Re: the cultural market place

From: Jerry Bryson (
Date: Thu 16 Feb 2006 - 22:56:25 GMT

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    On Feb 16, 2006, at 1:29 PM, William Benzon wrote:

    > Matthew J. Salganik,1,2* Peter Sheridan Dodds,2* Duncan J. Watts1,2,3*
    > Hit songs, books, and movies are many times more successful than
    > average,
    > suggesting that "the best" alternatives are qualitatively different
    > from
    > "the rest"; yet experts routinely fail to predict which products will
    > succeed. We investigated this paradox experimentally, by creating an
    > artificial "music market" in which 14,341 participants downloaded
    > previously
    > unknown songs either with or without knowledge of previous
    > participants'
    > choices. Increasing the strength of social influence increased both
    > inequality and unpredictability of success.

    This sounds like a job for chaos theory.

    On another note:

    > Success was also only partly
    > determined by quality: The best songs rarely did poorly, and the worst
    > rarely did well, but any other result was possible.

    How did they evaluate which songs were "best" and "worst?

    'Mother, may I go and maffick, Tear around and hinder traffic?

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