Decentralized Harmonies

in LeoFinance11 days ago

Last night, my wife and I got invited by some friends to listen to Beethoven's 9th, performed by the local Philharmonic Orchestra. It has been a while since I have been to an orchestra and it was pretty good.

However, what I found myself thinking was how inefficient the form of music is, considering there was about 120 people on the stage to perform for 45 minutes and, most of them only had to work for a couple minutes in total - like the choir, who sat their hands in lap for 95% of the time. It all seems very indulgent in this day and age, doesn't it? It kind of feels a bit like using an entire tree to make an individual toothpick.

The other related thing I found myself wondering is about it being a job, as while for some of these people they might perform often, most of them probably have to have "real jobs" to pay the bills. There can't be much room for full-time professionals in this genre, even though I am sure that all of the people involved have been studying their trade since a very young age.

Perhaps these are weird things to be thinking while listening to classical music, but, the mind wanders where it will and I think that my mind often likes to walk the path of work.

Is it all worth it?

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Hard to say, but that is what the supply and demand model is there to figure out, as it doesn't just depend on who is willing to pay to see people perform, or what they are willing to take as payment, it also has to factor in the people who are willing to perform for next to or nothing, just so that they can do what they love or, don't want to entirely waste all they have learned.

Watching this, it is a stark contrast to what most of culture is like now, where people are only willing to learn something if they get something directly out of it or, are only willing to contribute if they feel they are getting paid. Watching the orchestra where many people aren't likely earning much if anything, reminded me of all the people who take part on social platforms and receive starts, hearts and thumbs for their time and effort contributions.

The barrier of entry into social media is of course much, much lower than into a philharmonic, which means that pretty much anyone can participate. And as long as the platform makes contributors and users feel like they are getting value from taking part, people will keep adding their content, and users will keep consuming endlessly.

However, there are other factors coming more into play now, where for example people's belief systems driven by social narrative is affecting the model too and it is affecting the employee base at these platforms also. For example, we have likely all heard the "distress" caused at the mere mention of Elon Musk buying a share in Twitter several weeks ago, and then the emotional freefall when he put in a bid to buy it.

I was reading an internal memo from Netflix which is having its own troubles too and found these excerpts to be interesting.

Depending on your role, you may need to work on titles you perceive to be harmful. If you’d find it hard to support our content breadth, Netflix may not be the best place for you.

We model ourselves on being a professional sports team, not a family. A family is about unconditional love. A dream team is about pushing yourself to be the best possible teammate, caring intensely about your team, and knowing that you may not be on the team forever.

Do you agree or disagree?
Is it reasonable for a business model to decide what they sell and who works for them?

Not everyone will like — or agree with — everything on our service. While every title is different, we approach them based on the same set of principles: we support the artistic expression of the creators we choose to work with; we program for a diversity of audiences and tastes; and we let viewers decide what’s appropriate for them, versus having Netflix censor specific artists or voices.

Do you believe you should choose what is appropriate for you?

A lot of people complain about the "if you don't like it, leave" approach to platforms and employment, but this is the way supply and demand of business models operate and it is actually a healthy approach, if there are alternatives. The reason being is that with alternatives, there is the ability to leave, to use another service or to create an competing one. It is not like the authoritative control of a country where people may have no alternative to go to.

These businesses aren't monopolies, they do not have absolute power, but through data, they do have a lot of control over the consumer mindset and preferences. But, this also means that they are going to be affected if their own business model can no longer meet the expectations of a homogenized group.

The audience at the concert last night must have had an average age of 70, which means that unless the business model changes to accommodate a younger generation of listener, they are going to increasingly find their "trade" pushed further to the fringes. This means that even less people will be able to specialize and, not so many are going to be learning from childhood like they would need. This leaves two core problems, as incentives do not encourage talent and without talent, there is no attraction for an audience, even if that audience is interested. There is a reason that top sports generate so much money, whilst minor sports get none - it isn't the level of skill required alone, there also needs to be interest.

And I think that this is where Netflix will struggle too, because they need to be able to generate audience interest in their offerings, but the audience is changing, where younger generations are consuming content in different ways, not necessarily being as attached to a series or willing to invest hours into a movie, but rather watching a whole stream of different content creators deliver low-level content with a very low barrier for mental entry to consume it.

Consumers drive business models and eventually, all businesses are going to fail. The thing is though, until humanity wipes itself off the face of this earth, consumerism isn't going to fail, there is always going to be a market for goods and services of some kind. What those are might change heavily depending on cultural shifts, but the consumer model will persist.

