Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Shouting vs. Democracy

I was a comedy show recently. The comedian kept asking the audience questions about the area. Only a few people in the audience were loud enough to be heard by the comedian. The things that these people were yelling were actually not correct. They were misleading about how far some local mountains are. They were just factually wrong about a historic question. Once the loud incorrect answer was heard by the comedian, he added that information into his bit. Nobody, of course, could, at that point yell out a correction and it's likely that those who may have wanted to were not loud enough anyway. Even if they did cut through the crowd noise to explain the correct information, it would have seemed like a party pooper kind of thing to do. That person would have sounded like a know-it-all. That's the case with today's media and political landscape.

On the game show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, one of the life-lines is "ask the audience". The audience is given a chance to silently enter in their own answers. Every time that I have seen this happen, the audience has been overwhelmingly correct. That's democracy.

1 comment:

monsterpants said...

it's the inability of one person to accurately guess the number of jelly beans in a jar while the average number that a large crowd guesses will be remarkably accurate. it's called collective consciousness! it's what ants are experts at.

"thanks, ants. thants."