Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Mainstream media explained

The principle of least effort is a broad theory that covers diverse fields from evolutionary biology to webpage design. It postulates that animals, people, even well-designed machines will naturally choose the path of least resistance or "effort". It is closely related to many other similar principles: see Principle of least action or other articles listed below. This is perhaps best known or at least documented among researchers in the field of library and information science. Their principle states that an information-seeking client will tend to use the most convenient search method, in the least exacting mode available. Information seeking behavior stops as soon as minimally acceptable results are found. This theory holds true regardless of the user's proficiency as a searcher, or their level of subject expertise

One might add to this and suggest that mainstream media must equate least effort with least cost. A simple copy and paste job from an external source suited to the known tastes of a reasonably well-understood readership. Tits and bums, celebrities and sport, gossip and prejudice. Naturally the prejudice can be high-minded if that is what the market demands.


Michael said...

I just wonder if in a hundred or so years time, every single page printed before the internet changed everything, will be found online.

For the level of 'research' I need these days, I have more than enough already, but to get a diagnosis of a physics theory of life on Mars in 1879 isn't really at the top of my list...

But some poor sod will inevitably want to learn all about it one day - as long as his brain isn't too addled...

Sam Vega said...

"Naturally the prejudice can be high-minded if that is what the market demands."

Ah, the dear old Guardian!

Clacket said...

Is it not called entropy? Everything, great and small, ultimately ends up as mush. Dismal, dismaying, and very, very hard to accept; doesn’t sit well with our world view.

One of the most difficult lessons, and one the vigorous and inquisitive student is least likely to be able to take on mental board, is that people are just that venal, short sighted and stupid. They really can drive off a cliff, and bitch all the while about just who let the handbrake off. Truth is, we all did, we just can’t admit it. Self-image, and all that…

Just by way of example and not intended as an attack on a moribund carcass, but I am old enough unfortunately to remember when Tony Blair first appeared, Plausible hair dressers assistant, I thought. Nice teeth and reasonable hair, excellent if transparently fake sincerity. And then watched him generally lauded all the way through to wannabe elder statesman to, in the end, ultimately derided shyster; which I would say is just where we are now.

I was, it turns out unsurprisingly, more right than all the idiots who marched half-way up the hill with him and were then confounded and hurt when reality hit.
The thing is; it’s not his, or his many counterparts, shallow fault. It’s yours, for crediting these flawed and self-interested creatures with more than they are capable of.

It is a truly sobering point when you realise that your revered and estimable parents and tutors were dumber than you, that people can really live down to and below even your most lowly cynical expectations.

Anyway, glad we that one sorted! Personally, I don’t bother reading the mainstream ‘news’, at least at first hand. I can pretty much write it in my own time-worn head.

Demetrius said...

Ooo, look mum, printed blogs, can I have one?

A K Haart said...

Scrobs - I suppose most of it will be online apart from some very obscure bits and pieces which escaped the net. If nothing else it is a good way to share it.

Sam - what would we do without it?

Clacket - I think that may be an effect of the internet. We now know things to a depth that wasn't available to earlier generations, or at least we have to tools to find out even though we may not use them. Our world is flatter than theirs.

Demetrius - good for cleaning the car windscreen too.