How low can you go?

version

Who loves ya, baby?
I've recently been wondering whether there's any sort of baseline it's impossible to slip below when it comes to things like content quality. We used to have serious writers working for ESPN, chat shows which were uninterrupted interviews with serious people about serious things. Nowadays working for an organisation like ESPN looks even more soul destroying than it perhaps was at the time. How much more banal can we get? Is there some entropic point at which everything becomes so uniformly bland and of devoid of substance that that's it?
 
I’m not sure how we could measure the average level of seriousness or quality in content across the board. Although things seem to get every more clickbaity on the surface to grab attention in a noisy environment there’s also the growing popularity of niche interest podcasts, long tv series etc. So we’re getting faster and shallower across some media but also deeper and longer in others
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
This was prompted by the relentless milking of The Last Dance by ESPN whilst the NBA's suspended. Every player, former or active, seems to be being interviewed over Zoom and asked the same bog standard questions about MJ vs. Lebron and so on.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
How much more worthless can jobs like being a journalist or interviewer get? It feels as though you could have a very primitive AI do most of their jobs at this point. There's just nothing there.
 

mvuent

Void Dweller
Yeah I know exactly what you mean. It often happens with buzzfeed-style content too. You get this neverending stream of vaguely "relevant" yet completely trivial content. Content that seems like it would have to have been the work of AI, because no human could possibly have found the movitation to write it. I mean it would make more sense if they actually got views or some kind of response, but 99% of it's just meaningless professionalism thrown into the void. Wish I had some of the more soul crushing examples on hand but of course I instantly forgot about them.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
I honestly have no idea how people do that job. It must be exhausting. Within a minute of that clip they're attempting to appear excited discussing the colour scheme of a mixer...
 

yyaldrin

in je ogen waait de wind
i went that low. doing a job as "content creator" for an online magazine/portal. we had quota for the amount of articles we had to vomit out. it was terrible, completely drained me, made me feel unhuman, the worst was being schooled on how to come up with better clickbait titles. they fired me after 6 months and i'm glad they did. once, they literally asked me if i had the motivation and incentive to make it in the company or if i just want to go around and have fun (going to bars, and partys and hanging out they were implying).
 

yyaldrin

in je ogen waait de wind
another fun question was when they asked me why i kept leaving at 18h every day and i told them "well i have a 40 hour contract? doesn't that make sense?". and they were like yeh but don't you notice the rest of your colleagues are putting in a bit of extra work every day and stay longer (which everybody really did). left at 18h the next day again.

one really good day was when they fired another colleague and on his last day he decided to delete a huge chunk of the content we created. creating a massive panic and it took them days to recover everything again. or when someone from the IT department hacked the boss and passed around the wages of every single colleague to everybody who wanted it. i stole a bottle of liquor from the fridge every friday but i should have taken much more. fucking parasites.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
i went that low. doing a job as "content creator" for an online magazine/portal. we had quota for the amount of articles we had to vomit out. it was terrible, completely drained me, made me feel unhuman, the worst was being schooled on how to come up with better clickbait titles.
 

yyaldrin

in je ogen waait de wind
it was exactly like that except without any irony. imagine sitting in a room with someone being dead serious about what would be a better clickbait title for a shit article you don't care about at all, for a shit company you don't care about at all. thinking, why the fuck am i born?
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
The way art and natural history programs have evolved - from "Civilisation" to "Civilisations", from "Life on Earth" to "Planet Earth" - as cameras have improved, the focus has become more and more on these incredible images they can now capture and create, and the proportion of commentary and explication has steadily dwindled. If you watch Civilisation or Life on Earth there are some amazing images but there's also SO much narration, it's like you're in a university lecture, almost.

One view would be that dwindling attention spans have forced the creators hands. Another view - that the creators hands (liberated by technology) have eroded the attention spans. It's probably a bit of both.

And must point out that I think "Planet Earth", at least, is a masterpiece of filmmaking.

Perhaps this has nothing to do with your thread, Version, which is more about the economic imperative to churn out more content/junk. And also, the intellectual decline of mainstream culture. Is there a popular philosopher in our culture? A popular thinker? Most people's idea of a public intellectual now would be Stephen Fry!
 
Was there ever any hint of them realising how meaningless it all was?
I've worked at an ad agency briefly and you have to understand that for most of these people, the idea of an intrinsic meaning in their job contradicts their whole logic of life. Meaning comes extrinsically, not from what you do, but how well you do it and how much success you get doing it.

It's like a game. Not with interesting content, but with stakes and winners and loses, and that's what makes playing interesting.
 
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