If you don’t become famous your message will not amount to much and most likely, it won’t amount to anything. This might be more broadly stated for the modern web-based world where things never get seen if they aren’t on Google’s first page, so, … if it isn’t seen there, functionally it doesn’t exist. To find its way to the top of a Google search an idea will probably have gone viral, that is self replicating within the public’s mind. A general statement of the problem could be …
If an idea can’t go viral it will never exist for the public.
A corollary to this statement and perhaps a contradiction to it is: after a person is famous they can say the most inane things and they will be heard by the public and be given credence. That seems like a rather harsh point of view but until something, or someone, reaches the state of common knowledge and common acceptance with the public it has no clout and no believability.
Unfortunately, the current media-dosed public has become infected ( yes that’s the right word ) with manufactured confusion. The concept of this kind of infection was discussed by Clive Thompson in the current WIRED magazine 17.02 page 038 with his report on the work of Robert Proctor a historian at Stanford University. The professor has has generated a new word agnotology—the study of culturally constructed ignorance.
We here in the public are inured to the inundation of anti-information and believe we are successful in shrugging it off but the Gallup polls appear to prove that the public has become so confused about what is fact and what is fiction that they have given up and have even stoped caring about what’s true and what’s not. The article mentions the bogus studies by cigarette companies which are publicized and designed to dupe the public. The proof that their lies are convincing is that the public buys their products which are obviously harmful to their health and happiness. One of their basic ploys is to find out what the public wants to believe and then pander to that wish no matter how unattainable that fantasy might be. Unfortunately, it works.
Media-casters pretend to bring us the truth and have a revered policy of having an alternate point of view presented against a tested and proven fact. This they feel gives them the appearance of fairness and objectivity which they believe gives them more public credence. They do it because it works. They give the true nut-case’s alternate theories equal media time against one of good well documented evidence. An alternate and objective theory which isn’t represented doesn’t exist in the public’s mind and it slowly sinks into oblivion. A really good idea which is too complicated to be put into a simple one sentence sound bite will never be viewed by the public because the media will not permit it because a if few seconds of thinking is required the public clicks out and goes to another station. Part of the problem is that Mr. Nutcase can now claim to be important and believable because they have been cited on Blat’s TV show, and quoted in the Blerbworth TIMES. Now they are a celebrity and their silly blats become part of the public’s concept of truth.
Going viral and gaining public acclaim is what makes truth in our media driven world of sound bites. Unfortunately, this silly kind of truth becomes the ultimate truth because it gets funded by the political powers that be and thus it becomes promoted. Arnold Schwarzenegger quotes his father as teaching him a simple truth as a child, “Be known as the very best in the world at something, even if it’s only Tiddlywinks!” Once you have that modicum of fame it is possible to build on it. Without it you are nothing!
At my advanced age I am still nothing! I have done a lot of interesting things, discovered some cool things and had a good time doing it but as no one knows or cares, I am nothing and have no social impact. As mentioned a couple of days ago, there is a possibility that some cancers could go into remission by using an artificially self induced fever. However, until someone famous proclaims it and there are some claimed real world observations, which are easy to get after a famous person proclaims something, it doesn’t exist. So, I stated that cancer cure as a known fact, which it isn’t, because that is the only way it might get the public’s attention. But I know it is just a thought, not even a theory. Well, perhaps it is a theory because it can be clearly stated, tested and disproved. But, this is only an example of the general idea. If I were the acknowledged world champion of Tiddlywinks I would get a hearing. The take home message is:
If you don’t go viral and become famous you and your ideas don’t exist.