Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Why Popularity Is a Bad Thing

A popular phenomenon (a song, a political movement, a cliché, an item of merchandise, a TV show or movie) is one that a large fraction of the population enjoys, endorses, practices, purchases, or watches. The fans, followers, speakers, buyers, and watchers who make a phenomenon popular are of two types: those who find intrinsic merit in the thing; those who find merit in adhering to what is popular. On which half of the population do you suppose the popularity of a thing mainly depends: the more intelligent half or the less intelligent half?

Now, do you really think popularity is a good thing?