“I’ll have what she’s having|

Posted by on Dec 30, 2008 in Uncategorized | No Comments


…was the print edition title of this piece in the Christmas special edition of New Scientist

How we get to choose what others do? Chris "long tail" Anderson pitted against Duncan Watts (again)

Nice quote from DW for you to cut out and put on your cube wall:

""There is a naive assumption that people are making decisions
independently, scouring all possible choices and then optimising…But people aren't rational in that weird economists' sense."

apart from the cognitive overload aspect, Watts thinks that the films
we watch or the music we listen to is not entirely, or even mostly,
about the thing being consumed. It is about the social context in which
we consume it. "If you're dating a girl who likes AC/DC, you might
start listening to AC/DC. With another girlfriend, you might be
listening to Aerosmith," he says.

he thinks, our love of the blockbuster might just reflect that we
humans are constantly looking out for a place to go – one where others
are too. "A culture is a set of people who share beliefs, ideas and
artefacts," says Watts. "Blockbusters are part of that – they make us
feel we belong to something."

Great stuff.

[2 questions to the author, Richard Webb:

1. Not sure what the point of the distinction is between "Organic" vs. Artificial blockbusters?
2. Why wait a year after the fuss about Duncan's download study?]

Free gift: that scene starring the late, great Estelle Reiner