In my own belief, that is why the decentralized platform models like Hive offers already, are going to be so lucrative, because they will become more sensitive to the user base and continually adapt organically based on shifting preferences. This is contrary to what the centralized platforms do, because they are interested in pushing their own agenda, being the content they offer, so they "train the audience" to use it, rather than use the audience to train them.

Currently, the "business" of decentralized content delivery is still in its infancy, but it is going to improve in its ability to provide value to all stakeholders and interestingly like Hive, will not have to take the "If you don't like it leave" approach, because the platform itself is able to cater for anyone and everyone. Instead and like Hive, it is a "if you don't like it, build something you do like" approach - but with so few users currently, building it is only one step, because in order for the new service to have value - it still needs to attract an audience.

So, until a new development can attract that audience for themselves, they really are going to have to adapt themselves to current conditions and if they don't like it, they do have the option to leave. The option to leave is vital for the health of society and is the most important tool that we have to combat overzealous authoritarian control.

Economically, this is why decentralized currencies are such a threat to centralized authority, because they give the opportunity for those under the financial control of fiat, to step outside of the cage and still survive. It has the ability to bring billions of different kinds of people together to work in a harmony, despite their many differences.

Another thing I was thinking about while watching last night was, out of the 120-odd people on stage, any one of them could have broken ranks and screamed, or played a different tune, or just got up and walked away - nothing was stopping them from doing so, but they didn't. For them to all play the tune they played, is a massive network of social arrangements that factor in their backgrounds with the instruments, their mindset, temperaments, their economic positions, their will, their social skill and a thousand other factors that allowed them all to come together from wherever they came from and play in harmony for 45 minutes - before splitting off to their individual lives again.

It is actually quite incredible, if you spend enough time thinking about it.

Taraz
[ Gen1: Hive ]

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It all seems very indulgent in this day and age, doesn't it?

No. It feels wonderful for all the reasons that you describe towards the end of the post. We get so caught up here, sometimes, with individual responsibility and freedom that we forget this amazing thing that we have the capacity to do - co-operate in sync with each other. We see it in sports all the time, the sixth sense that players have so that they "know" where a team mate is going to be, even if that player is behind them, but it is even more apparent in music, where the musicians, and sometimes singers, are literally in tune with/tuned into each other.

Business models have their place, but they are not the be all and end all of what it is to be human. We do some things for no other reason than we can .. or because it is fun, it feels good, it is fulfilling.

It is worrying that our universities and other institutions have become so market-led ... what the business models require ... so short-sighted and akin to diminishing the gene pool and decreasing bio-diversity.

I am glad someone understood - optimization is a goal, but if completely achieved across all areas, we stop growing in total. That coordinated sync in sport, or the coming together of musicians like jazz, that is where the value is - collaboration in the unexpected, to solve "issues" in dynamic environments. It is what humans are great at, when the conditions allow. I just feel the conditions are encouraging for something else at the moment - at least at the mass level.

certain folks may only perform a short period while others the whole night. Yes. But there is a shitload of rehearsal that goes into the performance for those few hours or minutes. I have been one of those singers before back in my college/post-college years. The diversity of the instruments and magnitude of the ensemble allows for the beauty of the music to speak. Beethoven knew what the hell he was doing. I suppose the ensemble and the performance parallel much of what goes on in the real world. Yes, but the music is far from inefficient if you are seeking a certain quality. We may be able to reproduce that same sound with electronics, but not the experience of so many voices of instruments live.

We may be able to reproduce that same sound with electronics, but not the experience of so many voices of instruments live.

We can also record it and play it back over and over, but that doesn't provide the same experience, nor does it encourage expansion of experience. There is a lot of value in inefficiency, which is why so much of the problems we have in the world exist through maximization of wealth, as it is a process of improving economic efficiency, not encouraging human growth.

Hahaha. It's funny how your mind works. It's also admirable.
Thinking about the harmony and relating it to the business world and then to the centralized and decentralized platforms only shows a stroke of genius.

Although, given my background I would have thought of the symphony that exists in the human body... It's even more magnificent to think about.

Everything is a fractal in this world, it just depends on the resolution as to which analogy is used.

Fractal ...

I see you used it as a metaphor but when I checked the meaning I was accosted with this

Hausdorff dimension

I got lost there.

I like Mozart frankly saying, his music literally flies you high. Beethoven his symphony music is amazing but it is better for movies.

Netflix is a typical corporate model, which is for profits only, capital gain, and hire and fire strategy.
They part of specific bloc, Netflix has to obey or follow its mindset. All corporate firms one or other support each other regardless of the ethnicity, country, nation, creed, race.

