Success Bias Reply - Maybe the Opposite

Interesting post on society’s tendency to focus on successes rather than failures. Quite right about how failures don’t really constitute sexy television or YouTube videos. I’m not entirely sure that the advancement of the likes of YouTube and Facebook (and whatever else there is nowadays) would see an increase in that particular observation… Sure, more people would search for clips of “successes.” I do think, however, that just as many would be likely to be exposed to failures and disasters and the like through channels like YouTube. You mention people are more likely to watch successes than to watch weekly or daily videos, but I think YouTube trends show just the opposite. ‘LastWeekTonight,’ the British parrot John Oliver’s YouTube channel, has, at present, 6,308,392 subscribers. His most recent video, which, by the way, isn’t really his usual weekly coverage of a global event or topic of interest, but rather a collection of funny graphics he never got to use, has garnered 1.7 million views within just four days of release. I can only remember this particular channel off the top of my head, but I’m aware that there are plenty of others like ‘LastWeekTonight.’ And goodness knows John Oliver doesn’t sugar coat anything he covers, which range from government surveillance to floods.

My argument, that YouTube and the like will actually increase our recognition of failures, costs, risks, etc., rather than leave it the same or reduce it, of course, relies heavily on YouTubers like John Oliver staying on top of their world views and providing coverage that deal with those things. Normally a pretty big if, but it seems like more and more people are “waking up” to things and relying less and less on what traditional channels of news / information tell them. I mean, people use to believe whatever was said on the radio (which, in turn, was provided by the government) a few decades ago… now people don’t trust CNN… so… 😐 (and much less governments).

I generally agree with these thoughts. Things that go viral today definitely weren’t what we saw on television 20 years ago. I don’t know how large the scale of covering failures (aside from those of such large magnitudes or with a comic viewing experience) will be but I definitely agree that if you seek out such information, it is far more accessible today.

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