Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Thought 401: Popularity as Measure of Quality?

These days popularity is generally interpreted as a measure of quality. 

This view assumes that the masses who make things popular have good taste, moral discernment and a wide knowledge of the areas in which they are interested in or entertained by.

That this is in fact the case is most doubtful.  

It could also be argued that popularity comes with mass exposure however much that mass exposure is undeserved and unrelated to the presence or not of quality.

For example McDonald's remains a popular 'food' joint but, while they may enjoy their products, most of its customers know it to be poor quality food, at least nutritionally. 

Moreover quality is not always what is desired. Witness the many individuals who watch TV programmes they know to be of poor quality but nonetheless entertain them and bring them pleasure and some form or release from the pressures of life. 

The desire for quality in art, food, music, literature, information, even entertainment is possibly an acquired drive, rather than a default one, requiring skills of discernment, self-knowledge, active research and mindfulness that are won through effort rather than being innate.