The business model is answerable only to generating profit for shareholders - no other reason exists for them to make profits.

They choose for us and we pay for it. However, HIVE is free and public and it has a great ability to change in time as long as new ideas come out.

People want centralized polish here -I want it to stay more organic. The benefit is that it can maintain all positions simultaneously.

There is nothing to motivate young people, everything is for the sake of recycling money. The fields of sports and even series have become intertwined, thinking of making quick profits through advertisements instead of spreading joy.

I agree - the young are being turned into consumers of sport and music, and the products that enable them, before they have a chance to play.

I don't find what makes a person interested in classical music, opera is just a ritual and tradition doesn't offer additional useful things, words must be understandable
Maybe loud sounds and clamor are what make it so valuable and reputable even the decor and music attract more people.
I like calm and meaningful words

The words are meaningful, if you speak the language they are in. :)

Classical music is complex and layered with multiple concepts, which is why so many people find it hard to connect with. It also requires imagination to visualize the scene, because it isn't spelled out in the words, which again make it far less relatable for younger generations, who seem to need to be told what to think and feel, otherwise they are lost.

I don't really think NetFlix will do that well with all the competition coming out and it doesn't really help that there were shows pulled away from Netflix for their own alternatives. So the free market is doing the work and I think anyone who pushes away their audience deserves to suffer. THe free market is the best approach but social media is fairly toxic. They just try to push their opinions even if they are not the majority.

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I don't think they will do well in the longrun either. But I also think that employees at these companies need to start realizing that they are getting paid to do a job and if they don't like that job, they will have to find another.

Harmony - in music and in life - is a beautiful thing to behold. Thanks for sharing, @tarazkp. Glad you enjoyed the concert.

Annabelle 😊

It was nice to be out!

Performance is very hard to evaluate in terms of work. It's a couple of minutes on stage but a lifetime behind the scenes. Even in the most popular sports, it is a small fraction of participants getting stellar or even good pay. Of course, popularity of the whole field is a factor/a multiplier. What can you do?

Sometimes the best version of yourself is not something others are willing to pay for. So, state subsidizing art that is not viable on the free market is a kind of robbery to all who pay taxes. As with many other things.

Web 2.0 is a larger stage, reaching more people with ease but also diluting the value of the performance. Web 3.0 is a stage everybody can own a piece of but it's not large enough. Yet.

It has potential. So have most people.

It takes commitment and performing in harmony (or a diversity of harmonies, all right) just for the sake of it before it gets where it could.

It's a couple of minutes on stage but a lifetime behind the scenes.

Exactly and I think that many people aren't willing to do the lifetime behind the scenes these days.

So, state subsidizing art that is not viable on the free market is a kind of robbery to all who pay taxes. As with many other things.

It is a funny world, isn't it? Support me, even if I don't offer anything people value.

The world of content delivery and ownership, as well as the way we are able to evaluate and purchase it are changing rapidly - I hope that at the end of the day, there are far more direct relationships between creativity and value, without the middlemen between.

Wow!
I initially viewed this communication from Netflix to its staff very negatively. But after reading your commentary, I think I support them.

Depending on your role, you may need to work on titles you perceive to be harmful. If you’d find it hard to support our content breadth, Netflix may not be the best place for you.
We model ourselves on being a professional sports team, not a family. A family is about unconditional love. A dream team is about pushing yourself to be the best possible teammate, caring intensely about your team, and knowing that you may not be on the team forever.
Not everyone will like — or agree with — everything on our service. While every title is different, we approach them based on the same set of principles: we support the artistic expression of the creators we choose to work with; we program for a diversity of audiences and tastes; and we let viewers decide what’s appropriate for them, versus having Netflix censor specific artists or voices.

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People are paid to do a job. Employees need to remember that the job they do isn't "theirs" it is the company's and they are being paid to fill the seat. If they don't want to do the job they are employed to do, they need to vacate the seat or be pushed off it. The business might fail because of the approach they take, but the employer/employee relationship is clear - perform, or move.

LOL
You are so hilarious

You are an employee
You fullfil a niche

The truth about thew position of employee is so liberating, don't get mad, accept your reality, this is what you signed up for...and perhaps didn't realize it.

The audience at the concert last night must have had an average age of 70, which means that unless the business model changes to accommodate a younger generation of listener, they are going to increasingly find their "trade" pushed further to the fringes. — I’m just trying to wrap my head Round how classical music can attract the younger generation, I actually can’t find a head way with that ..

Instead and like Hive, it is a "if you don't like it, build something you do like" approach — this approach is surely a step in the right direction in improving the services offered to the actual end users who really do the matter !