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Last Tuesday I went to a book launch party at a club in Pall Mall, which despite the surroundings turned out to be not so traditional an affair. The book was Mediocracy by Fabian Tassano, who observes that:

…some areas of culture are dumbing down, while others are increasingly incomprehensible. Both things are symptoms of mediocracy, a new model of society in which content is sacrificed in favour of appearance and ideological correctness.

I bought a copy of the book, which was bagged by Brian Micklethwait, who promised to blog about it first. It seems I beat him to it. I did manage to leaf through the book and found it wonderfully satirical, erudite and refreshing. It should be a companion to anybody who abhors today’s practice of using language to disguise, hollow out and spin reality. Or as Dr Madsen Pirie of Adam Smith Institute puts it:

Tassano expertly skewers politically correct pomposity and looks beyond the bland surface to the rough reality beneath.

Once Brian returns the book, I shall write more, with my favourite quotes from it. For now, pictures will have to do.


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One Response to “Mediocracy”

  1. Christopher
    on May 14th, 2007
    @ 16:47 pm

    I have to say I agree. While I’ve rarely contributed to one of these “social media” sites, what little experience I’ve had has convinced me that it’s not worth my time to contribute or use them.

    Andy Rutledge has a post about how social media can be boring and devolve into mediocrity, and says it better than I can:

    “Mediocrity is the only possible result of a wide sampling of opinion or input. The only idea that can survive such a mechanism is one consistent with the lowest common denominator. The mob works to ensure that all other results are weeded out. Now, we might think that it is the highest common denominator that is promoted in this environment, but it’s just not so. The “highest” anything is largely held by the masses as being discriminatory and elitist. So only the lowest common denominator wins out. The point is that in this sort of environment excellence does not survive.

    Excellence is not the sum of opinions. Excellence is not born of consensus. Excellence is by its very nature something far outside the average. In fact, not even good is found in the average. Average is comfortable. Average requires no great effort. Average requires nothing exceptional. Average anything is…, well, just mediocre.”

    If you’re interested, you can read about my own experience with social media, the common ownership of content, and what convinced me that it leads to the lowest common denominator by going here:

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