Searching for the Moon

Shannon Clark's rambles and conversations on food, geeks, San Francisco and occasionally economics

Evil Genius Chronicles – Apprenticeship

Posted by shannonclark on December 16, 2005

I left the following, long comment, at Evil Genius Chronicles – Apprenticeship

To offer a somewhat different perspective, I think what people respond to in the various reality tv shows (and now also webshows etc) is not that someone ‘has’ a job or gets one – but the specific, usually unusual and relatively rare job which the winners get. i.e. six figures (plus lots of recognition) ‘running’ a line of business for a billionaire; running a music studio, being on air talent for a major (cable) network etc.
There is also a great related branch of ‘reality’ tv shows which illustrate at least to a degree an interesting side of many jobs – from extremes like ‘dirty jobs’ to more practical examples on HGTV and others about real estate, design, or building. Even shows like ‘monster garage’ etc while clearly entertainment, are also showing creativity as well as working in teams.
Now don’t get me wrong, I was raised without a TV for much of my life and go without one frequently (the past month and half for example) but I’m also not as pessimistic as the previous commentator – tv shows, including some (but clearly not all) of the ‘reality’ shows have in many respects been getting LESS mindless not more. They compete against entertainments in many mediums – but the long story arcs of the best shows and the problem solving / creativity of the best of the short shows is markedly different than earlier eras of TV.
Stephen Johnson discusses this to some degree in his book ‘everything bad is good for you’ the phenomenon of the growing complexity of thought required by the best of modern media.
(news noteably usually not being in this category – there the thought required has mostly gone down not up – though it was never very high to start)


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