the deus ex endings, the inconsistent world building, the style over substance etc etc.

However, I'd much rather hear an opinion like that of leibylucw above, which actually gives rational and understandable reasons why he likes the Marvel universe films, than lots of people going "yeah its crap!"

Hell, its arguments like his that would be more likely to convince me to actually  go and try one of the marvel films and perhaps be pleasantly surprised, ---- though I will say the last time I did this with age of ultron I, well wasn't! big_smile.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

Thumbs up

2019-07-09 16:30:57

@12, what did NFB say about it? I wasn't aware there was any controversy surrounding it.

The thing I didn't like about it was that the plot was hurried and and the movie didn't actually say anything besides there's this mysterious thing that's killing people. So it was anti climatic for me. Hence why I didn't ultimately understand the hype (but I do know people who loved it very much.) I mostly found the movie to be boring once I realized that no one was going to find out what's out there. I don't care about the human emotions and conflict and having babies...humans are boring. I wanted to know the otherworldly aspect of it.

It just seemed like a zombie flick without the zombies.

Thumbs up

2019-07-09 19:03:50

I think the biggest thing with Birdbox was that it didn't really conform to the overarching mainstream-branded genre of horror. For once, it was a unique plot, but that didn't make it good.
I'd argue the people who did survive looking at the creatures (from the insane asylum) were more scary and posed a greater threat than these spooky invisible creatures themselves.
What I also thought was pretty misplaced in this movie was a single mother trying to raise two children that she dehumanized for three quarters of the film, the fourth quarter being her having learned the lesson of being a mom instead of a primal protector.
Sorry, to me, that's like mixing coffee and soda. Both taste good and have their merits, but need to remain exclusive of each other. A woman trying to find her way into becoming comfortable with motherhood in a horror movie? Probably one of the dumbest concepts ever hatched.

2019-07-12 07:58:29

If you have lunatics as an actual threat in the film, that has already pretty deviated from the book. The book has barely four or five characters, and though there is one guy whose up to no good whom you later find has seen the creatures, he's just one guy. actually he comes across as a real idiot mostly because his cover story is completely crap and all the main cast look like morons for believing him.

The book also doesn't explain the creatures, but that was one aspect I personally liked, since in horror terms its always what you don't know that scares you.

then again I said a lot of this in the review anyhow.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

Thumbs up

2019-07-12 09:46:11

I also was not a fan of the movie and really didn't understand the hype. Besides for the unrealistic bits like driving a car blindfolded, I agree with the rest that a lot of things didn't make sense, and I would also have liked more info on the creatures. Also agree that the crazy people seemed like more of a threat than the actual creatures, and it's strange that they didn't do more with that. I heard about the challenge, but also had no idea there was any controversy surrounding the movie as far as portrayal of blindness is concerned.

Thumbs up

2019-07-12 15:29:22

The driving a car blindfolded gave into the ignorance held by the rest of the world about blindness. It was utterly ridiculous, yet people [apparently] loved it so much that they even tried to imitate it. That's nothing new, though. The world has a rich history of "I wanna imitate something I saw on TV."
I never read the book, but I have heard that Netflix really toned down the horror, especially at the end. I believe they did this to keep their audience connected, though I say if you're watching a horror film, you better be prepared to accept a not-so-happy ending, but I think the whole brand of modern-day horror is essentially garbage, anyways. This is all to bolster the overall point that popularity isn't good, it's just what people like. That's why I've given up on American competitive singing shows like The Voice. This past season really showed me how much Americans are really in favor of rising country artists, and that was clear by three of the four finalists being on Blake Shelton's team. Ultimately, it was the lone wolf on John Legend's team that won, but it is still evidently clear that country music has been receiving lots of attention as of late, and it's the fastest-growing music genre in the U.S., mostly because it was the smallest and least favored for the longest time, lol.