Kevin Marks on "expensively-educated conformists"

"My bubble indicator is the way you tell you're in a bubble is suddenly the people who are expensively-educated conformists show up in your industry."

13:11 - 13:19, Tummelvision, Episode 99

Reminds me of that old catchphrase from a little company of my youth, "Think similar."

It also made me think of this,

They think the grosses are proof that people are happy with what they’re getting, just as TV executives think that the programs with the highest ratings are what TV viewers want, rather than what they settle for.


Part of what has deranged American life in this past decade is the change in book publishing and in magazines and newspapers and in the movies as they have passed out of the control of those whose lives were bound up in them and into the control of conglomerates, financiers, and managers who treat them as ordinary commodities. This isn’t a reversible process; even if there were Supreme Court rulings that split some of these holdings from the conglomerates, the traditions that developed inside many of those businesses have been ruptured. And the continuity is gone. In earlier eras, when a writer made a book agreement with a publisher, he expected to be working with the people he signed up with; now those people may be replaced the next day, or the whole firm may be bought up and turned into a subdivision of a textbook-publishing house or a leisure-activities company. The new people in the job aren’t going to worry about guiding a writer slowly; they’re not going to think about the book after this one. They want best-sellers. Their job is to find them or manufacture them.


The big change in the country is reflected in the fact that people in the movie business no longer feel it necessary to talk about principles at all. They operate on the same assumptions as the newspapers that make heroes of the executives who have a hit and don’t raise questions about its quality.

Pauline Kael -  Why are movies so bad? Or, the numbers.

The New Yorker, June 23, 1980


If you're not a subscriber to the New Yorker, you can get one year's access to the entire issue that article appears in for six dollars. Yes, six dollars, despite the cover of said article's issue advertising the price as one dollar. If you're handy, and not willing to pay, (and I'm almost sure you're not), you can probably acquire the article by other means. It's 6500 words, and probably not worth the price, but I think looking at the issues raised through the lens of what's happening with technology in 2012 is very interesting.